Main   Challenge 7X33 by Richard Pavlicek  

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, and you use standard leads and signals. For a reference, see my outline of 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 solid-gold sarcophagus and nine cases of tana leaves. Winners must meet eligibility requirements of at least 18 years of age and a direct descendant of Princess Ananka. Employees of PavCo Pyramid Scams are ineligible.

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

Problem 1

Matchpoints None Vul

West
You
1 S
2 D
All Pass
North

Pass
Pass
East

Pass
Pass
South

Dbl
2 H

2 H South
S J 6 5 3
H J 4 2
D 5 3 2
C A 4 2
S A K 9 8 2
H 6
D K Q 9 8
C K 10 8
Table

You lead the S K, partner plays the four, and South the queen.

Your next lead:  SSSHDC 8 TopMain

Problem 2

Matchpoints E-W Vul

West
You
1 C
All Pass
North

1 H
East

Pass
South

2 NT

2 NT South
S 10 9 6 2
H A Q 10 9 5
D Q 2
C 9 3
S A K J 5
H K 3 2
D 9 3
C K 10 8 4
Table

You lead the S K, partner plays the three, and South the eight.

Your next lead:  SSHHDC 4 TopMain

Problem 3

Matchpoints Both Vul

West
You

Pass
Pass
Pass
North


1 H
2 C*
3 NT
East


Pass
Pass
All Pass
South

1 D
1 NT
2 NT
*artificial checkback

3 NT South
S A Q 8
H J 8 7 4 3
D A Q 2
C 4 2
S 10 4
H Q 6 2
D J 10 8 7
C A K J 7
Table

You lead the C K, partner plays the nine, and South the six.

Your next lead:  S 10  HDCCC 7 TopMain

Problem 4

Matchpoints N-S Vul

West
You

Dbl
All Pass
North


2 H
East


Pass
South

1 H
4 H

4 H South
S Q J 5 4
H Q 10 6
D Q 5 3
C 10 9 5
S A 9 3
H 5
D K J 9 4
C K Q 8 6 3
Table

You lead the C K, partner plays the four, and South the jack.

Your next lead:  SSHDCC 6 TopMain

Problem 5

Matchpoints E-W Vul

West
You
1 C
All Pass
North

Dbl
East

Pass
South

4 S

4 S South
S A J 3
H 8 6 4 2
D K 10 7
C A 10 4
S Q 5 4
H A K 9 3
D Q 8 5
C Q J 2
Table

You lead the H K, partner plays the queen, and South the seven.

Your next lead:  SHHDDC 2 TopMain

Problem 6

Matchpoints None Vul

West
You

Pass
Pass
Pass
North

1 C
1 NT
3 S
5 H
East

Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
South

1 S
3 H
4 NT
6 S (AP)

6 S South
S J 7 2
H A 7 3
D 10 3 2
C A K 8 2
S 9 6 5
H 8 2
D K Q 9 6
C Q 7 6 5
Table

You lead the D K, partner plays the four, and South the five.

Your next lead:  SHDDCC 5

To see how you did click

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© 2003 Richard Pavlicek