Challenge 7V25 by Richard Pavlicek
The above quote is from The Slam Seed, my most recent manuscript on the evolution of slam bidding. Alas, my publisher rejected it saying he didnt need any more birdseed crap. Oh well; his loss. Ill be the bluebird of happiness when Hollywood filmmakers snatch it up. So there!
This is a declarer-play challenge on six slam contracts. As South just choose your play from options A-F. Each option is rated on a 1-to-10 scale based on my judgment.
In April of 2001 these problems were presented as a contest, which had 226 entrants from 75 locations. The contest is now closed, but you can still challenge yourself and find your score immediately.
Bidding is Standard American (except as noted) and your opponents use standard leads and signals. For a reference see outline of Standard American Bridge. Assume all players are experts.
Take a deep breath and smell the flowers, watch the trees sway in the breeze, and listen for the bluebird. Will it sing for you? Find out as you play these hands. And who knows? If you play your cards right, you might win a valuable prize.*
*Prizes include bird-feeder kits and a lifetime supply of birdseed. Winners must be at least 18 yearsof age and a medically certified birdbrain. Employees of PavCo Aviary Rentals are ineligible.
1. pick a slam
After winning the Q, what next?
A. Win A; ruff spade high; Q; ruff spade highB. Win A; ruff spade high; Q; lead 2C. Lead 3 and finesse the queenD. Lead the 2E. Win Q; lead 2F. Win Q-J; lead 2
After winning the A, what next?
A. Ruff a club; lead a diamondB. Win A; ruff a club; lead a diamondC. Win A-K; ruff a club; lead a diamondD. Win A-K; ruff a club; cash AE. Win A-K; lead a heart and finesse the nineF. Draw trumps; lead Q and let it ride
1. splinter bid
A. Discard a spade from dummyB. Ruff high; lead 3C. Ruff high; cash K; lead 3D. Ruff high; cash K; lead 3E. Ruff high; win Q; lead 5F. Ruff low; cash A; lead 2
1. Michaels (hearts + minor)
A. Discard a heart from dummyB. Ruff high; win K; ruff club highC. Ruff high; lead 2 to ace; lead JD. Ruff high; lead 2 and finesse jackE. Ruff low; lead 2 to ace; ruff club; lead 3F. Ruff low; lead 2 and finesse jack
Note: No honor drops if you win the A.
A. Win K; lead 2B. Win K; cash A-KC. Lead 10 and let it rideD. Lead 3 and finesse the jackE. Lead 3 and finesse the nineF. Lead 10 and let it ride
A. Duck spade lead to the jackB. Win A; ruff a spadeC. Win A-K (pitch diamond); ruff a spadeD. Win A; A; ruff heart with 9E. Win A; cash KF. Win A; lead 9 to the ace
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© 2001 Richard Pavlicek