Challenge 7V49 by Richard Pavlicek
From the above it would seem that Edgar Allan Poe would have been a brilliant bridge player, except that his way of counting the hands might require dismemberment. OK, enough ghoulish history. Heres a chance to test your own foresight as declarer.
As South on each problem, you are in a contract of four tell-tale hearts, and all you have to do is choose your play from options A-F. Each option is rated on a 1-to-10 scale based on my judgment.
In October of 2001 these problems were presented as a contest, which had 526 entrants from 95 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 Standard American Bridge. Assume all players are experts.
So what are you waiting for? Give it a try, or Ill call the Poe-lice. If you truly have Poe-tential, you could win a valuable prize*, but choosing a poor play could sign your epitaph nevermore.
*Prizes include kerosene lanterns and floor planks. Winners must be at least 18 years of ageand have at least one vulture eye. Employees of PavCo Crematoriums are ineligible.
You play the J. East returns the 8, which goes to the nine and king. What next?
A. Lead the 2B. Win A; lead the 6C. Win A; lead the 5D. Lead the JE. Lead the 5F. Win A; lead the Q
1. negative (4+ hearts)
You play dummys 9 and win the ace. What next?
A. Lead the KB. Lead the 2C. Win A; lead the 2D. Lead the 2E. Lead Q (West covers) and duckF. Lead 5 to ace; run the 10
1. new minor forcing
A. Win K; lead the 3B. Win K; A; lead the 4C. Win K; lead the 4D. Win K; lead the QE. Win A; run the QF. Win A; lead the 5
East shifts to the J to the queen, king. On the A West discards the 3. What next?
A. Lead 3 to the jackB. Lead 3 and finesse the eightC. Win 9; lead the JD. Win 9; lead 8 to queenE. Win 9; lead 8 to 10F. Win 9; lead 8 and let it ride
A. Win A; duck a clubB. Win A; A; give up a clubC. Win J; lead spade to jackD. Win J; lead diamond to queenE. Win J; lead diamond to 10F. Win J; duck a club
1. Jacoby transfer
You play the Q. At trick two East leads the 6 to your king (West plays 3). What next?
A. Ruff spade; K-A; ruff diamondB. Ruff spade; lead club to jackC. Lead trumps twiceD. Lead trumps once; K-A; ruff diamondE. Win K-A; ruff diamondF. Lead the J
To see how you did click
Credits to Edgar Allan Poe (pictured) 1809-49 and his short story The Tell-Tale Heart© 2001 Richard Pavlicek