Double Dummy Corner

Competition Problem 85

composed by Hugh Darwen
presented for solving in March, 2012

 DR5 ♠ J432 ♥ KQ7 ♦ 543 ♣ 1098 ♠ 1096 ♥ 432 ♦ J1098 ♣ QJ2 ♠ AQ87 ♥ A85 ♦ 76 ♣ A543 ♠ K5 ♥ J1096 ♦ AKQ2 ♣ K76

West to lead and East-West to defeat South's two no-trumps.

Successful solvers:  Jean-Marc Bihl, Steve Bloom, Sebastian Nowacki, Wim van der Zijden.

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Solution

[Since I first posted the solution below I have modified line A.1 to take into account the possibility of South cashing a third diamond.  Thanks to Steve Bloom for pointing this out to me.]

West must lead the Q or J and East must let it run.

A.      If South ducks, West must switch to a heart.

1.       If North plays high, East must win with the A and, when South plays high on this trick, return a diamond.  South wins two or, better, three diamonds and enters North on a heart to lead a spade (best) but East wins with the A and returns a spade or heart.  South makes a spade and two hearts but East discards a spade, so the Q is declarer’s seventh and last trick.  (Taking all three diamonds before crossing to North on a heart is “better” because East must discard a spade on the third—a heart obviously gives North two entries in that suit and the long club must be retained so that East’s last two cards will be the A and a club winner, should declarer play to eliminate West’s clubs and hearts and exit on a diamond.)

2.       If North plays the 7, East must cover with the 8.  When North gets the lead in hearts and plays a spade, East wins with the A, cashes the A if still held, and exits with a spade.  Again East discards a spade on the last heart and South cannot make a trick with the K.

B.      If South takes with the K, the best chance is to play a heart to the K and the 7, but East ducks both.  South cashes two diamonds and exits on a third heart, but East plays the A and a club to West, who returns a diamond.  South cannot now make a trick with the K.

Against any other defence declarer can make both black suit kings in addition to three tricks in each red suit.

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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