Competition Problem 111b
by Hugh Darwen
South to make five diamonds. West leads the ♣7.
Successful solvers: Jean-Marc Bihl, Steve Bloom, Ian Budden, Leigh Matheson, Radu Mihai, Sebastian Nowacki, Andries van der Vegt, Dick Yuen, Wim van der Zijden Tables
A. If East returns a heart at trick 2, South plays low and North wins as cheaply as possible. The ♦Q is led, followed by the ♦J if the ♦Q is allowed to hold. Trumps are drawn, West discarding a high spade. East does best to cover one of the trump honours, so North is on lead at trick six. South comes to hand on a heart to give this position:
South leads a diamond, on which North discards a low spade.
1. If West discards a spade, South follows with the last diamond. West and North both discard spades but when North is entered on the ♠A, West at last has to discard a heart to keep two club guards. North cashes the ♥A and leads a club to South’s ♣J. If West ducks a club towards the guarded ♣Q secures the eleventh trick; otherwise West wins with the ♣A and has to lead away from ♣108 into the split tenace.
2. If West instead discards a heart, North makes the ♠A and ♥A, South discarding a spade. South’s last trump then ruffs the ♠5 and the lead of the ♣J has the same effect as in 1.
B. East returns a spade at trick two, North wins and play follows line A. When South leads the penultimate trump at trick seven, the ending is similar to before except that North has the ♥J instead of the ♠A and West has three hearts and a low spade. The ♥J replaces the ♠A as the entry to North in A.1 and A.2.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
Hugh Darwen, 2014