Main     Quiz 8L02 by Richard Pavlicek    

Calling a Spade a Spade

Playing against Sam Spade, you find yourself on lead against 10 straight spade contracts. Choose the best leads and you’ll win a priceless black bird, or at least a few falcon IMPs. Decide your lead, then compare your choice with two experts who faced the same situation in real life and led differently. For fun, keep track of your IMPs won and lost. If you’re plus after 10 boards, you’re a falcon hero!

Problem 1

IMPs Both Vul

West
Pass
Rdbl
Dbl
North
Pass
Pass
All Pass
East
1 H
Pass
South
Dbl
1 S

S K J 8 2
H A 9
D K 6 5 2
C 10 9 6
Table

Against 1 S×, what do you lead?









In Real Life

1997 Team Trials Playoff: Nickell vs Katz

Both Vul
S Q 10 5
H 8 6 2
D J 9 7 4
C J 8 5
S K J 8 2
H A 9
D K 6 5 2
C 10 9 6
TableS 7 6
H Q J 10 5 4 3
D A 8
C A Q 7
1 S× SouthS A 9 4 3
H K 7
D Q 10 3
C K 4 3 2

Nickell of Nickell led the C 10 (down 2 +500) +7 IMPs.
Other winning leads: S 8-2 D K-6-5-2 C 9-6 +7 IMPs.

Katz of Katz led the H A (down 1 +200) -7 IMPs.
Other losing leads: S K-J H 9 -7 IMPs.

To keep score, find the IMP result of your lead and keep a running total. If your lead is unlisted, it is mediocre (worse than the winners but better than the losers) so take a push (0 IMPs). Goal is to finish plus.

Quit

Problem 2

IMPs E-W Vul

West

Pass
Pass
North

1 NT
2 S
East

Pass
All Pass
South
1 S
2 H

S K 10 6 5
H K J 9 4
D 7 6 5
C K 4
Table

Against 2 S, what do you lead?









In Real Life

2000 USBC Semifinal: Nickell vs Jacobs

E-W Vul
S 8 3
H 5 3
D A 10 4 2
C Q 10 6 5 2
S K 10 6 5
H K J 9 4
D 7 6 5
C K 4
TableS J 9
H A 7 2
D J 9 8
C A J 8 7 3
2 S SouthS A Q 7 4 2
H Q 10 8 6
D K Q 3
C 9

H.Weinstein of Jacobs led the D 5 (down 2 +100) +2 IMPs.
Other winning leads: H 4 D 7-6 C 4 +2 IMPs.

Hamman of Nickell led the C K (down 1 +50) -2 IMPs.
Other losing leads: S K-10-6-5 H K-J-9 -2 IMPs.

Quit

Problem 3

IMPs N-S Vul

West

Pass
All Pass
North

2 H
East

Pass
South
1 NT
2 S

S 9 4
H K 8 3 2
D K Q 10
C 9 8 4 2
Table

Against 2 S, what do you lead?









In Real Life

2001 Bermuda Bowl Final: Norway vs USA

N-S Vul
S J 10 6 5 2
H 9 7 4
D 9 8 5 3
C A
S 9 4
H K 8 3 2
D K Q 10
C 9 8 4 2
TableS A K 8 7
H A J 10
D J 6 4
C 10 7 3
2 S SouthS Q 3
H Q 6 5
D A 7 2
C K Q J 6 5

Helgemo of Norway led the D K (down 2 +200) +7 IMPs.
Other winning leads: S 9-4 H 8-3-2 D Q-10 +7 IMPs.

Sontag of USA led the C 9 (made 2 -110) -7 IMPs.
Other losing leads: H K C 8-4-2 -7 IMPs.

Quit

Problem 4

IMPs N-S Vul

West

2 H
All Pass
North

Dbl
East

3 H
South
Pass
3 S

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

Against 3 S, what do you lead?









In Real Life

2002 USBC Semifinal: Welland vs Schwartz

N-S Vul
S K 8 6
H K 8 4
D A 5 2
C A J 9 8
S J 2
H A 9 7 6 5 2
D 10 6 3
C K 3
TableS A Q 7 5
H J 10 3
D 9 7
C Q 7 6 4
3 S SouthS 10 9 4 3
H Q
D K Q J 8 4
C 10 5 2

Berkowitz of Schwartz led the D 3 (down 1 +100) +6 IMPs.
Other winning leads: S J-2 H A D 10-6 C K-3 +6 IMPs.

Gitelman of Welland led the H 7 (made 3 -140) -6 IMPs.
Other losing leads: H 9-6-5-2 -6 IMPs.

Quit

Problem 5

IMPs None Vul

West

Pass
North

Pass
East
1 C
Pass
South
2 S

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

Against 2 S, what do you lead?









In Real Life

2004 Vanderbilt Final: Schwartz vs Jacobs

None Vul
S A 8
H J 9 5 3
D 9
C K Q J 8 4 3
S J 9
H K Q 4
D K 10 8 5 4 3
C 10 6
TableS K 7 3
H A 8 6 2
D J 7
C A 9 7 2
2 S SouthS Q 10 6 5 4 2
H 10 7
D A Q 6 2
C 5

Versace of Jacobs led the H K (down 2 +100) +5 IMPs.
Other winning leads: S J-9 H Q +5 IMPs.

Robinson of Schwartz led the C 10 (made 2 -110) -5 IMPs.
Other losing leads: H 4 D K-10-8-5-4-3 C 6 -5 IMPs.

Quit

Problem 6

IMPs N-S Vul

West
1 D
2 C
North
Pass
2 S
East
1 H
All Pass
South
1 S

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

Against 2 S, what do you lead?









In Real Life

2004 USBC Quarterfinal: Nickell vs Cayne

N-S Vul
S J 6 5
H K 10 9 7
D 10 8
C K J 6 3
S 2
H Q 4
D A Q 9 6 2
C A 9 8 4 2
TableS Q 10 7 4
H A J 8 3 2
D 7
C 10 7 5
2 S SouthS A K 9 8 3
H 6 5
D K J 5 4 3
C Q

Lazard of Cayne led the H Q (down 3 +300) +5 IMPs.
Other winning leads: H 4 C A +5 IMPs.

Hamman of Nickell led the C 2 (down 1 +100) -5 IMPs.
Other losing leads: D Q-9-6-2 C 9-8-4 -5 IMPs.

Quit

Problem 7

IMPs None Vul

West

Pass
Pass
North
Pass
1 NT
4 S
East
Pass
Pass
All Pass
South
1 S
3 S

S 8 6 5
H A Q 10 5
D K 9
C 9 8 7 5
Table

Against 4 S, what do you lead?









In Real Life

2004 Olympiad Quarterfinal: Ireland vs Netherlands

None Vul
S 10 3
H K J 8 7 6
D Q 6 3 2
C K 2
S 8 6 5
H A Q 10 5
D K 9
C 9 8 7 5
TableS J 4
H 9 4 2
D A 10 7 4
C Q J 10 4
4 S SouthS A K Q 9 7 2
H 3
D J 8 5
C A 6 3

McGann of Ireland led the D K (down 1 +50) +10 IMPs.
Other winning leads: H A +10 IMPs.

Brink of Netherlands led the S 6 (made 4 -420) -10 IMPs.
Other losing leads: S 8-5 H Q-10-5 D 9 C 9-8-7-5 -10 IMPs.

Quit

Problem 8

IMPs Both Vul

West

Pass
All Pass
North
1 D
2 S
East
Pass
Pass
South
1 S
4 S

S 5 3
H 9 8 6 4
D 4 2
C A 10 9 7 4
Table

Against 4 S, what do you lead?









In Real Life

2009 USBC Round of 16: Robinson vs Strul

Both Vul
S A K 8
H 10 7 5 2
D A 10 9 7 5
C K
S 5 3
H 9 8 6 4
D 4 2
C A 10 9 7 4
TableS J 7 6
H A Q 3
D Q 8 6
C 6 5 3 2
4 S SouthS Q 10 9 4 2
H K J
D K J 3
C Q J 8

Boyd of Robinson led the H 6 (made 4 -620) +2 IMPs.
Other winning leads: H 9-8-4 C A +2 IMPs.

Stansby of Strul led the D 4 (made 6 -680) -2 IMPs.
Other losing leads: S 5-3 D 2 C 10-9-7-4 -2 IMPs.

Quit

Problem 9

IMPs Both Vul

West

Pass
Pass
All Pass
North

3 H
4 D
East
Pass
Pass
Pass
South
2 NT
3 S
4 S

S 8 7 2
H A 9 7 6 3
D 8 7
C J 9 4
Table

Against 4 S, what do you lead?









In Real Life

2009 Bermuda Bowl Final: USA2 vs Italy

Both Vul
S Q J 6 4 3
H 8
D Q J 6 4
C A 6 5
S 8 7 2
H A 9 7 6 3
D 8 7
C J 9 4
TableS 9 5
H 10 5 4
D 9 5 3 2
C K Q 3 2
4 S SouthS A K 10
H K Q J 2
D A K 10
C 10 8 7

Meckstroth of USA2 led the C 4 (made 4 -620) +2 IMPs.
Other winning leads: C J-9 +2 IMPs.

Duboin of Italy led the S 2 (made 6 -680) -2 IMPs.
Other losing leads: S 8-7 H A-9-7-6-3 D 8-7 -2 IMPs.

Quit

Problem 10

IMPs N-S Vul

West

Dbl
All Pass
North

Pass
East
1 C
2 H
South
1 S
2 S

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

Against 2 S, what do you lead?









In Real Life

2009 Bermuda Bowl Qualifying: Argentina vs Brazil

N-S Vul
S 5
H J 9 8 5
D Q J 8 7 4
C A 6 2
S J 7 3
H Q 7 6 4
D 6 5
C K J 10 7
TableS 10 9 8
H A K 3 2
D A 9 2
C Q 8 4
2 S SouthS A K Q 6 4 2
H 10
D K 10 3
C 9 5 3

Pellegrini of Argentina led the C 10 (made 3 -140) +2 IMPs.
Other winning leads: H Q-7-6-4 C K-J-7 +2 IMPs.

Chagas of Brazil led the S 3 (made 5 -200) -2 IMPs.
Other losing leads: S J-7 D 6-5 -2 IMPs.

Winning leads are determined from the actual deal and are not necessarily correct in theory or the long run. To qualify as an “other winning lead” it must fare at least as well as the actual winning lead if both are judged on a double-dummy basis. Similarly, “other losing leads” fare at least as badly as the actual losing lead. Results and IMP scores are from actual play, not double-dummy.

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Credits to Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) and The Maltese Falcon.
Photo is Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade in the 1941 movie classic.
© 2009 Richard Pavlicek