Competition Problem 151b
composed by Steve Bloom
South to make six hearts. West leads the ♠9.
Successful solvers: Ian Budden, Ed Lawhon, Radu Mihai, Sebastian Nowacki, Zoran Sibinović, Rajeswar Tewari, Dick Yuen, Wim vand der Zijden. Tables
North covers with the ♠10 in order to guarantee two entries in that suit for the trump finesses. Assuming East covers with the ♠J, South wins and leads a second spade, North finessing the ♠7. The ♥10 is covered by the ♥J and ♥Q, followed by a third spade to North, then the ♥8 for the second trump finesse. When the ♥8 holds the ♥7 follows, unblocking so that South can score the ♥6 and stay on lead in this position:
The ♠A now squeezes both opponents, North discarding from the opposite suit to West. Clearly the defenders cannot discard from the same suit as that would allow a long card to be established in North by ducking a diamond or playing ♣A and another club as appropriate.
A. If West throws a club and East a diamond, the play of ♣A and another club either endplays West or, when East wins with the ♣Q, establishes North’s ♣8.
B. If West throws a diamond, the ♥3 comes next, forcing a club from West. North also discards a club and East is squeezed: a diamond discard allows a trick to be established in that suit by ducking the first round, whereas baring the ♣Q allows West to be thrown in by ♣A and another club.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
Hugh Darwen, 2017