Competition Problem 67
South to make four hearts against a trump lead. What lead would have defeated the contract?
Successful solvers: Robin Adey, Bob Bignall, Ian Budden, Bu Feiming, Rajeswar Tewari, Paolo Treossi, Wim van der Zijden
Promotion: Leigh Matheson became a Problemist, with 52 Master Points, several months ago. Sorry for the late announcement.
South wins with the ♥A, North playing low, and leads a low club.
A. If West rises with the ♣9 to lead another trump, declarer wins in either hand and loses a second club. East returns a spade to the ♠Q and ♠A and West leads a third trump. South comes to hand on the ♦K and the remaining trumps subject East to a repeated squeeze. Note that North must be careful to discard spades on the last two trumps so that when East unguards spades, South's ♠K and ♠2 squeeze East again.
B. If East wins the first club in order to attack spades and establish the ♠10, South wins the second spade and plays three rounds of diamonds, ruffing the third. North is entered on a heart and South’s spade loser goes on the ♦10. Now North can either exit in clubs such that the remaining trumps will score separately, or lead a spade for South to ruff. In the latter case, if West keeps two trumps and therefore only one club, South exits on the ♣10.
The only lead to defeat the contract is the ♠J, after which the defence can always negotiate a spade ruff if declarer tries for a club ruff in North. Note that even if North is declarer and East leads a spade, West must duck.
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