Double Dummy Corner

Competition Problem 92

composed by Vincent Labbé
presented for solving in October, 2012

 DR5 ♠ A32 ♥ AJ987 ♦ 1083 ♣ J9 ♠ J8654 ♥ 10 ♦ J975 ♣ Q32 ♠ none ♥ Q654 ♦ AQ64 ♣ 108765 ♠ KQ1097 ♥ K32 ♦ K2 ♣ AK4

South to make five no-trumps.  West leads the 7.

Successful solvers:  Abby Chiu, Leigh Matheson, Sebastian Nowacki, Dick Yuen, Wim van der Zijden.  Suggested DRs were either 3-4 or 6-7, so I've given it the average, which nobody suggested!

Promotion: Leigh Matheson becomes an Expert Problemist, with 100 D.D. Master Points.

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Solution

North plays the 8 and East does best to play the Q.  South wins and leads the 10 for the finesse.  North’s A wins this or the next trick and is followed by the J and a low heart, both of which hold.  South now plays spades to reach this position (or equivalent):

 ♠ none ♥ A98 ♦ 103 ♣ J9 ♠ J8 ♥ none ♦ J5 ♣ Q32 ♠ none ♥ Q6 ♦ A6 ♣ 1087 ♠ K9 ♥ K ♦ 2 ♣ AK4

A.      If East discards a club, the K now turns the pressure on to West, who does best to discard a diamond, in which case North discards a heart, baring the A.

1.       If West still has J, South exits on a diamond.  If the J wins, then West will have to lead a club sooner or later, giving North an entry to score the A.  So East overtakes the J and leads a club to South, who then throws West in with a spade.  A low club return gives North the J and a red suit winner, whereas the Q gives South two tricks with the A and 4.

2.       If West has discarded the J, South cashes the top clubs and exits on a diamond.  East gets two diamond tricks but loses the last to North’s A.

B.      If East discards the 6, South exits on a diamond (optionally cashing one club beforehand), wins one or two clubs and plays the K to catch West in a seesaw squeeze, North overtaking if West discards a diamond.  If West discards a club, the K wins and South’s last club puts East in to act as a stepping-stone to North’s A.

Trap: In A2, if South fails to cash the top clubs before exiting in diamonds, West discards from the same black suit as South on the second diamond, leaving South with a black suit loser when East exits on a club.

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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