Main   Challenge 7V09 by Richard Pavlicek  

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Notrump Wonderland

Sleighbells ring, are you list’nin’?
Easy game, nine tricks glist’nin’.
A beautiful dummy
A contract that’s yummy.
Walkin’ in a notrump wonderland!

Gone away, is the Stay-man.
Here to play, is the lay-man.
Not list’nin’ to Root
He leads the wrong suit.
Walkin’ in a notrump wonderland!


In the meadow we can build a snowman
And pretend that he is Barry Crane.
He’ll say, “Are you making?”
I’ll say, “No, man!
Until you drop a trick so I can claim.”


Later on, we’ll conspire
As we bid, high’r and high’r.
I’ll make three notrump
From tricks that you dump.
Walkin’ in a notrump wonderland!

When it snows, ain’t it thrillin’
Try this quiz, if you’re willin’.
‘Twill be a great day
If you find the play.
Walkin’ in a notrump wonderland!

This is a declarer-play challenge for all bridge players. You are South on each of the six problems and become declarer in notrump. Simply choose your play from options A-F. Each option is rated on a 1-to-10 scale based on my judgment.

In December of 2000 these problems were presented as a contest, which had 200 entrants from 69 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.

So what are you waiting for? Join in the holiday spirit and test your notrump flair. Or if you lack any of that, send up a signal flare — I don’t really care. With a little luck, you might win a valuable prize.*

*Prizes include a 10-day all-expense-paid trip to the North Pole and 25 cases of Frosty root beer.
Winners must be at least 18 years of age. Residents and non-residents of Alaska are ineligible.

Problem 1

IMPs
None Vul
S 8 5 4 2
H K 6 5
D J 6 2
C K J 9
West

Pass
North

2 NT
East

All Pass
South
1 NT
Lead: H 4TableEast plays H Q



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

A. Win first heart; lead spade
B. Win first heart; lead club to nine
C. Win first heart; lead club to jack
D. Win second heart; lead spade
E. Win second heart; lead club to nine
F. Win second heart; lead club to jack

Problem 2

IMPs
Both Vul
S K 4 3
H A 7 5
D J 10 6 5
C Q 8 4
West

Pass
North

3 NT
East

All Pass
South
1 NT
Lead: S JTableEast plays S 8



3 NT South
S A 9 2
H K 8 4
D Q 4 3 2
C A K 10

A. Win S K; lead diamond to queen
B. Win S K; C K; lead diamond to jack
C. Win S A; C Q; lead diamond to queen
D. Win S A; lead diamond to jack
E. Win second spade; lead diamond to queen
F. Win second spade; lead diamond to jack

Problem 3

IMPs
E-W Vul
S A K Q
H 6 5 2
D K Q 6 5
C K Q 5
West

Pass
North
1 D
3 NT
East
Pass
All Pass
South
1 NT
Lead: H 4TableEast plays H J



3 NT South
S 6 4 3
H A K 9
D J 7 2
C J 7 4 2

A. Win first heart; diamond to king; diamond to jack
B. Win first heart; club to king; diamond to jack
C. Win first heart; club to king; lead D K
D. Win second heart; diamond to king; diamond to jack
E. Win second heart; club to king; diamond to jack
F. Win second heart; club to king; lead D K

Problem 4

IMPs
Both Vul
S A Q 9 8 2
H 6 5 2
D 10 3
C 6 5 2
West

Pass
Pass
North

3 H1
3 NT
East

Pass
All Pass
South
2 NT
3 S
Lead: D 8TableEast plays D 2



3 NT South
S K 10
H A K 3
D A Q 7 5 4
C A 7 3

1. Jacoby

After winning the D 10, what next?

A. Duck a heart
B. Duck a diamond
C. Duck a club
D. Lead S 2 and finesse 10
E. Win H K; lead S 10 and let it ride
F. Cash the top spades

Problem 5

Matchpoints
None Vul
S 4
H K Q 5 4
D 8 5 4 3 2
C A 3 2
West

2 D1
4 S
All Pass
North

Dbl
Pass
East

3 S2
Pass
South
1 NT
3 NT
4 NT
Lead: C JTableEast plays C 7



4 NT South
S K 10
H J 3 2
D A K J 10 9
C K 5 4

1. artificial for majors
2. weak

A. Win C A; lead heart to jack
B. Win C A; lead H K
C. Win C K; D A; lead heart to king
D. Win C K; D A; lead H J
E. Win second club with king; D A; lead heart to king
F. Win second club with king; D A; lead H J

Note: West pitches a spade on the first diamond lead.

Problem 6

Matchpoints
N-S Vul
S K 5 4
H A 6 5 2
D A Q J 10 2
C 2
West

2 H1
Pass
Pass
All Pass
North

3 D
5 S
6 S
East
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
South
1 C
4 NT
5 NT
6 NT
Lead: H QTableEast plays H 7



6 NT South
S A J
H K 4
D K 4 3
C A Q J 9 8 4

1. weak

A. Win H A; C Q; cash C A
B. Win H A; C Q; lead C J
C. Win H A; C Q; lead C 9
D. Win H K; D Q; C Q; cash C A
E. Win H K; D Q; C Q; lead C J
F. Win H K; D Q; C Q; lead C 9

Note: When you finesse the C Q, it wins.

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Credits to Felix Bernard and Richard Smith, composers of “Winter Wonderland”
© 2001 Richard Pavlicek