Competition Problem 89
composed by Jean-Marc Bihl
East-West to defeat South's one no-trump contract after West has led the ♥7.
Successful solver: Only Steve Bloom, who remarks that the problem, being at such a low level, has so many possible branches as to make solving a tedium. Perhaps I should have given more careful consideration to presenting this one. Apologies to all who struggled in vain and to Jean-Marc Bihl.
Declarer’s best try is to duck the opening lead. East must overtake and return a diamond to ♦J and ♦K, whereupon West must lead another heart! North wins and perhaps cashes a top spade, in which case West plays an honour. Next come the ♣A and ♣K, on which West must play the ♣7 and ♣Q (in either order). South exits on a third club, won by West’s ♣10 (if North discards a diamond, East must resist the temptation to overtake in spite of West’s careful unblocking to make such a play possible).
A. If North discards a heart or spade, West exits with a heart and now no throw-in is available against either defender. (Or East can overtake, cash the last club, and lead either a spade or a heart).
B. If North discards a diamond, West cashes the ♦A, East discarding a spade, and leads a heart to establish a winner for East while spades are still guarded. (Of course West will play the other spade honour if North cashes the remaining top spade.)
1. If East fails to overtake at trick 1 (or does so and fails to lead a diamond), North then scores ♥A, ♣A, ♠A, and leads another club. If East plays the ♣6, South ducks to West; otherwise South plays ♣K and another club, which East cannot afford to overtake. Now the ♠Q is allowed to win a trick and, one way or another, West is going to have to lose a diamond trick.
2. If West leads a high spade at trick 3, North wins. Three rounds of clubs follow, North discarding a diamond. East does best to win the third club and cash the fourth, but North discards another diamond. North’s second spade top will capture West’s remaining honour, whereupon East is thrown in on the fourth round of hearts to let North’s ♠9 win a trick.
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