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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 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 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 no such prohibitions exist.

Problem 1

Matchpoints
None Vul
S Q 6 3 2
H K Q 8 5 2
D A 5
C 10 2
West

Pass
North

Pass
East
1 NT
Pass
South
3 C
Lead: D 3Table



3 C South
S A J 4
H J 4
D J 2
C A Q J 9 7 4

You couldn’t bid 2 C because of a silly convention. Your play?

A. Win first diamond; lead S 2 to jack
B. Win first diamond; lead H 2 to jack
C. Win first diamond; lead D 5
D. Win first diamond; lead C 10
E. Win second diamond; lead S 2 to jack
F. Win second diamond; lead C 10

Problem 2

Matchpoints
Both Vul
S A J 7 6 2
H A 10 5 2
D J 7 4 2
C
West

Pass
North

Pass
East

Pass
South
3 C
Lead: C JTableEast plays C 2



3 C South
S 3
H J 4 3
D Q 5
C K Q 9 8 7 5 4

You pitch a spade from dummy and win the king. What next?

A. Win S A; ruff spade; lead C Q
B. Win S A; lead D 2
C. Lead H 3 and finesse the 10
D. Lead the H J
E. Lead the D Q
F. Lead the C Q

Problem 3

IMPs
Both Vul
S
H 8 7 2
D A K Q J 9 8
C Q 10 8 2
West
1 H
Pass
All Pass
North
2 D
3 D
East
Pass
Pass
South
2 S
4 C
Lead: H KTableEast plays H 4



4 C South
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?

A. Win D A-K; lead C 2 to king
B. Win D A-K; ruff a diamond
C. Win D A; lead C 2 to king
D. Win D A; ruff a diamond
E. Lead C 2 to king
F. Ruff a diamond

Problem 4

IMPs
E-W Vul
S A 9 7 5 4
H Q J 10
D A 3
C A 9 3
West
2 H
Pass
North
2 NT
Pass
East
3 H
Pass
South
5 C
Lead: H KTableEast plays H 2



5 C South
S 6
H 7
D 7 6 5 4
C K Q 10 8 7 6 5

West shifts to the C 2, and you capture East’s jack with your king. What next?

A. Win S A; ruff spade; win D A
B. Win S A; ruff spade; duck a diamond
C. Win S A; ruff spade; win C A
D. Win S A; lead H Q to pitch diamond
E. Win D A; lead D 3
F. Duck a diamond

Problem 5

IMPs
None Vul
S A 7 5 4
H K 8 6 2
D A 2
C K J 2
West

1 D
Pass
North

Dbl
5 C
East

2 S1
All Pass
South
Pass
4 C
Lead: C 5TableEast plays C 3



5 C South
S
H 5 3
D Q 9 5 4 3
C A Q 10 9 8 7

1. weak

West found a great lead, preventing two diamond ruffs. How will you handle this?

A. Win C J; ruff spade; lead H 3
B. Win C J; ruff spade; duck a diamond
C. Win C J; ruff spade; win D A
D. Win C 10; lead H 3
E. Win C 10; duck a diamond
F. Win C 10; D A; lead D 2

Problem 6

Matchpoints
N-S Vul
S A 7 5 3
H 8 6 5
D A K 5
C Q J 10
West
2 H
Pass
Pass
All Pass
North
Dbl
3 S
5 C
East
Pass
Pass
Pass
South
3 H
4 C
6 C
Lead: D 9TableEast plays D 2



6 C South
S 8
H A 2
D Q 8 7 4
C A K 9 8 7 6

A. Win D A; S A; ruff spade; win C Q
B. Win D A; C Q-J-10; H A
C. Win D A; C Q-J-10; duck a heart
D. Win D Q; S A; ruff spade; win C Q
E. Win D Q; C Q-J-10; duck a spade
F. Win D Q; C Q-J-10; duck a heart

Note: When you lead trumps, East follows once then discards the S 6 and D 3.

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© 2002 Richard Pavlicek