Double Dummy Corner

Competition Problem 137b

adapted from a problem by George Coffin by Paolo Treossi
presented for solving in July 2016

 DR1 ♠ 987 ♥ J10943 ♦ K5432 ♣ none ♠ 10 ♥ 8765 ♦ QJ10 ♣ AKQ32 ♠ QJ ♥ AKQ2 ♦ 987 ♣ 8765 ♠ AK65432 ♥ none ♦ A6 ♣ J1094

Successful solvers: Alexander Baranovitch, Steve Bloom, Ian Budden, Ankush Mandal, Leigh Matheson, Radu Mihai, Sebastian Nowacki, Prahalad Rajmukar, A.V. Ramana Rao, Zoran Sibinović, F.Y. Sing, Andries van der Vegt, Dick Yuen, Wim van der Zijden       Tables

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Solution

South wins with the A and leads the J, covered by West and ruffed by North, who leads the J, covered by East and ruffed by South, who leads the 10, covered by West and ruffed by North, who leads the 10 … and this process continues until this position is reached with South on lead:

 ♠ none ♥ 43 ♦ K543 ♣ none ♠ 10 ♥ 8 ♦ J10 ♣ 32 ♠ QJ ♥ 2 ♦ 98 ♣ 8 ♠ AK65 ♥ none ♦ 6 ♣ 4

South runs the remaining spades for a simultaneous double squeeze.  On the last spade West has to discard a diamond to keep a guard against North’s heart loser, so North discard that loser and East is squeezed in the minor suits.

The cross-ruffing in clubs and hearts has the effect of transferring the guard in each of those suits, from one defender to the other.  Woe betide any writer who calls it “transferring the menace” or “isolating the guard”.  The menaces, so called because they threaten to win a trick if the suit is discarded from by the opposition, are North’s low hearts and South’s low club, and they are so throughout the play.  Isolating a guard refers to, for example, what happens in the above ending when West is forced to discard a diamond, isolating the guard in that suit in the East hand.  It can happen in preliminary play when declarer holds something like Ax opposite Kxxx, when three rounds of the suit, South ruffing the third, leaves one opponent in sole control of the suit.

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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