Competition Problem 96a
by Steve Bloom
South to make four spades. West leads the ♥Q.
Successful solvers: Kukuh Indrayana, Leigh Matheson, Sebastian Nowacki, Radu Mihai, Dick Yuen, Wim van der Zijden. DR2 is the average of the DRs suggested by solvers.
North wins the opening lead. A low club to the ♣Q is followed by the ♠J! The defence is now helpless. If West’s third spade wins a trick, either by force or by ruffing, then North will get the lead when East is out of trumps, having enough winners to secure the contract. And if West tries to sacrifice a trump trick by playing the ♠A followed by the ♠10 and refusing to ruff the diamond return, then South simply underleads the ♠9.
Added later: Actually, that underlead of the ♠9 is not necessary. If East underleads the ♦KQ, South plays low, forcing West to ruff to save the overtrick; and if East leads the ♦K and West lets the♦A hold, then South can simply cash the ♠9 and set up the diamonds. Swapping the ♦J and ♦7 would make the underlead necessary when East returns a low diamond.
Trap: If South leads a low spade at trick 2, West plays the ♠10. North covers but East wins and leads a low diamond, ruffed by West’s ♠A! West has a safe exit on the ♠7 and East is bound to make two more tricks.
This composition is a tidy-up of a hand from an international competition in China, April 2011, reported by Barry Rigal and revised by Steve Bloom that same month. It has come to my attention that later that year, in August, it appeared as a slightly imprecise D.D. problem in a daily bulletin by P.O. Sundelin on the World Youth Bridge Congress held in Croatia that month.
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: 03 June, 2019