Main   Challenge 7V01 by Richard Pavlicek  

Analyses    Scores  

Bewitched and Bewildered

Darkest night of October due
Hearkens at the witches’ brew.
West and South, East and North
Waken mortals! Venture forth!

Opening leads, I cannot see
Threaten not my spell on thee.
Win the ace, or win the king?
To my cauldron, it will cling!

Ducking plays are often cute;
Not if mixed with eye of newt!
Drawing trump on harvest moon?
Hardly, it can wait till June!

Finesse it once, finesse it twice?
Evil magic does it thrice!
Cover? Then I’ll just play high’r.
Wilst thou join me in the fire?


Fair is foul, and foul is fair.
Wield thy sword, and take this dare.
Should thou find my quiz not fun?
Just be glad this poem is done!

Witchever way you spell it, this is a declarer-play challenge for all bridge players. You, South, are declarer in 4 S on each of the six problems. Choose your play from options A-F. Each option is rated on a 1-to-10 scale based on my judgment.

In October of 2000 these problems were presented as a contest, which had 196 entrants from 72 locations. The contest is now closed, but you can still challenge yourself and find your score immediately.

Bidding is Standard American, and your opponents use standard leads and signals. For a reference see Standard American Bridge. Assume all players are experts.

Time’s a-wasting. Let the fire burn and the cauldron bubble. You have nothing to worry about. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!
Make it through without toil and trouble, and you might win a valuable prize.*

*Prizes include fillet of bat, eye of newt, root of hemlock and scale of dragonfly.
Winners must be at least 18 years of age and licensed in sorcery.

Problem 1

IMPs
None Vul
S 8 5 4
H 7 3 2
D 7 6 4
C A K 7 6
West

Pass
All Pass
North

2 S
East

Pass
South
1 S
4 S
Lead: H 6TableEast plays H K



4 S South
S A K 6 3 2
H A 4
D A K 3 2
C 4 2

A. Win first heart; S A; duck diamond
B. Win first heart; S A; D A; duck diamond
C. Win first heart; S A; D A-K; lead diamond
D. Win second heart; S A; duck diamond
E. Win second heart; S A; D A; duck diamond
F. Win second heart; S A; D A-K; lead diamond

Problem 2

IMPs
E-W Vul
S A 8 4 3
H K 7 6 2
D Q J 4
C K 2
West

Pass
All Pass
North
1 D
2 S
East
Pass
Pass
South
1 S
4 S
Lead: H JTableEast plays H 5



4 S South
S Q 7 5 2
H A 3
D K 9 2
C A J 8 3

A. Win H K; lead D Q
B. Win H K; lead spade to queen
C. Win H K; C K; C A; ruff club
D. Win H A; H K; ruff heart
E. Win H A; S A; lead spade to queen
F. Win H A; C K; lead spade to queen

Problem 3

IMPs
None Vul
S K 3
H 6 5 4 3
D Q 9 8 4
C A 4 2
West

Dbl
Pass
North

1 NT
4 S
East

2 D
All Pass
South
1 S
3 C
Lead: H KTableEast plays H 2



4 S South
S A 8 7 6 5 4
H A 7
D 3
C K Q 6 5

A. Win first heart; lead D 3
B. Win first heart; lead H 7
C. Win first heart; C K; C A; lead club
D. Win second heart; lead D 3
E. Win second heart; C K; C A; lead club
F. Win second heart; S K; ruff heart

Problem 4

IMPs
N-S Vul
S A K 4 3
H 7 5 4 3
D A Q J 7
C 2
West
Pass
Pass
All Pass
North
1 D
3 S
East
Pass
Pass
South
1 S
4 S
Lead: C 4TableEast plays C K



4 S South
S 10 8 5 2
H Q 6
D K 4 2
C A 9 6 5

After winning the C A, what next?

A. Ruff a club
B. Lead a heart
C. Run diamonds
D. Win S A; lead a heart
E. Win S A; run diamonds
F. Win S A-K; run diamonds

Problem 5

IMPs
Both Vul
S J 3 2
H A 5
D 8 6 4 3
C Q 5 4 3
West

3 H
All Pass
North

3 S
East
2 H
Pass
South
2 S
4 S
Lead: H QTableEast plays H 8



4 S South
S K Q 9 7 6 5
H 9 4 3
D Q
C A K 2

A. Win first heart; lead diamond
B. Win first heart; lead H 5
C. Win first heart; lead spade to king
D. Win second heart; lead diamond
E. Win second heart; C K; ruff heart
F. Win second heart; lead spade to king

Problem 6

IMPs
Both Vul
S J 10 4
H A K 7 6 4 3
D 2
C 10 7 2
West

Pass
North
2 H
4 S
East
Pass
All Pass
South
2 S
Lead: C 5TableEast plays C K



4 S South
S A K 8 7 6 5
H 2
D J 6 3
C A 8 3

A. Win first club; H A-K; lead D 2
B. Win first club; H A-K; lead H 3 and pitch club
C. Win first club; H A-K; lead H 3 and ruff low
D. Win second club; H A-K; lead D 2
E. Win second club; H A-K; lead H 3 and ruff low
F. Win second club; H A-K; lead H 3 and ruff high

Note: If you lead a third heart, East follows.

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© 2000 Richard Pavlicek