Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 171a

composed by Stefan Ralescu
presented for solving in
June 2019

DR6

♠ Q93

 109

 5

♣ A987543

♠ J104

 7643

 KQJ

♣ KJ10

♠ K72

 K52

 1098643

♣ 2

♠ A865

 AQJ8

 A72

♣ Q6

South to make three hearts.  West leads the K.

Successful solvers:  Steve Bloom, Steve McVea, Sebastian Nowacki, A.V. Ramana Rao, Zoran Sibinović, Rajeswar Tewari, Dick Yuen, Wim van der Zijden.  Suggested DRs ranged from 3 to 7, mostly on the higher side of that range.

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Solution

South wins with the A and leads a low spade, North playing the 9 under Westís 10!  West must now lead a red suit card to cause any difficulty.

A.      If West returns a heart, declarer draws trumps, North winning the first if East ducks, allowing South to finesse on the second round and then drop Eastís K.  North discards clubs.  Now put on play with a diamond, West can cash the other diamond winner but then has to open a black suit.

1.       If West leads a spade, North plays the Q, forcing the K from East.  South wins with the A and plays the 8.  If this wins, then the 6 is good; otherwise West wins with the J and has to lead away from the K.

2.       If West leads the K, North wins and can lead either spade to guarantee losing a trick to West in that suit (e.g., Q to K and A, then spade to Westís J).  South makes two spade tricks and the Q.

3.       If West leads a lower club, declarer wins with the Q, plays another to Northís ♣A and throws West back in with a third club, discarding the ♠6 from hand and making the last two tricks on Westís spade return.

B.      If West returns a diamond, North ruffs, plays the 3 to Southís A, ruffs another diamond, cashes the A (which could have been done at trick four) and exits on the Q to Eastís K.  South ruffs the diamond return (best) and exits on the Q to Westís K.  South is left with AQJ and the 8 and cannot be prevented from making all three heart tricks.

Trap: If North plays the 3 at trick two, play follows A.1 but that line fails when West leads the J and the suit is blocked by Northís 9.

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: 15 July, 2019