Competition Problem 155b
West to lead and East-West to defeat three no-trumps.
solvers: Steve Bloom, Radu Mihai, Sebastian
Nowacki, Zoran Sibinović, Rajeswar Tewari, Wim van der Zijden
West must cash the ♠A and switch to clubs, East playing low.
A. If South wins and plays a high club, East again ducks. Declarerís best attempt now is to run the hearts, discarding a spade, a diamond, and a club, then lose a club to East. However, the return of the ♦6 defeats the contract when Westís last four cards are the ♠Q and ♦AQ3, Eastís the ♠98 and ♦106.
B. Slightly better is for declarer to play the hearts immediately. In that case this will be the position at trick seven, with North on lead:
North leads a club but East plays low. If South now leads another club, then the position is as in A. If instead South leads a spade, West wins and returns a club so that East can lead the ♦6 as before.
Note the need for careful discarding by West in line B, to hang on to two clubs as well as three diamonds. In line A West can afford an earlier club discard just so long as the ♠Q is bared eventually.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
Hugh Darwen, 2018