Competition Problem 154b
Franco Baseggio and Steve Bloom
South to make five clubs. West leads the ♣7.
Successful solvers: Michael Bazdarich, Ian Budden, Ed Lawhon, A.V. Ramana Rao, Zoran Sibinović, F.Y. Sing, Sze Guan Tan, Rajeswar Tewari, Andries van der Vegt, Dick Yuen, Wim van der Zijden
Clearly the defence will continue trumps if declarer tries for a diamond ruff, but a diamond is given up at trick two anyway, to advance the count for a possible squeeze. South then continues clubs, North discarding low spades. On the third and fourth each defender can spare a heart and a diamond, but the fifth starts to put pressure on both defenders in this position:
As neither defender can afford a spade discard, one must throw a heart, the other a diamond.
A. If West throws a heart and East the ♦J, declarer has a choice of plays, all ending with a throw-in on East for a spade lead into North’s ♠AQ. Simplest is to cash another club, wringing the ♦K from East, and follow with three rounds of hearts.
B. If West throws a diamond—the ♦A, of course—then South plays the penultimate club, forcing the ♦Q from West and another heart from East. North now wins the ♥A and ♥K. East can now afford a spade discard but the third heart gives East the choice of unguarding the ♠K or being thrown in to lead away from it. In the former case South discards a diamond and gets a spade lead from West; otherwise South ruffs and leads a diamond.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
Hugh Darwen, 2018