Main   Challenge 7V89 by Richard Pavlicek  

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Slammin’ Sammy Goes Deep

Where can you find grand slams, doubles, squeeze plays and sacrifices? In bridge, of course, and also in baseball. These two great games share a number of common terms and analogies.

This is a defensive-play challenge for all bridge players. On each of the six problems, Slammin’ Sammy has overbid to a slam (no offense, Mr. Sosa) — or if you prefer, Sammy has hit a deep fly ball. Will you catch it? Or will it clear the fence for a home run? All the balls can be caught!

You are the left fielder (West) on the first three problems and the right fielder (East) on the last three. Choose your lead at trick two from the options given. Each option is rated on a 1-to-10 scale per my judgment.

Bidding is Standard American (except as noted) and you use standard leads and signals. For a reference see Standard American Bridge. Assume all players are experts.

In August 2002 these problems were presented as a contest, which had 638 entrants from 103 locations. The contest is now closed, but you can still challenge yourself and find your score immediately. If you’re a Golden Glover, you might even win a valuable prize!*

*Prizes include six outfielder’s mitts autographed by Sammy Sosa and a bronzed batting helmet. Winners must be at least 18
years of age and athletically well corked. Employees and non-employees of PavCo Sports Memorabilia are ineligible.

Batter up! Hey, batter, batter! The pitch is on the way… craaack! It’s a deep fly ball…
You run back, back, back… to the warning track… to the fence… and leap!

Problem 1

Matchpoints
None Vul
S A K 4
H K 10 8 6
D Q 8 7 5
C K 3
You
West

Pass
All Pass
Dummy
North
1 NT
4 H
 
East
Pass
Pass
Sammy
South
4 C1
6 D
S Q 9 8
H Q J 9 7
D 2
C Q 9 8 6 5
Table6 D South

Trick
1 W
Lead
H Q
2nd
6
3rd
5
4th
3

1. Gerber

Your next lead: SSHDCC 6

Problem 2

Matchpoints
Both Vul
S Q 2
H K Q J
D A K 5 4
C Q 8 6 3
You
West

Pass
Pass
All Pass
Dummy
North
1 NT
2 S
4 D
 
East
Pass
Pass
Pass
Sammy
South
2 H1
3 H
6 H
S J 10
H 9 5 4 3
D Q 8 7
C A K 9 2
Table6 H South

Trick
1 W
Lead
C K
2nd
3
3rd
7
4th
10

1. Jacoby transfer

Your next lead: S 10  HDDCC 2

Problem 3

Matchpoints
E-W Vul
S Q 10 9 6
H 6
D J 10 9 7 6
C A 10 2
You
West

Pass
Pass
All Pass
Dummy
North

3 S1
5 D
 
East
Pass
Pass
Pass
Sammy
South
1 S
4 NT
6 S
S 4 3
H 10 4 3 2
D A K Q 5
C J 9 7
Table6 S South

Trick
1 W
Lead
D K
2nd
6
3rd
3
4th
2

1. limit raise

Your next lead: SH 10  HDCC 9

Problem 4

Matchpoints
N-S Vul
S K 9 6
H J 10 9
D K J 5 4
C K 10 3
 
West

Pass
All Pass
Dummy
North
Pass
2 NT
You
East
Pass
Pass
Sammy
South
1 D
6 D
6 D SouthTable S Q 10 8 5 4
H A 5 3 2
D 3
C Q 9 4

Trick
1 W
Lead
H 6
2nd
9
3rd
A
4th
K

Your next lead: S 10  SHDCC 4

Problem 5

Matchpoints
None Vul
S 3
H 9 6 4 2
D A 10 8 3 2
C K 8 4
 
West

2 S
Pass
Pass
Dummy
North

3 H
5 D
6 H
You
East

4 S
Pass
All Pass
Sammy
South
1 H
5 C
5 H
6 H SouthTable S A 9 5 2
H 10 3
D J 9 7 4
C Q 9 7

Trick
1 W
Lead
S J
2nd
3
3rd
A
4th
Q

Your next lead: SHDCCC 7

Problem 6

Matchpoints
Both Vul
S A J 3
H K 10 2
D 8 6 5 3
C K 5 4
 
West

Pass
Pass
All Pass
Dummy
North
Pass
3 S
5 D
You
East
Pass
Pass
Dbl
Sammy
South
1 S
4 NT
6 S
6 S SouthTable S 8 5 4
H J 9 7 4
D A K 7 2
C 10 3

Trick
1 W
Lead
D J
2nd
3
3rd
K
4th
Q

Your next lead: SHDDC 10  C 3

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Acknowledgments to Sammy Sosa, the Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball.
© 2002 Richard Pavlicek