Main   Challenge 7X25 by Richard Pavlicek  

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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 six 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. As South simply choose your play from options A-F. Each option is rated on a 1-to-10 scale per 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.

Be sure to have a grand old time! And who knows? You might even win a valuable prize.*

*Grand prize is a concert grand piano, handcrafted in mahogany by Steinway and Sons (or Pavlicek and Son). Runners-up receive
a trip to Grand Coolee Dam — damn, that’s cool! Winners must be at least 50 years old with living great-grandparents.

Oh, and one final tip: Don’t worry about overtricks!

Problem 1

Matchpoints
None Vul
S K Q 7 3
H 2
D A 7 3 2
C A 8 6 4
West

Pass
Pass
Pass
All Pass
North
1 D
1 S
3 C
5 H
East
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
South
1 H
2 C
4 NT
7 C
Lead: H 10TableEast plays H 3



7 C South
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 next?

A. Win S K-Q
B. Win S K; S A
C. Win S K; D A; S A
D. Ruff heart; win S K; D A; S A
E. Ruff heart; win D A; S A
F. Win D A; S A

Problem 2

Matchpoints
N-S Vul
S A 8 6 4 2
H A J 9 2
D A J 8 2
C
West

2 NT
Pass
All Pass
North

4 C1
5 S
East
Pass
Pass
Pass
South
1 S
4 NT
7 S
Lead: C QTableEast plays C 4



7 S South
S K Q 9 5 3
H K 8
D 4
C A K 7 5 2

1. splinter bid

A. Ruff club; win S K
B. Ruff club; win D A; ruff diamond
C. Pitch heart (win C A); S K
D. Pitch heart (win C A); D A; ruff diamond
E. Pitch diamond (win C A); S K
F. Pitch diamond (win C A); D A; ruff diamond

Problem 3

Matchpoints
E-W Vul
S
H A 7 5 2
D K J 10 9 8
C 7 5 3 2
West

Dbl
Pass
North

5 D
7 D
East

6 S
Dbl
South
3 D
Pass
All Pass
Lead: S KTableEast plays S 3



7 D× South
S 7 4
H Q J 3
D A Q 7 6 5 4 2
C 10

You can’t make this of course (goal is to go down only one). You ruff and lead a club.
East wins the C A and leads the D 3 won in dummy (West pitches a club). Next?

A. Win the H A
B. Lead the H 2
C. Ruff club; ruff spade; run trumps
D. Ruff club; spade; club; run trumps
E. Ruff out all black cards
F. Ruff club; run the H J

Problem 4

Matchpoints
Both Vul
S A 9 7 6
H A K Q
D A 8 4
C A 6 2
West
3 D
Pass
Pass
North
Dbl
5 D
7 H
East
Pass
Pass
All Pass
South
4 H
6 H
Lead: D QTableEast plays D 3



7 H South
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. Your play?

A. Win D A; H A-K-Q; S K
B. Win D A; H A-K-Q; C K
C. Win D A; H A-K-Q; finesse C J
D. Win D K; H A-K-Q; S A; S K
E. Win D K; H A-K-Q; S K
F. Win D K; H A-K-Q; C K

Note: West is void in hearts.

Problem 5

Matchpoints
N-S Vul
S A J 9
H A 10
D A K Q 5
C K Q 9 2
West

Pass
All Pass
North
2 C
4 NT
East
Pass
Pass
South
2 NT
7 NT
Lead: S 4Table



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

If you play dummy’s S 9 or S J, East covers cheaply. Your play?

A. Win S A; run hearts
B. Win S A; D A-K-Q; run hearts
C. Win S K; S A; run hearts
D. Win S K; run hearts
E. Win S K; D A-K-Q; run hearts
F. Win S K; D A-K-Q; S A; run hearts

Problem 6

Matchpoints
E-W Vul
S Q J
H A 9 7 5
D K 3 2
C A Q 6 2
West

Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
All 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
Lead: D JTableEast plays D 6



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

You lead a spade to queen (both follow low) then the S J on which East plays the 10. Your play?

A. Overtake with S K
B. Win S J; H A; D K; C K
C. Win S J; H A; C K
D. Win S J; D K; ruff diamond
E. Win S J; ruff diamond
F. Win S J; C K

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© 2003 Richard Pavlicek