Main   Challenge 8X17 by Richard Pavlicek  

Analyses    Scores  

Mission: Implausible

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 you’re 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 be
at 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

Problem 1

Matchpoints
N-S Vul
S A 6 5 3
H K J 9 7
D 5 2
C A 6 4
West

Pass
Pass
North

2 C
4 H
East
Pass
Pass
All Pass
South
1 NT
2 H
Lead: S 2TableEast plays S 10



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

After winning the S K, what next?

A. Win S A; ruff spade
B. Win two trumps; S A; ruff spade
C. Win two trumps; D A; S A; D K
D. Win two trumps; D A-K; ruff diamond
E. Win D A-K; ruff diamond
F. Duck a club

Problem 2

Matchpoints
E-W Vul
S A J 2
H 9 7 6 3
D Q 9 2
C Q 9 2
West

Pass
North

2 S
East

All Pass
South
1 S
Lead: H QTableEast plays H 8



2 S South
S K Q 10 7 6
H 2
D 5 4 3
C A K 5 4

West continues with the H 5 to East’s ace, and you ruff. What next?

A. Draw trumps; lead a diamond
B. Win S A; S K; lead a diamond
C. Win S K; S A; ruff heart
D. Win S K; S A; C A; C Q
E. Win S K; S A; C Q; C A
F. Lead a diamond

Note: Trumps split 3-2.

Problem 3

Matchpoints
Both Vul
S K 6
H 7 3 2
D A Q 10 7 5 2
C J 3
West

Pass
North

3 NT
East

All Pass
South
1 NT
Lead: S 4TableEast plays S 10



3 NT South
S Q J
H K J 10
D 6 4 3
C A K Q 10 2

After winning the S J, what next?

A. Lead the S Q
B. Finesse the D Q
C. Finesse the D 10
D. Win C J; lead heart to king
E. Win C J; lead heart to jack
F. Run the club suit

Problem 4

Matchpoints
N-S Vul
S A K 8 6 3
H Q 7 3
D K 8 6 3
C Q
West
3 C
Pass
North
Dbl
Pass
East
Pass
Pass
South
3 H
Lead: S 7TableEast plays S 2



3 H South
S J 10 9 5
H K J 10 8 4
D Q 10
C J 7

You win the S K and play the S 10 from hand. What next?

A. Lead the H Q
B. Lead the H 3
C. Lead the D K
D. Lead D 3 to queen
E. Lead D 3 and finesse 10
F. Lead the C Q

Problem 5

Matchpoints
E-W Vul
S K 3 2
H 9 5 3
D 7 5
C A Q 7 6 3
West

Dbl
Pass
North

Rdbl1
3 S
East

3 H
All Pass
South
2 S1
Dbl1
Lead: D KTableEast plays D 2



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

1. subversion in action

You duck, and West shifts to the S 4; two, eight, jack. What next?

A. Lead the S Q
B. Lead the S 5
C. Lead the H K
D. Win D A; ruff diamond
E. Finesse the C Q
F. Duck a club

Problem 6

Matchpoints
None Vul
S K 4
H A K Q 4
D 9 8 4 2
C A 10 5
West

Pass
Pass
North

2 NT
4 S
East

Pass
All Pass
South
1 S
3 S
Lead: C JTableEast plays C 3



4 S South
S A Q J 10 6
H 5 2
D A 7
C K 6 4 2

Sorry, you won’t score anything for 100 honors. Your play?

A. Win C A; draw trumps
B. Win C A; lead club to king
C. Win C K; draw trumps
D. Win C K; lead hearts
E. Win C K; lead club to ace
F. Duck the first trick

To see how you did click

TopMain

Acknowledgments to Mission: Impossible (1966-73) CBS Television and
Barry Crane (1927-85) TV Director and matchpoint wizard of all time
© 2005 Richard Pavlicek