Competition Problem 143a
South to make six hearts. West leads the ♠6.
Successful solvers: Steve Bloom, Ian Budden, Leigh Matheson, Radu Mihai, Sebastian Nowacki, A.V. Ramana Rao, Zoran Sibinović, Rajeswar Tewari, Andries van der Vegt, Dick Yuen, Wim van der Zijden Tables
Promotion: Rajeswar Tewari becomes a Master Problemist with this result.
North wins with the ♠A and leads a low heart for the finesse. South wins two heart tricks (the second can alternatively be taken later) and plays a diamond to the ♦A and a diamond ruff. North is entered on the ♥Q to lead a high diamond on which South discards a spade, giving this ending with West still to play a diamond:
A. If West wins and leads a diamond, a double squeeze comes about with diamonds against West, spades against East and clubs as pivot suit. For example, the next four tricks could be won by the ♦10 (South throwing a club), ♠K, ♣A, and ♥7 to make the squeeze simultaneous.
B. If West wins and leads the ♣Q, South wins with the ♣A, cashes the ♥7 on which North throws a diamond, and then a club to the ♣K and the ♦10 squeezes East.
C. If West wins and leads the ♣9, covered by North's ♣10 and East's ♣J, South wins with the ♣A and cashes the spade and heart winners to squeeze West.
D. If West ducks, South ruffs a diamond.
1. If East discards a spade, South plays ♠K and another spade, squeezing West at the same time as endplaying East. When West discards a low club, North throws the ♦10 and the forced club return gives declarer three club tricks, North capturing West’s ♣Q and leading the ♣10 to pin the ♣9.
2. If East discards a club, South exits immediately on a low spade. Now a spade return squeezes West and a club return gives three club tricks.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
Hugh Darwen, 2017