Competition Problem 169b
composed by Hugh Darwen
South to make four spades. West leads the ♣A.
Successful solvers: Steve Bloom, Ed Lawhon, Steve McVea, Sebastian Nowacki, A.V. Ramana Rao, Zoran Sibinović, Rajeswar Tewari, Andries van der Vegt, Dick Yuen, Wim van der Zijden
Too late, West switches to a trump at trick two and East plays two rounds to prevent the heart ruff that would otherwise be declarerís tenth trick. South unblocks so that North can win the second round with the ♠7 and lead the ♦10, on which East must clearly play the ♦J. Winning with the ♦K, South runs the trumps, discarding clubs from North on the next two. Here is the position at trick seven, where North is going to discard another club on the next spade:
Note that a diamond discard from either defender lets North establish a trick in the suit with the ♥K as entry.
A. Suppose both defenders discard a club. Then on the penultimate spade:
1. If West discards the ♣K, North can discard either a club or a heart and East does best to discard a heart. A heart to the ♥K (optionally preceded by the ♥A if North still has a low heart) followed by a club ruff squeezes West. As a heart discard gives South an extra trick immediately with the ♥3, West throws a diamond; but after South cashes the ♥A (if it is still held), Eastís last two cards are the ♦A4, so a diamond to Northís ♦Q guarantees a trick in the suit.
2. If West discards a heart, then North discards a club and East must let the ♣Q go to keep both red suits guarded. When South now leads the last spade Northís last club can go so that East is squeezed in the red suits.
B. Suppose West discards a club, East a heart. Then West must discard the ♣K on the next spade. This time North must discard the ♥4. Now a heart to the ♥K is followed by a club, South ruffing Eastís ♣Q. If West discards
1. a heart declarer makes the ♥A and ♥3.
2. a diamond, then leading a diamond to the ♦Q and ♦A will establish the ♦5 as in A.1, but in this case South will have to abandon the ♥A if East discards a heart, instead crossing to the ♥K, taking a ruffing finesse in clubs and winning the last two tricks with the ♦5 and ♣9.
C. A heart discard from West replicates line A.2.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
Hugh Darwen, 2019