Main   Challenge 7Y73 by Richard Pavlicek  

The Beast of Velvet Cave

Welcome, spelunkers! I will be your guide. Before we begin I must warn you to stay with the group; your safety cannot be assured if you stray into the catacombs. The temperature inside the cave is 44-45 degrees Fahrenheit, so wear a coat or jacket; and it’s dark down there, so keep your lanterns lit at all times. If you’re ready, follow me.

OK, OK, this is really a bidding challenge on six problems from a past tournament. The venue is my little secret for now, though you’re invited to guess from the clues. But don’t worry about that; just select your call as South on each problem.

In March of 2004 these problems were presented as a poll, with 1337 entrants from 122 locations. The poll is closed, but you can still try it as a quiz and find your score immediately. Analyses and tournament highlights are also available.

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

Please proceed with caution. If you select good bids, you have nothing to worry about — but then, I lie a lot. Bwa-ha-ha! Did I mention the dragon? TopMain

Problem 1

IMPs N-S Vul

Table
S A 8
H Q 9 6 2
D A K Q 4
C A 8 2

West

Pass
North

1 S
East

2 C
South
1 D
?

Your call:  Double (penalty)  2 H  2 NT  3 C  3 NT TopMain

Problem 2

IMPs None Vul

Table
S J
H K J 10 8 3
D K 6 5
C J 8 4 3

West
Pass
3 S*
North
1 C
Pass
East
1 S
Pass
South
Dbl
?
*weak

Your call:  Pass  Double (card-showing)  3 NT  4 C  4 H TopMain

Problem 3

IMPs E-W Vul

Table
S A 10
H J 9
D K Q J 6 3
C K J 6 2

West

Pass
North
1 S
3 D
East
Pass
Pass
South
2 D
?

Your call:  3 H  3 S  3 NT  4 C  4 D  4 S  5 D TopMain

Problem 4

IMPs None Vul

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

West

1 D
Pass
North

Dbl
2 S
East

Pass
Pass
South
Pass
2 D
?

Your call:  2 NT  3 D  3 H  3 S  3 NT  4 H  4 S TopMain

Problem 5

IMPs Both Vul

Table
S 4
H
D K J 7 5
C A Q J 10 6 5 4 3

West
Pass
4 S
North
1 D
Pass
East
1 S
5 C
South
2 C
?

Your call:  Pass  Double  5 D  5 S  5 NT  6 C  6 D TopMain

Problem 6

IMPs E-W Vul

Table
S J 4 2
H A K 9 8
D 9 6 4
C 10 9 8

West
Pass
North
1 NT
East
Pass
South
?

Indicate your call and intended follow-up if you use Stayman. (Choose one letter A-G)

  1. Pass
  2. 2 C then 2 NT or raise to 3 H
  3. 2 C then 2 NT or raise to 4 H
  4. 2 C then 3 NT or raise to 3 H
  5. 2 C then 3 NT or raise to 4 H
  6. 2 NT
  7. 3 NT

To see how you did click

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© 2004 Richard Pavlicek