Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 115a

composed by Steve Bloom
(presented for solving in September, 2014)

DR7

♠ K102

 KQJ2

 A832

♣ K2

♠ 9

 A7543

 K74

♣ 6543

♠ QJ86

 1096

 QJ1095

♣ J

♠ A7543

 8

 6

♣ AQ10987

South to make six clubs.  West leads a club.

Successful solvers:  Jean-Marc Bihl, Ian Budden, Abby Chiu, Leigh Matheson, Radu Mihai, Sebastian Nowacki, Dick Yuen, Wim van der Zijden     Tables

Even though fewer people solved 115b, the consensus was that 115a was a particularly difficult problem.

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Solution

South wins in hand with the ♣Q and leads a heart, which West must obviously duck.  North wins and leads a second top heart, South discarding a spade.

A.      If West wins and leads a club, South wins in hand and takes either two or three more rounds of trumps before leading a spade to North, discarding a spade on the good heart, coming to hand on a spade, and executing a simultaneous double squeeze with the last club.  The play is similar if West leads a spade at trick 4.

B.      If West wins and leads a diamond, South gets two diamond ruffs and eventually squeezes East in spades and diamonds.  North can play the K at any time, including playing it as the final squeeze card.

C.      If West ducks again, the count can no longer be rectified by losing a heart trick—so long as East has carefully unblocked the 10 and 9.  Instead, declarer tries to lose a spade trick to West for the same purpose, but East can foil that plan by rising with an honour on North’s 2.  Now the 10 comes into effect.  South wins with the A, crosses to the K, ruffs a heart, and wins two more trump tricks, North discarding a diamond and a heart.  This is the position with East to discard:

♠ K10

 none

 A83

♣ none

♠ none

 A7

 K74

♣ none

♠ Q86

 none

 QJ5

♣ none

♠ 754

 none

 6

♣ A

East must discard a diamond to prevent South from establishing a long spade.  South leads the 6.

1.       If West plays the 4 and East has kept the 5, North plays low and East, on winning with the Q, is endplayed, such that North gets two tricks in either spades or diamonds.

2.       If West plays the 7 or K, or if East has kept QJ instead of Q5, North wins with the A and leads the 3.  If East wins, North gets two spade tricks; otherwise the 8 is good.

Trap: In C, declarer cannot succeed by ruffing a heart at trick four and drawing trumps.  East discards diamonds, coming down to four spades and two diamonds.  The A, diamond ruff and a spade to the 10 now endplays East, but the spades are blocked when East returns the 6.

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