Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 120b

composed by Wim van der Zijden
(presented for solving in February, 2015)

DR4

♠ A92

 A2

 Q9732

♣ Q32

♠ K8

 KJ10

 J10865

♣ J109

♠ 1065

 Q8765

 K

♣ AK76

♠ QJ743

 943

 A4

♣ 854

West leads the J against South's contract of four spades.
How does declarer take advantage of this gift?                  

Successful solvers:  Jean-Marc Bihl, Abby Chiu, Radu Mihai, Sebastian Nowacki, F.Y. Sing, Andries van der Vegt, Dick Yuen.  Those who failed mostly fell into the trap described below.      Tables

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Solution

North plays a low diamond and Southís A captures the K.  The fortunate distribution in spades allows trumps to be drawn by leading the Q and then, when this is covered by the K and A, the 9, pinning the 8.  The 7 draws Eastís last trump.  West does best to discard a club on this trick, leaving the following position, with South on lead:

♠ none

 A2

 Q973

♣ Q32

♠ none

 KJ10

 10865

♣ J10

♠ none

 Q8765

 none

♣ AK76

♠ 43

 943

 4

♣ 854

South cashes another spade, North throwing a club.  If West discards a club North can be entered on a diamond finesse to lead the Q, after which Southís 8 can be established after a heart loser has been discarded on the Q.  However, if West discards a heart, then South must play the last spade before taking a diamond finesse.  Now West must discard another club, keeping two hearts to prevent an easy throw-in against East.  North discards a club (not a diamond!) on the last spade and after the diamond finesse advances the Q to Eastís K, pinning Westís last club.

A.      If East immediately returns a heart, Westís K is allowed to hold. The A wins the next trick and then the lead of the 3 throws West in for a diamond lead into Northís remaining tenace.

B.      If East cashes the other club winner, West and North both discard low diamonds.  Now after a heart to the K and A the lead of the 2 brings about the coup de gr‚ce: if East plays low, Northís diamond tenace takes the last two tricks, whereas rising with the Q swallows the J and gives South the last two with the 8 and 9!

Trap: If North discards a diamond instead of a club on the last spade, then line A fails.  However, North might try winning the heart and leading the a club.  In that case East wins with the A and returns the suit, West discarding the J!  And if North leads a heart instead, East rises with the Q and returns a heart.  In either case South has to lead from a minor tenace at trick twelve and East wins 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.

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