Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 106a

composed by Paolo Treossi after Åke Kjillstrom
presented for solving in December, 2013

DR4

♠ J10873

 A6

 1082

♣ Ax2

♠ KQ654

 32

 9

♣ KJ963

♠ 9

 QJ954

 KJ7654

♣ Q

♠ A2

 K1087

 AQ3

♣ 1087y

West leads the 3 to South’s three no-trumps. 
Show that the contract makes only if x is the 5 and y the 4.

Successful solvers:  Jean-Marc Bihl, Steve Bloom, Ian Budden, Radu Mihai, Sebastian Nowacki, F.Y. Sing, Wim van der Zijden.  Updated tables.

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Solution

For the record, Kjillstrom’s problem from which this has been adapted, was number 173 in George Coffin’s Sure Tricks, which was found to be unsound.

There are eight tricks when the spades have been established.  The ninth can come from a throw-in or squeeze against East to yield an extra trick in one of the red suits.  For the squeeze to operate, South needs to lose two club tricks to West, in addition to the two spade tricks, in order to rectify the count.

The opening lead goes to the J and K and South immediately plays A and another spade.  West does best to duck the second spade and win the third.  When East discards two diamonds (best), South must discard a middle club on the third spade.  West’s best continuation now is another heart to North’s A.  Now comes the fourth spade, to West.  If East discards a third diamond South will come to the 10 after the A and three rounds of diamonds, so it is better for East to discard a heart now, in which case South must discard the 8 or 10, keeping the y.  The position with West on lead is now:

♠ J

 none

 1082

♣ Ax2

♠ 6

 none

 9

♣ KJ963

♠ none

 Q9

 KJ76

♣ Q

♠ none

 108

 AQ3

♣ 10y

A.      If West now leads a black suit, North can score both black suit winners and play the 10 to J and Q, allowing South to throw East in with a heart.

B.      If West leads the 9 to the 10, J, and Q, the throw-in fails because South’s diamond entry is used too early.  Instead, South plays to lose two club tricks to West, after which North’s black suit winners squeeze East.  However, if y is the 5, West can foil this plan by winning the first club and exiting on the 3!

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, 2014

Date last modified: 11 March, 2017