Double Dummy Corner

Competition Problem 154b

composed by Franco Baseggio and Steve Bloom
presented for solving in January 2018

 DR2 ♠ AQ95432 ♥ AK2 ♦ 2 ♣ 32 ♠ J108 ♥ Q1085 ♦ AQ87 ♣ 76 ♠ K76 ♥ J976 ♦ KJ109 ♣ 54 ♠ none ♥ 43 ♦ 6543 ♣ AKQJ1098

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

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Solution

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:

 ♠ AQ954 ♥ AK2 ♦ none ♣ none ♠ J108 ♥ Q108 ♦ AQ ♣ none ♠ K76 ♥ J97 ♦ KJ ♣ none ♠ none ♥ 43 ♦ 654 ♣ 1098

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.

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