Main   Challenge 8X81 by Richard Pavlicek  

Slick Willy and Monique

Having retired from politics, Willy Clipton and his mistress Monique Wewinsky play a lot of money bridge at their villa in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Despite a well-practiced partnership, the pair pretend to be newly acquainted novices, as they hustle set games against unsuspecting tourists. When questioned about this, Willy is smooth and crafty. He relaxes everyone with a few jazzy arpeggios on his saxophone, and swears, “I have never played bridge with that woman — Miss Wewinsky.” This usually satisfies his victims, and the fleecing begins.

Now it’s your turn to play a few rounds of Chicago against Willy and Monique. Hold on to your wallet as Slick Willy declares the first six deals — and don’t be aroused by Monique’s hanky-panky as dummy, which is just a part of their scheme to divert your attention.

As West, select your next lead from the options listed; each option will be rated on a 1-to-10 scale per my judgment.

Bidding is standard (except as noted) and you use standard leads and signals. For a reference, see my outline of Standard American Bridge. Assume all players are experts.

In June 2006 these six problems were presented as a contest with 952 entrants from 111 locations. The contest is closed, but you can still quiz yourself and find your score immediately. If you’re lucky, you might even win a valuable prize.*

*Prizes include a two-week stay at the Arlington Resort in Hot Springs AR, with a private masseuse. Winners must be at least 10 years beyond puberty and virgins. Employees of PavCo Escort Scams are ineligible. Void where not prohibited by law.

Are you ready to defend these six deals? Then watch out! Willy didn’t get his nickname for nothing. TopMain

Problem 1

Chicago None Vul

West
You

1 S
All Pass
North
Monique
1 D
2 S*
East

Pass
Pass
South
Willy
1 H
3 NT
*shows the S A

3 NT South
S A 8 3
H K Q 3
D A J 10 4
C A J 4
S K Q 10 4 2
H 9 8 5
D 7 2
C K 10 5
Table

You lead the S K, which wins; partner plays the six, and South the jack.

Your next lead:  S 10  SHDCC 10 TopMain

Problem 2

Chicago E-W Vul

West
You

Pass
Pass
North
Monique

2 C
4 H
East

Pass
Pass
All Pass
South
Willy
1 NT
2 H

4 H South
S K 3
H 10 5 4 3
D K J 8 7
C Q J 2
S J 10 8 5
H 8 7
D A 6 3 2
C 10 9 3
Table

You lead the S J; king, ace, six. Partner returns the S 4; nine, 10, three.

Your next lead:  SHDDC 10  C 3 TopMain

Problem 3

Chicago N-S Vul

West
You

Pass
Pass
North
Monique

2 NT
4 S
East


Pass
All Pass
South
Willy
1 NT
3 S

4 S South
S 7 6 4
H 10 5
D Q 5 3
C A Q 7 6 4
S K 8 2
H Q J 9 8
D J 8 4
C K J 8
Table

You lead the H Q, which wins; partner plays the six, and South the seven.

Your next lead:  SHDDCC J TopMain

Problem 4

Chicago Both Vul

West
You
Pass
Pass
Pass
North
Monique
Pass
2 D*
3 NT
East

1 C
Pass
All Pass
South
Willy
1 NT
2 H
*transfer

3 NT South
S K 5 2
H K J 7 6 5
D Q 10 6
C 9 2
S 9 8 6 3
H 10 9 8 4
D J 8 5
C K Q
Table

You lead the C K. Partner overtakes with the ace and returns the C 10 (South plays three, five).

Your next lead:  SSH 10  HDD 5 TopMain

Problem 5

Chicago None Vul

West
You

3 D
All Pass
North
Monique

4 H²
East

1 D
Pass
South
Willy
2 D¹
4 S
1. Michaels
2. Arkansas transfer

4 S South
S K J 5 2
H K 7
D Q 8 2
C A Q 7 6
S 9 7 6
H 4
D K J 10 3
C J 9 8 5 3
Table

You lead the D J, which wins; partner plays the four, and South the nine.

Your next lead:  SHDDCC 5 TopMain

Problem 6

Chicago N-S Vul

West
You

Dbl
Pass
Pass
North
Monique

Rdbl
4 S
5 H
East


2 S*
Pass
Pass
South
Willy
1 H
4 H
5 C
6 H (AP)
*weak

6 H South
S A 4
H A 5
D 8 5 3 2
C A 10 8 4 2
S K J 6 5
H 2
D Q J 7 4
C K Q 9 7
Table

You lead the C K, which wins; partner plays the three, and South the six.

Your next lead:  SSHDDC 7

To see how you did click

TopMain

Any similarity to real persons is purely intentional.
© 2006 Richard Pavlicek