If you found our last problem somewhat too easy, try your hand at this one.
But the lead was the Jack of hearts now.
Plan the play.
Let us recap the problem:
After the heart Queen lead, you can count 7 spades, 2 hearts, 1 diamond and 1 club = 11 tricks. Your best shot is a squeeze against East (you will need him to hold KQ of diamonds as well as his 5 hearts). The solution is simple, but not for those who play too quickly to trick 1. Duck the lead! Now your count will be rectified. You will win any return and run winners (including the Ace of diamonds -- a Vienna coup) to reach this ending:
And when you cash the last trump, discarding a diamond from dummy, East is squeezed.
Did you find this hand too easy? Unworthy of the intro about Berlusconi's talents as a composer of problems?
Check out next week's article then. (Mr. H, at the comment section of this problem, gets style points for ducking the heart lead while playing the 7 of Hearts... saving the 2 for winning the last trick)
Let us try our hand at another tough problem by the great Pietro Berlusconi:
The lead was the Queen of hearts. Plan the play.
The solution will be given in January 28th, 2020.
The great Pietro Berlusconi had a great talent for concocting difficult and beautiful hands. One of his hands will be our first hand of 2020.
You opened 1 Club because that is what you do with your balanced hands (1 Diamond is unbalanced), and so you are at the helm at 6 Clubs. West, somewhat surprisingly, led the Queen of Hearts. When you decide to draw trumps, you will follow the odds in the trump suit (since West showed a long spade suit) and start by cashing dummy's honor, guarding against a void in West -- and that is what you find. East has Qxx of clubs.
Take it from there.
The answer has been published.