Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 120a

composed by Steve Bloom
(presented for solving in February, 2015)

DR5

♠ 2

 A6543

 K107

♣ K943

♠ K

 none

 J965432

♣ 108765

♠ J109876

 KQJ10987

 none

♣ none

♠ AQ543

 2

 AQ8

♣ AQJ2

South is in five no-trumps.
Can the contract be defeated on a diamond lead?  Justify your answer.

Successful solvers:  Jean-Marc Bihl, Ian Budden, Abby Chiu, Leigh Matheson, Sebastian Nowacki, Wim van der Zijden.  Those who failed mostly missed declarer's opportunity in clubs and the resulting need for West's key play in that suit at trick two.       Tables

DDC Home Next problem Previous problem
  Next DR5 Previous DR5
Competition problem archive Next Bloom problem Previous Bloom problem

Solution

Yes, so long as West leads the J!  Assume North plays the 10 and South the Q.  Then South tries the 2, but West rises with the 10 to deny North two entries in that suit.  Still hopeful, declarer runs the clubs, East discarding a spade and three hearts, and then throws West in on a spade.  Now we have the following ending, with West to lead.

♠ none

 A6543

 K7

♣ none

♠ none

 none

 965432

♣ 8

♠ J1098

 KQJ

 none

♣ none

♠ AQ54

 2

 A8

♣ none

A.      If West cashes the club, the diamond winners will then squeeze East.

B.      If West leads a low diamond, North plays the 7 and East is caught in a seesaw (or entry-shifting) squeeze, South playing the 8 if East comes down to three spades, the A if East comes down to two hearts.  In either case a trick is conceded to East in the unguarded suit, with the remaining diamond as entry to the established winner(s).

C.      However, if West leads the 9, Eastís choice of discard depends on Northís play: a heart if North plays the A, otherwise a spade.  The seesaw squeeze has been foiled and the contract defeated.  The situation is effectively the same if North plays the K at trick one and South overtakes.

Traps:

If West leads a lower diamond, say the 9, North can win with the 10 and then play the 7 at trick seven.  The third round can now be won by either the A or the K and so the seesaw squeeze takes effect.

If West plays a low club at trick 2, North wins with the 9 and immediately gives up a spade.  South scores in some order the A, a spade and lower club honour, then crosses to North on a diamond to lead a low club towards the AQ.  East is again caught in the seesaw squeeze, this time with clubs as the entry-shifting suit.

See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.

DDC Home Next problem Previous problem
  Next DR5 Previous DR5
Competition problem archive Next Bloom problem Previous Bloom problem

© Hugh Darwen, 2015
Date last modified: 11 March, 2017