Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Unusual right-siding problem -- Solution

This deal was solved in comments fairly quickly. West to lead and defeat 5N. 5N with East on lead cannot be defeated:

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

The only positional possibility is in the club suit, so West must need to lead a club. The interesting variants are, after declarer wins ♣A:

1. Declarer attacks hearts. East wins and plays a spade. If declarer ducks, he has 11 tricks set up, but West can tangle his entries by leading a 2nd club -- this would not be possible if East had opening led the ♣Q as South would have a tenace. If declarer wins and plays Q, West had better cover or declarer wins, takes A and all the hearts and has a (non-repeating) triple squeeze for his 11th trick -- in the 3 card ending West must hold ♠K, K, and the guarded ♣J. If West does cover, then in the 4 card ending he can only hold 1 diamond which can be stripped with J, then a spade exit would force a club lead away from the J. Again, it is critical that the opening lead have been from West so that East's ♣Q guard against an endplay.

2. Declarer wins and plays 3 rounds of clubs. Now West must play the K to kill the heart suit. A bit unusually, South could prevent the hearts from being killed by ducking, except that then ♣J, K, and A are 3 tricks for the defense.

A nice collection of communication disrupting plays.

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