Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 97b

composed by Leigh Matheson
presented for solving in March, 2013

DR1

♠ K32

 432

 8765432

♣ none

♠ J109

 J109

 none

♣ 8765432

♠ 8765

 Q87

 AKQJ

♣ KJ

♠ AQ4

 AK65

 109

♣ AQ109

South to make three no-trumps. West leads the ♠J.

Successful solvers:  Steve Bloom, Ian Budden, Steve Dunn, Ufuk Erkmen, Clint Fyke, Maciej Górecki, Kukuh Indrayana, Clive Klugman, R. Lane, Sebastian Nowacki, Radu Mihai, Fraser Rew, Erin Tewes, Dick Yuen, Wim van der Zijden

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Solution

North plays the K and South drops the Q!  An avoidance play in hearts follows, South winning the second trick if and only if East rises with the Q on North’s lead.  Assuming East plays low (best), West wins this trick.  South wins a spade and three heart tricks, then throws West back in with a spade to win four tricks in clubs.

In the introduction to my book Bridge Magic (1972) I gave the North-South spade holding as an example of the kind of unusual plays that are often found in D.D. problems.  I stated that on an opening spade lead, declarer has four distinct choices:

(a) Win in North with the K.

(b) Win in hand with the Q.

(c) Win in hand with the A.

(d) Duck in both hands!

When Leigh Matheson spotted this in 2012, he rightly observed that I hadn’t actually listed all the possibilities and composed this little problem to illustrate a fifth.

Added later:

Daniël de Lind van Wijngaarden has now shown me the 6th possibility:

♠ AQ4

 432

 8765432

♣ none

♠ J109

 J109

 none

♣ 8765432

♠ 8765

 Q87

 AKQJ

♣ KJ

♠ K32

 AK65

 109

♣ AQ109

South to make three no-trumps. West leads the ♠J.

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