Competition Problem 104b
by Ian Budden
is in a contract of six hearts.
Successful solvers: Jean-Marc Bihl, Steve Bloom, Peter Li, Leigh Matheson, Sebastian Nowacki, Mihai Radu, Barry Rigal, F.Y. Sing, Dick Yuen, Wim van der Zijden
(i) Winning the spade lead, declarer cashes ♥A and ♥Q, leads the ♥2 to the ♥5, ruffs a spade, and cashes two more hearts, throwing a spade and the ♣7 from dummy. The position is now:
South cashes the last trump. If West discards a diamond, North discards a spade and declarer can play ♦A and another diamond to set up a second diamond trick in dummy. So West does better to discard the ♣8. North and East discard diamonds. South then leads the ♦2, which West must win. If West returns:
A. a diamond to South’s ♦A, this squeezes East in the black suits.
B. the ♣9, covered by the ♣10, ♣Q, and ♣K, declarer takes the last three tricks with the ♣A, ♦A, and the ♣5.
C. the ♣J to North’s ♣A, then the lead of the ♣10 pins the ♣9, again setting up a trick for the ♣5, with the ♦A as entry if needed.
A hand analogous to this appears in Practical Bridge Endings by Chien-Hwa Wang, but the solution offered there, on a spade lead, involves giving up an early diamond trick. Ian Budden correctly found that this play fails when West returns the ♣J, and then discovered the real solution, as above. So the solution to part (ii) is simply that West must lead the ♣J.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
© Hugh Darwen, 2013
Date last modified: 03 June, 2019