Competition Problem 124a
South to make five no-trumps. West lead the ♣2.
Successful solvers: Jean-Marc Bihl, Steve Bloom, Ian Budden, Wing-Kai Hon, Leigh Matheson, Radu Mihai, Sebastian Nowacki, Zoran Sibinović, Andries van der Vegt, Dick Yuen, Wim van der Zijden Tables
Solvers were divided as to which if this month's two problems was the easier, so I've given them the same DR.
After the ♣A and ♥A North leads the ♠J, covered by East and South. A spade back to the ♠A is followed by three rounds of diamonds, North taking care to preserve the ♦3 should West discard a heart on the third.
A. If East leads a spade, South discards the ♦4. North wins cheaply and cashes the ♦3. If East discards a spade, North cashes the remaining spade winner and leads the ♣J to make two of the last three tricks. If East instead discards a club, North can establish a club trick with an entry in spades.
B. If East leads a low club, that player can be thrown back in on the third club.
C. If East leads the ♣Q, South discards a heart. North makes the ♣K and ♠8, South discarding another heart, likewise West. South now comes to hand on the ♦4 to lead the ♥Q, taken by West’s ♥K. Whatever West has kept, the last two tricks are won by either South’s hearts or North’s clubs.
If East ducks the ♠J at trick 3, an analogous position is reached after the ♦Q, ♦A, and ♠K. South again leads the ♦2, North again having preserved the ♦3.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
Hugh Darwen, 2015