I come to bury declarers, not to praise them. The evil they do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.
The noble Brutus hath told you the bidding was ambitious; a grievous fault that shall be punished. For Brutus is an honorable man, and together we shall defend with sterner stuff. What cause holds you to believe you can succeed?
O judgment! Thou art fled to brutish beasts, for declarers have lost all their reason. Bear with me. My heart is in the coffin with Caesar, but I must forgo due mourning to consider my opening lead. -Marcus Antonius
Julius Caesar was warned, and so are you. At least in his case, we were left with a great salad; while you might not even provide a crouton. As declarer on each of these contracts, you will do battle against Antonius (West) and Brutus (East). 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 (or as noted). For a reference see Standard American Bridge. Antonius and Brutus are aggressive and resourceful, using Roman leads (second highest of touching honors) and Roman signals (odd encourages).
In March 2007 these six problems were presented as a contest with 922 entrants from 117 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 free Cesarean births at any PavCo Clinic and a lifetime license for Nero CD-burning software. Winners must be at least 18years of age and pregnant, or show proof of paternity. Void where prohibited by law or anywhere else I might end up in jail.
Veni, vidi, vici! Put on your toga and join me at the Forum. Et tu, Pavlicus?
West next leads the 5 to the ace, and East shifts to the 6. Your play?
A. Win A; finesse 10B. Win A; finesse 8C. Win A-K-QD. Win A; A; K-QE. Win A; lead JF. Finesse the 9
1. Roman Blackwood
After winning the A, what next?
A. Win A; ruff spadeB. Win A; lead spade and pitch 2C. Finesse the QD. Win A; K; ruff club with QE. Win A; K; ruff club with 7F. Win A; K; lead club and pitch 6
Note: If you lead clubs, West follows to third round.
West continues A-J, ruffed in dummy (East plays 7-9). What now?
A. Win A; lead JB. Win A; A-KC. Win A; run JD. Win A; finesse QE. Finesse the QF. Win A-K; finesse Q
A. Win A; A-K; duck spadeB. Win A; A-K-Q; duck spadeC. Win A; A-K-Q-10; duck spadeD. Win A; all clubs; duck spadeE. Duck; win A-K; A-K-QF. Duck; win A; A-K-Q
You duck. West continues with the 10, won by the jack (East plays 5). What next?
A. Lead spade to the kingB. Finesse the 10C. Win K; run 10 (win ace if covered)D. Win K; run 10 (duck if covered)E. Lead the QF. Lead 4 to the 10
A. Win A; A-K; A (overtake); ruff heartB. Win A; A-K; A (overtake); finesse QC. Win A; A-K; A (overtake); finesse 10D. Win A; A-K; K; A; ruff clubE. Win A; A-K; A; ruff clubF. Duck the first trick
Note: West has one trump.
Click to see how you did
© MMVII Richard Pavlicek