Once upon a midnight Drury, sitting East, distraught with furyOer many a quaint and curious lead, deserving of a minus scoreAs I nodded, nearly napping, trumps he leads instead of tapping.Then it happened, to my horror, suits Ive bid he leads no more.Is he void? I pondered truly. If not my suit, cerebral core?Only this, and nothing more.
Ah, distinctly I remember, the brainless West I could dismemberAs each dreadful opening lead, sent grief no one could eer ignore.Eagerly I wished the morrow. Take me from this pain and sorrow!Then the moron started clapping, laughing, dancing on the floor.Tis bridge in Hell! I shouted madly, racing to the chamber door.Fritzed again, but Nevermore!
Well, I have some good news and some bad news. The good news: If you play just six boards, your partner will cherish you forever. The bad news: Your partner is Fritz and even worse, hes on lead!
Try to salvage what you can after Fritz makes a terrible opening lead. As East, simply choose your defense from the six 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. Assume declarer is an expert. Fritz of course is a moron, but assume he wont do anything stupid besides his lead.
In October 2007 these six problems were presented as a contest with 636 entrants from 109 locations. The contest is now closed, but you can still quiz yourself and find your score immediately. If youre lucky, you may win a valuable prize.*
*First prize is a one-week stay with Fritz at the Raven Inn. Second prize is two weeks. Third, three weeks, etc.Winners must be at least 18 years of age and gormless. Offer void where permitted by law.
Warning! What you are about to witness is not for the meek. If you have a heart condition, quit now!
1. Drury2. light opening
Your next lead: 4 J 2 J 5 Q
A. Win A; lead QB. Win A; lead 8C. Lead the QD. Lead 8; if wins then AE. Lead 8; if wins then QF. Lead 8; if wins then 7
Note: If you lead the A, Fritz follows suit.
Your next lead: A 3 10 2 K J
A. Win A; lead 8B. Win A; lead 2C. Win A; lead 5D. Win A; lead JE. Win A; lead 8F. Duck (play 4)
Note: If you win the A, South plays the 2, Fritz the 6.
1. with Fritz on lead, why not?
A. Win A; lead QB. Win A; lead 2C. Win A; lead KD. Duck; win A; lead QE. Duck; win A; lead KF. Duck; win A; lead J
Note: Fritz follows twice in hearts.
A. Win A; lead 9B. Win A; lead 2C. Win A; lead 2D. Win A; lead AE. Win A; lead 4F. Duck (play 2)
Note: If you win the A, Fritz plays the K.
Click to see how you did
Acknowledgments to The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe (1809-49)© 2007 Richard Pavlicek