Challenge 7X01 by Richard Pavlicek
Its dusk, as you skim across the murky waters of Lake Erie in your yacht
then you see it. Out of the shadowy mist pops the surreal image of a ghost ship. Your heart pounds, as you doubt your senses, but your curiosity wont let you retreat. Instinctively, you cut your engines and drift cautiously along its port side. You listen
but hear nothing, so you tie up to the gangway and board.
Again you listen
the only sound you hear is the creaking of the booms. Removing your shoes to walk quietly, you make your way midship. Still nothing. Bravely, you walk down into the hold, past the captains quarters, through the galley, and come to a bulkhead door. Fear races through your mind as you summon your last ounce of courage
and open it.
Welcome! says the Captain. Your partner is Patch, and the stakes are 10 dollars a point. Chicago. Fearful of refusing, you sit South. Surprisingly, you have a great run of cards and declare the first six deals. The bad news is the Captain (West) keeps eyeing Patch with an evil glare. Something is afoul and you wonder if youll ever leave the ship alive. Oh well. Good bridge comes first.
In October 2002 these problems were presented as a contest, which had 662 entrants from 100 locations. The contest is now closed, but you can still challenge yourself and find your score immediately.
As South on each 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.
The evening fog has rolled in, so you may as well stay and give it a try. If you make it out alive, you might even win a valuable prize.*
*Prizes include 13 Who you gonna call? GhostBusters T-shirts, and 666 tickets to the movie Ghost Ship.Employees and non-employees of PavCo Institute of the Paranormal are ineligible.
A. Win K; lead 3 to eightB. Win K; run the JC. Win K; run the JD. Win A; K; run the JE. Win A; A; run the JF. Win A; K; finesse J
West next leads the 8 to Easts 10. You ruff then cash the A, and West drops the queen. What next?
A. Win K; J; lead 2 to jackB. Win K; duck a diamondC. Win J; lead 2 to jackD. Win J; duck a diamondE. Win A; J; lead 2F. Win A; duck a diamond
You win the A and lead a diamond to the king (East plays the 3, West the 7). What next?
A. Lead 3 to aceB. Lead the QC. Lead the 8D. Win A; lead 4 to jackE. Lead 4 to kingF. Lead 4 to jack
You duck and West leads the 6, won in dummy, as East plays the 7. On the 10 East plays low. Your play?
A. Win Q; lead 10 to king; lead 9B. Win Q; lead 10 to king; ruff diamondC. Win Q; lead KD. Win 10; lead K and unblock 10E. Win 10; draw the missing trumpsF. Win 10; ruff diamond; lead 10 to king
Note: West is void in hearts.
You duck, then West leads the J won by dummys ace (East plays the 5).You win the A and Q; West (void) pitches the 6 and 5. What next?
A. Ruff club; K; A; spadeB. Ruff club; K; K; A; spadeC. Ruff club; run the JD. Ruff club; lead 2 to 10E. Lead 3 and pitch a spadeF. Lead 3 and pitch a diamond
1. What else. Youre on a roll.
East pauses then leads the 2 (West will play the 6). Which spade do you win and what next?
A. Win K; lead 4 to queenB. Win K; lead 4 to 10C. Win K; lead 7 to jackD. Win 9; lead 5E. Win 9; lead 9F. Win 9; A; lead 5
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© 2002 Richard Pavlicek