Competition Problem 59
South to make five spades when West leads (a) the ♣Q, (b) the ♦A.
Successful solvers: Ian Budden, Leigh Matheson, Rajeswar Tewari, Wim van der Zijden
A. If West leads a club, North wins and plays trumps by leading the ♠J, then winning the second with the ♠K and taking a second finesse against East. Having drawn trumps, South leads a heart to North’s ♥Q. West must not discard more than one heart. If West has kept a diamond, the ♣A and a club ruff are followed by a diamond to West. West's other remaining minor suit card wins the next trick and then the forced heart lead away from the ♥K gives declarer the rest of the tricks. If West discards both diamonds, then North can discard either club or a diamond on the fourth trump. North now leads a diamond towards the ♦10. East wins with the ♦J and returns a club, but North’s ♥10 affords an entry to allow both the ♦10 and ♦K to score.
B. If West plays ♦A and ♦Q, North wins the second and draws trumps as in A., optionally cashing one top club. North discards a diamond on the fourth spade, leaving this position:
South plays a heart to the ♥Q and ruffs the diamond. If West discards a heart, South gives up a heart and wins the last three tricks with the ♣K and ♥A7. If West discards the ♣4, South leads a club and North allows the ♣Q to hold. If West discards the ♣Q, South can either cash the ♣8 or lead a low heart immediately.
C. If West cashes the ♦A and switches to clubs, North wins and trumps are drawn as before. The ♦K can be played at any time when North has the lead, but if it is not played West will discard the ♦Q. North makes the ♥Q, and the ♦K if it is still held, and play reverts to line B.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
© Hugh Darwen, 2010
Date last modified: 11 March, 2017