Double Dummy Corner

Competition Problem 136a

composed by Jean-Marc Bihl
presented for solving in June 2016

 DR7 ♠ AK84 ♥ 7 ♦ 10932 ♣ K654 ♠ 10976 ♥ Q8543 ♦ A75 ♣ J ♠ 5 ♥ K1062 ♦ QJ84 ♣ Q873 ♠ QJ32 ♥ AJ9 ♦ K6 ♣ A1092

Successful solvers: Steve Bloom, Radu Mihai, Sebastian Nowacki, Wim van der Zijden.       Tables

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Solution

North takes the opening lead with the K and leads a low diamond which goes to either the 4, 6, and 7 or the 8 (better), K, and A.  In either case West is on lead.

A.      If West leads a spade—preferably a low one—North plays low and South wins to lead a diamond, on which North plays the 3 even in the case where this allows West to win the trick with the 7!  West might as well lead another spade, preferably a high one, taken by North so that South can ruff a diamond. South’s remaining spade must now be a low one so that North’s 8 can be finessed when West’s remaining holding is 97.

At this point South has the option to cash the A now or later—let’s assume now so that the position, with South on lead requiring five more tricks is this:

 ♠ A8 ♥ none ♦ 10 ♣ 654 ♠ 97 ♥ Q854 ♦ none ♣ none ♠ none ♥ K10 ♦ Q ♣ Q87 ♠ 3 ♥ J9 ♦ none ♣ A109

North wins two spade tricks, finessing, and East is triple-squeezed.  A minor suit discard is immediately fatal but when both hearts are discarded South can discard a club, take the club finesse and set up a heart trick.

B.      If West, having won the second trick with the A, leads the Q, South wins with the A and leads the 6.  This time, when West covers with the 7 North must cover in turn—otherwise a second heart from West sinks the contract.  To prevent the squeeze of line A, East must now give West a club ruff.  Assuming West now leads a high spade, taken by North, and South plays low, the position is like this:

 ♠ A84 ♥ none ♦ 103 ♣ 65 ♠ 97 ♥ 854 ♦ 5 ♣ none ♠ none ♥ K106 ♦ Q4 ♣ Q8 ♠ QJ3 ♥ J9 ♦ none ♣ A10

In some order, we now have a diamond ruffed high, a heart ruff, another diamond ruffed high, the ♠8 finessed, North’s remaining spades and South’s two club tricks.

C.      If West, having won the second trick with the 7, leads the Q, South ducks!  Play now follows line A, except that we now reach this five-card end position with South on lead needing all the remaining tricks:

 ♠ A8 ♥ none ♦ 10 ♣ 65 ♠ 97 ♥ 854 ♦ none ♣ none ♠ none ♥ K ♦ Q ♣ Q87 ♠ 3 ♥ J ♦ none ♣ A109

The spade finesse immediately squeezes East and declarer takes the rest.

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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