Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 161b

composed by Stefan Ralescu
presented for solving in August 2018

DR4

♠ AK87

 Q876

 5432

♣ 9

♠ Q2

 AJ932

 6

♣ KJ732

♠ 93

 K54

 KQJ10987

♣ A

♠ J10654

 10

 A

♣ Q108654

(a) South to make for spades.  West leads the 6.
(b) Can the contract be defeated on a different lead?  Justify your answer.

Successful solvers:  Zoran Sibinović, Rajeswar Tewari, Wim van der Zijden.  Only three correct solutions but I think these three solvers would be surprised by a higher DR.  

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Solution

Part (a)

The A at trick one is followed by two rounds of trumps (it matters not which cards South plays to these two tricks), then a club to Eastís A.  South ruffs the diamond return and leads a high club, covered by West and ruffed by North, who leads a low heart.

A.      If East plays low, West wins with the J and continues with a low heart, South ruffing Eastís K.  The position is now (for example)

♠ 8

 Q8

 54

♣ none

♠ none

 A9

 none

♣ J73

♠ none

 5

 QJ109

♣ none

♠ J

 none

 none

♣ 10865

South leads a high club, followed by another if West lets it hold.  North discards one or two diamonds.  In either case Westís next lead either lets North make the Q or gives South a second club trick.

B.      If East rises with the K and returns a diamond, South ruffs and can lead any club, North discarding a diamond.

C.      If East rises with the K and returns a heart, South can either ruff and lead a high club, or simply discard and make Northís Q.

Part (b)

To defeat the contract West must lead the J.  If North covers, East wins with the K and continues hearts, putting South immediately in a losing position.  If North ducks (better), West must switch to the 6.  Declarerís best chance is to follow the play in (a) but this time starting with the J, which West must duck.  East wins the first club and leads a diamond, ruffed by South.  West must discard a low heart.

D.      If South now leads a high club, West can either cover or play the 3, in which case South leads another club.  East discards diamonds.  When West covers a club North ruffs and leads a low heart.  East plays low, letting West win with the 9 and return a low heart to the K.  Declarer ruffs but can take only two of the last three tricks.

E.      If South instead leads a low club, West must play the 7.  Whether North discards or ruffs the position is now hopeless.

Trap: In Part (b), if West covers the first spade, North wins and leads a club.  East wins with the A and returns a diamond, but South ruffs and leads a low club.  West covers with the 7 but North ruffs high.  Declarer can now come to hand on a trump and eventually set up the clubs, ruffing out one of Westís honours and losing to the other.

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 November, 2018