Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 133b

composed by Paolo Treossi (after Ernest Pawle, 1959)
presented for solving in March 2016

DR3

♠ K32

 KJ8

 AJ876

♣ A6

♠ 96

 10

 109543

♣ J10987

♠ A1087

 Q765

 Q

♣ KQ32

♠ QJ54

 A9432

 K2

♣ 54

South to make six hearts.  West leads the 10.

Successful solvers:  Alexander Baranovitch, Steve Bloom, Marc Bonnet, Ian Budden, Leigh Matheson, Radu Mihai, Sebastian Nowacki, A.V. Ramana Rao, Zoran Sibinović, F.Y. Sing, Andries van der Vegt, Dick Yuen, Wim van der Zijden      Tables

Promotion: With this result Andries van der Vegt becomes an Expert Problemist.

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Solution

North covers the 10 with the J, which wins (best defence), and leads a low spade.  East must play low, as otherwise there are twelve top tricks, so the J wins and North is entered on the K for another low spade lead.  Again East must play low, so the Q wins.  Now North overtakes the K with the A (!) and leads a heart for South to finesse against the Q.  South draws trumps and plays the last heart in this position:

♠ K

 none

 J876

♣ A

♠ none

 none

 10954

♣ J10

♠ A10

 none

 none

♣ KQ32

♠ 54

 4

 2

♣ 54

North discards a club and the K on the last two hearts.

A.      If West keeps three diamonds and two clubs, North’s diamonds can be established via a lead through West’s 1095, with the A as entry.

B.      If instead West keeps four diamonds and one club and plays low (best) on South’s diamond lead, North wins cheaply, cashes the A, and leads a low diamond to endplay West.

Here is the original problem by Ernest Pawle, published in Bridge Magazine in January 1959:

♠ Q32

 AJ9

 AQ876

♣ AJ

♠ 96

 8

 J9543

♣ Q9875

♠ A1087

 Q763

 10

♣ K1062

♠ KJ54

 K10542

 K2

♣ 43

South to make six hearts.  West leads the 8.

Pawles solution was as shown above, mutatis mutandi, requiring North to win the first trick with the J.  But in fact North can play any heart at trick one.  For example, North might win the first three tricks in hearts, East withholding the Q. Then comes a spade to the J and another spade to North's Q.  East must win and (best) continue spades.  South wins with the K and cashes the K, squeezing West down to five diamonds and just one club.  Four rounds of diamonds, South ruffing the last, then squeeze East in the black suits.

My notes on this problem tell me that in 2003 Julian Pottage suggested the simple fix of swapping the J and 10 but I thought Paolo Treossi’s independent revision to be slightly superior.

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