Competition Problem 91
South to make five diamonds. West leads the ♥K.
Successful solvers: Jean-Marc Bihl, Ian Budden, Abby Chiu, Wim van der Zijden. Several others fell into the trap mentioned below. Composer Paolo Treossi has now achieved the rank of Master Problemist, with over 200 Master Points and 30 Star Points.
The aim is to put East on play after North’s ♥J has been established, such that East has to give North the lead while exposing West to a squeeze in the black suits.
South wins with the ♥A and immediately runs the ♦J round to East!
A. If East lets the ♦J win, playing the ♦7 or ♦6 on this trick, North is entered on the ♦A to lead a low heart, on which South discards a spade. South wins the black suit return and cashes the ♣A if still held. East can now be thrown in after ♣K and a club ruff, but it is vital to cash the ♦K first, in case East drops the ♦Q under it. In that case no squeeze is needed and North must take the opportunity to score the ♥J when on lead.
B. If East wins with the ♦Q at trick 2, South wins the ♣Q return, crosses to North on the ♦A, ruffs a heart, draws the remaining trumps, and advances the ♣5 for an avoidance play against West’s ♣10—if West plays low North does likewise, otherwise North wins and plays another. In either case East has to give the lead back to North and the ♥J squeezes West.
Trap: In A., if South advances a high spade at trick 3, East ruffs and returns either a high club or a trump. (A heart return allows South to ruff and enter North on a diamond to ruff another heart, after which the play is similar to line B.) The avoidance play in clubs now fails because East is able to discard a high club on the last diamond.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
© Hugh Darwen, 2012
Date last modified: 11 March, 2017