Double Dummy Corner

Competition Problem 23

composed by Hugh Darwen
presented for solving in January, 2007

 DR5 ♠ 43 ♥ A654 ♦ 432 ♣ QJ54 ♠ A98765 ♥ 7 ♦ J5 ♣ 9876 ♠ KQJ10 ♥ QJ98 ♦ Q76 ♣ A10 ♠ 2 ♥ K1032 ♦ AK1098 ♣ K32

South to make three hearts.  West leads the 7.

Successful solvers:  Steve Bloom, Simon Cheung, Dick Yuen.

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Solution

South wins the opening lead with the K and immediately loses a spade.  Best defence is for West to win and attack clubs.  North plays high (to guarantee an entry to that hand) and East plays ♣A and another club.  Taking the second club in North, South ruffs a spade and plays three rounds of diamonds.  On a trump return now East is easily kept to just one more trick, South gaining the lead on the 10 to force East with a diamond.  East therefore exits on a spade.  The ruff must be taken in North, South discarding the ♣K.  A club from North leaves East helpless in spite of the powerful trump holding.  South ruffs or overruffs, then leads a diamond.  If East still has three hearts, North ruffs with the A and leads a club to promote South's 10; otherwise North discards.

Other defences make life easier for declarer.  For example, if a trump or spade is returned at trick 3, South can optionally cash one top diamond before leading any club.  If a diamond is returned, South wins and leads a low club, leading one way or another to the ending described above.

If South leads a club at trick 2, East can either win and return the suit, or duck!  In either case, North's entry is used up prematurely.

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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