Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 118a

composed by Ian Budden
(presented for solving in December 2014)

DR5

♠ Q

 A10x32

 J8y

♣ QJ32

♠ 6543

 Q9

 K942

♣ 654

♠ K108

 KJx54

 A10

♣ K97

♠ AJ972

 8

 Qy53

♣ A108

South is in three no-trumps.  West leads the 2.
The cards marked x are the
6 and 7; the cards marked y are the 6 and 7.
How must the cards marked x and y be placed to enable East-West to defeat the contract?
How is the contract made if those cards are placed differently?

Successful solvers:  Jean-Marc Bihl, Steve Bloom, Wing-Kai Hon, Leigh Matheson, Radu Mihai, Sebastian Nowacki, Wim van der Zijden.      Tables

Promotion: Congratulations to Jean-Marc Bihl, who with this result becomes a Life Master Problemist.

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Solution

A.  North holds the 7 and the 7.

On the 2 lead North plays low and East wins.  South unblocks the Q.  East continues with a low heart to West’s Q, which is allowed to hold, and West returns a heart to North’s A, South discarding the ♠2.  North leads the ♠Q.  If East plays low, the ♠Q holds the trick and North continues with a low club, South winning as cheaply as possible; otherwise South wins with the A.  In either case South then leads the 6 to West’s 9 and North’s J.  North now leads a club, necessarily a high one if that suit has not been played yet.  Clubs are continued to a third round and then South, on lead, plays the 5.  West can win and take another diamond but has to concede three spades;  if instead West plays low and North wins, North cashes the last club and leads a top heart, forcing East to concede either a heart or a spade for the ninth trick.

B.  North holds the 6 and the 6.

On the 2 lead North plays the 8 and East wins.  South unblocks the Q.  East continues with a low heart to West’s Q, which is allowed to hold, and West returns a heart to North’s A, South discarding the ♠2.  North leads the ♠Q.  If East plays low, the ♠Q holds the trick and North continues with a low club, South winning as cheaply as possible; otherwise South wins with the A.  In either case South then leads the 5 to West’s 9 and North’s J.  South then takes two clubs with the aid of the finesse, and leads the 7.  West can win and can take another diamond but has to concede three spades; if instead West plays low, the lead is still in South, and West is thrown in with the last diamond.

C.  North holds the 7 and the 6.

Declarer can play to reach the ending of either line A or line B.

D.  North holds the 6 and the 7.

The defence will prevail.  The play to the first eight tricks follows line A.  At the ninth trick South leads the 5 and West plays the 4.  North has no option but to overtake, and East discards a spade.  North cashes the thirteenth club, but East's last spade goes on this trick to give that player the last three tricks in hearts.

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, 2015
Date last modified: 11 March, 2017