Competition Problem 149a
in 1988 by Ken Ballans (after Adam Calmonson)
South to make six spades. West leads a spade.
Successful solvers: Steve Bloom, Ian Budden, Johnson, Radu Mihai, Sebastian Nowacki, A.V. Ramana Rao, Zoran Sibinović, Sze Guan Tan, Rajeswar Tewari, Dick Yuen, Wim van der Zijden. Suggested DRs ranged from 2 to 5. Tables
A. West leads the ♠J.
North wins and leads the ♣J, covered by the ♣K and ♣A. The ♦A, ♦K, and another diamond follow, South ruffing the third. Next comes a spade on which North plays the ♠10. East does well to duck this but North then follows with the ♠8! Either way, East is on play at trick 7 or 8 with the ♠Q.
1. If East returns a club, South wins with the ♣Q and crosses to North on the ♥A to play the remaining spade winner(s), squeezing West in the red suits.
2. If East returns a heart, South discards both clubs (!) on the spades and West is caught in a triple squeeze that either repeats (when the ♣9 or last diamond becomes a winner) or lets South run four more tricks in hearts. This play can also be made on a spade return, though the discard of the ♣Q is not now necessary.
B. West leads the ♠9.
This time North must play the ♠10!
1. If East ducks, twelve tricks are easily made—for example, by ruffing the third diamond, drawing two more rounds of trumps, and playing on hearts. North ruffs the fourth heart and if this holds leads a club for the finesse. East can make only the ♠Q.
2. If East wins the first spade, on any return declarer can arrive at the ending of line A.1.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
Hugh Darwen, 2017