Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 72

composed by Steve Bloom
presented for solving in February, 2011

DR4

♠ AQJ62

 AJ754

 6

♣ 82

♠ 108

 K1032

 1098

♣ 7654

♠ K7543

 9

 KQ7

♣ QJ109

♠ 9

 Q86

 AJ5432

♣ AK3

South to make five no-trumps against any lead. 

Successful solvers:  Ian Budden, Leigh Matheson, Sebastian Nowacki, Satyanarayana, Dick Yuen, Wim van der Zijden.  Actually, of these only Rajeswar Tewari dealt with the "best" defence of leading a spade and ducking the first two hearts, forcing declarer to notice that a club must be cashed before North's remaining major suit winners.  It's a nice point but a very small one, so I've chosen to give Rajeswar Tewari a bonus Star Point rather than make it a DR8.

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Solution

Best defence is for West to lead the 10 to J and K, for East to return the K to South's A, and then for West to duck both the Q and 8 that follow.  Still on lead, South must now make the key play of cashing a top club before taking a third heart finesse.  East is squeezed on the last heart in the following position:

♠ Q62

 7

 none

♣ 8

♠ none

 none

 109

♣ 765

♠ 75

 none

 Q7

♣ Q

♠ none

 none

 J54

♣ A3

(North has optionally cashed the A for simplicity.)  A spade discard is immediately fatal.  On a diamond discard South comes to hand on the A to throw East in with a diamond.  On a club discard North advances the now good 8 to squeeze East again.  If East unguards spades, North keeps the lead to cash spades.  If East discards a low diamond, then South overtakes to throw East in on the Q.  Finally, if East jettisons the Q, then the 8 holds and North plays Q and another spade on which South discards a diamond and the A, taking the last trick with the J.

On a minor suit opening lead South wins and immediately plays on hearts.  As soon as North gets the lead the Q is led, taken by the K.  If East now switches to the other minor suit the above ending can be reached.  On the other hand, if East leads a second club, then the throw-in is easier after North’s hearts force East down to three spades and KQ.

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, 2011

Date last modified: 11 March, 2017