Bridge Puzzle EDITH McMULLIN
Col. Sanders and the Showgirl
LET ME TELL YOU A STORY. I was selling intermediate/newcomer
entries at a 25,000 table North American Bridge Championships tournament in Las Vegas, and saw a man in a white suit with bushy white
hair and a big diamond ring advancing down the hallway, a showgirl on
his left arm. He entered, surveyed the ballroom, and bellowed, “What’s
your biggest game?”
I really wanted to ask if Col. Sanders
had ever played bridge, but managed to
restrict myself to: “Flight A, the 0-100
I regretted later I didn’t check to see
how well he had done. But after two
days, the good colonel and his blonde
returned. He strode up to the table and
said, “What’s your smallest game?”
Puzzle for social players
SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST
1♥ Pass 3♥ Pass
4♥ Pass Pass Pass
Opening lead: ♠K. How do you play?
When you finish this puzzle, look
over at Expert Puzzle No. 1. You see that
long diamond suit in dummy and that
defender who has the ace? If he knew
how many diamonds his partner had, he
would know when to play his ace to seal
the declarer off the board. How can he
Puzzle for experts
Puzzle 1: First, an easy one.
Contract is 3NT. Opening lead: ♥ 4.
What is your defensive plan?
Puzzle 2: Now put on your thinking
The bidding: South opens 1♠, West
overcalls 2♣, and our N/S heroes then
wend their way to a 4♠ contract.
Opening lead: ♣ K – 3 – 5 – 2
Trick 2: ♣ A – 4 – 8 – Your play?
Previous Issue’s Puzzles
If the ♣Q is onside you have 12 top tricks.
But can we increase our chances? What
happens if you play the ♠ 2 to the ♠ 8 at
trick 2? You probably lose to West’s ♠K
or ♠Q. He puts you back in and you cash
your ♠A, hoping one of them had a dou-
bleton with the other honor in it! If so,
you get four spades, four hearts, and four
minor winners. Voilà! (If that doesn’t
work, finesse for the ♣Q and shut your
Intermediate and advanced players,
Play ♣A and ♣K and get the bad news.
Now play a diamond and discard a club
from your hand. West will have to put
you back in after collecting his four
Do not draw (more than one) trump; you
need them for transportation. Play three
rounds of hearts, pitching your ♣K. Now
play the ♣J: if E plays low, pitch a diamond. West wins and puts you back in.
Lead another club and pitch diamonds as
long as East doesn’t cover. But you knew
that. Bridge is not for the faint of heart.
Rowen B. Bell, Geoff Bridges, Alan
Finkelstein, Dave Forbes, Ron
Goldthorpe, Mark Kinzer, Dave
Llewellyn, Tim Luker, Lee Michelson,
Allen Pinkham, Igor Pogrebinsky, David
Promislow, Jeff Schwarze
EDITH MCMULLIN is a former
American Contract Bridge League
official and tournament director. She
is the author of Easybridge! The Comic
Book (Baron Barclay/Amazon) and other
books suitable for social and tournament
players and teaching. For more
information, go to Edithmcmullin.com.
Solutions may be emailed to
order to make the solver list,
your solutions must be received
by March 31, 2014.
If in doubt, lead a club against
a slam. (As published in
An expert in the Midwest made
the mistake of thinking her novice opponent was easy pickings
and bid a bold slam. When the
club lead set her, she demanded
to know why the novice made
that lead. “It said to in my book!”
the newbie replied. True story.