Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 60

composed by Ian Budden
presented for solving in February, 2010

DR8

♠ Q10932

 J832

 K5

♣ Q10

♠ J876

 Q9

 A10986

♣ J9

♠ K5

 A765

 J7

♣ K8764

♠ A4

 K104

 Q432

♣ A532

What lead by West allows South to make three no-trumps?  
How does the play go?

Successful solvers:  Nobody submitted a solution!

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Solution

The required lead is the 9.  On the first trick North plays J.

A.      East plays A.  South must unblock 10, apparently sacrificing a heart trick. (If South fails to unblock, East returns a diamond, and the defence can then play to deny declarer an entry to North’s major suit winners.) East returns:

1.       A heart.  South wins with K, plays a low diamond to K, and then leads ♠10 round to West’s ♠J.  West returns a spade, as a club or diamond return gives declarer his ninth trick.  Declarer wins and can cash North’s major suit winners, eventually end-playing West in one or other of the minor suits.

2.       J to North’s K.  North continues with the ♠10 and play reverts to line 1.

B.      East plays low (best).  South plays 4.  Declarer then leads ♠Q from dummy to ♠K and ♠A (if East plays low on ♠Q, declarer follows immediately with a low spade to ♠A).  He then plays K.

1.       East ducks.  South continues with a low spade, ducked by West (best) and won by ♠9.  North leads 3.

(a)      East ducks again, West shedding a diamond.  South wins, plays a low diamond to K, and leads ♣Q.

(i)      East covers with ♣K.  South wins ♣A, and follows with another club to the ♣J.  However he plays, West can be thrown in a second time, and will have to concede another diamond and another spade trick (while East holds four winners).

(ii)     East ducks.  North leads a low club to ♣K ands ♣A, then exits with Q, ensuring that West wins the trick whether or not the defence have unblocked in diamonds.  West must then concede a spade.

(b)     East wins, West shedding a diamond, and plays:

(i)      East covers with ♣K.  South wins ♣A, and follows with another club to the ♣J.  However he plays, West can be thrown in a second time, and will have to concede another diamond and another spade trick (while East holds four winners).

  •    On a club continuation, declarer takes his two club winners and top diamond before throwing West in with a diamond, forcing an eventual lead to ♠10.

  •    On a diamond continuation, South wins and throws West in with a diamond.  The enforced black suit return gives declarer another trick in that suit.

West can cash ♠J first, but the ending is essentially the same.

(ii)     J to North’s K.  North cashes 8, South discarding a club.

  •    If West discards a spade, he is thrown in with a spade, South throwing a club.  Now if West plays diamonds (whether or not he plays A first), North throws a spade, and West is eventually thrown in with a diamond to concede two clubs;  and if instead he plays on clubs, he creates an entry for the spade winners.

  •    If West discards a diamond, declarer plays on clubs, leading to the ending in line (a).

  •    If West discards a club, North leads ♣Q and East ducks (best).  North must now throw West in with a spade, ensuring a diamond trick in addition to ♣A.

2.       East wins and plays:

(a)      another heart.  South wins and leads a low spade, play reverting to line 1.

(b)      J to North’s K.  North leads a heart to 10, and South leads a spade, play reverting to line 1.

There is an interesting defence if North plays low on the first heart.  East ducks and South wins.  South plays K, ducked, and a third heart, which East wins. East plays J, won by North.  North cashes J, on which West must discard a spade, and leads ♠Q, but East ducks.  Declarer now cannot recover. 

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, 2010

Date last modified: 11 March, 2017