Competition Problem 114b
by George Coffin
South to make five no-trumps. West leads the ♦K.
Successful solvers: Jean-Marc Bihl, Steve Bloom, Ian Budden, Wing-Kai Hon, Radu Mihai, Sebastian Nowacki, Andries van der Vegt Tables
George Coffin, who died in 1994 aged 90, sent me this problem some time in the 1980s. I mistakenly thought it was too easy for my magazine column at the time and filed it under "Easy Problems". Only this year, going through my entire collection for possible "b" problems I discovered that my original analysis was faulty. I'm sorry to be 20 years too late to apologise to the composer!
South wins and leads another diamond. West does best to win and lead a spade, East playing low. North leads the ♦10.
A. If West wins and leads (best) the ♣K, North wins and cashes the ♦9. East discards clubs on all the diamonds and South now does likewise, unblocking North’s clubs. The run of the clubs now squeezes East in the major suits in front of South.
B. If West ducks, North plays ♣A and another club to South’s ♣Q. South leads a low heart, North finessing the ♥9. East wins and leads the ♠K, taken by the ♠A, but declarer makes the rest as North has an entry in hearts to score the remaining clubs, and another heart for the ♥AK to take the last two tricks.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
Hugh Darwen, 2014