All eyes turn to Turin this month, as the 20th Winter Olympics take center stage. Alas, noticeably missing this time will be bridge, an exhibition sport in Salt Lake City (2002). I have a plan to bring it back.
If Bill Gates and Warren Buffet can start a program to teach bridge in schools, I can do the same for biathlon, and when combined these two sports will have much greater appeal. Think about it! A player like Meckstroth may seem formidable today, but imagine if he were packin a rod and a Rodwell.
Biathlon will be required in all Phys-Ed courses from the fifth grade upward. By the time students reach high school, theyll be competent skiers and marksmen, and those who excel can pursue bridge. What about students living in warm areas like Florida? No problem! They can tote their rifles on skateboards.
You too can be a bridge biathlete, and you dont even have to cross-dress. Start as West on Problem 1; ski over to East for Problem 2; back to West, etc. At each stop, your target is to shoot down the contract. Aim well, and choose your defense from the options listed. Each option 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 February 2006 these six problems were presented as a contest with 1053 entrants from 111 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 two lifetime free entries in WBF Biathlon Knockouts and eight cases of .22 long rifle ammunition. Winners must beat least 18 years of age and carry $100,000 life insurance with PavCo beneficiary. Void where not prohibited by law.
Don your skis and load your rifle! The first bridge biathlon is about to begin. On your mark! Set! Go!
Your next lead: Q 3 2 5 J 6
Your next lead: 4 A 6 3 K 5
Your next lead: 10 5 J 2 Q 3
A. Overtake; lead QB. Overtake; lead 6C. Overtake; run heartsD. Overtake; lead 9E. Overtake; lead 10F. Play the 10
Your next lead: K Q 8 3 A 2
A. Win K; lead JB. Win K; lead 2C. Win K; lead 10D. Win K; lead 7E. Win K; lead 4F. Duck smoothly
Note: South plays the 3 at Trick 1.
Click to see how you did
© 2006 Richard Pavlicek