Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 79

composed by Steve Bloom
presented for solving in September, 2011

DR4

♠ AK2

 KQ432

 5432

♣ Q

♠ Q

 J765

 Q1098

♣ 10987

♠ J9876

 1098

 J

♣ A543

♠ 10543

 A

 AK76

♣ KJ62

South to make five no-trumps.  West leads the 5.
How is the contract defeated if West leads (a) a club, or (b) a diamond?

Successful solvers:  Jean-Marc Bihl, Ian Budden, Leigh Matheson, Sebastian Nowacki.  Three of these suggested DR4 so I've gone along with that.

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Solution

After the A South plays a spade to the A and North leads the 2.  East takes this with the J and for now West can spare a diamond.  However, the next spade will cause West to surrender.  For example, South wins the diamond switch and plays a spade right away (a club to the Q also works).  A red suit discard is immediately fatal so West discards a club.  Now South discards the diamond losers on North’s top heart and when the Q holds comes to hand on a diamond to knock out the A.  As East’s remaining cards are now all black, South’s 10 and remaining club(s) take three of the last four tricks.

Trap:  If South leads a club at trick 2, East wins and leads another heart.  On winning the J, East leads a third heart.  South has to discard twice, ruining the squeeze.

If West begins with a club, East must win with the A and return a spade, spoiling the above line because North’s remaining spade entry can be attacked while the hearts are still blocked.  (North's best try is perhaps to duck the ♠Q, but West can subsequently spare a diamond and a club on the ♠AK.  South makes the ♣6 but there is no repeated squeeze.)

If West begins with a diamond, South’s best try is to score the two red aces and play A and another spade, but this time East ducks!  South’s 10 therefore takes the trick and the spotlight turns on West, who must take care to throw a club.  This time the 6 cannot be established because the Q is allowed to hold and the 10 entry that South relied on before has been knocked out prematurely.  This defence doesn’t apply on a heart lead because South has an extra diamond entry to compensate.

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