Challenge 7V41 by Richard Pavlicek
As the summer lingers on, a spell of listlessness occurs for most people. Call it the blues, or doldrums, or dog days the feeling is hard to explain, but its there. And so it happens in bridge: We all go through occasional spells of bad luck and bad cards.
Guess what? Now its your turn to hold the tram tickets. On each of these problems your hand is a real dog, yet fate has made you declarer. Fortunately, partner is a card rack, so the contracts are sound.
In August 2001 these problems were presented as a contest, which had 327 entrants from 83 locations. The contest is now closed, but you can still challenge yourself and find your score immediately. As South on each problem, just choose your play from options A-F. Each option is rated on a 1-to-10 scale based on my judgment.
Bidding is standard (except as noted) and your opponents use standard leads and signals. For a reference see my dogma on Standard American Bridge. Assume all players are experts.
So why are you just sitting there? Time to get out of the doghouse and on with your life. If you apply a bit of dogged determination, you may win a fabulous prize*, but one little slip and youre dog meat.
*Prizes include biscuits and flea collars. Winners must be of family Canidae, house trained and have at leastone year of obedience school. Employees of PavCo Kennels and immediate family are ineligible.
At trick two West leads the J, you win the king and East plays the 7. What next?
A. Cash four diamonds; finesse QB. Cash three diamonds; finesse QC. Win A; 3 to queen; finesse QD. Lead 3 to queen; finesse QE. Win A; A; 3 to queen; lead to QF. Win A; lead 3 to queen; lead to Q
After winning the K, what next?
A. Win A; ruff club; lead J to queenB. Win A; ruff club; lead J and let it rideC. Win A; ruff club; lead 2 to queenD. Win A; ruff club; lead 2 to nineE. Win A; ruff club; win AF. Lead the 3
Note: If you lead the J or 2, West plays the 4.
1. weak2. artificial force
At trick two East leads the 2 to Norths jack (West plays 3). What next?
A. Lead Q to the aceB. Lead Q and let it rideC. Lead the 10D. Win A-K to pitch heart; run QE. Win A-K to pitch heart; ruff diamondF. Win A-K to pitch club; ruff diamond
Note: No honor drops if you cash A-K.
After winning the A, what next?
A. Win A-K; give up a diamondB. Win A; duck a diamondC. Duck a diamondD. Win K; heart to king; lead a heartE. Win K; heart to king; win A-KF. Win K; heart to king; duck a diamond
A. Lead the 3B. Win A-K (pitch spade); A; ruff heartC. Win A-K (pitch club); A; ruff heartD. Win A; A; ruff heart; K; give up a clubE. Win A-K; give up a clubF. Duck a club
A. Win A; A-K; ruff club; lead JB. Win A; ruff club; A; ruff clubC. Duck; win A (pitch spade); A-K; lead trumpsD. Duck; win A (pitch diamond); A-K; lead trumpsE. Duck; ruff second club; lead JF. Duck; ruff second club; win A-K; A-K
Note: Trumps split 2-2.
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© 2001 Richard Pavlicek