Puzzle #14

1966 invitational double-dummy solving contest problem # 3

by C. D. P. Hamilton, Jr.

This is the last problem from the 1966 invitational double-dummy solving contest.

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

Can South make four notrump against the lead of a club?

#### Solutions

No. Good defense will defeat the contract. West leads the club six to East's queen and South's ace. Declarer can pursue either of two main lines:
(1) Lead the spade nine, covered, won in dummy with East unblocking the spade seven. In the main variation of this line, a position will be reached where West has all red-suit winners and South, on lead and needing two tricks for the contract, will have red losers and the spade six. South leads the spade and cannot duck in dummy lest East duck also; when the spade is overtaken in dummy, East gets two spade tricks to defeat the contract.
(2) Lead the heart jack. West wins and shifts to diamonds; dummy plays the five (best), East the king, South the nine (best--if South wins the diamond ace and plays the spade nine, West can defeat the contract by ducking). East shifts back to clubs. Declarer takes the club king, diamond ace and three hearts; North pitches diamonds, East a spade. South plays the spade six. West plays the jack (to avoid a duck), and declarer must lose one trick in each suit.