Main   Challenge 7V33 by Richard Pavlicek  

Diamonds Are Forever

Your name is Bond, James Bond, and investigating the disappearance of priceless diamonds brings you to Las Vegas. As you walk into Willard Whyte’s casino, agents of SPECTRE escort you to the penthouse for a high-stakes bridge game. Strangely, it turns out that you or partner lead diamonds on each hand. Could this all be a setup?

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

In June of 2001 these problems were presented as a contest, which had 335 entrants from 84 locations. The contest is now closed, but you can still challenge yourself and find your score immediately.

Bidding is standard, and you use standard leads and signals. For a reference, see my outline of Standard American Bridge. Assume all players are experts.

It might help to pour yourself a dry martini (shaken, not stirred) but keep your mind off women. If your defense truly sparkles, you might dazzle your way out of the casino and win a valuable prize.*

*Prizes include an auto-gyro helicopter and seven hand-built Aston Martin automobiles. Winners must be 18-92 years of age and born the same year as Ian Fleming. PavCo Secret Service agents are ineligible. TopMain

Problem 1

IMPs Both Vul

West
You

Pass
North


3 NT
East

Pass
All Pass
South

1 NT

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

Trick
1. W
Lead
D K
2nd
3
3rd
7
4th
4

Your next lead:  SS 10  HDDC 8 TopMain

Problem 2

IMPs E-W Vul

West
You

Dbl
Pass
All Pass
North

Pass
1 NT
2 S
East

Pass
Pass
Pass
South

1 S
2 C
4 S

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

Trick
1. W
Lead
D K
2nd
5
3rd
2
4th
10

Your next lead:  SHHDDC 5 TopMain

Problem 3

IMPs None Vul

West
You

1 D
Pass
All Pass
North


3 NT
4 H
East


Pass
Pass
South

1 C
4 C
6 C

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

Trick
1. W
Lead
D K
2nd
4
3rd
8
4th
2

Your next lead:  S 10  SHHDC 9 TopMain

Problem 4

IMPs N-S Vul

West


Pass
Pass
North


1 H
3 NT
East
You
Pass
Pass
All Pass
South

1 C
1 NT

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

Trick
1. W
Lead
D 5
2nd
3
3rd
A
4th
9

Your next lead:  SHD 10  DCC 3 TopMain

Problem 5

Matchpoints Both Vul

West


Pass
Pass
North


2 C
3 NT
East
You
Pass
Pass
All Pass
South

1 NT
2 S

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

Trick
1. W
Lead
D 9
2nd
2
3rd
J
4th
3

Your next lead:  SSHDCC 10 TopMain

Problem 6

Matchpoints None Vul

West


Pass
North


4 H
East
You

All Pass
South

3 H

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

Trick
1. W
2. N
Lead
D 4
S K
2nd
A
A
3rd
9
9
4th
6
6

Your next lead:  SH 10  HDDC A

To see how you did click

TopMain

Photo is actor Sean Connery, definitive portrayer of Ian Fleming’s James Bond character.
James Bond “007” logo owned by Danjaq LLC and United Artists Corporation.
© 2001 Richard Pavlicek