Competition Problem 66
South to make two no-trumps. West leads (a) the ♠10, (b) a diamond.
Successful solvers: Bu Feiming, Sebastian Nowacki, Rajeswar Tewari, Wim van der Zijden
(a) North wins, cashes a heart, and leads a diamond. Already endplayed, East does best to win two diamonds and exit on the ♣K. North discards a heart on the second diamond and South wins with the ♣A. A club to the ♣J is followed by a low spade, fixing East again. East does best to exit with a club to the ♣Q, which is followed by a heart to the ♥A. If East discards a low diamond, North exits with a low spade; otherwise North plays ♠A and another spade.
(b) East does best to win two diamonds and exit with the ♥8, covered all round to Northís ♥A. This time North discards a spade on the second diamond. At trick 4 North leads a low heart to ♥5 and ♥J, East discarding a club. West returns a spade to North and North exits on a low spade, endplaying East as South and West both discard clubs. East gets out on the ♣K. South wins, runs the ♥7, then crosses to the ♥K in this ending:
Whatever East discards, the ♣J comes next. If Eastís last three cards are the ♦Q and two spades, South overtakes with the ♣Q and puts East in on a diamond; otherwise the ♣J holds and North leads a low spade.
An alternative defence is for East to win just one diamond before switching to hearts and for West to return a club after winning the second heart. In that case South wins with the ♣Q and leads the ♥7 in this position:
If West ducks the ♥7 and East discards a low diamond, the ♥A comes next, forcing a spade from East. Next comes the ♣J, Eastís ♣K being allowed to hold. Now the only way for East to avoid leading away from the ♠Q is to allow South to make the ♣A and the ♦J. If West covers the ♥7 East can discard a high diamond but ducking the ♣K works again.
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