Double Dummy Corner

 

Competition Problem 174

composed by Stefan Ralescu
presented for solving in
September 2019

DR4

♠ AQ87

 KQ106

 32

♣ Q54

♠ J10432

 AJ5

 K7

♣ A102

♠ K65

 432

 A654

♣ K93

♠ 9

 987

 QJ1098

♣ J876

Souths contract is one diamond.  East-West to defeat it.

Successful solvers:  Franco Baseggio, Steve Bloom, Ian Budden, Sebastian Nowacki, Rajeswar Tewari, Andries van der Vegt.  DR4 was the popular choice and also the average of solvers suggestions, but I did receive a fair number of incorrect solutions.

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Solution

The aim is to attack North’s entries before the Q can be established for the seventh trick.  So the opening lead must be a heart and in fact West must lead the J!  North wins and does best to play a trump.  West must win this and lead the 5.  Declarer takes this in either hand and leads another trump.  East must win with the A and leads another heart to West’s A.  Here is the position at trick six:

♠ AQ87

 K

 none

♣ Q54

♠ J10432

 none

 none

♣ A102

♠ K65

 none

 65

♣ K93

♠ 9

 none

 J109

♣ J876

West must lead a low spade.

A.      If North plays low, East wins with the K and exits to South on a diamond.  However many diamond tricks South now wins, West discards spades and the defence will come to three club tricks.

B.      If North plays the A and leads the K, East ruffs.  Declarer’s best try is to overruff and lead a club.

1.       If it is a low club to North’s Q, East wins with the K and either returns the suit or puts South in with a diamond.  In either case, West wins the next club as cheaply as possible and, now down to the top club and J10, returns a spade through North’s Q8.  Ruffing with the last trump, South has to give up a third club and the defence has a spade winner to score at trick thirteen.

2.       If it is the J, West wins and leads a high spade with similar effect.

If South leads the 9 instead of a diamond at trick four, West plays low.  When North does the same, East wins with the K and leads a heart to West’s A.  West returns a diamond and the defenders will come to three club tricks as above.

Traps:

1.       If West leads the 5 at trick one, South wins and leads the 9.  If West plays low, so does North and declarer will come to two spade tricks with an entry to North in hearts.  So West covers the 9, but North wins with the A.  Now neither defender can safely lead a spade.  West can let the second heart win, take the third and lead the K for three rounds of trumps but when East wins the first club and forces South to ruff the K, each defender now has a spade loser and North makes the Q at trick thirteen.

2.       A similar result arises if West covers South’s 9 at trick four, and also if West leads the J instead of a low one at trick six in the given solution.

3.       If East wins the first diamond and returns a heart, South wins in hand (as West must duck again) and leads the 9.  With the now bare K and A, West is bound to be endplayed into letting North in to score the major suit winners.

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, 2019
Date last modified: 14 October, 2019