Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 158a

composed by Stefan Ralescu and Barry Rigal
presented for solving in May 2018

DR6

♠ K5

 AK7654

 432

♣ AQ

♠ none

 QJ

 AKQJ1098

♣ 5432

♠ QJ932

 1098

 76

♣ K76

♠ A108764

 32

 5

♣ J1098

South to make four spades.  West leads the ♣5.

Successful solvers:  Steve Bloom, Ed Lawhon, Radu Mihai, Sebastian Nowacki, Zoran Sibinović, Rajeswar Tewari, Andries van der Vecht, Wim van der Zijden

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Solution

North must play the Q.  East wins the trick and either returns a diamond, in which case West switches back to clubs, or leads another club.  Other defences yield several paths to success for declarer.

A.      If East returns a diamond and West leads another club, South ruffs a diamond with the 6, cashes a club on which North throws a heart, then plays a heart to North who advances the remaining diamond in this position:

♠ K5

 A765

 4

♣ none

♠ none

 Q

 KQJ109

♣ 4

♠ QJ932

 109

 none

♣ none

♠ A10874

 3

 none

♣ J

1.       If East discards a heart, South ruffs and plays a heart to the A and another heart.  East does best to ruff high but South refuses to overruff, either discarding the J or under-ruffing.  South wins the trump return in hand as cheaply as possible.  The K wins the next trick—ruffing the J if that card is still held—and South wins the last two tricks with a trump tenace over East.

2.       If East—better—ruffs high, South overruffs with the A, crosses to the A, ruffs a heart with the 7, then ruffs the J with North’s K.  The reason for preserving South’s 4 now becomes apparent when North leads the 5 at trick eleven: when East plays low North retains the lead for a second lead towards the 108.

B.      If East returns a club at trick two, North plays three rounds of hearts, South ruffing the third.  North must now ruff South’s club winner and lead a fourth heart in this position:

♠ K

 765

 432

♣ none

♠ none

 none

 AKQJ109

♣ 5

♠ QJ932

 none

 76

♣ none

♠ A10876

 none

 5

♣ J

1.       If East ruffs high, South throws the diamond loser.

(a)      After a trump return to North’s K the next heart fixes East, South discarding the J if East refuses to ruff.  Now South can ruff a diamond and exit on a low trump, winning the last two tricks with the A10.

(b)     If East instead leads a diamond, South ruffs and can either lead a spade to the K or ruff the J with it.  Again East makes only one more trick.

2.       If East ruffs low, South overruffs and leads a black card to North’s K.  North’s heart lead leaves East helpless as before.

3.       If East discards, South can either discard a loser or, more spectacularly, ruff low and ruff the J with the K to fix East with another heart lead.

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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© Hugh Darwen, 2018
Date last modified: 12 June, 2018