Main   Challenge 7X25 by Richard Pavlicek  

Delusions of Grandeur

Welcome to the Grand Canyon! It took Mother Nature millions of years to carve the natural wonder in Arizona, but this version took less than a month. You are playing in the finals of the Grand National Pairs and, incredibly, bid a grand slam on each of the first six boards. Talk about needing to take some tricks! See if you have what it takes to win in grand style.

In April of 2003 these problems were presented as a contest, which had 732 entrants from 101 locations. The contest is now closed, but you can still challenge yourself and find your score immediately.

On each of the six problems, you are South, and all you have to do is 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.

Have a grand old time! And who knows? You might even win a valuable prize.* Oh, and one final tip: Don’t worry about overtricks.

*Grand prize is a concert grand piano, handcrafted in mahogany and ivory by Steinway and Sons (or PavCo and Son). Runners-up receive free trips to Grand Coolee Dam — damn, that’s cool! Winners must be at least 18 years old, with living great-great-grandparents. TopMain

Problem 1

Matchpoints None Vul

West

Pass
Pass
Pass
North
1 D
1 S
3 C
5 H
East
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
South
1 H
2 C
4 NT
7 C (AP)

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

You win the H J and cash the C K, ready to claim. Oops. East pitches the D 6. What now?

  1. Win S K-Q
  2. Win S K; S A
  3. Win S K; D A; S A
  4. Ruff heart; win S K; D A; S A
  5. Ruff heart; win D A; S A
  6. Win D A; S A
TopMain

Problem 2

Matchpoints N-S Vul

West

2 NT
Pass
All Pass
North

4 C*
5 S
East
Pass
Pass
Pass
South
1 S
4 NT
7 S
*splinter bid

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

Your play?

  1. Ruff club; win S K
  2. Ruff club; win D A; ruff diamond
  3. Pitch heart (win C A); S K
  4. Pitch heart (win C A); D A; ruff diamond
  5. Pitch diamond (win C A); S K
  6. Pitch diamond (win C A); D A; ruff diamond
TopMain

Problem 3

Matchpoints E-W Vul

West

Dbl
Pass
North

5 D
7 D
East

6 S
Dbl
South
3 D
Pass
All Pass

7 D× South
(win 12)
S
H A 7 5 2
D K J 10 9 8
C 7 5 3 2
Lead: S KTableEast plays S 3
S 7 4
H Q J 3
D A Q 7 6 5 4 2
C 10

You ruff and lead a club; East wins the ace and leads the D 3 (West pitches a club) won in dummy. Next?

  1. Win the H A
  2. Lead the H 2
  3. Ruff club; ruff spade; run trumps
  4. Ruff club; spade; club; run trumps
  5. Ruff out all black cards
  6. Ruff club; run the H J
TopMain

Problem 4

Matchpoints Both Vul

West
3 D
Pass
Pass
North
Dbl
5 D
7 H
East
Pass
Pass
All Pass
South
4 H
6 H

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

Partner almost fell out of his chair when you jumped twice. (West is void in hearts.) Your play?

  1. Win D A; H A-K-Q; S K
  2. Win D A; H A-K-Q; C K
  3. Win D A; H A-K-Q; finesse C J
  4. Win D K; H A-K-Q; S A; S K
  5. Win D K; H A-K-Q; S K
  6. Win D K; H A-K-Q; C K
TopMain

Problem 5

Matchpoints N-S Vul

West

Pass
All Pass
North
2 C
4 NT
East
Pass
Pass
South
2 NT
7 NT

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

You must be in high-card heaven. (If you play the S 9 at trick one, East plays the 10.) Your play?

  1. Win S A; run hearts
  2. Win S A; D A-K-Q; run hearts
  3. Win S K; S A; run hearts
  4. Win S K; run hearts
  5. Win S K; D A-K-Q; run hearts
  6. Win S K; D A-K-Q; S A; run hearts
TopMain

Problem 6

Matchpoints E-W Vul

West

Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
North

2 NT
4 C
4 H
5 NT
East
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
South
1 S
3 S
4 D
5 C
7 S (AP)

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

At trick two you lead a spade to queen (both follow low) then the S J and East plays the 10. Your play?

  1. Overtake with S K
  2. Win S J; H A; D K; C K
  3. Win S J; H A; C K
  4. Win S J; D K; ruff diamond
  5. Win S J; ruff diamond
  6. Win S J; C K

To see how you did click

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© 2003 Richard Pavlicek