Competition Problem 50
composed by Steve Bloom
presented for solving in April, 2009
is declarer in six spades against a trump lead.
Successful solvers: Ian Budden, Vincent Labbé, llhuii5614, Rajeswar Tewari, Wim van der Zijden
West must have both black sevens.
A. Suppose that West has the ♠9 and ♣7. Then North plays high on the spade lead and South overtakes to lead a club, North finessing against West's ♣J. East wins and returns a heart (best) to South's ♥A. North ruffs a diamond high and leads the ♣Q, covered by East and ruffed low. North ruffs another diamond high and cashes the established club winner on which South discards the ♥Q. At trick 8 South ruffs the last club low and the ending (assuming South has not yet played the ♦K) is now
South advances the ♠8 and West is caught in a seesaw squeeze: a heart discard allows North to overtake and set up the hearts by ruffing, whereas a diamond discard allows South to stay on lead and set up the diamonds.
B. Suppose that West has the ♠7 and ♣8. Then North plays low on the spade lead and South wins as cheaply as possible. South leads the ♦K, covered by West and ruffed by North, who exits on the ♣3! East has to let this run to West, who has no trump to return. Thus, declarer can obtain three more diamond ruffs in North and in the process establish a club winner on which to dispose of the losing heart.
In line A, declarer can play the ♦K instead of a low one on either of the first two rounds of that suit. However, if South leads a low diamond instead of the stipulated ♦K in line B, West, on winning the first club, returns a low diamond! Now every time North ruffs a diamond, East discards a club and thus is able to ruff the club winner that is eventually established.
Comments from solvers:
“What can we say about this problem ? Each time Steve Bloom astonishes us more and more with his creativity and his precision.”
“Please pass on my compliments to Steve Bloom. He is really 'Blooming' with some nice compositions”
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: 03 June, 2019