Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 105a

composed by Steve Bloom and Hugh Darwen
presented for solving in November, 2013

DR8

♠ AKQJ87

 982

 K

♣ 932

♠ 109

 Q764

 QJ5

♣ AQJ8

♠ 65

 K105

 109876

♣ 1076

♠ 432

 AJ3

 A432

♣ K54

South is in four spades. 
A. How is the contract made on a heart lead?
B. How is it defeated on a diamond lead?       

Successful solvers:  Correct solutions to part A from Ian Budden, Leigh Matheson, Radu Mihai, Sebastian Nowacki, Dick Yuen, but nobody gave a correct solution to part B.

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Solution

On a heart lead North plays the 2 and South’s A captures the K.  North takes the next six tricks with the K and five rounds of spades (in any order).  All discards are diamonds until West’s play to trick 7 in this position:

♠ 7

 98

 none

♣ 932

♠ none

 Q76

 none

♣ AQJ8

♠ none

 105

 10

♣ 1076

♠ none

 J3

 A

♣ K54

A.      If West discards a heart, North leads a heart to 10, J and Q.  North wins the heart return and cashes the last trump.  South discards the A and West is caught in the so-called one-suit squeeze: East plays the 10 on the next trick but if West has discarded the 8, South plays low and scores the K, otherwise South plays the K and North scores the 9.

B.      If West discards a club, North leads one and South plays to this trick as in A.  West is endplayed and has to concede a club trick as before or a heart to South’s J.

A high diamond opening lead defeats the contract.  Declarer’s best attempt is to play trumps, but West discards a middle heart on the third and a middle club on the fourth, giving this position with North on lead:

♠ 87

 982

 none

♣ 932

♠ none

 Q74

 J5

♣ AQ8

♠ none

 K105

 109

♣ 1076

♠ none

 AJ3

 A4

♣ K54

On the next spade East’s discard is a club but West’s depends on South’s.  If South’s is a diamond, West throws a heart; otherwise West throws a diamond.  In either case the contract fails.

Traps for the defence on an opening diamond lead:

1.       If West discards a middle club on the third trump instead of the fourth, a club is immediately ducked all round to West’s 8.  South wins the diamond return, North discarding a club, and North ruffs a diamond.  A second club is lost to West, who leads a third, ruffed by North.  Now the last trump squeezes East, holding three hearts and the master diamond, in front of South—if East discards a heart and plays the K at trick 11, South wins and leads the J, pinning the 10.

2.      If West discards the 4 instead of the 6, North leads the 9 to 10, J and Q and plays the 8 on West’s heart return, covered by K and A.  Now West is thrown in on a heart after A and a diamond ruff.

3.       If West discards a diamond on the third spade, North leads another spade, bringing diamond discards all round.  The fifth spade now wrings a club from East and South discards another diamond, baring the A. West discards a middle club and North leads a low one, ducked to the 8.  The heart return goes to the 2, K, and A and South exits on a club at trick 11.  When North ruffs the next club everybody is down to two hearts and the finesse against the 10 yields the tenth trick.

4.       If the opening lead is the low diamond and West discards as in above solution, then North can either lead a low club or a fifth trump, South discarding a diamond.  Say North leads a low club, ducked to West who returns a diamond.  Then West is thrown back in by A and another diamond, North discarding the club losers.  West’s heart return goes to the 2, K and A and North ruffs a club to lead a heart through East’s 10.

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