Main   Challenge 7V17 by Richard Pavlicek  

Counselor for the Defense

Hear ye! Hear ye! Court is now in session, with the honorable Judge Frito Ito presiding. “Is the Counselor for the defense ready to proceed?”

“Yes, Your Honor. First I’d like to place these defensive problems into evidence as Exhibits 1-6.”

“So done. Hand them to the Bailiff.”

“The prosecution has tried to prove my client guilty of robbery, but I will show that his plays were legitimate and capable of being deduced at the table without malice. He is not a charlatan but a skillful player. As my first witness I call Zia Goren.” [Zia Goren takes the stand.] “Mr. Goren, as a bridge expert, how would you describe my client’s defense on Problem 1?”

“Based on odd-even carding and reverse Lavinthal,” Goren explained, “I gauge the Smith echo to show either non-touching club honors or a McKenney for hearts.”

“I see. And for the benefit of the jury, could you put that in layman’s terms?”

“Sure, he cheats.”

This is a defensive-play challenge for all bridge players. On each of the six problems South is declarer. As West or East, choose your next lead from the options listed. Each option is rated on a 1-to-10 scale based on my judgment.

Bidding is standard (or as noted) and you use standard leads and signals. For a reference, see my summary of Standard American Bridge. Assume all players are experts.

In February 2001 these problems were presented as a contest, which had 204 entrants from 68 locations. The contest is now closed, but you can still challenge yourself and find your score immediately. If you pass the bar exam, you might even win a valuable prize.*

*Prizes include free legal counsel for a year and five lost episodes of Perry Mason. Winners must be at most 18 years of age and have a Law degree. Attorneys at PavCo and Sheister are ineligible. TopMain

Problem 1

Matchpoints E-W Vul

West
You

Pass
North


3 NT
East

Pass
All Pass
South

1 NT

3 NT South
S 10 8 4
H Q 8 2
D A Q J 5
C Q 8 2
S J 9 7 6
H A J 9 7
D 9 3
C 10 9 4
Table

Trick
1. W
2. S
Lead
S 6
S 2
2nd
8
J
3rd
K
4
4th
A
3

Your next lead:  SHHHDC 10 TopMain

Problem 2

IMPs Both Vul

West
You

Pass
All Pass
North

1 S
3 C
East

Pass
Pass
South

1 NT
3 NT

3 NT South
S A Q J 10 3
H A 2
D 10 6
C A K 5 3
S 4 2
H Q 10 4
D A J 5 4 3
C Q 10 6
Table

Trick
1. W
2. E
Lead
D 4
D 2
2nd
6
Q
3rd
K
A
4th
8
10

Your next lead:  SHH 10  HDD 5 TopMain

Problem 3

Matchpoints N-S Vul

West
You

Pass
Pass
All Pass
North

1 C
1 NT
3 S
East

Pass
Pass
Pass
South

1 S
3 H
4 S

4 S South
S A Q 3
H A 3 2
D K 5 3
C 10 8 4 3
S 10 6 2
H 9 7
D A 9 6
C A K 7 6 5
Table

Trick
1. W
Lead
C K
2nd
3
3rd
2
4th
Q

Your next lead:  SHDDCC 5 TopMain

Problem 4

IMPs None Vul

West


Dbl*
All Pass
North

Pass
2 NT
East
You
1 S
3 C
South

2 H
3 H
*negative (both minors)

3 H South
S K Q 5 4
H 7 6 4
D Q J 8
C Q J 4
TableS J 10 9 7 3
H A K
D 7 6
C K 10 8 2

Trick
1. W
2. S
Lead
S 8
H Q
2nd
4
2
3rd
3
4
4th
A
K

Your next lead:  SSHDCC 2 TopMain

Problem 5

Matchpoints Both Vul

West


Pass
Pass
All Pass
North


2 D
2 S
East
You

Pass
Pass
South

1 S
2 H
4 S

4 S South
S 10 4 3
H 3
D A Q J 8 7 5 4
C K 4
TableS 8 5
H Q 8 4 2
D K 10 3
C Q 8 7 6

Trick
1. W
2. S
Lead
C J
D 9
2nd
4
2
3rd
8
Q
4th
A
K

Your next lead:  SHHD 10  DC 6 TopMain

Problem 6

Matchpoints E-W Vul

West


Pass
Pass
All Pass
North


2 S*
4 NT
East
You

Pass
Pass
South

1 NT
3 H
6 NT
*artificial (both minors)

6 NT South
S K 8 4
H 3 2
D A K 9 7
C K Q 10 8
TableS J 9 7
H 6 4
D J 10 8 2
C A 6 5 4

Trick
1. W
2. S
3. N
4. N
Lead
H J
C 7
C Q
C 8
2nd
2
3
4
A
3rd
4
K
J
9
4th
K
6
2
S 2

Your next lead:  SSSHD 10  C 5

To see how you did click

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© 2001 Richard Pavlicek