Puzzle 8N85 by Richard Pavlicek
Bridge tournaments used to run smoothly; boards were duplicated by people, and scores were hand-written on pickup slips. Now its a circus; boards are duplicated by machine, and scores are entered into electronic devices. Never in the history of bridge have there been more fouled boards and scoring errors.
Fortunately, whats bad for bridge can be good for a bridge puzzle, at least when coupled with a warped mind. As a case in point, lets follow Board 13 from the Open Pairs at the Key West Regional.
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Board 13 in Section A:
A finessers dream! Declarer wins the diamond cheaply and finesses seven more times to reach A-4 4 A-5 opposite A-5 A-4 4. Then he has the option to squeeze either opponent for a 13th trick; red aces squeeze West, or black aces squeeze East. The same finesses also allow 12 tricks in either major, but no 13th of course with a sure trump loser.
So what, you ask? Well, heres the identical Board 13 in Section B:
The East-West hands are the same, but North-South are entirely different, and this time ugly for declarer. Instead of four overtricks, 3 NT is now set two tricks with perfect defense: diamond lead ducked; heart finesse lost to East, then a spade shift and continuations ruin declarers communication. Major-suit games fare miserably as well, with 4 down three, and 4 down four.
But wait, theres more! I was in Section C, and my Board 13 had North-South rearranged again and remarkably so, as the only makable game was four spades. Alas, Ive lost the hand record! I wrote the ACBL for another copy, but they disavow any knowledge, not only of this event but in general. Perhaps you can help restore it. There were no void suits; I remember that.
Construct a South hand with which 3 NT and 4 both fail, but 4 makes.
Now for the easy part: You dont need to analyze the play! Just enter a South hand and click Verify for an instant analysis of each contract.
Multiple solutions exist. Tiebreaking goals are (1) for North-South to have the lowest freakness, and (2) for South to have the most HCP, in that order of priority.
If desired, you may submit your solution using the form below. This may be done only once, and doing so will add your name to the successful solvers list, ranked according to the tiebreakers. You will also receive an automatic reply with a copy of your solution and what Richard believes is the optimal solution.
© 2018 Richard Pavlicek