Competition Problem 74
by Steve Bloom
South to make three no-trumps. West leads a heart.
Successful solvers: Jean-Marc Bihl, Leigh Matheson, Sebastian Nowacki, Satyanarayana, Rajeswar Tewari, Wim van der Zijden
A high heart would allow South to win the first trick and put East on play after finesses and two rounds in each minor suit, so West leads a low heart, on which North must play the ♥10. East wins with the ♥Q and continues the suit, South winning with the ♥A. South’s ♣Q and ♣J are both allowed to hold (best), whereupon South leads a spade to the ♠9, ♠10, and ♠K. East’s best return now is a club to North’s ♣A, on which South takes care to discard a spade. Next comes the ♦J and however East plays the second round of spades will guarantee that South gets a second diamond finesse and the contract¾East either leads the suit and gives South four diamond tricks or lets North in on the ♠4.
1. If North fails to play the ♥10 at trick 1, then West stays on lead and switches to spades.
2. If, in the above line, South discards a heart instead of a spade on the third club, then East covers the ♦J and, on winning the second spade trick, underleads the ♠8 to put South on play with nothing but diamonds. East thus makes a diamond and the ♠8.
3. If South, after winning the first two club tricks in the above line, tries the ♦10 instead of a spade, it is allowed to hold! A spade comes next but East wins and returns the ♦Q!
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
© Hugh Darwen, 2011
Date last modified: 11 March, 2017