Competition Problem 105a
is in four spades.
Successful solvers: Correct solutions to part A from Ian Budden, Leigh Matheson, Radu Mihai, Sebastian Nowacki, Dick Yuen, but nobody gave a correct solution to part B.
On a heart lead North plays the ♥2 and South’s ♥A captures the ♥K. North takes the next six tricks with the ♦K and five rounds of spades (in any order). All discards are diamonds until West’s play to trick 7 in this position:
A. If West discards a heart, North leads a heart to ♥10, ♥J and ♥Q. North wins the heart return and cashes the last trump. South discards the ♦A and West is caught in the so-called one-suit squeeze: East plays the ♣10 on the next trick but if West has discarded the ♣8, South plays low and scores the ♣K, otherwise South plays the ♣K and North scores the ♣9.
B. If West discards a club, North leads one and South plays to this trick as in A. West is endplayed and has to concede a club trick as before or a heart to South’s ♥J.
A high diamond opening lead defeats the contract. Declarer’s best attempt is to play trumps, but West discards a middle heart on the third and a middle club on the fourth, giving this position with North on lead:
On the next spade East’s discard is a club but West’s depends on South’s. If South’s is a diamond, West throws a heart; otherwise West throws a diamond. In either case the contract fails.
Traps for the defence on an opening diamond lead:
1. If West discards a middle club on the third trump instead of the fourth, a club is immediately ducked all round to West’s ♣8. South wins the diamond return, North discarding a club, and North ruffs a diamond. A second club is lost to West, who leads a third, ruffed by North. Now the last trump squeezes East, holding three hearts and the master diamond, in front of South—if East discards a heart and plays the ♥K at trick 11, South wins and leads the ♥J, pinning the ♥10.
2. If West discards the ♥4 instead of the ♥6, North leads the ♥9 to ♥10, ♥J and ♥Q and plays the ♥8 on West’s heart return, covered by ♥K and ♥A. Now West is thrown in on a heart after ♦A and a diamond ruff.
3. If West discards a diamond on the third spade, North leads another spade, bringing diamond discards all round. The fifth spade now wrings a club from East and South discards another diamond, baring the ♦A. West discards a middle club and North leads a low one, ducked to the ♣8. The heart return goes to the ♥2, ♥K, and ♥A and South exits on a club at trick 11. When North ruffs the next club everybody is down to two hearts and the finesse against the ♥10 yields the tenth trick.
4. If the opening lead is the low diamond and West discards as in above solution, then North can either lead a low club or a fifth trump, South discarding a diamond. Say North leads a low club, ducked to West who returns a diamond. Then West is thrown back in by ♦A and another diamond, North discarding the club losers. West’s heart return goes to the ♥2, ♥K and ♥A and North ruffs a club to lead a heart through East’s ♥10.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
© Hugh Darwen, 2013
Date last modified: 11 March, 2017