Main   Challenge 8Y09 by Richard Pavlicek  

Analyses    Scores  

Who’s On Lead?

Abbott and Costello meet RPbridge

Lou CostelloBud Abbott
Who’s on lead?Yes!
No, I mean the player.Who!
The guy on lead.Who is the player’s name.
Don’t ask me! What’s his name? No, What is declarer. Who is on lead.
No idea!Sorry, he’s dummy.
Who is dummy?No, Who’s on lead. No Idea is dummy.
You got a Director?Of course, Why!
How the hell should I know![giving up bridge]

Apologies to Bud and Lou, but “who’s on lead” is often the key to winning defense at bridge.

Test yourself on these six problems. As East, decide how you would signal on partner’s opening lead, or if you would overtake and lead next. In each case your side wins the first trick. Choose your defense from the options (A-F) 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 2007 these problems were presented as a contest with 1091 entrants from 121 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.*

*Top 10 scorers will be given prominent roles in an Abbott & Costello remake. Winners must be at least 18 years of age.
Employees of PavCo Films are ineligible. Offer void where prohibited by law or north of the Antarctic Circle.

Before you begin, I will answer an important question to improve your defense: Who’s on lead? Yes!

Problem 1

IMPs
N-S Vul
S Q J 3
H J 9 4 2
D 5 4
C K Q 5 3
Who
West

Pass
Pass
No Idea
North

2 S
4 S
You
East

Pass
All Pass
What
South
1 S
3 S
4 S SouthTable S 6 4
H Q 7 5
D K 10 7 3
C J 10 9 6

Trick
1 W
Lead
D Q
2nd
4
3rd
?
4th

South will play the D 2. Your defense?

A. Overtake; lead S 4
B. Overtake; lead H 5
C. Overtake; lead D 3
D. Overtake; lead C J
E. Play the D 7
F. Play the D 3

Problem 2

IMPs
Both Vul
S K 10 4
H K J 9 7
D K 9 7 6
C J 5
Who
West

Pass
All Pass
No Idea
North

3 C1
You
East
1 C
Dbl
What
South
1 H
3 H
3 H SouthTable S Q 9 3
H 2
D A Q 4
C A K 10 8 6 4

Trick
1 W
Lead
C Q
2nd
5
3rd
?
4th

1. 4-card limit raise

South will play the C 3. Your defense?

A. Overtake; lead S 3
B. Overtake; lead H 2
C. Overtake; win C A
D. Play the C 10
E. Play the C 8
F. Play the C 4

Problem 3

IMPs
None Vul
S 8 4
H Q 5 3
D 10 4 2
C A K 10 5 2
Who
West

Pass
No Idea
North

3 NT
You
East
2 S
All Pass
What
South
2 NT
3 NT SouthTable S A Q 10 7 6 2
H 8 7
D J 7
C J 8 3

Trick
1 W
Lead
S J
2nd
4
3rd
?
4th

South will play the S 5. Your defense?

A. Overtake; win S A
B. Overtake; lead S 10
C. Overtake; lead H 8
D. Overtake; lead D J
E. Play the S 7
F. Play the S 2

Problem 4

IMPs
E-W Vul
S K Q 9 4
H K 8 6 2
D A 8 5
C 10 4
Who
West

Pass
All Pass
No Idea
North
1 D
2 S
You
East
Pass
Pass
What
South
1 S
4 S
4 S SouthTable S 7 6
H A Q 9
D Q 9 7 4
C K J 9 3

Trick
1 W
Lead
H J
2nd
2
3rd
?
4th

South will play the H 4. Your defense?

A. Overtake; lead S 6
B. Overtake; lead D Q
C. Overtake; lead D 9
D. Overtake; lead D 4
E. Overtake; lead C J
F. Play the H 9

Problem 5

IMPs
N-S Vul
S A K 5 3
H A 9 3
D 10 5
C J 7 3 2
Who
West

Pass
Pass
No Idea
North

1 S
3 NT
You
East

Pass
All Pass
What
South
1 C
1 NT
3 NT SouthTable S 9 8 7
H K 10 2
D Q 9 7 4
C Q 10 9

Trick
1 W
Lead
H Q
2nd
3
3rd
?
4th

South will play the H 6. Your defense?

A. Overtake; lead S 9
B. Overtake; lead H 10
C. Overtake; lead D Q
D. Overtake; lead D 4
E. Play the H 10
F. Play the H 2

Problem 6

IMPs
None Vul
S 10 9 3
H J 6 5
D A 8 6 2
C A K 6
Who
West

3 H1
Pass
All Pass
No Idea
North
1 D
Pass
5 H
You
East
1 H
Pass
Dbl
What
South
1 S
4 NT
6 S
6 S SouthTable S 7 5
H A K Q 7 3
D J 10 3
C Q 9 4

Trick
1 W
Lead
H 10
2nd
5
3rd
?
4th

1. weak

South will play the H 4. Your defense?

A. Overtake; lead S 5
B. Overtake; lead H K
C. Overtake; lead D J
D. Overtake; lead C 4
E. Play the H 7
F. Play the H 3

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Acknowledgments to Bud Abbott (1897-1974), Lou Costello (1906-59) and Who’s On First?
© 2007 Richard Pavlicek