Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 68

composed by Paolo Treossi
presented for solving in October, 2010

Diagram A

DR8

♠ K2

 76

 A72

♣ A87654

♠ A108

 K109

 K1054

♣ J109

♠ 9765

 Q8

 J98

♣ KQ32

♠ QJ43

 AJ5432

 Q63

♣ none

Diagram B

♠ K2

 65

 A72

♣ A87654

♠ A108

 K87

 K1064

♣ J109

♠ 9765

 Q10

 J98

♣ KQ32

♠ QJ43

 AJ9432

 Q53

♣ none

South is in four hearts in each diagram.  In each case, how is the contract defeated if West leads from a major suit and how is it made against a lead in the other major?

Successful solvers:  None!  Nobody spotted the significance of the 10 in diagram B.

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Solution

In Diagram A the contract makes against a heart lead.  Southís A captures Eastís Q and South plays a spade to the K, ruffs a low club, and leads the Q.  West wins this and now does best to cash the K (a third spade would be ruffed by North and then after A and another club, ruffed, West is bound to have to lead away from the K and can make just the two heart tricks).  Southís J and remaining trumps bring about the following endgame:

♠ none

 none

 A72

♣ A8

♠ none

 none

 K105

♣ J10

♠ 9

 none

 J9

♣ KQ

♠ 3

 5

 Q63

♣ none

The 5 wrings a club from West so that when North discards a diamond East is squeezed in three suits.  East bares the J but South leads the Q to K and A.  North cashes the A and leads the 7, setting up Southís 6.

Against a low spade lead North wins and South ruffs a club and plays the Q as above.  This time West wins and exits on a third spade.  North can ruff this but when South now ruffs a club and exits on a low heart, East overtakes Westís 9 with the Q.  Now either a spade or a diamond spells declarerís doom.

In Diagram B the contract makes easily against a spade lead.  The 10 is best but North wins and can play either a low club or the A and a low club.  South ruffs and leads the Q.  West wins but cannot prevent North from ruffing Southís remaining low spade.  West does best to lead the K, but South wins with the A, ruffs the low spade, ruffs a club and exits on a heart to Eastís Q.  West now gets a spade ruff but must now lead either a diamond away from the K or, if North has kept the A, a club, setting up an extra club trick for North.

Any heart lead defeats the contract.  If West leads the K, declarerís best chance is to let it hold.  Against a low heart lead, the best chance is the capture the Q and lead the J to Westís K.  In either case Westís next lead is the 10!  North wins with the K and South ruffs a club.  Trumps are drawn, followed by the Q.  West wins with the A and exits on the 8, East overtaking with the 9 (otherwise South would allow the 8 to hold and West would be fixed).  Now the squeeze fails because Southís diamonds are not strong enough.

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