Challenge 8X49 by Richard Pavlicek
On a dark, stormy night you seek shelter at a nearby castle, and knock on the door. No one answers. A light in the tower indicates someone is there, so you knock harder, Please! Let me in!
Go away! a voice shouts. The storm is almost at its peak, and I must not be disturbed. Power from the heavens is imminent. I beg you to go away!
Lightning bolts zap the castle, shaking the tower. Ten minutes later the door opens. Sorry, I was conducting an experiment, says Dr. Henry Frankenstein. Do you play bridge? I must test out my new partner. Come, we will play in the laboratory.
Youd agree to almost anything to get out of the storm and follow Henry to his laboratory, where he sits down opposite a hideous creature about seven feet tall! Please have a seat on my right, Henry says. 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.
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 least 18 years of age and be a Life Burgomaster in their NCBO. Employees of PavCo Body Parts are ineligible.
Warning! Sit back and lean to the left, not to see declarers hand but to stay clear of dummy. Its alive! Henry shrieks as he plans the play. Fritz! Put down that torch!
Fritz leads the 6; eight, two, 10. South next runs the J (Fritz plays 3). Your defense?
Fritz leads the 5; two, jack, ace. South next runs the Q (Fritz plays 4). Your defense?
Fritz leads the 3; two, nine, king. South leads the 4 (Fritz plays 6) to the queen. Your defense?
Fritz leads the 4; nine, 10, king. South leads the 9 (Fritz plays 4) to the queen. Your defense?
Fritz leads the 3; queen, seven, two. Declarer wins K, J (Fritz follows) and leads the 7 (Fritz plays 4) to the jack. Your defense?
Fritz leads the 6; two, jack, ace. South next runs the J (Fritz plays 2). Your defense?
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Acknowledgments to Mary Shelley (1797-1851)and the film Frankenstein (1931) by Universal Pictures.© 2005 Richard Pavlicek