Alcatraz! Isolated in the cold, turbulent waters of San Francisco Bay, the infamous American prison now sleeps. From 1934 to 1962, The Rock was a Federal Penitentiary, housing some of the most notorious thugs, such as Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly.
Heralded as inescapable, the daring epithet was challenged many times the bloodiest attempt coming in 1946, which was depicted in the 1987 film with the above title.
Apparently it proved to be true, as no one ever escaped at least according to official records. Bodies of many who tried were never recovered but declared dead, presumably from drowning. But I wonder. Did any of them actually make it?
Now its your turn to try to escape from The Rock. Plan your moves carefully on these six problems, and you wont be declared dead. Choose your play from the options listed, 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. Assume all players are experts.
In April 2006 these six problems were presented as a contest with 1056 entrants from 115 locations. 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 four-star luxury cell at nearby San Quentin (still open for business), complete with semiprivate toilet and cell phone.Winners must be at least 18 years of age with a felony record. Employees of PavCo Mafia Enterprises are ineligible.
Oh no! Your escape attempt has been detected, and the sirens are blaring. Theres only one chance: Hit the water and swim!
A. Win 9; lead spade to queenB. Win 9; lead spade to nineC. Win 9; A; K; ruff club highD. Win 10; 9; lead spade to queenE. Win 10; lead diamond to queenF. Win 10; lead diamond to nine
East continues K-A (West plays 7-3) and you ruff low. What next?
A. Win A; K; lead spadeB. Win A; K; A-K; ruff heartC. Win A; lead J and duck queenD. Finesse the JE. Win A-K; ruff heartF. Win A-K; lead diamond
East returns the 10 then 8, as you hold up your ace.What do you pitch from dummy, and what next?
A. Pitch 10; win AB. Pitch 10; win K; finesse QC. Pitch 10; win K; run 10D. Pitch 2; run 9E. Pitch 2; lead spade to jackF. Pitch 2; lead spade to eight
After winning the A, what next?
A. Lead the QB. Lead 7 to the kingC. Win K; lead heart to queenD. Win K; lead heart to 10E. Lead 2 to the kingF. Lead 2 to the jack
You play low from dummy and ruff in hand. What next?
A. Duck a spadeB. Win A-K-J-10; duck spadeC. Win A; all trumpsD. Win Q; lead spade to jackE. Win Q; ruff heart; win all trumpsF. Win Q; ruff heart; win A-K-J; A-K
Note: Trumps split 2-1.
A. Win A; lead 5 and pitch heartB. Win A; ruff spade; win all trumpsC. Win A; four trumps; duck heartD. Win A; five trumps; duck heartE. Win A; all trumpsF. Duck the first trick
Note: All follow to the first trump lead.
Click to see how you did
Acknowledgments to the 1987 film by Koch Vision Studios© 2006 Richard Pavlicek