Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 165c

composed by Hugh Darwen
presented for solving in December 2018

DR6

♠ none

 KQJ1032

 10743

♣ K32

♠ none

 none

 K865

♣ AQJ987654

♠ KQJ10987

 987654

 none

♣ none

♠ A65432

 A

 AQJ92

♣ 10

South to make five diamonds against any lead and defence.

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

Promotion:  Rajeswar Tewari becomes a Life Master Problemist, having achieved more than 400 D.D. Master Points and 10 Star Points.  (The announcement is overdue, should have appeared in November 2018.)

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Solution

This problem is a tiny modification of Problem 515, to which I have now appended a scanned copy of the Bridge Magazine article by Victor Mollo in which it originally appeared.  For December's extra problem I had decided to choose one from the archive to which nobody had yet submitted a correct solution.  On re-analysing this one I discovered a slight flaw, which I corrected with a change to the trump suit intermediates.

West does best to lead the A, East discarding a spade.  Declarer aims for either of the following two positions, with North on lead:

JS1

♠ none

 KQJ1032

 none

♣ K

JS2

♠ none

 KQJ1032

 10

♣ none

♠ none

 none

 none

♣ QJ98765

♠ KQ

 98765

 none

♣ none

♠ none

 none

 8

♣ QJ9876

♠ KQ

 98765

 none

♣ none

♠ A65432

 A

 none

♣ none

♠ A65432

 A

 none

♣ none

JS is for jettison squeeze.  In each case North’s minor suit winner squeezes East.  A spade discard lets declarer come to hand on the A to run the spades, whereas a heart discard lets declarer jettison the A and run North’s hearts.

A.      If West switches to a low diamond, East discards another spade and South wins with the J.  South now has the option to lead either the A or the Q.  Assuming the Q, West does best to win with the K as East discards another spade.

1.       If West continues diamonds, North wins as cheaply as possible, South dropping the 9 under the 10 if West leads the 8; East discards another spade.  South now ruffs North 3 with the A and East discards yet another spade, coming down to six hearts and KQ.  North is entered on the fourth round of diamonds to arrive at JS1.

(If South opts to lead the A at trick three, West does best to discard.  North discards a low heart and then play follows as just described.)

2.      If West leads a club, North plays low and South ruffs.  The A and a diamond to North’s 10 give the same result.

B.      If West continues clubs, North plays low and South ruffs with a middle trump, say the 9.  The Q follows, and this time South does not have the option to lead the A first.  To prevent declarer from following line A, West must win with the K and lead a third club.  East discards spades as before but South ruffs the winner with a high trump, cashes the other high trump and leads the 2 to finesse North’s 107 over 86.  North’s remaining trump is led in position JS2.

If West plays low on the Q in either of the above lines, South follows with the J and can always arrive at the same jettison squeeze.  For example, if West ducks both times, although simpler lines are now available, South could play the A and another diamond, North’s K then winning the next trick and inflicting the squeeze.

Trap: If South cashes the A prematurely in A., West captures the Q and leads another to spoil the squeeze.  And if South cashes it prematurely in B., West ducks the Q, captures the J and leads a club.  South cannot then profitably ruff the K and has to follow suit on the last round of trumps.

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: 04 February, 2019