Ted's Bridge World Problems


by William Butler


South to make 6NT
Opening Lead: 2

At first blush, it looks as if there couldn't possibly be enough resources without spades being trump, but declarer can work magic on this one!

Declarer wins four spade tricks as West keeps three of each plain suit, leaving this:


The 3 is led.  If west discards a heart, north wins the five; then a heart to the ace, spade to the ace, and a low heart to west's king.  A diamond return is taken by the ace; then the Q squeezes west in the minors.  A club return is won by dummy's ace, as south discards to this position:


North cashes the Q, discarding a club, and west is caught in a criss-cross squeeze.  Whichever suit he unguards, declarer leads next.

Alternatively, if west casts a diamond on the lead of the 3, north wins the ace; then, a diamond to the ace, spade to the king, low diamond to west's king.  The return is won in hand; then the Q squeezes west as before.  In this case, the criss-cross matrix is unnecessary.

Finally, if west discards a club on the fifth spade, the spades are finished and the 9 is led to the king, leaving this ending:


The lead of the 8 effects a second entry-shifting squeeze; if a heart is discarded, the 8 wins and the A is cashed; now, north has two entries to set up and cash the Q.  If instead west lets go a diamond, the 8 is overtaken, the A cashed, and south's Q comes home in similar fashion.

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