Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 161a

composed by Paolo Treossi
presented for solving in August 2018

DR6

♠ Kx2

 y5

 10543

♣ 9876

♠ Qx54

 AKy3

 K9

♣ QJ10

♠ 8

 J1092

 J876

♣ 5432

♠ AJ1093

 Q84

 AQ2

♣ AK

South is declarer in four spades.
The x’s are the 6 and 7, the y’s the 6 and 7.
Show why West must hold both sevens to defeat the contract.

Successful solvers:  Steve Bloom, Ed Lawhon, Sebastian Nowacki, Zoran Sibinović, Wim van der Zijden.

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Solution

First we show how the contract is defeated in this layout:

♠ K62

 65

 10543

♣ 9876

♠ Q754

 AK73

 K9

♣ QJ10

♠ 8

 J1092

 J876

♣ 5432

♠ AJ1093

 Q84

 AQ2

♣ AK

West starts with a low spade to South’s 9.  Declarer’s best try is to play the top clubs and the A, on which West drops the K.  Aiming for a heart ruff in North, South now opens that suit.  Leading the 4 would allow West to win with the 7 and play another trump, so declarer tries the 8, but West rises with the K and leads the 7 in this position:

♠ K6

 6

 1054

♣ 98

♠ Q75

 A73

 9

♣ Q

♠ none

 J109

 J87

♣ 54

♠ AJ103

 Q4

 Q2

♣ none

North can try winning with the K and ruffing a club, but East discards a heart on the spade so as to have a safe exit on the 5 when South exits on a low heart.

If the 7 and 6 are switched in the above ending, then North can win the spade with the 7.  Now South can ruff a club, cash the Q and cross to the K to lead the good 9.  If this holds, South’s A is the tenth trick; otherwise West ruffs and has to give South a heart trick.

If the 7 and 6 are switched in the original layout, then South leads the 4 instead of the 8 at trick five.  Now when West rises with the K and leads the 7 to North’s K we have this:

♠ 6

 7

 1054

♣ 98

♠ Q5

 A63

 9

♣ Q

♠ none

 J10

 J87

♣ 54

♠ AJ10

 Q8

 Q2

♣ none

South ruffs a club and leads the Q.  West wins and leads a trump, simultaneously denying the heart ruff and access to the good club.  However, South’s two trump winners force East down to the J and J8 such that a heart exit obtains a diamond lead into the split tenace.

Trap: If West leads a club, declarer can always setup a club winner in North and use the third round heart ruff to reach it.

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: 31 October, 2018