Puzzle #6

1965 Contest Problem Number 3

by C. D. P. Hamilton, Jr.

   In a double-dummy problem, both sides play with knowledge of all 52 cards. Earlier (Puzzle # 1 and Puzzle # 4), we presented the first two of the 1965 series of problems from an invitational solving contest sponsored by C. D. P. Hamilton, Jr., one of the world's leading authorities on double-dummy problems. Here is the third (and final) problem from the contest. It is rather more challenging than the first two.

A K 10 5 2
10 8 6 4 2
K 3
J 3
Q 5 4 3 2
K 9 7 3
Q 8
Q 9 7 4
9 8 7
J 9 5 4
8 6
A K J 6
A 5
A 10 7 6 2

   Can South make four notrump against the lead of the club eight? If so, how? If not, what defense defeats the contract?


by Kit Woolsey

   The contract can be made. Dummy and East should duck; South wins with the ten. South leads a club to the king, and ducks the four of diamonds to East. East returns a heart. South wins and ducks a club to East. A heart return gives declarer ten tricks by force, so East returns a diamond. South wins and runs clubs, dummy coming down to four spades and the deuce of diamonds. West must come down to a singleton spade, for, if he blanks the diamond king, he can be stripped of spades and thrown in, forced to give South an extra heart trick. Now, if East discards a heart, South cashes his other high heart, discarding a diamond from dummy. South then leads the eight of spades to the ace, and throws East in with a low spade. (If East unblocks the spade seven on the high-spade lead, the spade ten must be used for the throw-in.) If instead East discards a spade, dummy cashes the high spades, throwing East in with a spade should West blank the heart queen, or throwing West in with a diamond If West blanks the diamond king.
   If East returns a spade at any point, South must play the eight, and the variations are essentially the same. The one difference is that West may keep all his hearts. Then dummy keeps two diamonds, so when a spade Is led to the board either dummy gets two diamond tricks or West is end-played.

   Editor's note:Kit Woolsey captured second place in the 1965 contest (won by J. J. Hudson of Birmingham, Alabama). Only seven out of approximately 100 expert contestants gave perfect answers to all three problems.

(Adapted from The Bridge Journal.)


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