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Island of the Coconuts

Two bridge teams are stranded on an island and decide to play for coconuts. Each IMP is worth seven coconuts, which are converted to palm points on a 25-nut scale, reduced by the logarithm of the difference. Got that? After 88 deals the losing team is covered in a white, pulpy residue. What color is the winner? Oh, never mind.

Whether the above slice of Americana means anything or not, I invite you to try these six bidding problems from a past tournament. Perhaps my clues will help you guess the venue, but don’t worry about that. As South, simply select your call.

In January 2006 these problems were presented as a poll, with 1603 entrants from 126 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.

Now forget about coconuts, and just try to keep from going plain nuts as you tackle these problems.

Problem 1

IMPsBoth VulYou, South, hold:
 
West
Pass
North
Pass
East
1 C
South
?
S 9 5 4
H A K J 9
D Q 5 3
C K J 8
 
Your call: Pass  Double  1 H  1 NT

Problem 2

IMPsE-W VulYou, South, hold:
 
West

2 H
North
Pass
Pass
East
Pass
Pass
South
1 S
?
S A K J 9 6
H A J 7
D 10
C Q J 8 3
 
Your call: Pass  Double  2 S  2 NT  3 C

Problem 3

IMPsE-W VulYou, South, hold:
 
West
Pass
2 S
North
Pass
3 C
East
1 S
Pass
South
2 H
?
S A Q 6
H A J 9 7 6 4
D A J 8
C 9
 
Your call: Pass  3 D  3 H  3 S  3 NT  4 H

Problem 4

IMPsNone VulYou, South, hold:
 
West
Pass
1 NT
North
Pass
Dbl
East
1 S1
2 H
South
Pass
?
S K 9 8 6 4 3
H
D Q 6 3
C A K J 8
 

1. 4+ cards

Your call: Pass  2 S  3 C  3 H  3 S  4 C

Problem 5

IMPsN-S VulYou, South, hold:
 
West

Pass
2 D
2 H
North

1 S
Dbl
Pass
East

Dbl
Pass
Pass
South
Pass
Rdbl
Pass
?
S A K 9
H Q 9 2
D 9 8 7
C K 8 3 2
 
Your call: Double  2 S  2 NT  3 D  3 H  3 S  3 NT

Problem 6

IMPsNone VulYou, South, hold:
 
West

Pass
North

1 S
East

Pass
South
?
?
S
H K Q 5 4 3
D 5
C A 10 9 7 6 4 3
 

Your two calls: A. Pass then 2 C (natural)
B. Pass then 2 H
C. 1 C then 2 C
D. 1 C then 2 H
E. 1 H then 2 C

To see how you did click

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© 2006 Richard Pavlicek