Main   Challenge 8X89 by Richard Pavlicek  

The Twelfth of Never


You ask me why I bid six. Must I explain?
I need to crush my ego, and torment my brain.

You ask me how to play this; I’ll tell you true:
A twelfth trick may be never; I haven’t any clue.

Try the squeeze? No, I will finesse.
Strip the hand? Not today, I do confess.

I’ll ruff out all my losers, ‘til trumps run dry.
I’ll set up dummy’s side suit; the deuce will be high.
I’ll throw in an opponent; I know not why.

My life is just “eight ever”; the world is blessed with nine.
A twelfth trick may be never, and that’s a long, long time.

Hopefully, you can play six-bids better than my lyrics suggest; and here’s your chance to prove it! Six slams, and all you have to do is find a twelfth trick on each. Come on, you can do it! Never say never!

As South, simply choose your play from the options listed; each option will be rated on a 1-to-10 scale per my judgment.

Bidding is standard, and your opponents use standard leads and signals. For a reference, see my outline of Standard American Bridge. Assume all players are experts.

In August 2006 these six problems were presented as a contest with 1001 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 12 days with Tinkerbell in Never Never Land (or 12 nights at the Neverland Ranch). Winners must be at most 18 years of age. Employees of PavCo Nevermind Games are ineligible.

Are you ready to begin? Then pay attention, or “The Twelfth of Never” may become your theme song. TopMain

Problem 1

IMPs E-W Vul

West

Pass
Pass
All Pass
North
1 S
2 S
5 C
East
Pass
Pass
Pass
South
2 C
3 C
6 C

6 C South
S A Q 10 6 5 4 2
H Q J
D A
C Q J 10
Lead: D KTableEast plays D 8
S
H A 7 6
D 9 4
C A 9 8 7 6 5 4 3

You win the D A, cash the S A (pitching H 6) and ruff a spade as both follow low. What next?

  1. Ruff diamond; ruff spade; win C A
  2. Ruff diamond; ruff spade; lead C 5
  3. Ruff diamond; run H Q
  4. Ruff diamond; run C Q
  5. Win the C A
  6. Lead the C 4
TopMain

Problem 2

IMPs Both Vul

West

Pass
Pass
North
2 C
2 H
6 D
East
Pass
Pass
All Pass
South
2 D
3 D

6 D South
S A J 5
H A K Q 9 2
D A Q 9 2
C A
Lead: H 10TableEast plays H 3
S 10 7 2
H 7 6
D K J 10 8 4
C 9 7 3

After winning the H A, how do you play? (West has three trumps.)

  1. Win D A; D J; lead H 7
  2. Win D A; D J-10; lead S 10
  3. Win D A; D J-10; finesse S J
  4. Win D A; C A; D J; lead H 7
  5. Win D A; C A; D J; ruff club
  6. Win C A; D J; lead H 7
TopMain

Problem 3

IMPs None Vul

West

5 S
North

6 H
East
4 S
All Pass
South
5 H

6 H South
S K
H J 7 6 4
D A 6 4
C A 10 4 3 2
Lead: S 4TableEast plays S A
S
H A K Q 10 9 5 3 2
D K J 3
C Q 9

You ruff with the H 9 and cash the H A (East pitches S 5). What next?

  1. Win H J; lead C 2 to queen
  2. Win H J; lead C 2 to nine
  3. Win C A; D A
  4. Win C A; lead C 2
  5. Run the C Q
  6. Run the C 9
TopMain

Problem 4

IMPs None Vul

West

Pass
Pass
All Pass
North
1 D
2 S
5 H
East
Pass
Pass
Pass
South
1 S
4 NT
6 S

6 S South
S 10 9 8
H 2
D A K Q 6 4
C A 8 6 3
Lead: S 3TableEast plays S 2
S A K Q J
H A K 3
D 5 2
C Q 7 4 2

After winning the S J, how do you play?

  1. Win H A; ruff heart; draw trumps
  2. Win H A; ruff heart; win D A-K
  3. Win H A; ruff heart; lead D 4
  4. Win H A; ruff heart; lead C 3
  5. Win D A; lead C 3
  6. Duck a diamond
TopMain

Problem 5

IMPs N-S Vul

West

Pass
Pass
North

Dbl
6 NT
East
2 S
Pass
All Pass
South
Pass
3 NT

6 NT South
S Q 5
H K J 10 4 2
D A K 10 2
C A K
Lead: C QTableEast plays C 2
S A J 7 2
H A Q
D 5 3
C 8 6 5 4 3

After winning the C A, how do you play?

  1. Lead S Q (king, ace); H A-Q; finesse D 10
  2. Lead S Q (covered) and duck
  3. Win H A; overtake H Q; run hearts
  4. Win H A-Q; D A; run hearts
  5. Win H A-Q; finesse D 10
  6. Win H A-Q; C K; run hearts
TopMain

Problem 6

IMPs Both Vul

West

Pass
Pass
All Pass
North
1 S
4 C
4 H
East
Pass
Pass
Pass
South
2 C
4 D
6 C

6 C South
S K J 9 8 3
H A 2
D J
C A J 8 7 3
Lead: H KTableEast plays H 9
S A 10
H 6 5
D K Q 7 4
C K 10 6 5 2

After winning the H A, how do you play? (West has two trumps. Both follow low on spade leads.)

  1. Win S A-K; ruff spade with C K
  2. Win S A-K; ruff spade with C 10
  3. Win S A-K; ruff spade with C 6
  4. Draw trumps; win S A-K; run S J
  5. Draw trumps; win S A-K; ruff spade
  6. Draw trumps; win S A; finesse S J

To see how you did click

TopMain

Acknowledgments to Jerry Livingston, composer of title song.
© 2006 Richard Pavlicek