Double Dummy Corner

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Curio 6

composed by Stefan Ralescu (2016)

 ♠ 876532 ♥ Q2 ♦ none ♣ AKQ108 ♠ none ♥ AKJ109876543 ♦ none ♣ 654 ♠ AKQJ4 ♥ 6 ♦ 98743 ♣ 32 ♠ 109 ♥ none ♦ AKQJ10652 ♣ J97

To defeat South's contract of seven clubs West must lead a top heart and then refuse to ruff no less than six times as declarer plays out diamond winners.  Is six such refusals the maximum achievable?

Here is Leigh Matheson's answer, sent to me soon after this section first appeared in December, 2016:

 ♠ 6543 ♥ 6543 ♦ 65432 ♣ none ♠ KQJ10 ♥ none ♦ none ♣ AKQJ109876 ♠ 2 ♥ AKQJ10987 ♦ none ♣ 5432 ♠ A987 ♥ 2 ♦ AKQJ10987 ♣ none

To defeat South's contract of four spades, West must lead a spade and then refuse to ruff no less than nine times as South plays out diamonds and then advances the 2.  Stefan Ralescu gracefully concedes defeat but observes that in his construction the diamond winners are played while both defenders hold at least one trump, so it can still be regarded as a possible challenge.  Stefan Ralescu shows that this is by no means the only solution for nine consecutive ruff refusals:

 ♠ 432 ♥ 32 ♦ 65432 ♣ AKQ ♠ J1098 ♥ none ♦ none ♣ J109876543 ♠ 765 ♥ 107654 ♦ 10987 ♣ 2 ♠ AKQ ♥ AKQJ98 ♦ AKQJ ♣ none

South is in six spades.  West must lead a trump and then discard all nine clubs as South wins two more spades and plays out the red suit winners followed by the losing 9.

If you think you can beat or interestingly equal either version of this record, click here to submit your construction.

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