Double Dummy Corner


Competition Problem 122a

composed by Paolo Treossi (after Ernest Pawle)
(presented for solving in April, 2015)


♠ 65



♣ AK6

♠ KJ103



♣ QJ3

♠ 987



♣ 54

♠ AQ42



♣ 109872

South to make five clubs.  West leads the ♣Q.

Successful solvers:  Ian Budden, Wing-Kai Hon, Radu Mihai, Zoran Sibinović, Dick Yuen, Wim van der Zijden.  Several others submitted solutions but fell into the Trap mentioned below.      Tables

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This composition was adapted from a slightly unsound problem by Ernest Pawle, published in 1953.

North wins, South unblocking, and leads a spade, South playing the 2!  If East wins, that player must now lead  another trump to prevent declarer getting home with two spade ruffs, five tricks in the red suits and four clubs (losing just a spade and a club).  If West wins, that player can alternatively lead a diamond, in which case South wins with the J and leads the 2.  North's 6 wins the second trump.  Now:

A.      If East won the second trick, Northís trump entries are used to take the diamond finesse and the ruffing finesse in hearts, in either order.  The K and A follow.  West is forced to discard two hearts because a spade discard allows South to discard the diamond loser on the Q and give up a spade, taking the last two tricks with the 10 and Q.  Now the diamond loser goes on the Q and a heart is ruffed, reducing West to just the KJ10.  South exits on the 4 to endplay West.

B.      If West won the second trick, North leads the K, covered and ruffed.  North is re-entered on the third club.

1.       If East discards a spade, then in some order the next tricks are won by the J (if that card is still held), the K, A, and the Q.  West has to discard two hearts, so South now ruffs a heart to bring West down to KJ3 over Southís AQ4.  South leads the Q to win two of the last three tricks.

2.       If West returned a trump at trick three and East discards a high heart (better), North plays the Q.

(a)      If East plays low, South discards a spade.  North leads the 9 to the 10 and J.  Now the 10 forces a spade from East, whereupon the A, A and a heart to Eastís 10 forces a diamond lead into the split tenace at trick 12.

(b)      If East plays high, keeping the 4, then South discards a diamond and comes to hand on a diamond finesse.  Now the K and A force heart discards from West, who is thrown in with a heart to lead into the AQ.  (South can optionally cash the last club in this sequence.  This allows West to discard three hearts, but then East must discard a spade to keep both red suits guarded, so a spade to the Q will have the same effect as in B.1.)

3.       If West returned a diamond at trick three and East discards a heart, South can, for example, simply ruff a heart and win a diamond trick in either hand.  West is squeezed out of a heart and can be thrown in on the fourth round of that suit to lead into South's AQ.

Trap: If North leads the K at trick 2, East covers and South ruffs high.  Declarer's best try is a low spade now, but East wins and returns the suit!  North can get two spade ruffs but South will have use the diamond finesse and a heart ruff to be in hand to continue trumps.  West wins with the J and returns a heart.  Now the 3 will win a trick.

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: 03 June, 2019