After a harrowing experience in Marrakech, you arrive in London to search for your kidnapped son. You hail a cab and shout, Scotland Yard! Hurry! Alas, the Arabic driver has other ideas. The doors lock shut, and you are whisked away to the Moroccan Embassy.
Welcome, Dr. and Mrs. McKenna, the Ambassador flaunts, as he takes Jos hand. What a pleasure to meet you! Ive heard a lot about your bridge exploits and trust youll have time for a few rubbers.
You see right through the Ambassadors scheme, of course, but his armed guards are very real. It looks like youll have to play along. This could be your last hurrah, so you decide to let it all out and bid for the sky.
The foreign intrigue mounts! The Ambassador is incensed by your overbids, and you may have to make each contract to be released from the Embassy. Choose your plays from Options A-F, each of which will be rated on a 1-to-10 scale per my judgment.
Bidding is standard, and opponents use standard leads and signals. For a reference see Standard American Bridge. The Ambassador (West) and General (East) are good players but not experts.
In August 2005 these six problems were presented as a contest with 897 entrants from 113 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 the entire Hitchcock archive on microfilm, and lifetime free burgers at the Marrakech McDonalds (sorry, no fries with that).Winners must be at least 18 years of age and born in the 21st Century. Employees of PavCo Internet Scams are ineligible.
Good luck in your quest! The bidding may make you ill, but remember: The futures not ours to see
What will be, will be.
You play the 10 to force the ace, which you ruff. What next?
A. Win A; finesse JB. Win A; KC. Win A; lead 3D. Lead the 3E. Win A; finesse JF. Win K; A; finesse J
After making a travesty of Jacoby transfers, how do you play?
A. Win K; A (unblock 9)B. Win K; A (play 2)C. Win K; lead 4D. Win Q; lead QE. Win Q; lead 10F. Win Q; lead 2
1. four sixes = 24 divided by 8 HCP = 3 NT
East shifts to the J (West will play the 5). Your play?
A. Win Q; duck a heartB. Win Q; K (both follow); duck a heartC. Win Q; K (both follow); AD. Win Q; K (both follow); AE. Win Q; K (both follow); lead 4F. Duck the J
Your 1 bid must be an audition for Psycho. Your play?
A. Win Q; lead 2B. Win A; run JC. Win A; finesse 10D. Win A; lead 5E. Win A; run diamondsF. Win A; K-Q
1. trying to stop a club lead2. a little reinforcement
You win four trumps ending in hand, as only clubs are pitched. What next?
A. Lead your last trumpB. Win Q; A-KC. Win Q; QD. Win Q; finesse 10E. Win Q; finesse 10F. Win Q; A-K
1. partner always has nice dummies
When the Ambassador sees dummy, he calls for the guards.Before they can cuff you, you grab the A, and then?
A. Lead J and pitch a heartB. Lead 8 (East plays low) and pitch a heartC. Ruff three spades; exit with a heartD. Ruff two spades; run trumpsE. Lead the 4F. Lead the 2
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Acknowledgments to Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980) and The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)© 2005 Richard Pavlicek