Challenge 7X49  MainAnalyses

# The House on Phantom Lane

Scores by Richard Pavlicek

Perhaps the midnight start time should have been a warning, but you accept an invitation to play in a home team game. The evening arrives, and you make the half-hour drive to 666 Phantom Lane, despite torrential rain and severe lightning. Oh, what a fool you were to agree to this!

Having no umbrella, you park as near as you can, run to the front porch and ring the doorbell. A grotesque, deformed man ushers you inside. Evidently mute, he hands you a table assignment and points to a sign saying “Bridge Upstairs.” As you ascend the stairs, you look back to meet the frightening gaze of his one good eye.

When you reach the card room, you are pleased to see some familiar faces. “Hey, Joe!” you shout, “Great to see you! Where’ve you been all these years?” Joe doesn’t notice you. Then you spot an old flame you lost contact with over 25 years ago. “Judy! Long time! You look as beautiful as the night we… um… first knew each other.” Strangely, Judy just continues her conversation with someone else.

Suddenly a voice bellows over the loudspeaker, “Game time! Find your places for a board-a-match Swiss: six teams, six rounds, six boards per round.” You sit South at Table 6. Joe and Judy are your first opponents, and your partner is Fritz, the man you met at the door.

Predictably, Fritz becomes your worst nightmare, taking a phantom sacrifice on every board, except the one he passes you in a cue-bid. None of the contracts can be made. Your goal as South is to salvage whatever you can for a chance to win or tie the board. Choose your play from options A-F, which are rated on a 1-to-10 scale per my judgment.

Assume Joe and Judy are good players (not experts) using standard bidding, leads and signals.
For a reference see Standard American Bridge. Your partner of course is an idiot.

In October 2003 these problems were presented as a contest with 690 entrants from 103 locations. The contest is closed, but you can still quiz yourself and find out your score immediately. If you’re blessed, you might even win a valuable prize.*

*Prizes include a sterling silver cross and a signed copy of “Satanic Bridge Verses” by Salmon Trustme.
Winners must be at least 98 years old. Employees of PavCo Exorcism Clinic are ineligible.

Enjoy your game with Fritz. If you don’t like his bidding, tell him to go to Hell. But be careful… You might already be there!

## Problem 1

 Board-a-match 3 West North East South E-W vul J 10 9 3 Joe Fritz Judy You Q J 10 9 2 1 Pass 2 2 8 4 3 3 4 Pass Pass 4 5 Dbl Pass Lead: K East plays 2 Pass Pass A 9 6 5 2 7 6 A K 5 4 3 5 × South 2

A. Win Q, duck a spade
D. Win K, A, ruff a spade

## Problem 2

 Board-a-match 2 West North East South None vul K 9 8 7 5 Joe Fritz Judy You J 4 3 Pass Pass 1 NT Q J 4 3 Pass 2 1 Pass 2 Dbl 4 Pass Pass Lead: A East plays 6 Pass 1. Jacoby A K Q 5 A 10 4 9 8 5 2 4 South K 2

D. Win K, A
E.  Win K, lead 5 and finesse 10

## Problem 3

 Board-a-match A 9 7 West North East South N-S vul 9 8 7 5 Joe Fritz Judy You J 2 Pass Pass K 10 9 7 1 Pass 1 NT 2 1 Pass Pass2 Pass Lead: K East plays 3 1. Michaels 2. Fritz no like Michaels K 10 8 6 4 A Q 10 8 6 5 2 South 4 3

Joe grins as he leads the K to your ace. Despite the horror, you might win the board! Your play?

A. Win K, A, lead 9
B. Win A, K, lead 5
F.  Lead 4 and finesse 10

## Problem 4

 Board-a-match 9 7 6 5 West North East South Both vul A 7 3 2 Joe Fritz Judy You A K 5 4 1 Dbl 1 7 2 2 3 Pass Pass 3 Pass Pass Lead: J East wins K Pass K Q J 8 8 6 4 9 6 3 3 South Q 6 4

East shifts to the 2 and your king wins (West plays 3). Your play?

B. Duck a heart
C. Win A-K
D. Duck a diamond
E.  Ruff a club, lead 2
F.  Ruff a club, win A-K

## Problem 5

 Board-a-match 9 6 5 2 West North East South None vul 5 4 Joe Fritz Judy You 8 7 5 4 3 Pass 1 9 4 Dbl 1 1 2 4 4 1 Pass Pass Lead: K East plays 9 Pass 1. Fritz like Yarborough A K 8 4 3 Q 6 2 4 South A K Q 6 2

West continues with the A (East plays 7). Your play?

A. Ruff, win A-K, A-K-Q
B. Ruff, win A, A-K-Q
C. Ruff, win A, A-K, lead 2
E.  Ruff, win A-K, lead 2
F.  Pitch a diamond

## Problem 6

 Board-a-match A 5 4 3 West North East South N-S vul J 10 Joe Fritz Judy You J 1 K Q J 10 9 8 Pass 1 4 Dbl Pass 5 Pass Pass Lead: 2 East wins Q Pass Q 10 2 6 5 4 A K 10 5 South A 5 3 2

East next cashes the K (West pitches 8) then leads the 9. Your play?

A. Win A, K-Q, A-K
B. Win A, K-Q, A, ruff heart
C. Win A, K-Q, run J
D. Win A, lead all trumps
E.  Cover with 10 and let West win jack
F.  Duck (let East win 9)

Note: When you draw trumps, West has two and East one.

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