Double Dummy Corner

Competition Problem 46

composed by Steve Bloom

presented for solving in December, 2008

 DR8 ♠ KQ96 ♥ Q6 ♦ K32 ♣ Q432 ♠ J1075 ♥ J10974 ♦ A10 ♣ AJ ♠ 432 ♥ 32 ♦ J987 ♣ K1098 ♠ A8 ♥ AK85 ♦ Q654 ♣ 765

West to lead and East-West to defeat South's contract of three no-trumps.

Successful solvers:  Congratulations to Vincent Labbé on being the only solver to crack this one.

Top solver, 2008:  Congratulations to Rajeswar Tewari,  who scored solving 47 points in 2008.  Other good scores were by Wim van der Zijden (41), Vincent Labbé (40, including 9 for composing), and Ian Budden (39, including 8 for composing.  For the record, resident composer Steve Bloom scored 49 points altogether but only 20 by solving other people's problems.

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Solution

West must lead a high heart.

A.      If North wins and leads a club, West wins, optionally cashes the other club, and leads the 10!  Whichever hand wins this trick immediately exits with a second diamond and now West cashes the other club if it is still held.

1.       If South won the first diamond, West has a safe exit of a high heart.  Declarer will try to throw West in again in spades but West plays the 7 under the A and subsequently hangs onto the 5.

2.       If North won it, West has a safe exit on a low spade.

B.      If South wins and leads a diamond, West plays low and North wins.  A second diamond follows (best) to West, who must now lead the seven of hearts to North's Q.  South's best try now is to cash the Q and play a fourth round of diamonds.  West has only one counter—West must discard a high heart on the Q, and the J on the next diamond.  West wins the A, to leave:

 ♠ KQ96 ♥ none ♦ none ♣ Q4 ♠ J1075 ♥ 94 ♦ none ♣ none ♠ 432 ♥ none ♦ none ♣ K109 ♠ A8 ♥ A5 ♦ none ♣ 76

Here West exits with the seven of spades.  This is the killer.  What can South do?  Win the spade eight?  West will unblock in hearts, leaving South with two club losers.  How about three rounds of spades?  West unblocks and leaves North on play, stranding the good heart.

See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.

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