Main   Challenge 8Y01 by Richard Pavlicek  

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Diamonds in the Ruff

How sweet it is! On October 29, I discovered a rough diamond of 427 carats in my backyard. Gemology tests verified it as ideal grade and 70-percent flawless under 15x magnification. Excavation in the area unearthed similar specimens, and experts feel I may be sitting on the richest diamond field since the Jwaneng Mine in Botswana.

Word spread quickly, and police had to cordon off my property to keep out trespassers. Production will be overseen by my new corporation, PavCo Diamonds. I plan to do my own cutting and ordered the finest set of cleavers from Royal Asscher. (I’m an expert in this area… I grew up watching Beaver Cleaver, and had a lust for the cleavage of Annette Funicello.)

My serendipity can be yours, too! I need miners to continue the excavation, so here is your chance to apply for a high-paying job. On each of these six contracts, you are declarer and face a problem that involves diamonds in the rough, er, ruff. 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 Standard American Bridge. Assume all players are experts.

In January 2007 these six problems were presented as a contest with 1269 entrants from 117 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 sparkling new career as a PavCo miner.*

*Top 10 scorers will be flown to Fort Lauderdale for a 30-day tryout. Those who excel will be hired permanently if mutually agreed.
Winners must be at least 18 years of age. Offer void where prohibited by law or where such prohibitions do not exist.

So grab a shovel and start digging in my carat patch. You might even discover some riches of your own.

Problem 1

IMPs
Both Vul
S 10
H A 9 5
D A K Q 8 3
C A 5 4 2
West
1 C
Pass
Pass
North
1 D
2 NT
4 S
East
Pass
Pass
All Pass
South
1 S
3 S
Lead: D 10TableEast plays D J



4 S South
S K J 9 8 5 4
H J 4
D 7 5 4 2
C Q

After winning the D A, what next?

A. Lead S 10 to king
B. Lead S 10 to jack
C. Lead S 10 and run it
D. Lead the H 5
E. Win C A; ruff a club
F. Lead the C 2

Problem 2

IMPs
None Vul
S Q 7
H A 10 6 4 2
D J 3
C A 8 4 2
West

Pass
North

Pass
East

Pass
South
4 S
Lead: C QTableEast plays C 5



4 S South
S K J 10 9 8 5 4
H
D Q 10 9 5
C K 3

A. Win C A; lead S Q
B. Win C A; H A; lead S Q
C. Win C A; H A; lead D J
D. Win C A; lead D J
E. Win C K; lead S 4
F. Win C K; lead D 5

Problem 3

IMPs
N-S Vul
S 8 6 3 2
H A Q 10
D A 2
C A 8 6 3
West
2 S
Pass
North
Dbl
Pass
East
4 S
Pass
South
6 H
Lead: D QTableEast plays D 4



6 H South
S A
H K J 8 7 4 2
D K 7 6 5 3
C 2

After winning the D A, what next?

A. Win S A; D K
B. Win S A; lead D 5
C. Win H A; lead D 2 to king
D. Win H A; lead D 2 and duck if East follows
E. Lead D 2 to king
F. Lead D 2 and duck if East follows

Problem 4

IMPs
Both Vul
S A J 2
H A 10 8
D Q J 7
C Q 10 5 2
West

Pass
Pass
North

2 NT
4 H
East

Pass
All Pass
South
1 H
3 NT
Lead: D 9TableEast plays D 6



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

You play the D Q but overtake with the D K to lead the H Q (West plays H 3). Your play?

A. Win H A; S K; finesse S J
B. Win H A; S K; S A
C. Win H A; lead H 8
D. Win H A; lead D 7
E. Win H A; finesse C J
F. Run the H Q

Problem 5

IMPs
E-W Vul
S K Q
H J 9 3 2
D K Q 10 9 8
C 6 2
West

Pass
Pass
All Pass
North
Pass
2 D
3 S
East
Pass
Pass
Pass
South
1 S
2 S
4 S
Lead: D 2TableEast plays D 4



4 S South
S A 9 8 6 5 4
H A
D J 3
C A J 5 3

After winning the D K, what next?

A. Win H A; lead D J
B. Win H A; lead C 3
C. Lead the D Q
D. Lead the D 8
E. Finesse the C J
F. Duck a club

Note: If you lead a club, East plays the C 7.

Problem 6

IMPs
None Vul
S 8 5
H A 5 2
D K J 8 5 3
C A Q 4
West

1 S
Pass
North

2 D
4 H
East
Pass
3 S1
All Pass
South
1 H
Pass
Lead: S KTableEast plays S 6



4 H South
S A 7
H K J 9 7 3
D Q 6 4
C K 9 5

1. weak

You win the S A and lead the H 3 to the ace as West pitches the S 3. What next?

A. Lead the S 8
B. Finesse H 7; lead S 7
C. Finesse H 7; lead D 4
D. Finesse H 7; win C Q; finesse H 9
E. Lead the D 3
F. Win C K; C A-Q

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© 2007 Richard Pavlicek