Competition Problem 113b
by Ian Budden
South to make four hearts. West leads the ♦10.
Successful solvers: Jean-Marc Bihl, Steve Bloom, Leigh Matheson, Radu Mihai, Sebastian Nowacki, Andries van der Vegt, Dick Yuen, Wim van der Zijden Tables
The ♦10 lead runs round to Southís ♦J. South leads the ♣K, which is won by Eastís ♣A. Eastís best (or, at any rate, most dramatic) return is the ♥Q. Spurning this Greek gift and the opportunity to pick up the trumps for no loser, declarer wins in North with the ♥A, and leads a top spade.
A. East plays low. South discards the ♦4. Declarer can then continue with a simple cross-ruff, playing a spade ruff, ♦A, club ruff, spade ruff, club ruff, and diamond ruff, and the ♥K will be the tenth trick.
B. East covers. South ruffs, ruffs a club, and leads a second top spade. If East plays low, South discards the ♦4 and play continues as in A. If East covers, South ruffs, ruffs another club, ruffs a low spade, cashes the ♥K, and exits with a club to East, discarding low spades from North. If East leads a diamond, declarer will take two tricks in the suit, so East does better to lead a spade. South discards the ♦4. If West discards, declarer will win the ♠7 and the ♦A; and if West ruffs, declarer will take the last two tricks with the ♦A and the last club.
If East returns a club rather than a heart at the third trick, declarer ruffs in North, and leads a top spade, the play reverting to the same line.
Trap: If South leads a low club at the second trick, East plays the ♣7, letting West win the trick. West then continues with a diamond to defeat the contract.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
Hugh Darwen, 2014