Challenge 8X17 by Richard Pavlicek
Good morning, Mr. Phelps. Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to infiltrate the finals of the National Open Pairs. It seems our Director, one Barry Crane (pictured here with his twin bodyguards), has abandoned his position to pursue ACBL masterpoints. Mr. Crane must be stopped at all costs from winning this event.
Surveillance shows Mr. Crane always sits South, so it is important that you and your chosen IMF agents sit North-South, not only to ensure direct comparisons but to avoid personal contact that would arouse suspicion.
Mr. Crane is a shrewd operative, so you may have to recruit additional IMF members for this insurgence.
See if you qualify to become an IMF (Implausible Matchpoint Force) agent. As South on these six problems, choose your play from the options listed. Each option will be rated on a 1-to-10 scale per my judgment.
Bidding is standard, and your opponents use standard leads and signals. For a reference see Standard American Bridge. Assume your opponents are average tournament players.
In February 2005 these problems were presented as a contest with 1153 entrants from 118 locations around the world. The contest is closed, but you can still quiz yourself and find your score immediately. If youre lucky, you might even win a valuable prize.*
*Prizes include three master-of-disguise kits and a tryst at the IMF barracks with Cinnamon or Barney. Winners must beat least 18 years of age and have PIA Clearance Level 3. Employees of PavCo Intelligence Agency are ineligible.
As always, should you or any member of the I.M. Force fail on this mission, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.
This tape will self-destruct in five seconds
After winning the K, what next?
A. Win A; ruff spadeB. Win two trumps; A; ruff spadeC. Win two trumps; A; A; KD. Win two trumps; A-K; ruff diamondE. Win A-K; ruff diamondF. Duck a club
West continues with the 5 to Easts ace, and you ruff. What next?
A. Draw trumps; lead a diamondB. Win A; K; lead a diamondC. Win K; A; ruff heartD. Win K; A; A; QE. Win K; A; Q; AF. Lead a diamond
Note: Trumps split 3-2.
After winning the J, what next?
A. Lead the QB. Finesse the QC. Finesse the 10D. Win J; lead heart to kingE. Win J; lead heart to jackF. Run the club suit
You win the K and play the 10 from hand. What next?
A. Lead the QB. Lead the 3C. Lead the KD. Lead 3 to queenE. Lead 3 and finesse 10F. Lead the Q
1. subversion in action
You duck, and West shifts to the 4; two, eight, jack. What next?
A. Lead the QB. Lead the 5C. Lead the KD. Win A; ruff diamondE. Finesse the QF. Duck a club
Sorry, you wont score anything for 100 honors. Your play?
A. Win A; draw trumpsB. Win A; lead club to kingC. Win K; draw trumpsD. Win K; lead heartsE. Win K; lead club to aceF. Duck the first trick
To see how you did click
Acknowledgments to Mission: Impossible (1966-73) CBS Television andBarry Crane (1927-85) TV Director and matchpoint wizard of all time© 2005 Richard Pavlicek