Competition Problem 44
composed by Ian Budden
presented for solving in October, 2008
South to make three spades. West leads the ♦K.
Successful solvers: Only one solver submitted a correct solution, hence the maximum DR. Most of the other entries fell for the trap mentioned under line A. The successful solver was Vincent Labbé, who ruffed the heart as indicated, without making any comment on the necessity to do that. He added, at the end of his solution, "Maybe I missed something". Did he just strike lucky?!
South wins the diamond lead, enters dummy with a diamond ruff and leads the ♣J, playing the ♣2 from hand, or covering if East plays the ♣Q. Best is for East to cover and West to win with the ♣A and return a club. On winning the second club, North must lead a low heart, ducked by South! (If East ducks the first club and West wins and returns a heart, North and South both play low and the situation is much the same.) Now the defence continue with:
A. another heart to the ♥A. Declarer ruffs a diamond, ruffs a heart, ruffs a diamond high, and leads the ♣10, covering only if East plays the §Q, and then another club. If West ruffs and cashes the ♠A, declarer makes the last two tricks on a high cross-ruff; while if West ruffs and exits with a heart, South ruffs with the ♠K and leads a diamond to score North’s ♠J en passant. If West declines to ruff, South continues immediately with the master diamond. If West again refuses to ruff, North ruffs high; if West ruffs, South will eventually score the ♠K.
Trap: If East ducked the club at trick 3 and North leads a high club instead of his last heart at the seventh trick, East now covers. Declarer wins and ruffs another diamond high, but on this trick East discards the ♥K! North leads a heart, but East ruffs, forcing the ♠K from South. The defence will now make three more tricks as West will ruff the third club and lead a heart for East to score a trump en passant.
B. a spade (from East). West takes two spade tricks and then leads a heart to the ♥A. Declarer ruffs a diamond and North leads a club to the §8 (or, if East ducked the first club and West returned a heart, the §10 to score two club tricks, ending in hand). South then leads a diamond, ruffing in North, and East, now down to the ♠9, ♥K and the master club, is backwash-squeezed. (The term backwash squeeze was proposed by Géza Ottlik and Hugh Kelsey in Adventures in Card Play (London, Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1979).
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: 15 April, 2017