On a dark and stormy night you seek shelter at a nearby castle, and knock on the door. No one answers. A light in the tower suggests someone is there, so you pound harder and harder, Please! Open the door!
Go away! a voice shouts. The storm is almost at its peak, and I must not be disturbed. Power from the heavens is now imminent. I beg you to go away!
Lightning bolts zap the castle, shaking the tower. Ten minutes later the door opens. Sorry, I was doing an experiment, says Dr. Henry Frankenstein. Do you play bridge? I must test my new partner. Come! We will play in the laboratory.
Youd agree to almost anything to get out of the storm and follow Henry, where he sits down opposite a hideous creature about seven feet tall! Have a seat on my right, says Henry. My assistant will be your partner. Fritz? Come, Fritz! Were ready to play.
On these six problems, Dr. Frankenstein (South) is declarer and takes a finesse early in the play. As East, do you win the trick or duck? Choose your defense from the options listed. Each option will be rated on a 1-to-10 scale per my judgment.
Bidding is standard (or as noted). For a reference see Standard American Bridge. Dr. Frankenstein is an expert. Fritz, however, has about the same intellect as the monster, so dont put any faith in his signals. All he knows is to lead the proper spot card.
In October of 2005 these six problems were presented as a contest with 904 entrants from 114 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 six cerebellum transplants (certified normal) and a 12-step program in electroshock therapy. Winners must be at least18 years of age and a Life Burgomaster in their national bridge organization. Employees of PavCo Body Parts are ineligible.
Warning! Sit back and stay clear of dummy. Its alive! Henry shrieks as he plans the play. Fritz! Put down that torch!
1. Burgomaster transfer
A. Win Q; lead 4B. Win Q; lead 7C. Win Q; lead 9D. Win Q; lead 5E. Win Q; lead 3F. Duck smoothly
A. Win K; lead QB. Win K; lead 2C. Win K; lead 5D. Win K; lead 3E. Win K; lead 4F. Duck smoothly
A. Win K; lead 7B. Win K; lead 3C. Win K; lead JD. Win K; lead 4E. Win K; lead 10F. Duck smoothly
A. Win K; lead QB. Win K; lead 2C. Duck; next duck KD. Duck; win A; lead QE. Duck; win A; lead 2F. Duck; win A; lead 9
Note: If you duck Trick 2, declarer next leads the K.
A. Win K; lead JB. Win K; lead 9C. Win K; lead 8D. Win K; lead 5E. Win K; lead KF. Duck smoothly
A. Win K; lead 3B. Win K; lead 9C. Win K; lead QD. Win K; lead 4E. Win K; lead 10F. Duck smoothly
Click to see how you did
Acknowledgments to Mary Shelley (1797-1851) and the Universal film Frankenstein (1931)© 2005 Richard Pavlicek