Competition Problem 130b
South to make three no-trumps. West leads the ♦Q.
Successful solvers: Radu Mihai, Zoran Sibinović, Wim van der Zijden. Others fell into one of the two traps mentioned below. Tables
South wins and leads another diamond, West’s ♦10 being allowed to hold. West does best to lead the ♠Q but this is allowed to hold. A low heart is now the only lead that doesn’t concede a trick, but South wins in hand and leads a low club. West has to win this but is well and truly endplayed, the best choice now being the ♥K. North wins with the ♥A and cashes the ♦K, on which East discards a heart, South a club. This is what’s left, with North on lead:
North leads the ♠8 which either holds or is covered by the ♠9 and ♠J. In either case, South’s ♥Q squeezes East: a spade discard allows South to set up a long spade with ♣A as entry, whereas a club discard allows South to cash the ♣A and exit on a low spade.
1. If South leads a low spade at trick 2, East overtakes West’s ♠Q and leads a heart.
2. If South leads a low club, West wins and returns a high diamond. This is allowed to hold (best) and West switches to a low heart. South wins and tries ♣A and another club, but West has a safe exit on the ♥Q.
3. If South wins the spade at trick 3, West wins the low club that follows (best) and exits on a low heart. South tries ♣A and another club, but this time West has a safe exit in diamonds.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
Hugh Darwen, 2015