Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 131a

composed by Vincent Labbé
presented for solving in January 2016

DR5

♠ 32

 K1094

 AK65

♣ A54

♠ KJ1098765

 J5

 Q

♣ 106

♠ 4

 Q876

 10987

♣ QJ87

♠ AQ

 A32

 J432

♣ K932

South to make five no-trumps against any lead.

Successful solvers:  Steve Bloom, Ian Budden, Radu Mihai, Zoran Sibinović, Dick Yuen        Tables

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Solution

West’s only apparently safe lead is the Q.  North wins and leads a low club (not the Asee the Trap below).

A.      If East plays low, South covers with the 9 and West wins.  Now the only safe return is a club, but North wins and cashes the K (or plays a diamond to the J and then cashes the K).

1.       If West plays the 5, a heart is ducked to West, who now has to lead a spade.  South makes two spade tricks, triple-squeezing East.  If East discards a red card, then the A, A and North’s established red suit winner squeezes West again.  If East instead discards a club, then the K and 3, on which North discards a diamond, subject East to a criss-cross squeeze in the red suits.

2.       If West plays the J, then North leads the 10, which holds.  Now a spade is lost to West and the spade return squeezes East as in A.1.  (If East covers the 10, South can win and lead the Q with much the same effect.)

B.      If East rises with the J, South wins and plays a heart to the K.

1.       If West plays the 5, North cashes the A and leads the 4 (not the 10, or East will cover!) and South plays low.  South now gets two spade tricks as before and again East is triple-squeezed, this time without the count.  Here is the position, with South leading the A:

♠ 3

 109

 A65

♣ 5

♠ KJ109876

 none

 none

♣ none

♠ none

 Q8

 1098

♣ Q8

♠ A

 A

 J43

♣ 93

If East discards a red card, then South cashes a winner in that suit, crosses to the A, cashes North’s red suit winner, and leads the 5, scoring the 9 and a red suit winner.  If instead East discards a club, then South loses a club and wins the diamond return with the J.  North discards a diamond on the good 9 and East is criss-cross squeezed as in A.1.

2.       If West plays the J, North leads the 10.  Whether or not East covers, South will subsequently set up a trick for the 9, then lose a spade to West.  For example, if East covers the 10, South wins, plays a club to the A and a club towards the 9 (or, if West still has the 10, a club, ducked and the 10 overtaken by East).  East wins and returns a heart to North’s 9 and now a spade is ducked to West.  East discards a club on the spade return but is then squeezed when South cashes the 9, North discarding a diamond.

Trap: If North cashes the A at trick 2, East plays high.  South wins with the K and leads a low heart, but West rises with the J and East covers the 10!  Now North is short of a safe entry for setting up 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