Competition Problem 25
by Hugh Darwen
South to make five diamonds. West leads the ♥K.
Successful solvers: Jean-Marc Bihl, Steve Bloom, Ian Budden, Wim van der Zijden.
At trick 2, South leads a low diamond, North playing the ♦7 unless a higher card is needed to beat West's card. East does best to win and lead the ♣5, taken by South, who leads the other low diamond, North again winning as cheaply as possible. West preserves the ♦Q otherwise North gets two club ruffs. A spade to the ♠J and ♠K is followed by a third trump, a spade finesse and two more rounds of spades, North ruffing. West must keep three clubs and so cannot have more than one heart (the ♥10). North now leads the ♥9 (the ♥6 does equally well if West still has a heart), on which East must play the ♥J, either to prevent West from being endplayed immediately or, if West has no more hearts, to prevent the ♥9 from winning. South ruffs and exits with the ♣4. If West plays the ♣6, East is endplayed, otherwise West is.
If East returns a heart at trick 3, South has a choice between ruffing high and discarding a club. In the former case a club is given up at some stage in the proceedings and in either case play ends in a major suit squeeze against East.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
© Hugh Darwen, 2007
Date last modified: 11 March, 2017