Competition Problem 123b
Paolo Treossi (after Alfred P. Sheinwold)
With South on lead at no-trumps, North-South to take five tricks.
Successful solvers: Jean-Marc Bihl, Steve Bloom, Ian Budden, Wing-Kai Hon, John Macmillan, Leigh Matheson, Radu Mihai, Sebastian Nowacki, Zoran Sibinović, Andries van der Vegt, Dick Yuen, Wim van der Zijden Tables
South leads the ♥8 for an avoidance play against West’s ♥Q: North wins with the ♥K only if West plays the ♥5.
A. If West rises with the ♥Q, winning the trick, the next two tricks are taken by the ♠K and ♥K, South discarding the ♣Q! North now leads the ♠9, on which East has to throw the ♦J.
1. If West wins, North discards the ♦Q on the spade return to South’s ♠8 and East is squeezed in the minor suits.
2. If West ducks the ♠9, North exits on the ♦Q and East has to lead a club away from ♣K4 into North’s ♣A6.
B. If West plays the ♥5, North wins with the ♥K and can lose a heart to West either immediately or after cashing the ♠K. In either case South discards the ♣Q on the second heart and we have the same endings as in A.
Trap: If South discards the ♣3 instead of the ♣Q, A.2 fails when the ♣Q wins the penultimate trick and South last card is a spade loser.
In the original problem by Alfred P. Sheinwold, which appeared as Problem 115 in George Coffin’s Sure Tricks (1948), North’s spades were ♠KJ. The above solution was the intended one but South could alternatively take the spade finesse at the first trick, North winning and cashing the ♥K.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
Hugh Darwen, 2015