Competition Problem 169a
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!
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:
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.
Hugh Darwen, 2019