Double Dummy Corner

Competition Problem 47

composed by Steve Bloom

presented for solving in January, 2009

 DR8 ♠ KQ543 ♥ none ♦ K832 ♣ KJ103 ♠ 6 ♥ AQ765 ♦ QJ1065 ♣ Q2 ♠ J10987 ♥ J1098 ♦ 9 ♣ A98 ♠ A2 ♥ K432 ♦ A74 ♣ 7654

South to make three spades against the lead of (a) the Q, (b) the ♣Q.

Successful solvers:  For the second successive month the only correct solver was Vincent Labbé.  Not surprisingly, he declared the problem to be DR8, which rating I have happily awarded him (and composer Steve Bloom).

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Solution

A.      The ¨Q lead is taken by South, who leads a club to North's §10, which holds.  North wins a round of trumps and leads the §K, taken by East who does best to return a heart, South and West playing low.  North ruffs, cashes a club and leads a low diamond.  To prevent the endplay on West, East ruffs and leads another heart, but North ruffs this and exits on the ¨8!  If West wins this trick, North and South make their three trumps separately.  If East ruffs the ¨8, South wins the trump return and advances the fourth club.  East makes only the ªJ.

B.      North covers the §Q lead and East lets the §K hold.  This time South wins a round of trumps and leads a second club, which East takes.

1.       If East returns a heart, North ruffs, cashes a club and the ¨K, then leads a low diamond.  East and North exchange diamond and heart ruffs, reaching this three-card ending with North on lead:

 ♠ K ♥ none ♦ 8 ♣ 3 ♠ none ♥ AQ ♦ Q ♣ none ♠ J10 ♥ 8 ♦ none ♣ none ♠ 2 ♥ K ♦ none ♣ 7

North leads the diamond to hold East to one more trick.

2.       If East returns a trump, North wins and plays two more rounds of clubs.  Ruffing the last club, East is on lead in this position

 ♠ K54 ♥ none ♦ K832 ♣ none ♠ none ♥ AQ7 ♦ QJ106 ♣ none ♠ 109 ♥ J1098 ♦ 9 ♣ none ♠ none ♥ K432 ♦ A74 ♣ none

East leads the 9, which is allowed to hold!  East now leads a heart, South and West playing low.  North ruffs and cashes the K, squeezing West!

(a)      If West bares the A, North leads a diamond and, whether or not East ruffs, South's K will be established by a ruff.  Either South's A is an entry to it or East has to ruff the K and be a stepping-stone to it.

(b)     If West discards a diamond, North leads a diamond and South plays the A regardless of what East does.  East can make only a trump.

If, in the diagrammed position, East leads a trump, West is squeezed and does best to discard a heart; but North simply wins and ducks a diamond¾the effect is much the same as above.

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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