Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 189

composed by Steve Bloom 
presented for solving in December 2020

In each of the following layouts South is declarer in four spades and West leads a spade.  In each case, state whether the contract is made or defeated and show how that is done.

A.

♠ QJ10

 9

 AJ5

♣ A87432

DR5

♠ 43

 K52

 Q1072

♣ K1095

♠ K2

 A10874

 K643

♣ Q6

♠ A98765

QJ63

 98

♣ J

B.

♠ QJ10

 9

 AJ6

♣ A87432

♠ 43

 K62

 Q1072

♣ K1095

♠ K2

 A10874

 K543

♣ Q6

♠ A98765

QJ53

 98

♣ J

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Successful solvers:  Franco Baseggio, Jim Berry, Ian Budden, Ed Lawhon, Steve McVea, Sebastian Nowacki, Rajeswar Tewari, Wim van der Zijden.  Suggested DRs were nearly all 4 or 5, with just one going higher at 6 or 7.  Some solvers incorrectly thought the contract failed in A, others in B.

Solution

A.

♠ QJ10

 9

 AJ5

♣ A87432

♠ 43

 K52

 Q1072

♣ K1095

♠ K2

 A10874

 K643

♣ Q6

♠ A98765

QJ63

 98

♣ J

Here the contract makes.  North wins the opening lead, East doing best not to cover, and plays the 9, covered around the table by the 10, Q, and K.  Winning West’s spade return, South runs the J round to East's Q.  On the low diamond return North captures West’s Q with the A and cashes the A on which South discards the diamond loser.  Now South ruffs a club and exits on the 6 to East, North discarding a club.  East is endplayed such that one of the two red suit jacks will make declarer’s tenth trick.

It makes no difference if West covers the J.  North wins with the A and immediately exits on a low club.  East might win this trick and try the K, but North merely ducks and East now has to concede the tenth trick in one of the red suits.  If East has dropped the Q under the A and West overtakes the 6 to return a high diamond, North’s clubs can be established.

B.

♠ QJ10

 9

 AJ6

♣ A87432

♠ 43

 K62

 Q1072

♣ K1095

♠ K2

 A10874

 K543

♣ Q6

♠ A98765

QJ53

 98

♣ J

Again the contract makes.  The order of play is imprecise but for example, having won the opening lead, North can play the A, ruff a club, cash the A, and exit on a low heart to East’s 10.  South’s Q on the heart return draws West’s K, ruffed by North.  South ruffs another club and plays the remaining spades, North discarding clubs as West comes down to three diamonds and the K to give this ending with East still to discard:

♠ none

 none

 AJ6

♣ 8

♠ none

 none

 Q107

♣ K

♠ none

 A8

 K54

♣ none

♠ none

J5

 98

♣ none

1.      If East discards a diamond, South plays a diamond to the A.  If East plays low, that hand is endplayed on a diamond so that South makes a heart trick; otherwise, West is endplayed on a club so that North makes a diamond trick.

2.      If East discards the 8, South’s heart exit forces a diamond from West, such that on a low diamond return (the K would be allowed to hold) North captures West’s Q and leads the J to score a trick with either that or the 6.

Note that if West keeps a heart and so has only two diamonds in the above ending, South leads a diamond for an avoidance play, North playing the A on the Q or the J on the 10.  After winning the K East has to make a fatal red suit lead.

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© Hugh Darwen, 2020
Date last modified: 11 January, 2021