Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 56

composed by Paolo Treossi
presented for solving in October, 2009

DR8

♠ Q98

 AQ92

 10

♣ KJ642

♠ J

 J10

 J9654

♣ Q10973

♠ K10762

 K8765

 K82

♣ none

♠ A543

 43

 AQ73

♣ A85

(a) South to make four no-trumps when West leads the ♠J.

(b) What should West have led to defeat the contract?

Successful solvers:  Rajeswar Tewari (suggesting DR8), Wim van der Zijden (DR7).  Commiserations to Leigh Matheson (DR7) who sent in a very long analysis but had to concede defeat in line C.1.

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Solution

First of all, my apologies to the composer, Paolo Treossi, for wrongly attributing this problem to Vincent Labbé when this problem first appeared.

(a)     North plays the ♠Q and South plays low.

A.       If East wins with the K and returns the 10, South wins and plays a heart to North’s Q.

1.       If East ducks, North continues with a low heart to West’s J.

(i)       If West returns a low diamond, South overtakes North’s 10 with the Q, loses a diamond and wins the forced diamond return with the A.  North discards a low club and the 9.  North’s 9 and A now squeeze West in the minor suits.

(ii)      If West returns the 10, South wins and North scores the 9 and A, squeezing West out of two diamonds.  Now South makes the Q and A, reducing West to four clubs.  The 8 is covered by the 9 and J, followed by the 6 (not the 4!).  West wins but now North’s K4 are a tenace over West’s Q3.

2.       If East wins with the K and returns a spade, North cashes the top hearts.  West cannot afford a single club discard and so has to let go of two diamonds.  Now three rounds of clubs, North finessing, subject East to a triple squeeze.

B.      If East wins with the K and returns a diamond, South wins with the Q and loses a diamond.  Best defence is for West to win and return a club.  North wins with the J and leads the Q, which holds.  North now advances the 9, South playing low!  Whatever East now returns now, play ends in a simple squeeze against West’s minor suits.  (For example: A, A, 9, A, A.)

C.      If East ducks the Q, North advances the Q, which East does best to take with the K.

1.       If East returns a heart to North, South finesses the Q and exits on a diamond.

(i)       If West wins and leads the 10, this is allowed to hold!  Now a diamond and three rounds of clubs squeeze East in the majors.  Other defences at trick 6 lead to a minor suit squeeze on West.

(ii)      If West wins and leads a diamond, South wins with the A and loses a spade to East.  Play ends in a minor suit squeeze on West when North scores the 9.

(iii)     If East wins and leads a high spade, it is allowed to hold and play follows (ii).

(iv)     If East wins and leads a heart, North can either win, then duck a club to West and squeeze East, or duck and squeeze West.

2.       If East returns a high spade, it is allowed to hold and play follows A.2.

(b)     West must lead a diamond¾but not a low one!  Declarer would like to duck the diamond lead but if West leads the J East’s K is preserved and South does not have two immediate diamond winners.

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, 2009

Date last modified: 15 April, 2017