Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 97a

composed by Paolo Treossi
presented for solving in March, 2013

DR5

♠ J86

 543

 10543

♣ AK2

♠ Q

 87

 9876

♣ QJ10987

♠ K10932

 KQ106

 KQ

♣ 43

♠ A754

 AJ92

 AJ2

♣ 65

South to make three no-trumps. West leads the ♣Q.

Successful solvers:  Steve Bloom, Ian Budden, Leigh Matheson, Sebastian Nowacki, Radu Mihai

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Solution

It seems that nine tricks are available with the five top cards and four more from the red suit intermediates.  However, Norths second club entry will be removed before declarer can unblock the diamonds.  To get around this problem declarer will sacrifice the J, getting in return a trick and an entry with the 10 and a squeeze against West (with a little help from East, as we shall see).

North wins the opening club lead and leads a heart to Q and A.  With the endplay in mind, South immediately exits with a low spade, North playing the 8!  West wins and leads another club, taken by North who leads a second heart.  Assume that East plays low.  Then South wins with the 9 and plays A and J, leading to this, with East on lead:

♠ J6

 5

 105

♣ 2

♠ none

 none

 98

♣ 10987

♠ K1093

 K10

 none

♣ none

♠ A75

 J9

 2

♣ none

The aim now is to play four rounds of major suits, losing two to East in the process, ending with a squeeze on West.  But care is needed, and now we see why North had to play the 8 at trick 3.  For example, suppose East now plays K and another heart.  South now wants to lose a spade and win the return, squeezing West, but North has to discard a spade on the J and this must be the J as otherwise East lets that card win the trick!  Alternatively, East might try to exit with the K in the above position, but South lets it win the trick.  Now if East plays hearts, then West gets squeezed as before, whereas a spade exit goes to the J and no squeeze is needed.

See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.

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Hugh Darwen, 2013

Date last modified: 11 March, 2017