Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 156b

composed by Hugh Darwen
presented for solving in March 2018

DR6

♠ Q54

 AK1083

 none

♣ KJ1097

♠ K76

 J97

 A76543

♣ A

♠ 1098

 Q654

 Q109

♣ Q65

♠ AJ32

 2

 KJ82

♣ 8432

South to make four spades.  West leads the ♠6.

Successful solvers:  Steve Bloom, Radu Mihai, Sebastian Nowacki, A.V. Ramana Rao, Rajeswar Tewari, Wim van der Zijden.  Yes, I've done it again!  I realised the solution was long but I didn't think any line was especially difficult.  I was wrong about C.2 below.

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Solution

North wins with the Q, cashes a top heart, and exits to West on a middle club.

A.      If West returns a heart, North covers Westís card.  If that is the 9, then South ruffs Eastís Q and North gets a diamond ruff to cash the other top heart; otherwise the A takes the J and North leads the 10 with the same effect.  In either case South can discard either a club or a low diamond on the top heart.  A spade to the A comes next and West is then thrown in on the K.  Westís return concedes a trick in diamonds, with the K and two heart winners to come from North.  (Some variations in the discards and order of play are possible in this variation.)

B.      If West returns a spade declarer has many options.  Simplest is to draw trumps and throw East in with ♣K and another club.  A diamond return then gives declarer the tenth trick in that suit, whereas a heart return concedes an overtrick.

C.      A return of the A would make life very easy for declarer but if West returns a low diamond the play must be precise.  North discards a middle club and South wins as cheaply as possible, then advances the remaining diamond honour in this position:

♠ 54

 A1083

 none

♣ KJ7

♠ K7

 J9

 A7654

♣ none

♠ 109

 Q65

 Q10

♣ Q6

♠ AJ3

 none

 K82

♣ 843

1.       If West covers, North ruffs and South plays A and another spade, North discarding a club.  A heart return now sets up two extra heart tricks for North, whereas a diamond return endplays East in hearts and clubs, at the same time setting up Southís 8.

2.       If West plays low, North discards a heart and South leads a low club, North playing the remaining middle card, taken by Eastís Q (West would concede an overtrick by ruffing declarerís loser here).  South wins the black suit return with the A or 8 and ruffs a diamond in North.  South discards the diamond loser on the top heart and comes back on a club to the 8 or a spade to the A, whichever is still held.  Whether Westís K ruffs the 8 or takes the next trick, North-South take the remainder in the black suits.

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: 11 April, 2018