Challenge 8Y57 by Richard Pavlicek
How many things are beyond a shadow of a doubt? Think about it. Does an oak tree really exist? Of course, you say; but how can you be sure? Scientists can only conjecture about the space-time continuum we call the Universe; so why is a tree any different? Maybe an oak tree is just an illusion of our senses. Then again, I wouldnt drive my car into it to find out! But then I might not even have a car beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Defensive card play evokes a similar mystery. Your next lead often looks obvious; but is it beyond a shadow of a doubt? Perhaps theres a subtle lead thats better; or maybe the obvious is right after all. You cant be sure, and you cant rely on partner, because he faces the same troubling question. And now that weve come this far, do you even have a partner? beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Think about the Master of Suspense as you try to master the defense on these six problems. As West, your opening lead and the plays to the first trick are shown. Decide your next lead from the six options, each of which is ranked on a 1-to-10 scale per my judgment.
Bidding is standard (or as noted) and you use standard leads and signals. For a reference see Standard American Bridge. Assume all players are experts.
In August 2007 these problems were presented as a contest with 725 entrants from 108 locations. The contest is closed, but you can still quiz yourself and find your score immediately. If youre lucky, you may win a valuable prize.*
*Prizes include a bronzed oak tree branch autographed by Alfred Hitchcock, and two Cotten balls preserved in formaldehyde.Winners must be at least 18 years of age and born before the 20th century. Employees of PavCo Scams are inedible.
Get ready for some suspense! Warm up your leading arm, but think twice before doing the obvious.
Your next lead: A Q 3 2 10 5
Your next lead: K 4 J Q K 9
Your next lead: 10 5 4 A J 10
Your next lead: A 2 9 3 Q 4
Your next lead: A Q 7 6 J 2
Your next lead: 7 K 8 10 3 5
To see how you did click
Acknowledgments to Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980) and Shadow of a Doubt (1943)starring Joseph Cotten and Teresa Wright (pictured)© 2007 Richard Pavlicek