Bridge Answer 8
Bridge Problem 8: Answer
The Defense can always defeat the contract with best play.
If Declarer tries to set up a ninth trick in diamonds, East wins the King and returns the 7. East puts up the 10 and dummy must win (or else West continues hearts, East wins and puts West in with another diamond and gets two more hearts -- for down two). Declarer now can't get to hand to cash the black suit winners and the Defense can't be kept from getting another diamond and three hearts.
Declarer's best try is to win the first eight tricks with clubs and spades (unblocking the A and K of spades on club winners). Now it seems as if East is stuck: if East's last five cards are two diamonds and the AQJ of hearts, a diamond lead apparently forces a heart trick for dummy at the end. If East comes down to two diamonds and the AQ7 of hearts, dummy must score a heart trick. And if East keeps four hearts, Declarer plays a diamond, West wins and can cash another diamond (dummy kept four hearts and a diamond), and again whichever card East discards, dummy can't be prevented from taking a trick at the finish.
However, the Defense can still prevail. If dummy holds two diamonds and three hearts, East keeps four hearts. Then West can win the A and the Defense can take four hearts. If dummy holds one diamond and four hearts, East keeps two diamonds and the AQJ of hearts. Now on a diamond lead, West wins the A and East drops the King! Now, West can play a heart to East's Jack and East can play the 2 back to West's 7, allowing another heart lead through dummy's King.