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Wily Alvin Led USA in Tie

If you believe this title, you’d believe almost anything; but you can rest assured it’s not about Alvin and the Chipmunks. Try to keep your mind on bridge — Alvin Landy? I don’t think so — as you try this bidding challenge on six problems from a past tournament. The venue is for me to know and for you to find out, though you’re welcome to guess from the clues. But don’t worry about that; just select your call as South on each problem.

In January 2004 these problems were presented as a poll, with 1257 entrants from 122 locations.
The poll is closed, but you can still try it as a quiz and find your score immediately.

Assume both sides use Standard American bidding (unless noted otherwise) with 15-17 notrumps, five-card majors and weak two-bids. Object is to find the best call based on judgment so only basic conventions are allowed. For a system reference, see Standard American Bridge.

Are you ready to start the bidding tour? Then forget about Alvin, hop onto your bike and start pedaling. You’re only six brief stops from the finish line!

Problem 1

IMPsE-W VulYou, South, hold:
 
West
Pass
North
1 S
East
Pass
South
?
S K Q 7 2
H K J 8 5 4 3 2
D 7
C 2
 
Your call: 2 H  3 H  3 S  4 C (splinter)  4 D (splinter)  4 S  4 NT

Problem 2

IMPsBoth VulYou, South, hold:
 
West

Pass
Pass
Pass
North

2 NT
3 S
4 S
East

Pass
Pass
Pass
South
1 S
3 D
4 D
?
S K Q 8 7 4
H A 7
D A Q 7 6 3
C 10
 
Your call: Pass  4 NT  5 C  5 D  5 H  5 S  5 NT

Problem 3

IMPsN-S VulYou, South, hold:
 
West
Pass
North
1 H
East
2 D
South
?
S A J 7 5
H K J 3
D 10 5 4
C A 7 2
 
Your call: Double  2 S  3 C  3 D  3 H  4 H  5 H

Problem 4

IMPsBoth VulYou, South, hold:
 
West
North
3 D
East
Pass
South
?
S K 6
H A K Q 8 3
D K Q 8 5
C 10 9
 
Your call: Pass  3 H  3 NT  4 D  4 H  4 NT  5 D

Problem 5

IMPsN-S VulYou, South, hold:
 
West

Pass
Pass
North

2 C
3 NT
East

Pass
Pass
South
1 S
3 C
?
S K J 8 7 3
H 7
D K 8 2
C A K 6 5
 
Your call: Pass  4 C  4 D  4 H  4 S  4 NT  5 C

Problem 6

IMPsNone VulYou, South, hold:
 
West
North
East
South
?
S K
H J 8 7 4 3
D J
C K Q J 10 8 2
 

Preferred strategy 
as the dealer: 
A. Pass then Pass later
B. Pass then show two-suiter
C. Pass then bid clubs
D. Open 1 C
E. Open 1 H
F. Open 3 C
G. Open 4 C

To see how you did click

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© 2004 Richard Pavlicek