Competition Problem 79
by Steve Bloom
to make five no-trumps. West leads the ♥5.
Successful solvers: Jean-Marc Bihl, Ian Budden, Leigh Matheson, Sebastian Nowacki. Three of these suggested DR4 so I've gone along with that.
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.
© Hugh Darwen, 2011
Date last modified: 03 June, 2019