Main   Challenge 8X25 by Richard Pavlicek  

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Gamebusters!

If there’s somethin’ strange in your neighborhood… Who ya gonna call?

Wanna beat their game but don’t see how you could…  Who ya gonna call?

You damn sure got that right! Alas, the Gamebusters are out of town on an extermination job and won’t be available ‘til next month. This job is yours! Grab your proton pack, activate the sensors, and see if you can bust these six games. But be careful! You’re up against some powerful forces, and one false step could get you slimed.

As West, your opening lead is won by South, and you face a crucial decision at trick two. Will you win or duck? And if you win, what will you lead next? (Assume partner follows suit with the five if it matters.) Choose your defense from the options listed, which 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 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 proof of extrasensory conception. Employees of PavCo Paranormal Institute are ineligible.

Watch out! Up on the ceiling! Ooh… that was close. You almost got slimed before you started.

Problem 1

IMPs
None Vul
S 9 6 3
H Q 9 7 2
D A K 4 3
C A 8
You
West

1 S
Pass
 
North

Dbl
3 NT
 
East

Pass
All Pass
 
South
1 D
1 NT
S K 10 8 4 2
H K J 3
D 8 6
C K 9 5
Table3 NT South

Trick
1 W
2 S
Lead
S 4
H 4
2nd
3
?
3rd
Q
4th
A

A. Play the H 3
B. Play the H J
C. Win H K; lead S K
D. Win H K; lead H J
E. Win H K; lead D 8
F. Win H K; lead C 5

Problem 2

IMPs
Both Vul
S Q 10 7 5
H 4 2
D Q 5 3
C Q 10 7 2
You
West

Pass
All Pass
 
North

2 S
 
East

Pass
 
South
1 S
4 S
S 4
H Q J 10 3
D J 8 6 2
C A J 8 4
Table4 S South

Trick
1 W
2 S
Lead
H Q
C 9
2nd
2
?
3rd
6
4th
A

A. Play the C 4
B. Play the C J
C. Win C A; lead H J
D. Win C A; lead D J
E. Win C A; lead D 2
F. Win C A; lead C 4

Problem 3

IMPs
N-S Vul
S Q 9 7 5 3
H Q 9 7 2
D A 5
C A 2
You
West

Pass
All Pass
 
North
1 S
2 H
 
East
Pass
Pass
 
South
2 D
3 NT
S K 10 4
H A J 10 3
D 6 4 3
C Q 10 9
Table3 NT South

Trick
1 W
2 S
Lead
C 10
H 6
2nd
2
?
3rd
4
4th
K

A. Play the H 3
B. Play the H J
C. Win H A; lead S K
D. Win H A; lead S 10
E. Win H A; lead C Q
F. Win H A; lead C 9

Problem 4

IMPs
E-W Vul
S Q 9 8 3
H 7 5
D A 10 8
C A K 7 5
You
West

1 H
2 H
 
North

Dbl
4 S
 
East

Pass
All Pass
 
South
1 C
1 S
S K J 10 6
H K Q J 10 6 2
D Q 9 4
C
Table4 S South

Trick
1 W
2 S
Lead
H K
S 2
2nd
5
?
3rd
3
4th
A

A. Play the S 6
B. Play the S J
C. Win S K; lead H 2
D. Win S K; H Q; lead H J
E. Win S K; H Q; lead D Q
F. Win S K; H Q; lead D 4

Problem 5

IMPs
Both Vul
S Q 6 4 2
H 4 3
D J 6 4
C A K Q 6
You
West

Pass
Pass
 
North

2 C
3 NT
 
East

Pass
All Pass
 
South
1 NT
2 H
S J 10 8 7
H Q J 7 6 5
D Q 9 2
C 5
Table3 NT South

Trick
1 W
2 S
Lead
H 6
D 3
2nd
3
?
3rd
10
4th
A

A. Play the D 2
B. Play the D 9
C. Win D Q; lead S J
D. Win D Q; lead H Q
E. Win D Q; lead H 5
F. Win D Q; lead C 5

Problem 6

IMPs
N-S Vul
S K 8 3 2
H 6
D A K 8 7 5
C K 10 8
You
West
1 H
Pass
 
North
Dbl
Pass
 
East
4 H
Pass
 
South
4 S
S A Q J 4
H K Q 10 8 4
D Q 10 9
C 6
Table4 S South

Trick
1 W
2 S
Lead
H K
S 10
2nd
6
?
3rd
2
4th
A

A. Play the S 4
B. Play the S Q
C. Win S A; lead S Q
D. Win S A; lead S 4
E. Win S A; lead H Q
F. Win S A; lead C 6

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