Double Dummy Corner


Competition Problem 57

composed by Steve Bloom
presented for solving in November, 2009


♠ Q10932



♣ none

♠ J875



♣ 876

♠ AK64



♣ KJ1043

♠ none



♣ AQ952

(a) South to make three no-trumps when West leads the 5.

(b) How can the contract be defeated on a different opening lead?

Successful solvers:  F.Y. Sing, Rajeswar Tewari, Wim van der Zijden

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On the lead of the 5 North plays the 9 and East wins, South discarding the 2.  Suppose East returns a heart, South’s K being allowed to hold.  In that case South continues with A, K, and J, West doing best to discard three hearts.  North plays middle cards on the first two diamonds but overtakes the J to lead the Q, South discarding a club.  East wins and returns the J, taken by South’s Q.  South now advances the 4 for a seesaw squeeze.  If West discards:

A.     a club, North plays the 3 so that South can cash the A before leading the 2 to squeeze West again¾West is thrown in on whichever major suit jack is now bare.

B.     a spade, North overtakes and leads a low spade to West’s now bare J, setting up the 10 with an entry to it on the 3.

If West wins the first heart and returns a club (best), South wins and plays five rounds of diamonds, ending in North.  West is forced to discard a club to keep two of each major suit, whereupon South comes to hand on a heart and advances the 9, pinning the now bare 8.  East wins with the J but even if the K is still guarded it cannot win another trick because South will have A5 as a tenace over the K4.

If East returns a diamond instead of a heart at trick 2, South can win and immediately lead the K, leading to one or other of the two lines already described.

If East returns a club at trick 2, South wins while North discards a spade.  The K is allowed to hold and then North is entered on the Q to lead a low spade that West must win.  South discards a diamond, being sure to keep a low one for a further entry to North later.  West is endplayed in three suits (a club lead allows declarer to set up the 5).

To defeat the contract West must lead a middle spade at trick 1 and if South discards a club as above East must return a high club at trick 2.  Now when North exits on a low spade East can rise with the 6 to win the trick and exit safely on a diamond.  And if declarer tries to foil that defence by playing three rounds of diamonds before exiting on a spade, South is squeezed on that spade exit!  A heart discard is immediately fatal and a club discard allows the suit to be established.  So South discards a diamond, but the defenders simply play three rounds of spades.  North thus makes the Q but now it is not possible to score the two remaining diamonds as well as the A.

If South discards a diamond at trick 1, regardless of which spade West has led East returns a red suit and the seesaw squeeze is no longer available.

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: 03 June, 2019