Challenge 7V25 MainAnalyses

# When the Bluebird Sings

Scores by Richard Pavlicek

### “Slams are all around me — in each flower, each treeand in each song the bluebird sings.” -RP

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 didn’t need any more “birdseed crap.” Oh well; his loss. I’ll 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 years
of age and a medically certified birdbrain. Employees of PavCo Aviary Rentals are ineligible.

## Problem 1

 IMPsN-S Vul A Q 3 J 9 7 3 Q 2 Q J 10 9 WestPassPassPassAll Pass North1 4 5 NT1 EastPassPassPass SOUTH1 3 4 6 Lead: 3 East plays J 6 South 5 A Q A K 7 6 5 4 A K 5 4 1. pick a slam

After winning the Q, what next?

C. Lead 3 and finesse the queen

## Problem 2

 MatchpointsE-W Vul A 9 8 4 A K Q 9 9 8 7 6 4 WestPassPass North1 6 EastPassAll Pass SOUTH1 2 NT Lead: 3 East plays 10 6 South Q 10 3 6 5 A K Q 10 5 A K 2

After winning the A, what next?

A. Ruff a club; lead a diamond
B. Win A; ruff a club; lead a diamond
C. Win A-K; ruff a club; lead a diamond
D. Win A-K; ruff a club; cash A
E. Win A-K; lead a heart and finesse the nine
F. Draw trumps; lead Q and let it ride

## Problem 3

 IMPsNone Vul A 4 3 A K Q 3 — A K 6 4 3 2 WestPassPass NORTH1 4 16 EastPassPassAll Pass South1 4 Lead: 4 6 South Q 10 7 J 10 9 8 Q 10 7 5 Q 5 1. splinter bid

C. Ruff high; cash K; lead 3
D. Ruff high; cash K; lead 3
E. Ruff high; win Q; lead 5
F. Ruff low; cash A; lead 2

## Problem 4

 MatchpointsN-S Vul A K 2 A Q 5 4 3 10 7 4 3 2 — West2 1Pass North3 6 East4 NTAll Pass SOUTH1 5 Lead: 7 6 South Q J 10 9 8 K 2 A J Q 5 3 2 1. Michaels (hearts + minor)

A. Discard a heart from dummy
B. Ruff high; win K; ruff club high
D. Ruff high; lead 2 and finesse jack
F. Ruff low; lead 2 and finesse jack

Note: No honor drops if you win the A.

## Problem 5

 MatchpointsBoth Vul K A K J 9 2 5 2 A K J 9 2 WestPassPassAll Pass NORTH1 3 4 EastPassPassPass South1 3 6 NT Lead: 10 East plays 6 6 NT South A Q 6 3 2 10 3 A K Q 4 3 10

After winning the A, what next?

B. Win K; cash A-K
C. Lead 10 and let it ride
D. Lead 3 and finesse the jack
E. Lead 3 and finesse the nine
F. Lead 10 and let it ride

## Problem 6

 IMPsNone Vul A K 9 3 Q 6 5 4 K 9 8 7 4 WestPassPassPassPassPass North1 NT14 4 NT5 7 EastPassPassPassPassAll Pass SOUTH1 3 4 5 5 Lead: 6 7 South J A K Q 8 2 A 8 2 A Q 6 5 1. forcing