Challenge 7V73 by Richard Pavlicek
Much of the battle in the card play as declarer is to keep your ship afloat. Defenders are like icebergs lurking in the night; if you dont stay alert, theyll rock your keel and deep-six the contract. One can only wonder that if contract bridge had been invented 90 years ago, history might have been rewritten on that fateful night in April. Are you ready to play bridge? Or shall we just save time and man the lifeboats?
In April of 2002 these problems were presented as a contest, which had 687 entrants from 101 locations. The contest is now closed, but you can still challenge yourself and find your score immediately.
As South on each of the six problems, choose your play from options A-F. Each option is rated on a 1-to-10 scale per my judgment.
Bidding is Standard American, and your opponents use standard leads and signals. For a reference see Standard American Bridge. Assume all players are experts.
So take over the helm for some rough waters ahead. If you make it back to port, youre a hero. But thats only the tip of the iceberg. Full steam ahead, and you might win a valuable prize.*
*Prizes include a completely restored 23-foot propeller blade and a barnacled keg of 96-year-old Champagne.Winners must be at least 18 years of age and descendant of RMS Titanic passenger (First Class only).Employees of PavCo Maritime Salvage are ineligible.
A. Win first spade; lead 3 to queenB. Win first spade; lead 3 to jackC. Win second spade; lead 3 to queenD. Win second spade; lead 3 to jackE. Win third spade; lead 3 to queenF. Win third spade; lead 3 to jack
Note: If you duck the first trick, West leads the Q and East plays the 3.
East returns the 6, you play low, West the 8, and you ruff in dummy. What next?
A. Lead the KB. Lead the 10C. Win K; lead spade to kingD. Win K; lead spade to 10E. Win Q; K; lead spade to kingF. Win Q; K; lead spade to 10
OK, so you bid a lot. Now shut up and select your play:
A. Win A; A-K; duck a trumpB. Win A; A-K; lead the QC. Win A; lead the 4D. Win K; duck a trumpE. Win K; A; ruff a heartF. Win K; lead club to queen
You ruff and lead a diamond to the queen, both following. What next?
A. Win K; AB. Ruff club; win K; AC. Ruff club; win K; lead spade to nineD. Ruff club; lead spade to jackE. Ruff club; lead spade to sevenF. Ruff club; win J; lead spade to nine
You ruff and cash the A; West plays the 5 and East the 9. What next?
A. Win K; lead the 2B. Win K; lead the KC. Win 10; lead the 3D. Win 10; lead 3 to kingE. Lead the 2F. Lead the K
A. Win A-Q-J-10; K; QB. Win A; lead J and let it rideC. Win A; lead 3 to nineD. Win K; K; AE. Win K; K; QF. Win K; lead 4 to jack
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© 2002 Richard Pavlicek