Challenge 7V49 MainAnalyses

# The Tell-Tale Hearts

Scores by Richard Pavlicek

### “You should have seen how wisely I proceeded, with what caution,with what foresight, with what dissimulation…” -Edgar A. Poe

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. Here’s 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 (or 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 I’ll 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 age
and have at least one vulture eye. Employees of PavCo Crematoriums are ineligible.

## Problem 1

 MatchpointsE-W Vul K J 2 A 9 7 6 A J 10 5 A Q WestPass NORTH1 4 EastPassAll Pass South1 Lead: 10 East wins A 4 South 5 4 3 Q J 10 8 5 Q 2 J 4 2

You play the J. East returns the 8, which goes to the nine and king. What next?

B. Win A; lead the 6
C. Win A; lead the 5
F. Win A; lead the Q

## Problem 2

 IMPsN-S Vul J 9 Q 10 9 6 3 8 6 5 A 8 2 West2 All Pass NORTHPassDbl1 EastPassPass South1 4 Lead: 6 East plays 10 4 South A K 5 3 2 A J 5 2 A J Q 5 1. negative (4+ hearts)

You play dummy’s 9 and win the ace. What next?

C. Win A; lead the 2
E. Lead Q (West covers) and duck
F. Lead 5 to ace; run the 10

## Problem 3

 IMPsNone Vul J 7 4 3 A 8 4 K Q 8 K J 8 WestPassPassAll Pass NORTH1 1 NT3 EastPassPassPass South1 2 14 Lead: 10 4 South K Q J 7 5 2 A 9 6 5 3 5 2 1. new minor forcing

A. Win K; lead the 3
B. Win K; A; lead the 4
C. Win K; lead the 4
D. Win K; lead the Q
E. Win A; run the Q
F. Win A; lead the 5

## Problem 4

 MatchpointsNone Vul Q 10 6 3 A K 7 6 6 A 6 4 2 West1 3 All Pass NorthDbl3 EAST1 2 3 SouthPass2 4 Lead: 4 East wins K 4 South J 8 9 8 5 4 3 2 Q K 8 5 3

East shifts to the J to the queen, king. On the A West discards the 3. What next?

A. Lead 3 to the jack
B. Lead 3 and finesse the eight
C. Win 9; lead the J
D. Win 9; lead 8 to queen
E. Win 9; lead 8 to 10
F. Win 9; lead 8 and let it ride

## Problem 5

 IMPsE-W Vul A Q J A Q 2 A Q 10 7 6 8 3 WestPassPassAll Pass NORTH1 2 3 EastPassPassPass South1 3 4 Lead: 3 East plays 5 4 South 2 K J 10 9 5 3 A 7 6 5 4 2

A. Win A; duck a club
B. Win A; A; give up a club
D. Win J; lead diamond to queen
E. Win J; lead diamond to 10
F. Win J; duck a club

## Problem 6

 IMPsBoth Vul Q 4 K 10 9 8 7 K 4 9 7 4 3 WestPassPassAll Pass North2 12 NT EastPassPass SOUTH1 NT2 4 Lead: J East wins A 4 South K 5 2 Q J 3 A J 10 9 5 A J 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 diamond