Competition Problem 28
by Leslie Cass
West to lead and East-West to defeat South's contract of three no-trumps.
Successful solvers: Steve Bloom, Jesper Dall, Mike Hou, Wim van der Zijden. The DR is the average of their suggestions, which ranged from 3 to 8!
The defence must play on hearts, West starting with a low one. Declarer's best try is to let East's ♥Q win the first trick and play low on the return, but West plays the ♥K anyway, to be sure of removing North's heart entry before diamonds are established. North wins the second heart and now does best to lead a high diamond. However, West ducks (!), wins the diamond continuation and leads a club, covered around the table to South's ♣A. Declarer's last-ditch effort now is to cash the ♣Q, but East is careful to drop the ♣6, retaining the ♣2 as a guaranteed exit card.
Trap: If West exits on a heart instead of a club at trick 5, South wins and leads the ♠10, followed by the ♠6 when the ♠10 is allowed to hold. East wins the second spade and returns a third, but North discards the heart loser and South can play either the ♣Q or ♣A and a low one.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
© Hugh Darwen, 2007
Date last modified: 11 March, 2017