Competition Problem 163b
South to make four spades. West leads the ♦9. What lead would defeat the contract?
Successful solvers: Ed Lawhon, Sebastian Nowacki, Zoran Sibinović, Rajeswar Tewari, Andries van der Vegt, Dick Yuen, Wim van der Zijden
North covers with the ♦10 and South’s ♦A captures East’s ♦J. The ♠Q is covered (best) by West and won by North’s ♠A, whereupon South ruffs a heart. Three more rounds of spades follow, putting West on play. On the first three spades East discards clubs. On the fourth North discards a heart and East then does best to throw the ♥A. With only hearts left, West leads the ♥K, ruffed by South, who continues with the ♦8, North playing low. East was squeezed on the ♥K.
A. If East discarded a diamond and must therefore win with the ♦Q, North will make three diamond tricks and South will come to the ♣K one way or another.
B. If East discarded a club and ducks the diamond, South exits on a low club. East can make two club tricks but must then either give North three diamond tricks or South two clubs to go with the ♦K.
The contract goes down if West leads the ♠9 or ♠8. If West leads the ♠2, North wins the trick and advances the ♦10, covered by East and won by South’s ♦A. The contract cane then be made either by ducking a diamond or by playing a spade to the ♠A, ruffing a heart and throwing West in as above.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
Hugh Darwen, 2018