Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 155b

composed by Stefan Ralescu, Barry Rigal, and Hugh Darwen
presented for solving in February 2018

DR6

♠ K

 AKQ54

 K987

♣ 543

♠ AQ4

 J109

 AQ32

♣ J98

♠ 98765

 876

 106

♣ A76

♠ J1032

 32

 J54

♣ KQ102

West to lead and East-West to defeat three no-trumps.

Successful solvers:  Steve Bloom, Radu Mihai, Sebastian Nowacki, Zoran Sibinović, Rajeswar Tewari, Wim van der Zijden
Once again I have misjudged the difficulty, many solvers missing the need to cash the
A at trick one.  If West starts with a heart, North wins and leads a club, East playing low.  Now a spade from South would be a mistake.  Instead, just run the hearts, discarding a club, a diamond, and a spade.  Then lead a club from North and defenders can take only their four obvious tricks, North being able exit on the K if defenders discard as in line B below. 

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Solution

West must cash the A and switch to clubs, East playing low.

A.      If South wins and plays a high club, East again ducks.  Declarerís best attempt now is to run the hearts, discarding a spade, a diamond, and a club, then lose a club to East.  However, the return of the 6 defeats the contract when Westís last four cards are the Q and AQ3, Eastís the 98 and 106.

B.      Slightly better is for declarer to play the hearts immediately.  In that case this will be the position at trick seven, with North on lead:

♠ none

 none

 K987

♣ 54

♠ Q

 none

 AQ3

♣ J9

♠ 98

 none

 106

♣ A7

♠ J10

 none

 J5

♣ KQ

North leads a club but East plays low.  If South now leads another club, then the position is as in A.  If instead South leads a spade, West wins and returns a club so that East can lead the 6 as before.

Note the need for careful discarding by West in line B, to hang on to two clubs as well as three diamonds.  In line A West can afford an earlier club discard just so long as the Q is bared eventually.

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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© Hugh Darwen, 2018
Date last modified: 09 April, 2018