Competition Problem 88
South to make three no-trumps against any minor suit lead by West.
Successful solver: Steve Bloom, who suggested DR5-6, was the only successful solver.
Against a club lead (the ♣4), North wins and South can play either card. North leads the ♥2.
A. If East plays low, South wins with the ♥J and leads a club. West plays high and North wins. South finesses the ♦J, cashes the ♦AK, North discarding clubs.
1. If East has discarded a spade and so is down to ♠ AK95 and ♥K95, South leads a spade to the ♠7, ♠8 and ♠9. Now a heart lead lets North plays three rounds of that suit, after which East must let North or South win a spade trick, whereas three rounds of spades, North discarding clubs, let declarer play the ♥8 to ♥10, ♥Q and ♥K so that Northís ♥A6 take the last two tricks.
2. If East discarded a diamond on the second club and then a heart on the third diamond, so now has ♠ AK954 and ♥K9, then North plays ♥A and another heart. East must allow either North to score both major suit queens or South to make two tricks with the ♠106.
B. If East wins with the ♥K and returns a heart, declarer has options. Simplest is to win with the ♥J, cash all of Northís winners, then win three diamond tricks, North discarding clubs. East and South are now down to four spades each and declarer has won eight tricks. A spade, North just covering Westís card, guarantees a spade trick for either Northís ♠Q or Southís ♠10.
C. If East wins with the ♥K and returns a diamond, South wins as cheaply as possible and leads a club (optionally cashing one more diamond first). Westís ♣J is allowed to hold. South wins the red suit return and cashes the other red suit winner, followed by Northís hearts. West is squeezed in this position:
South discards a spade on the ♥Q. A club discard by West is immediately fatal, so Ö
1. If West discards the ♦10, North leads the ♠Q. If East wins the second spade, South gets the last two tricks with the ♠10 and ♦2. If West wins it, North gets the last two in clubs.
2. If West discards a spade, North cashes the ♣A, South discarding the diamond loser, and leads the ♠Q to pin the ♠J and guarantee a trick in the suit.
On a diamond lead, South must win the ♦AKJ, North discarding clubs, and then lead the ♣9, running it to Eastís ♣10 if West plays low. Eastís best return is a heart to ♥10 and ♥Q, in which case North follows with a second heart. East wins this with the ♥K and returns a third heart to Southís ♥J. After a club to the ♣J and ♣K we reach the ending shown in line C.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
© Hugh Darwen, 2012
Date last modified: 11 March, 2017