Competition Problem 152b
South to make six no-trumps. West leads the ♥8.
Successful solvers: Steve Bloom, Radu Mihai, Sebastian Nowacki, A.V. Ramana Rao, Zoran Sibinović, Rajeswar Tewari, Andries van der Vegt, Dick Yuen, Wim van der Zijden
East plays an honour on the heart lead and South wins as cheaply as possible. South leads the ♣2 to the ♣K, plays the ♠K from North, overtaking with the ♠A, and then leads the ♠J, following with another spade if East ducks. North must discard from the minor suits, being careful to retain a heart. On winning the ♠Q East must return a club or a heart.
A. If East returns a club, North wins and leads a heart to South, who runs the spades to squeeze East in the red suits.
B. If East returns a heart, South wins and runs the spades. With five cards left the position is:
South cashes the penultimate spade.
1. If West discards a club, North discards a diamond and East is squeezed in three suits. South immediately gets an extra trick in the suit East unguards.
2. If West discards a diamond, North and East discard clubs. On the last spade North discards another club (so the ♣A has gone now) and East is caught in a repeating squeeze. A diamond discard yields two more tricks immediately, whereas a heart or club discard gives South a winner in that suit with which to squeeze East again.
Trap: The contract fails if South plays on spades immediately at the second trick, without cashing a top club. On winning the ♠Q, East must return a high heart to South. Then on the run of the spades West retains three clubs, while East retains control of the red suits, discarding a heart, a diamond, and a club. North comes down to three clubs and two diamonds. On the last spade West discards another red suit card. East discards from the same suit as North, and the squeeze fails.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
Hugh Darwen, 2017