Double Dummy Corner

Solution to Problem 470 (by Andy Prothero)

 ♠ KJ7 ♥ Q10 ♦ AKQ92 ♣ J109 ♠ 10965 ♥ J765 ♦ J876 ♣ 8 ♠ A4 ♥ K98 ♦ 10543 ♣ AQ65 ♠ Q832 ♥ A432 ♦ none ♣ K7432

South to make five no-trumps. West leads the 10.

North must play the K at trick one, South dropping the 8!  East does best to win the trick.  If East returns:

A.    the K, declarer wins and finesses the 7.  The ♣J holds and a second club is covered by East's ♣Q and South's ♣K, West discarding a heart.  A third club to North's ♣9 is allowed to hold.

1.    If West discards a heart, North cashes the Q and leads the J (optionally, after cashing two diamonds). East is caught in a seesaw squeeze: a diamond discard allows North to retain the lead and throw West in on the fourth diamond, this being the steeping-stone to South's Q, whereas a club/heart discard allows South to overtake, cash a club/heart winner and throw East in with a heart/club, this being the stepping-stone to North's Q.

2.    If West discards a diamond, North cashes two diamonds, South discarding hearts!  West must drop the J (or be thrown in on it), whereupon North cashes the Q and leads the J.  When East, perforce, discards a heart, South overtakes with the Q and throws East in with a club for a lead into North's diamond tenace.

B.    a spade, North wins with the 7 and clubs are played as in A.

1.    If West discards a heart, North must immediately lead the J, again catching East in a seesaw squeeze, but with a beautiful twist.  This time, If East discards a diamond, South must overtake!  East is thrown in with a club, simultaneously squeezing West in three suits.  East's return gives North an entry for the diamond winners, in addition to which declarer makes a club and two more tricks in the major suits.  If East discards a heart on the J, North similarly makes the opposite play to that in line A, staying on lead in order to cash two diamonds (South discarding clubs) and advance the 10.  If East ducks, West wins but the South hand is high.  If East rises with the K, South wins and three queens bring the trick tally to 11.

2.    If West discards a diamond, the play is similar to line A.2 but a little less precise as South can discard a spade on one of the diamond winners and win the third spade regardless of East's discard.

Result of Problems 469

Difficulty rating: 8

Correct solutions to both problems were received from M.V. Llewellyn(712), Scunthorpe; J-M. Maréchal(807), Brussels; A. Prothero(385), Chester; D.A. Smedley(1136), Derby; W.A. van der Zijden(1012), Tiel (The Netherlands).

Result of Problem 470

Difficulty rating: 7

Correct solutions were received from R.H. Adey(706), Stafford; J-M. Maréchal(814), Brussels; E. Pichler(38), Austria; D.A. Smedley(1143), Derby; H. Vermeulen(111), Amsterdam; D. de Lind van Wijngaarden(74), Delft (The Netherlands).

Annual Competition, 2000

 Name Master Points Star Points A. Prothero, Chester 69 9 J-M. Maréchal, Brussels 62 5 D.A. Smedley,  Derby 57 5 L. Cass, Sheffield 49 12 W.A. v.d. Zijden, Tiel (The Netherlands) 49 5 R.H. Adey,  Stafford 49 2 Dr. I. Budden,  London 43 2 H. Vermeulen,  Amsterdam 43 2 E. Paprotny,  Neckartenzlingen (Germany) 40 2 M.V. Llewellyn,  Scunthorpe 38 2 M. Hosoya,  Vienna 31 1 J. Kelly, Walsall 31 1 E.A. Cherniavsky, Bethesda MD (U.S.A.) 28 1 D. de Lind van Wijngaarden, Delft 25 1 W.D. Clarke,  Port of Spain (Trinidad) 25 0 A.F. Jaffrelot,  Hornchurch 20 0 A.C. Currie,  Largs (Ayrshire) 14 1 E. Pichler, Austria 7 1 V.M. Leite,  Lisbon 5 0 M. Vickers,  Tours (France) 4 0 Dr. M .E. Weber,  West Wickham 3 0

As the above league table shows, Andy Prothero was top scorer in 2000.  The best score obtained by a solver who was unranked at the start of the year was 31 Master Points and 1 Star Point, by Michio Hosoya.