Double Dummy Corner


Competition Problem 51

from actual play, contributed by Yong Hao Ng (Singapore)
solved by Jinzhou Loo
presented for solving in May, 2009


♠ Q7



♣ KQ53

♠ 109854



♣ A1094

♠ K3



♣ 76

♠ AJ62



♣ J82

South to make three no-trumps.  West leads the ♠10.

Successful solvers:  Ian Budden, Sebastian Nowacki, Rajeswar Tewari, Wim van der Zijden

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This hand, with very minor modifications to make the play 100% precise, arose in tournament play in Singapore.  It was analysed by Yong Hao Ng and solved in ten minutes by Jinzhou Loo.

North covers the 10 with the Q and South’s A captures the K.  Declarer leads the 8 to 9 and Q, followed by the 3 to South’s J, which is allowed to hold (best).  A third club puts West on play, East discarding a diamond.  West does best now to continue spades, but South lets the 9 hold.

A.      If West leads a third spade, South wins as cheaply as possible, North discarding a heart, East another diamond.  A heart is ducked to West, who does best now to lead a second heart, won by North’s A.  North cashes the K, squeezing East out of yet another diamond.  Now a diamond to the K is followed by another diamond, forcing a heart lead from East at trick 12 into North’s 108 tenace.

Trap:  In the above line declarer must not cash the master spade at trick 11, as that would allow East to discard the A!

B.      If West puts North in with a club, South discards a diamond.  A diamond to the K followed by another diamond puts West back on play.  The J is obviously fatal and a spade into South’s tenace squeezes East out of a heart, allowing a heart to be ducked to establish North’s holding.  West therefore leads the K, but North wins and now the Q followed by a diamond puts East in for a heart lead to North.  (In this line South can optionally cash the J at trick 11.)


If West wins the third club and immediately leads a fourth, South discards a diamond.  Now North has the option of leading a diamond or running the 7.  In either case the play is similar to the main line.

If East overtakes the Q in line B and leads a heart, North wins with the A and throws West in with a heart for a spade into South’s J6 tenace.  If East returns a diamond instead of a heart, declarer can choose which major suit to endplay West with.

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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© Hugh Darwen, 2007

Date last modified: 03 June, 2019