Main   Challenge 7X33 by Richard Pavlicek  

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Valley of the Kings

“Thou who leadeth wrongly upon the temple of Karnak
shall resurrect declarer with swift wings.”

Sixteen years ago on a visit to Luxor, Egypt, I recall seeing the above warning (translated from hieroglyphs) in the antechamber of the tomb of Tutankhamen. Could this ancient curse reveal the true origin of bridge? Who knows, as I might be mistaken about the whole thing. Maybe I heard it on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson as “Karnak, the Magnificent.”

This is a defensive-play challenge for all bridge players. On each of the six problems you, West, are the opening leader and begin by leading a king (what else). All you have to do is choose your next lead from the choices listed. Each option will be rated on a 1-to-10 scale per my judgment.

Bidding is Standard American, and you use standard leads and signals. For a reference see Standard American Bridge. Assume all players are experts.

In June of 2003 these problems were presented as a contest, which had 752 entrants from 106 locations. The contest is now closed, but you can still challenge yourself and find your score immediately. If you’re lucky, you might even win a valuable prize.*

*Prizes include a gold sarcophagus and nine tana leaves. Winners must be at least 18 years old and descendants of Princess Ananka.
Employees of PavCo Pyramid Schemes and their immediate family are ineligible.

So what are you waiting for? Get out your shovel and enter the tomb. But watch your footing, and beware the Curse of Karnak!

Problem 1

Matchpoints
None Vul
S J 6 5 3
H J 4 2
D 5 3 2
C A 4 2
You
West
1 S
2 D
All Pass
 
North
Pass
Pass
 
East
Pass
Pass
 
South
Dbl
2 H
S A K 9 8 2
H 6
D K Q 9 8
C K 10 8
Table2 H South

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

Your next lead: SSSHDC 8

Problem 2

Matchpoints
E-W Vul
S 10 9 6 2
H A Q 10 9 5
D Q 2
C 9 3
You
West
1 C
Pass
 
North
1 H
Pass
 
East
Pass
Pass
 
South
2 NT
S A K J 5
H K 3 2
D 9 3
C K 10 8 4
Table2 NT South

Trick
1 W
Lead
S K
2nd
2
3rd
3
4th
8

Your next lead: SSHHDC 4

Problem 3

Matchpoints
Both Vul
S A Q 8
H J 8 7 4 3
D A Q 2
C 4 2
You
West

Pass
Pass
Pass
 
North

1 H
2 C1
3 NT
 
East

Pass
Pass
All Pass
 
South
1 D
1 NT
2 NT
S 10 4
H Q 6 2
D J 10 8 7
C A K J 7
Table3 NT South

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

1. artificial checkback

Your next lead: S 10  HDCCC 7

Problem 4

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

Dbl
All Pass
 
North

2 H
 
East

Pass
 
South
1 H
4 H
S A 9 3
H 5
D K J 9 4
C K Q 8 6 3
Table4 H South

Trick
1 W
Lead
C K
2nd
5
3rd
4
4th
J

Your next lead: SSHDCC 6

Problem 5

Matchpoints
E-W Vul
S A J 3
H 8 6 4 2
D K 10 7
C A 10 4
You
West
1 C
Pass
 
North
Dbl
Pass
 
East
Pass
Pass
 
South
4 S
S Q 5 4
H A K 9 3
D Q 8 5
C Q J 2
Table4 S South

Trick
1 W
Lead
H K
2nd
2
3rd
Q
4th
7

Your next lead: SHHDDC 2

Problem 6

Matchpoints
None Vul
S J 7 2
H A 7 3
D 10 3 2
C A K 8 2
You
West

Pass
Pass
Pass
All Pass
 
North
1 C
1 NT
3 S
5 H
 
East
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
 
South
1 S
3 H
4 NT
6 S
S 9 6 5
H 8 2
D K Q 9 6
C Q 7 6 5
Table6 S South

Trick
1 W
Lead
D K
2nd
2
3rd
4
4th
5

Your next lead: SHDDCC 5

To see how you did click

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© 2003 Richard Pavlicek