Main   Challenge 8X25 by Richard Pavlicek  

Gamebusters!

If there’s somethin’ strange in your neighborhood… or your hopes to beat 3 NT don’t look too good… or you want to set 4 S but don’t see how you could…

Who ya gonna call? You damn sure got that right!

Alas, it seems the Gamebusters are out of town on another extermination job and won’t be available ‘til next month. This job is yours!

Grab your proton pack, activate your sensors, and see if you have what it takes to bust these six games. But be careful! You’re up against some powerful forces, and one false move could get you slimed.

As West, your opening lead is won by South, and at trick two you face a crucial decision. Do you duck or win? If you win, partner follows suit with the five; then what do you lead next? Just select your defense 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 all players are experts.

In April 2005 these six problems were presented as a contest with 964 entrants from 110 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 Columbia-84 gyromagnetosynthesizers, each with a high-yield proton cartridge. Winners must be at least 18 years of age and provide written proof of extrasensory conception. Employees of PavCo Paranormal Institute are ineligible.

Watch out! There on the ceiling! Ooh… that was close. You almost got slimed before you started. Take your time and be careful; you can’t trust anybody around here. TopMain

Problem 1

IMPs None Vul

West
You

1 S
Pass
North


Dbl
3 NT
East


Pass
All Pass
South

1 D
1 NT

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

You lead the S 4; three, queen, ace. South leads the H 4. Your defense?

  1. Play the H 3
  2. Play the H J
  3. Win H K; lead S K
  4. Win H K; lead H J
  5. Win H K; lead D 8
  6. Win H K; lead C 5
TopMain

Problem 2

IMPs Both Vul

West
You

Pass
All Pass
North


2 S
East


Pass
South

1 S
4 S

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

You lead the H Q; two, six, ace. South leads the C 9. Your defense?

  1. Play the C 4
  2. Play the C J
  3. Win C A; lead H J
  4. Win C A; lead D J
  5. Win C A; lead D 2
  6. Win C A; lead C 4
TopMain

Problem 3

IMPs N-S Vul

West
You

Pass
All Pass
North

1 S
2 H
East

Pass
Pass
South

2 D
3 NT

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

You lead the C 10; two, four, king. South leads the H 6. Your defense?

  1. Play the H 3
  2. Play the H J
  3. Win H A; lead S K
  4. Win H A; lead S 10
  5. Win H A; lead C Q
  6. Win H A; lead C 9
TopMain

Problem 4

IMPs E-W Vul

West
You

1 H
2 H
North


Dbl
4 S
East


Pass
All Pass
South

1 C
1 S

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

You lead the H K; five, three, ace. South leads the S 2. Your defense?

  1. Play the S 6
  2. Play the S J
  3. Win S K; lead H 2
  4. Win S K; H Q; lead H J
  5. Win S K; H Q; lead D Q
  6. Win S K; H Q; lead D 4
TopMain

Problem 5

IMPs Both Vul

West
You

Pass
Pass
North


2 C
3 NT
East


Pass
All Pass
South

1 NT
2 H

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

You lead the H 6; three, 10, ace. South leads the D 3. Your defense?

  1. Play the D 2
  2. Play the D 9
  3. Win D Q; lead S J
  4. Win D Q; lead H Q
  5. Win D Q; lead H 5
  6. Win D Q; lead C 5
TopMain

Problem 6

IMPs N-S Vul

West
You
1 H
All Pass
North

Dbl
East

4 H
South

4 S

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

You lead the H K; six, two, ace. South leads the S 10. Your defense?

  1. Play the S 4
  2. Play the S Q
  3. Win S A; lead S Q
  4. Win S A; lead S 4
  5. Win S A; lead H Q
  6. Win S A; lead C 6

To see how you did click

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Acknowledgments to Ghostbusters (1984) and Columbia Pictures
© 2005 Richard Pavlicek