Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 169a

composed by Paolo Treossi  (after Wim van der Zijden)
presented for solving in
April 2019

DR7

♠ J1098

 2

 K543

♣ K765

♠ 2

 A987

 J1098

♣ J1098

♠ KQ65

 J65

 76

♣ A432

♠ A743

 KQ1043

 AQ2

♣ Q

South to make four spades.  West leads the J.

Successful solvers:  Steve Bloom, Sebastian Nowacki, Zoran Sibinović, Rajeswar Tewari, but not Wim van der Zijden, who writes: it is a special feeling to be beaten by yourself!

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Solution

North wins with the K and South drops the Q!  North leads the 2, South’s finesse of the 10 losing to West’s A.  The best defence now is to attack trumps.  East covers North’s card and South wins with the A.  The Q is taken by East, who plays the K and another spade.  West has been forced to discard a club and a diamond to leave this position:

♠ J

 none

 543

♣ K76

♠ none

 987

 109

♣ J10

♠ 6

 J6

 7

♣ 432

♠ 7

 KQ43

 A2

♣ none

The J catches West in a triple squeeze for the remaining tricks—thanks to South’s play at trick one.

If West leads another diamond instead of a spade at trick three, South wins with the A.  The order of play now is not precise but declarer will in some order knock out the A and cash the KQ, North discarding two diamonds or a club and a diamond.  Then North ruffs a heart, setting up South's 4.  The only way to prevent declarer from discarding the diamond loser on the K, drawing trumps and scoring the heart winner is for East to return a high spade when in on the A and refuse to overruff North.  In that case South discards the diamond on the K, then cross-ruffs a club and the 4.  East overruffs but North's last spade and South's 7 take the last two tricks.

The original problem by Wim van der Zijden appeared in Bridge International in 1983 but was unfortunately cooked.  South’s spades were A765, giving declarer the easier alternative of winning the first trick in hand and playing to set up the hearts without the need of a finesse.  The tiny modification by Paolo Treossi avoids that dual by making South’s fourth trump a loser if North takes a heart ruff.

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, 2019
Date last modified: 05 August, 2019