Competition Problem 134b
With South to lead at no-trumps, North-South to make eight tricks.
Successful solvers: Alexander Baranovitch, Steve Bloom, Marc Bonnet, Ian Budden, Abby Chiu, Leigh Matheson, Radu Mihai, Sebastian Nowacki, Prahalad Rajkumar, A.V. Ramana Rao, Zoran Sibinović, F.Y. Sing, Andries van der Vegt, Wim van der Zijden Tables
South leads a club for North to win as cheaply as possible. North cashes the ♥A and leads a spade, South letting East hold the trick. West has to keep control of hearts and cannot afford a club discard as that would allow declarer to give up a club and then make three more tricks in the suit after a second finesse. So West discards a diamond.
A. If East returns a spade to South’s ♠A, West has to discard another diamond. South then plays ♥K and another heart, North discarding low clubs. With only clubs left, West has to lead one into North’s ♣AQ, the second of which squeezes East in spades and diamonds.
B. If East returns a heart or a diamond, South lets East win a diamond trick, leading to a squeeze on West in hearts and clubs.
In the original problem by Neils Y. Wilson, which was Problem 175 in George Coffin’s Sure Tricks (1948), the ♣7 and ♣5 were exchanged. The weakening of West’s club holding gave rise to alternative solutions, typically ending with West leading away from ♣K5 into North’s ♣A7.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
Hugh Darwen, 2015