Puzzle #11

1966 Problem #1

by C. D. P. Hamilton, Jr.

For the 1966 running of his invitational double-dummy solving contest, C. D. P. Hamilton, Jr., improved the conditons to remove the element of speed. All answers submitted before the deadline were judged on an equal basis. Here is the first problem from this contest.

 NORTH ♠ 5 4 3 2 ♥ A Q 8 ♦ 8 6 4 ♣ J 7 4 WEST ♠ 7 ♥ 10 9 6 5 ♦ A Q 9 ♣ A 10 6 3 2 EAST ♠ K J 9 6 ♥ 4 3 2 ♦ 7 5 3 2 ♣ Q 8 SOUTH ♠ A Q 10 8 ♥ K J 7 ♦ K J 10 ♣ K 9 5

Can South make three notrump against the lead of the diamond ace or the diamond queen?

#### Solutions

Yes.
(1) After the queen-of-diamonds lead, declarer knocks out the ace of diamonds, then goes after clubs, taking three spades, three hearts, two diamonds and one club while losing two diamonds and two clubs.
(2) After leading the ace of diamonds, West's strongest shift is to a high heart. Declarer wins dummy's heart ace, unblocks the heart king, wins a spade finesse and leads the diamond king. If West unblocks the queen of diamonds, South attacks clubs for a ninth trick. Otherwise, South crosses to dummy in hearts for another spade finesse (still time for clubs if West plays the queen of diamonds on that trick), cashes the high heart and throws West in with the queen of diamonds. West can take a heart trick but must lead clubs, giving South two tricks in that suit.