Competition Problem 116b
by Hugh Darwen
South to make three spades. West leads the ♣9.
Successful solvers: Jean-Marc Bihl, Steve Bloom, Ian Budden, Sze Guan, Leigh Matheson, Radu Mihai, Sebastian Nowacki, Wing-Kai Hon, Dick Yuen. Not everybody mentioned line B. I discounted those solutions because it's my problem and I was pleased with the point that North has to win the first heart in one line but must not do so in the other. Apologies to any who might think my decision too harsh. Tables
The opening lead goes to ♣3, ♣Q, and ♣J. East does best to play ♠A and another spade. South plays high on both spades and leads a diamond. East does best to win with the ♦A and return the suit. Next come the ♠2 to North on which West throws a club, a diamond ruff and a fourth spade, on which North throws a heart.
A. If West discards another club, a heart to North is followed by the last diamond ruffed with South’s last trump. If East still has the ♥K South exits to that card and East has to lead into the ♣A10; otherwise, North makes the ♣A to draw West’s safe exit card and leads a heart to ♥10 and ♥J to guarantee a heart trick.
B. If West discards a heart, then South leads a heart. West clearly has to play low and so does North. East wins and returns a heart to North’s ♥A. Now South ruffs a diamond to squeeze East in hearts and clubs.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
Hugh Darwen, 2014