Challenge 8X57 by Richard Pavlicek
Whatever your religious beliefs Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism or other you will certainly agree that Christians have more songs! We try to conceal this by calling some of them carols, but were not fooling anyone. Too many songs!
Most of the classics are pretty (despite some archaic lyrics); but now we have to put up with The Chipmunk Song, and Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer, and even dogs barking Jingle Bells. Enough already!
The title song is one of my all-time Christmas favorites, especially as recorded by the late Johnny Cash. His deep, bass voice inspires awe to the lyrics, making me shiver whenever I hear it. I wish I could replicate his artistry here.
Have you ever heard the bells at the bridge table? Keep your ears pealed for a clue to the winning play on these six problems. As South, choose your play from the options listed, each of which is 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. Assume all players are experts.
In December 2005 these six problems were presented as a contest with 1108 entrants from 119 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 a life-size statue of Giorgio Bell-adonna and a lifetime supply of Ding Dong dessert cakes. Winners must be at least18 years of age and certified bell captains. Employees of PavCo Ringers and Bell Telephone companies are ineligible.
And wild and sweet, the words repeat. Of peace on earth, good will to men. Now listen carefully
A. Win A; K; AB. Win A; K; run JC. Win A; AD. Win K; AE. Win K; lead J to aceF. Win K; run J
East returns the 9 to your king (West follows). What next?
A. Lead the KB. Lead the 3C. Ruff diamond; lead 4D. Ruff diamond; lead 5E. Finesse the QF. Finesse the 9
A. Win A; draw trumpsB. Win A; A; lead 5C. Win A; A; lead J to kingD. Win A; A; run JE. Win A; lead 2F. Duck the Q
West continues Q-10 (East plays 6-8) and you win the third round. How do you play clubs?
A. Win A; KB. Win A; run JC. Win A; finesse 10D. Win K; AE. Win K; run 10F. Win K; finesse J
After winning the K, what next?
A. Win A; run JB. Win K; AC. Win K; finesse JD. Lead the 8E. Duck a diamondF. Duck a club
A. Win A; run QB. Win A; run 10C. Win A; lead 10 to aceD. Win K; A; run QE. Win K; AF. Win K; lead 2
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Acknowledgments to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow whose 1864 poem inspired I Heard the Bells© 2005 Richard Pavlicek