Bridge by Steve Becker

Jan Wohlin of Sweden specializes in composing problems for both the amateur and the expert. Here’s one that should prove interesting regardless of where you rank as a player.

Assume you’re in six hearts and West leads the king of diamonds followed by a spade to dummy’s king. You ruff a diamond at trick three, and East discards a spade. How would you continue?

Even if you don’t look at the East-West hands, you already know from the bidding that you can’t make the slam by ruffing a spade in dummy. You also know, after East’s discard at trick three, that West started with five diamonds headed by the A-K, which means dummy’s diamonds can’t be established.

Nevertheless, the contract can be made by developing a squeeze against West. After ruffing the diamond, you draw four rounds of trumps and cash the A-Q of clubs, producing this position:

When you now lead the ten of clubs to dummy’s king, West has no answer. If he discards a spade, you cash the ace of spades and take the last two tricks with the heart ten and spade nine; if he discards a diamond, you ruff the jack of diamonds and score the last two tricks with the spade ace and diamond queen.