Competition Problem 92
South to make five no-trumps. West leads the ♦7.
Successful solvers: Abby Chiu, Leigh Matheson, Sebastian Nowacki, Dick Yuen, Wim van der Zijden. Suggested DRs were either 3-4 or 6-7, so I've given it the average, which nobody suggested!
Promotion: Leigh Matheson becomes an Expert Problemist, with 100 D.D. Master Points.
North plays the ♦8 and East does best to play the ♦Q. South wins and leads the ♠10 for the finesse. North’s ♠A wins this or the next trick and is followed by the ♥J and a low heart, both of which hold. South now plays spades to reach this position (or equivalent):
South cashes the top spade, North discarding a heart.
A. If East discards a club, the ♥K now turns the pressure on to West, who does best to discard a diamond, in which case North discards a heart, baring the ♥A.
1. If West still has ♦J, South exits on a diamond. If the ♦J wins, then West will have to lead a club sooner or later, giving North an entry to score the ♥A. So East overtakes the ♦J and leads a club to South, who then throws West in with a spade. A low club return gives North the ♣J and a red suit winner, whereas the ♣Q gives South two tricks with the ♣A and ♣4.
2. If West has discarded the ♦J, South cashes the top clubs and exits on a diamond. East gets two diamond tricks but loses the last to North’s ♥A.
B. If East discards the ♦6, South exits on a diamond (optionally cashing one club beforehand), wins one or two clubs and plays the ♥K to catch West in a seesaw squeeze, North overtaking if West discards a diamond. If West discards a club, the ♥K wins and South’s last club puts East in to act as a stepping-stone to North’s ♥A.
Trap: In A2, if South fails to cash the top clubs before exiting in diamonds, West discards from the same black suit as South on the second diamond, leaving South with a black suit loser when East exits on a club.
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