Challenge 7X09 by Richard Pavlicek
What would be sweeter than a friendly lead? Six of them! As declarer on each of these problems, you may think it is Christmas after seeing the first trick and in some cases you will need all the help you can get.
But be careful! What first looks like a sugarplum might actually be a Greek gift.
In December 2002 these six problems were presented as a contest, which had 637 entrants from 94 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 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.
In the words of the Great One, How sweet it is
and a-way we go! You might even win a valuable prize.*
*Prizes include a lifetime supply of sugarplum fairies and gingerbread men. Winners must be at least 18 years of age.Employees of PavCo Plumming are ineligible. Prizes void where prohibited by law, or anywhere else actually.
A. Win A-K-Q (pitch spades)B. Win A-K-Q (pitch diamonds)C. Win A-K (pitch spades)D. Win A-K (pitch diamonds)E. Win A (pitch spade); A; JF. Win A (pitch spade); lead 3
After winning the 9 (get that smirk off your face), what next?
A. Win A; duck a heartB. Win A; duck a diamondC. Win A; duck a clubD. Duck a heartE. Duck a diamondF. Duck a club
After winning the Q (thank you very much), what next?
A. Run the JB. Lead 3 and finesse queenC. Win A; ruff diamond; run the JD. Ruff club; lead the QE. Ruff club; lead 2 to jackF. Ruff club; win A; ruff diamond
East shifts to the J, won by your ace (West plays 2). On the K, West pitches the 4. What next?
A. Win A; lead 3 and finesse jackB. Lead 3 and finesse jackC. Lead the 10D. Lead the 6E. Lead the 4F. Win Q; lead 10 (Q-A); win J
West continues with the 6, East plays the jack and you win the king. What next?
A. Win K-Q; K; ruff spadeB. Win K-Q; duck a clubC. Win K; A; ruff spadeD. Win K; duck a clubE. Duck a diamondF. Duck a club
Is the A lead a blessing? Or a Trojan horse? How do you play?
A. Ruff; duck a spadeB. Ruff; win A; duck a spadeC. Ruff; win A; A; K; lead 5D. Ruff; win A-KE. Ruff; duck a diamondF. Pitch a club
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© 2002 Richard Pavlicek