Double Dummy Corner

 

by

Hugh Darwen

Hugh Darwen's own collection Ernest Bergholt's collection The Yarborough Collection
The Pachabo Collection George Coffin's collection Competition problems
Problems by each composer Problems by Difficulty Rating Curios
W.H. Whitfeld (19th century D.D. composer)    

About Double Dummy Corner

Double Dummy Corner (at www.doubledummy.net) is a web site started by me, Hugh Darwen, in January 2001 for the benefit of people interested in double dummy bridge problems.  In such a problem all players are assumed to play perfectly with all hands exposed.  It was named Double Dummy Corner after my column that appeared in various British bridge magazines between 1966 and 2005.  The first of those magazines was Bridge Magazine itself when, at former editor Eric Milnes's invitation, following the death of Command Ernest Pawle, I took over the column that Pawle had run since 1948.  I'm therefore very pleased that Bridge Magazine have kindly offered to host my collection for posterity.

While my web site and I are both still alive you can find all these problems there and, if you are really keen, you can send me solutions for checking and even participate in my monthly solving "competitions" (in quotes becuase there are no prizes.

My web site's main purposes were

  • to provide a repository of every worthwhile double dummy problem that has ever been published; and

  • to provide a medium for publication of new problems for competitive solving

Nowadays these problems can be solved by computer programs; indeed, I used such a program myself to check all the problems that appear in this collection.

My archive of previously published problems is divided into six sections:

The first section is my own collection.  It has 496 problems and consists mainly of problems that appeared in solving competitions in my magazine column and that of my predecessor, Ernest Pawle, from 1949 to 2005.  (The highest problem number is 517, but there are some gaps arising from duplicates that came to light after their appearance at my web site.)  Links to problems in this collection appear simply as Problem n (e.g. Problem 1) because I wasn't expecting to add the other sections when I first built this collection.

The second section, consisting of problems composed and collected by Ernest Bergholt towards the end of the 19th century, has 51 problems.  The book contains 56 problems but I found five of these to be unsound.  There are gaps in the problems numbers because I used the book's problem numbers throughout.

The third section has 32 miniature problems from another early book, Royal Auction Bridge: Problems of Analysis, by "Yarborough", believed to be the pen name of Colonel G.G.J. Walshe.  In addition to the problems appearing in this section the book includes six problems under the heading NULLO DECLARATIONS, referring to a variant of bridge in which a side could declare to lose a specified number of tricks, as in "misère" at solo whist, rather than win them.  Examples appeared as Competition Problem 125c in July, 2015, and Competition Problem 130c in January, 2016, but I have to admit that they didn't attract a lot of interest.

The fourth section, contains 32 problems from a bridge column that appeared in an Australian newspaper in the 1940s under the by line "Pachabo", a pen name used by Les Parker.

The fifth section, consists of 298 problems collected by George S. Coffin during the middle of the 20th century.  There are some gaps in the problem numbering because over the years after I had placed them at my web site several turned out to have been duplicated.

The sixth section consists of competition problems that I posted at my web site (www.doubledummy.net) from 2005 onwards, following the cessation of my magazine column.

Every problem has been checked by a computer, causing me to discard 212 as being "cooked" (though in many cases nobody seemed to notice when they were first published).  I found 77 cooked problems in George Coffin's two books, out of 413.  Several of these cooked problems were given high accolades by Coffin.  Of the 635 problems published in my magazine column and, before me, Ernest Pawle's, 135 were cooked.  It all goes to show just how tricky this business is!

Finally, I offer a small collection of deals I call Curios, concocted deals showing some of the extremes that can arise in card play.  The first five are taken from my book Bridge Magic (Faber & Faber, 1972).

Click on Competition Problem #1 if you want to have a go at one of the toughest problems I ever composed, though Problem 423 might be even harder and so might Problem 222.

Hugh Darwen's own collection Ernest Bergholt's collection The Yarborough Collection
The Pachabo Collection George Coffin's collection Competition problems
Problems by each composer Problems by Difficulty Rating Curios
W.H. Whitfeld (19th century D.D. composer)