Double Dummy Corner

Competition Problem 140b

composed by Paolo Treossi (after Norman J. Bonney)
presented for solving in October 2016

 DR4 ♠ Q32 ♥ A ♦ 987 ♣ A107432 ♠ 9 ♥ J432 ♦ 432 ♣ K9865 ♠ KJ1087 ♥ Q1096 ♦ K65 ♣ J ♠ A654 ♥ K875 ♦ AQJ10 ♣ Q

South to make five diamonds.  West leads the ♠9.

Successful solvers: Ian Budden, Leigh Matheson, Radu Mihai, Sebastian Nowacki, Andries van der Vegt.  Only five solvers but this one is surely easier than 140a.  In fact nobody asked for a DR greater than 3 but I'm upgrading it because several experts solvers did fail to spot the need to preserve South's 5.     Tables

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Solution

South wins with the A and leads the Q, covered by the K and A.  North cashes the A on which East and South both play middle cards!  Next comes the diamond finesse, then the K (though this trick could be taken later instead) and the 8, ruffed by North.  South finesses again in diamonds and draws the remaining trumps to give this:

 ♠ Q3 ♥ none ♦ none ♣ 1074 ♠ none ♥ ? ♦ none ♣ 9865 ♠ KJ108 ♥ ? ♦ none ♣ none ♠ 654 ♥ 5 ♦ Q ♣ none

South exits on the heart and whoever will win this trick is endplayed.  If West wins it, North, having discarded a spade, will of course play low on the 9 and then finesse the 7; otherwise North discards a club and will come to the Q.

Trap: If South has the 8 instead of the 5 in the above end position, it will win the trick, leaving South with three spade losers.

This problem is Paolo Treossi's correction of Problem 91, attributed to Norman J. Bonney of Boston, Massachusetts, in George Coffin's Sure Tricks (1948):

 ♠ Q86 ♥ A ♦ 1095 ♣ K97432 ♠ J ♥ Q432 ♦ 432 ♣ J10865 ♠ K10972 ♥ J1096 ♦ 876 ♣ Q ♠ A543 ♥ K875 ♦ AKQJ ♣ A

South to make five diamonds.  West leads the ♠J.

The intended solution was for South to win the opening lead, play the 7 to the A, come to hand on the A, ruff the 8, win three diamonds, then cash the K to give the above ending. However, on this layout the contract can also be made by playing the 5 at trick two, coming to hand on the A, and playing K and 7.  North ruffs and now declarer already knows which card will win the fourth heart.  If that is the 8, then North can lead the K, forcing East to ruff.  South overruffs, cashes the 8 on which North discards a spade, and gives up a spade.  North gets a spade ruff for the eleventh trick.

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, 2016