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The Damle Files: Problem 12

From mid 2006 to the end of 2007 I moderated a monthly contest for the Raleigh Bridge Club. Each month I posed a challenging play problem and solicited email responses from club members; the correct answer from the entrant with the fewest masterpoints won a free play at the club.

The seventh problem drew a correct response from a little-known entrant named Ashok Damle, his first attempt at an answer. He had about 100 masterpoints and won the free play. He also won the free play for problems 8, 9, and 10, then missed 11 but won number 12. At that point I deemed him to have 5000 masterpoints for free-play purposes, to give other entrants a chance. Mr. Damle then submitted correct responses to the next five consecutive problems, winning free plays on three of them because no other winners appeared.

I spoke to Mr. Damle a year ago, to ask his permission to tell this story, which he graciously gave me. He is devoting his energy to getting a small company off the ground and has not found the time to play bridge.

Some of my problems were drawn from "the literature," but many were my own invention or discovery, and probably of interest here. I plan to post them here as problems, so that they will not be lost forever. This one was number 12 in the original series, which prompted me to attribute the extra points to Mr. Damle.

West
6
Q96
AK962
K1082
North
9
A1083
108
QJ9653
W
N
E
S
1
2
X
5
5
P
P
P

You (West) lead the ace of diamonds: 8, jack, 3. (Maybe you don't like your overcall, but you have to admit it did not hurt you on this hand.) Plan the defense.

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