Competition Problem 65
South to make five no-trumps. West leads the ♠Q.
Successful solvers: Mike Betts, Steve Bloom, Bu Feiming, Leigh Matheson, Sebastian Nowacki, Bruce Perry, Christina Syrakopoulou, Rajeswar Tewari, Paolo Treossi, Wim van der Zijden
South wins the spade lead and continues with the ♦Q. If West plays the ♦K, it is allowed to win. If West ducks, South leads another diamond. West covers and is allowed to hold the trick. West returns:
A. a club. Declarer wins with dummy’s ♣K and runs the remaining diamonds, throwing hearts from hand. Before the play of the last diamond the position is as follows:
On the last diamond East and South throw hearts. Now if West throws a heart, South cashes the ♥A and ♣K and throws West in with a club to lead into North’s spade tenace. If instead West throws a club, declarer cashes North’s ♠A, throwing another heart from hand, followed by a club to the ♣K and another club. However East discards, South will make another club.
B. a heart. Declarer ducks. The defence switch to a club, won by the ace. Declarer cashes the ♥A (important) and runs the diamonds to execute a guard squeeze. After the fifth diamond the position is:
On the last diamond South discards a club. East discards:
1. a heart. If West throws a major suit card, declarer will make another trick in that suit, while if West throws a club, declarer will cash the ♠A and then take a club finesse through East.
2. a club. To avoid line 1 West discards a heart, but now the ♠A squeezes East in hearts and clubs.
It is important for declarer to lose the first or second diamond. If he plays three rounds, losing the third to West, the defence continue with a heart, which is ducked, and then switch to a club. The squeeze can now be defended, as West can throw his hearts, and declarer will fail.
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