Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 127a

composed by Paolo Treossi
(presented for solving in September, 2015)

DR7

♠ Ax54

 32

 K102

♣ A10y3

♠ Kx

 KQ7654

 9

♣ K954

♠ J1096

 108

 QJ7654

♣ J

♠ Q32

 AJ9

 A83

♣ Q8y2

South is declarer in five no-trumps.  
The xís are the 7 and 8; the yís are the 6 and 7.

(a) Which of those cards must North hold to make the contract?        
(b) How does the defence prevail if North lacks either of those cards?

Successful solvers:  Steve Bloom, Ian Budden, Wing-Kai Hon, Leigh Matheson, Radu Mihai, Zoran Sibinović

Promotion:  Zoran Sibinović, who joined us quite recently, is promoted to Problemist with this result.  Tables

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Solution

North needs the 8 and the 6.

A.      Suppose West leads the 9.  North covers with the 10 and South captures Eastís J.  The Q is allowed to hold and is followed by the 8 to the 9 and 10.  North cashes the A.

1.       If West plays low, a spade is conceded to the K.

(a)      If West returns a club, North wins two club tricks, South dropping the 7 under the A, bringing East down to two spades, two hearts, and two diamonds.  A heart is led for a finesse of the 9, followed by the J is this holds.  Thus South wins two out of three heart tricks on the third of which North discards a diamond and East is subjected to a criss-cross squeeze in spade and diamonds.

(b)     If West returns the K, South wins and leads the J.  West does best to win and return a club but South will then have a club entry to score the 9, North discarding a diamond, and the same criss-cross squeeze is reached, with either the 9 or the last club as squeeze card, depending on which club West returned.

2.       If West drops the K, South comes to hand on the Q and leads the 7 so that North can again retain the lead with the last club.  Again South finesses the 9 and now the hearts subject East to a squeeze and throw-in.  Forced down to a spade and two diamonds, East is put on play with the spade to lead into the split tenace in diamonds.

B.      Suppose West leads the K.  South wins with the A and leads the Q, followed by another club when that holds.  Several lines of play are now available but against best defence they all involve ducking a spade to East, which can be achieved thanks to Northís 8.  The endings are similar to those in A.

If North holds the 7 instead of the 6, line A.1(b) fails because East can always prevent South from obtaining the lead on the third or fourth round of clubs.

If North holds the 7 instead of the 8, line B fails when West plays low on the second club.  Southís best try is to duck a spade immediately, but West wins with the 8 and returns the 9.

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