Competition Problem 78
South to make three no-trumps. West leads the ♥5
Successful solvers: Jean-Marc Bihl, Ian Budden, Leigh Matheson, Sebastian Nowacki, Wim van der Zijden
South captures Eastís ♥Q and immediately exits on the ♦2!
A. If East wins, West will eventually be thrown in on the fourth diamond to concede a third club trick. Declarer will establish a heart trick in the process. For example, if East leads the ♥10 to ♥J and ♥K and West returns a diamond, South can win and lead the ♥8. West wins this and leads another diamond, but South leads the ♣3 to ♣J and ♣K, discards the spade loser on the good ♥7 and comes to hand on a spade to throw West in with the last diamond. [If East returns a diamond at trick 3 there are several routes to success for declarer, one of which is to win and play two more rounds of diamonds. West could now play ♥K and another heart, but South rectifies the count by losing a spade and then squeezes West in clubs and hearts.]
B. If West wins (better) and continues diamonds, North discards the ♣8 and South wins the ♦A and ♦K.
1. If West keeps the ♦6, North discards a heart. South leads the ♣3 to ♣J and ♣K, North leads the ♠9 to ♠10 and ♠K, and South exits on the ♥8. East cashes the ♦9, North discarding the ♣10, and leads a high spade, but South wins with the ♠A and leads another. If East wins this trick the fourth spade, won by North, squeezes West; otherwise, North wins it and throws West in with a heart so that Southís ♣A7 take the last two tricks.
2. If West keeps a high diamond, North discards a spade. South throws West in with a diamond, optionally cashing one top spade first. West cannot now avoid conceding three club tricks in addition to a heart. If West plays on clubs, South has three club stops and can set up the ♥7 by force. If West instead plays the ♥K and another heart, that player is thrown in on the fourth heart after a club to the ♣J and ♣K. And if West exits on a low heart, South simply wins and returns the suit.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
© Hugh Darwen, 2011
Date last modified: 11 March, 2017