Main   Challenge 7V81 by Richard Pavlicek  

The Clubhouse Collection

“We lost the club suit in the 1950s. Now diamonds are gone,
and hearts are sinking fast.” –Edgar Kaplan

Club contracts are rare, not only because the club suit is lowest ranked and easily outbid, but because it is the victim of larceny. Clubs are continually being appropriated by convention creators. Messrs. Stayman, Gerber, Drury, Landy, etc., may be regarded as great pioneers of the game, but in reality they were just thieves. I want my clubs back! And so it will be on this occasion.

In June of 2002 these problems were presented as a contest, which had 566 entrants from 97 locations. The contest is now closed, but you can still challenge yourself and find your score immediately. As South on each of the six problem, choose your play from options A-F. Each option is rated on a 1-to-10 scale based on my judgment.

Bidding is standard (or as noted) and your opponents use standard leads and signals. For a reference on these agreements, see my summary of Standard American Bridge. Assume all players are experts.

So get out of that club chair and start clubbing. There’s no time for dinner; if you need food for thought grab a club sandwich. And if you’re a club-elite player, you might even win a valuable prize.*

*Prizes include 25 cases of club soda and a 10-year membership in the club of your choice. Winners must be at least 18 years of age. Employees of Club PavCo are ineligible. Prizes are void where prohibited by law or where such prohibitions do not exist. TopMain

Problem 1

Matchpoints None Vul

West

Pass
North

Pass
East
1 NT
Pass
South
3 C

3 C South
S Q 6 3 2
H K Q 8 5 2
D A 5
C 10 2
Lead: D 3Table
S A J 4
H J 4
D J 2
C A Q J 9 7 4

You couldn’t bid 2 C due to a silly convention, and it seems partner guessed wrong to pass. Your play?

  1. Win first diamond; lead S 2 to jack
  2. Win first diamond; lead H 2 to jack
  3. Win first diamond; lead D 5
  4. Win first diamond; lead C 10
  5. Win second diamond; lead S 2 to jack
  6. Win second diamond; lead C 10
TopMain

Problem 2

Matchpoints Both Vul

West

Pass
North

Pass
East

Pass
South
3 C

3 C South
S A J 7 6 2
H A 10 5 2
D J 7 4 2
C
Lead: C JTableEast plays C 2
S 3
H J 4 3
D Q 5
C K Q 9 8 7 5 4

Partner tables the usual void opposite your preempt. You pitch a spade from dummy and win the king. Next?

  1. Win S A; ruff spade; lead C Q
  2. Win S A; lead D 2
  3. Lead H 3 and finesse the 10
  4. Lead the H J
  5. Lead the D Q
  6. Lead the C Q
TopMain

Problem 3

IMPs Both Vul

West
1 H
Pass
All Pass
North
2 D
3 D
East
Pass
Pass
South
2 S
4 C

4 C South
S
H 8 7 2
D A K Q J 9 8
C Q 10 8 2
Lead: H KTableEast plays H 4
S A K 9 4 3 2
H Q 3
D
C K J 9 4 3

West continues H A-J (East follows). You ruff then lead a club to the eight, and East pitches a diamond. Next?

  1. Win D A-K; lead C 2 to king
  2. Win D A-K; ruff a diamond
  3. Win D A; lead C 2 to king
  4. Win D A; ruff a diamond
  5. Lead C 2 to king
  6. Ruff a diamond
TopMain

Problem 4

IMPs E-W Vul

West
2 H
All Pass
North
2 NT
East
3 H
South
5 C

5 C South
S A 9 7 5 4
H Q J 10
D A 3
C A 9 3
Lead: H KTableEast plays H 2
S 6
H 7
D 7 6 5 4
C K Q 10 8 7 6 5

At trick two West leads the C 2, and you capture East’s jack with your king. How do you continue?

  1. Win S A; ruff spade; win D A
  2. Win S A; ruff spade; duck a diamond
  3. Win S A; ruff spade; win C A
  4. Win S A; lead H Q to pitch diamond
  5. Win D A; lead D 3
  6. Duck a diamond
TopMain

Problem 5

IMPs None Vul

West

1 D
Pass
North

Dbl
5 C
East

2 S*
All Pass
South
Pass
4 C
*weak

5 C South
S A 7 5 4
H K 8 6 2
D A 2
C K J 2
Lead: C 5TableEast plays C 3
S
H 5 3
D Q 9 5 4 3
C A Q 10 9 8 7

West seems to have found the killing lead, preventing two diamond ruffs. How will you handle this?

  1. Win C J; ruff spade; lead H 3
  2. Win C J; ruff spade; duck a diamond
  3. Win C J; ruff spade; win D A
  4. Win C 10; lead H 3
  5. Win C 10; duck a diamond
  6. Win C 10; D A; lead D 2
TopMain

Problem 6

Matchpoints N-S Vul

West
2 H
Pass
Pass
All Pass
North
Dbl
3 S
5 C
East
Pass
Pass
Pass
South
3 H
4 C
6 C

6 C South
S A 7 5 3
H 8 6 5
D A K 5
C Q J 10
Lead: D 9TableEast plays D 2
S 8
H A 2
D Q 8 7 4
C A K 9 8 7 6

When you lead trumps, East follows once then discards S 6 and D 3. Your play?

  1. Win D A; S A; ruff spade; win C Q
  2. Win D A; C Q-J-10; H A
  3. Win D A; C Q-J-10; duck a heart
  4. Win D Q; S A; ruff spade; win C Q
  5. Win D Q; C Q-J-10; duck a spade
  6. Win D Q; C Q-J-10; duck a heart

To see how you did click

TopMain

© 2002 Richard Pavlicek