Competition Problem 147b
South to make two diamonds. West leads the ♦8.
Successful solvers: Steve Bloom, Ian Budden, Radu Mihai, Sebastian Nowacki, Zoran Sibinović, Rajeswar Tewari, Wim van der Zijden. Tables
After much deliberation and consultation with the above solvers I decided not to require coverage of line B (see the text I added to that line, below). One solver reminded me of Competition Problem 102a. Solvers feel aggrieved when, having had some pleasure in finding the main line, their solution is rejected for failure to cover an easy variation, especially when they did cover some variations that I didn't bother with in my published solution.
South wins with the ♦A and leads the ♥6! Best defence now is for West to score the ♣AK and lead a diamond to Eastís ♦K. North plays high clubs under Westís winners.
A. If East gives West a club ruff, North again plays high. As a heart ruff by South would give the contract, West exits to South on a trump. A spade to the ♠A followed by the ♣2 to Southís ♣6 now gives declarer the rest via a double ruffing squeeze. East has to unguard hearts to prevent declarer from establishing the ♠6 by leading the ♠J and having the ♥A as entry. West is then squeezed in the same two suits.
B. If East instead returns a spade to Northís ♠A, a heart to the ♥A is followed by the ♠6, ruffed by North, and a heart ruff by South. A club now follows and West can make only one more trick, North playing high if West ruffs so that South has an entry to the ♠K. Note that South's ♠J is needed in case West ruffs the club and returns a spade. Added later: Obviously the top minor suit cards can be cashed in any order, and the spade then led from either defender, to give rise to this line. However, exiting with a spade before cashing the top clubs (a line which several solvers thought worth describing) isn't quite the same because then there is no need for North to unblock in clubs.
I found the original problem by Ernest Bergholt in the Yarborough collection sent to me by Wolf Klewe.
With diamonds as trumps, South to lead and North-South to win seven tricks.
The play is essentially as above but lacks precision in the play of the trumps. I decided to make an adaptation suitable to appear as a competition problem here, rather than include it the Yarborough collection.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
Hugh Darwen, 2017