Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 130c

composed by G.L. Moore (found in Yarborough's collection, 1922)
presented for solving in December 2015

DR8

♠ none

 J

 742

♣ A65

♠ 54

 none

 Q53

♣ K2

♠ QJ2

 2

 none

♣ 1043

♠ K63

 7

 none

♣ Q87

South to lead at no-trumps.  North-South to compel East-West to win four tricks in spite of their best attempts to avoid that fate.

Successful solvers:  Well, only four people tried this one and nobody got it right (assuming my analysis is correct).       Tables

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Solution

I hope I've got this right!  Let me know if you dispute any of these findings.

South leads the Q, North playing low regardless of Westís play (why?ósee False Solutions, below).

A.      If West (best) wins with the K and returns the suit, North wins with the A and advances the 7.  East does best to discard a high spade. South discards the 6 and West does best to play the 5.  With North to lead and North-South to lose three of the last four tricks the position is now:

♠ none

 J

 42

♣ 5

♠ 54

 none

 Q3

♣ none

♠ J2

 2

 none

♣ 3

♠ K3

 7

 none

♣ 7

North leads the 4.

1.       If East discards a spade, South can let go of either seven.  If the 4 wins, then

(a)      If East discarded the 2, then North continues with the 2 to West's Q.

(i)      If East discards the J, then South discards the K West takes the last three tricks.

(ii)      Otherwise, South's other seven goes away and East takes the last two tricks.

(b)     If East discarded the J, then South discards the K on the 2 and West takes the last two.

Otherwise (West plays the Q) South makes just the K.

2.       If East discards the 2, then South discards the 7.  West does best to win and return a spade to Southís K, but Northís 5 goes away and whoever wins the second spade wins the last trick too.

3.       If East discards the 3, then South discards the 7.  The situation is symmetrical to that in B, with Northís J going away on the spades.

B.      If West plays the 2 at trick one, South continues the suit, letting the K hold.  West does best to lead a spade but North discards the 7 and South plays the 6 under East's Q (or the 3 under East's 2).  If a second spade is led, then Northís 4 goes away as South wins, then North is entered on the A to get out on the 2; otherwise, North gets the lead immediately and plays the 4 followed by the 2.

False Solutions:

False solution 1:

In Line B, if North mistakenly plays the A at trick one, we have this position:

♠ none

 J

 742

♣ 65

♠ 54

 none

 Q53

♣ K

♠ QJ2

 2

 none

♣ 43

♠ K63

 7

 none

♣ 87

C.      If North leads the 7, East discards a high spade, South the 7 (as good as anything), and West plays the 5.

1.       If North follows with the 4, West plays the 3 and East discards the 2!

(a)      If North now leads a diamond, we have the following three-card ending with West on play and North-South requiring to lose the remainder:

♠ none

 J

 none

♣ 65

♠ 54

 none

 none

♣ K

♠ J

 2

 none

♣ 3

♠ 3

 none

 none

♣ 87

West leads a spade on which North must discard the J, but West then discards the K on the winning 2 and South takes the last trick in clubs.  (North would have won this trick instead if South had discarded clubs instead of spades on the diamonds.)

(b)     If North leads a club, the three-card ending is similar except that North has the 2 instead of a club and South has K63.  West again exits on a spade and East has a loser in either the 2 or the 3 depending on Northís discard.

2.       If North leads a club, we have the following four-card ending with West on lead:

♠ none

 J

 42

♣ 5

♠ 54

 none

 Q3

♣ none

♠ J2

 2

 none

♣ 3

♠ 63

 7

 none

♣ 7

West leads a spade and East plays the 2!  South will have to win two tricks in the black suits however the spades are played.

D.      If North leads the 2, East's simplest defence is to discard a heart (though a club discard also appears to work).  West wins with the Q and cashes the K.

1.       If South has no more clubs, then West plays the 5 and 3 to force North to win the last three tricks.

2.       If South, having discarded a spade or a heart, holds a master club, West leads spade to Eastís J.  If the J wins, East exits on a club and West discards a spade to force South to win the last two tricks in spades (or North with a heart and a diamond).  If instead South wins with the ♠K and exits on the ♠3, East wins with the ♠Q and returns a club.

E.      If North exits in clubs, West plays a spade to Eastís Q.  If South ducks the ending is as in C.2 except that West has the 5 instead of a spade and East is on lead.  A club exit, on which West gets rid of a spade, leaves South having to win three of the last four tricks.  If instead South wins the first spade we have

♠ none

 J

 42

♣ 5

♠ 4

 none

 Q53

♣ none

♠ J2

 2

 none

♣ 3

♠ 63

 7

 none

♣ 7

and North-South must take two more tricks, noting that East will win the next spade even if South leads the 3.

False solution 2:

Now, what if South starts with the 6, North throwing the J?  Then East lets the 6 win.

F.      If South follows with the 3, then East wins and returns the suit, West discarding the Q.  West wins the next trick with the K but can cash one diamond before exiting in clubs, such that North-South win the last two tricks.

G.      If South leads a club, West wins with the K and returns the 2.  North does best to win with the A and lead the 7 but East discards a spade and West wins and returns a spade.  Eastís last two cards are the 2 and 4, both losing to South.

H.      If South tries cashing the 7 and K, West will win the first club with the K to leave

♠ none

 none

 2

♣ A5

♠ none

 none

 53

♣ 2

♠ J

 none

 none

♣ 43

♠ 3

 none

 none

♣ 87

East discards the J on a diamond so that North-South take the last two tricks on Westís club exit.

False solution 3:

Next, what if North leads the the 2 instead of the 7 in line A.  Here is the position with North leading the 2:

♠ none

 J

 742

♣ 5

♠ 54

 none

 Q53

♣ none

♠ QJ2

 2

 none

♣ 3

♠ K63

 7

 none

♣ 7

East must discard the 2!  West wins with the Q.  Now:

I.       If South has discarded the ♠K, West leads the ♠5.  East wins and exits to South on a club, West discarding the ♠4.  North-South win the last two tricks because East can get under the ♠3 and West can get under the 4.

J.       If South has discarded the ♠6, wins the spade continuation with the ♠K, and exits on the ♠3, East wins and gets out on a club.

K.      If South has kept three spades and a club and wins the spade continuation, East can win the next spade and exit in clubs.

L.      If South has kept three spades and a club and lets East win a spade, East exits immediately in clubs and West jettisons the ♠4.

M.     If South has kept three spades and a heart, West leads the 5, which wins, and then the 3 to give North the last three tricks.

False solution 4:

Finally, if South starts with a low club instead of the K, West plays low.  Now if North wins with the A the position is equivalent to when the Q is led at trick one, whereas if North plays low East can win with the 10 and return a heart on which West discards the K.

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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© Hugh Darwen, 2015
Date last modified: 11 March, 2017