Main   Challenge 8X01 by Richard Pavlicek  

Horrors of the Wax Museum

Welcome! You are about to see the world’s most lifelike creations in wax. Before we begin the tour, I must warn you not to touch the figures. The realism may seem astounding at times, but you’ll have to trust me: They’re all wax. The highlight of our tour is the Chamber of Horrors, where you will see six exhibits on the art of self-defense. Cameras are forbidden, and stay with the group. This way, please.

As West, after making your opening lead you suspect that South (a wax robot, or lady, you can’t be sure) has perpetrated a horror in the early play. Your goal is to find the best defense to capitalize; but please, no capital crimes. This is a family web site, so the body count must be kept to a minimum. Just select your next lead from the options listed. Each option will be rated on a 1-to-10 scale, per my judgment.

Bidding is standard, and you use standard leads and signals. For a reference, see my outline of Standard American Bridge. Assume partner is an expert, but declarer could be horribly deranged.

In October 2004 these problems were presented as a contest with 902 entrants from 111 locations around the world. The contest is closed, but you can still quiz yourself and find your score immediately. If you’re lucky, you might even win a valuable prize.*

*Prizes include a wax bust of Madame Tussauds and an 18th century guillotine, converted for safety into a PavCo Slice-o-Matic. Winners must be at least 18 years of age and wear a waxed mustache. Prizes are void where prohibited by law, or wherever such prohibitions do not exist.

Are you ready for the Chamber? As you pass Marie Antoinette, you will see a table. Be sure to sit West, away from the guillotine, and relax! The last two groups made it through just fine. This way, please. TopMain

Problem 1

IMPs None Vul

West
You

Pass
North


3 NT
East


All Pass
South
Wax Lady
1 NT

3 NT South
S 10 2
H 9 3
D A Q J 9 2
C Q J 10 5
S Q J 9 5
H K J 7 2
D 6 3
C K 9 4
Table

You lead the S Q, partner plays the seven, and South the three.

Your next lead:  SSHHDC 4 TopMain

Problem 2

IMPs Both Vul

West
You

Pass
North

1 C
3 NT
East

Pass
All Pass
South
Wax Lady
1 NT

3 NT South
S Q 9 2
H A Q J 10
D A 4 3
C A J 10
S J 10 8 7
H 9 7 4
D K J 7
C K 9 3
Table

You lead the S J; queen, king, ace. South leads the D 5 to the ace (partner plays D 2) then the D 3 (partner plays D 10) to the queen and your king.

Your next lead:  S 10  SHDCC 3 TopMain

Problem 3

IMPs N-S Vul

West
You
1 S
Dbl
Pass
North

2 C
Pass
3 H
East

Pass
2 S
All Pass
South
Wax Lady
2 H
Pass

3 H South
S 5 3
H J 8 5
D Q 4
C A K Q 9 6 4
S K Q 10 8 4
H A K 3
D A 10 5
C J 2
Table

You lead the S K, partner plays the six, and South the ace. South leads the H 2, you play the king, and partner the four.

Your next lead:  SSDDCC 2 TopMain

Problem 4

IMPs N-S Vul

West
You

Dbl
All Pass
North

1 NT
Pass
East

Pass
Pass
South
Wax Lady
4 H*
4 S
*Texas transfer

4 S South
S K 10 3
H A 8 2
D A 8 3
C A J 6 2
S A
H Q J 10 9 6 5
D Q J
C K 10 8 7
Table

You lead the H Q, partner plays the four, and South wins the king. South leads the S J to your ace, and partner plays the six.

Your next lead:  HH 10  HDCC 10 TopMain

Problem 5

IMPs None Vul

West
You
1 H
Dbl
North

1 NT
All Pass
East

Pass
South
Wax Lady
5 C

5 C× South
S K 8 6
H A J 6 2
D A Q 3
C Q J 2
S A Q J 10
H K Q 9 7 5
D K 9 2
C A
Table

You lead the H K, won by the ace; partner plays the three, and South the 10. Declarer next ruffs the H 2 (partner plays H 4) with the C 6, then leads the S 3 to your ace (partner plays S 2).

Your next lead:  SHHDDC A TopMain

Problem 6

IMPs E-W Vul

West
You

Pass
All Pass
North


4 NT
East


Pass
South
Wax Lady
1 NT
6 NT

6 NT South
S A 4
H K 5 3
D A Q 4 3
C K 8 4 2
S J 10 3
H Q 4
D J 10 9 7
C J 10 6 5
Table

You lead the D J, partner plays the six, and South wins the king. South leads the H J to North’s king, then the H 3 to the 10 and your queen (partner plays H 2 then H 6).

Your next lead:  SS 10  D 10  DCC 5

To see how you did click

TopMain

Acknowledgments to Warner Bros. House of Wax (1953) with Vincent Price.
© 2004 Richard Pavlicek