Quiz 8D35   Main

Valentine’s Legacy

by Richard Pavlicek

Few people are aware that Valentinus Episcopus, better known as St. Valentine, was the greatest bridge player of all time (future included) and if anyone doubts this I have proof. Archaeologists recently discovered six more clay tablets of hands played by Valentine, all fittingly in hearts, but water erosion made his plays indiscernible. That’s where you fit in! Try to determine Valentine’s plays to the first four tricks. And don’t fret! If you butcher the play, just chalk it up to another St. Valentine’s Day massacre.

For each problem enter eight cards (e.g., HQ) in the order you would play them to Tricks 1-4. Routine early plays, if any, are already entered. Unless noted otherwise: (1) Assume both opponents follow suit; second hand low, third or fourth hand to their best advantage. (2) If an opponent is on lead, assume the suit they led previously is continued for the quiz, though it may not have been in ancient times.

Are you ready? Then play away!

 1. None Vul 7 2 Q J 10 A Q J 5 2 Q 7 3 WestPassPass North2 4 EASTPassPassAll Pass South1 3 NT Lead: 8 4 South A J 3 A K 5 4 3 4 3 A 10 2 Plays 1 2 3 4

If you take the diamond finesse, it loses.

 2. Both Vul 4 3 K J 10 9 Q 10 6 K 8 7 6 WestPassPassAll Pass North1 NT3 EastPassPass SOUTH1 2 4 Lead: Q 4 South A K 8 7 6 5 A Q 7 2 9 8 4 Plays 1 2 3 4

If you play low from dummy, West leads another club (from Q-J-10-9).

 3. N-S Vul 10 8 7 3 2 K Q K 10 9 8 J 6 WestPassPassPass NORTHPass1 2 4 EastPassPassPassAll Pass South1 2 3 Lead: 2 4 South A J A 9 8 7 5 4 7 K Q 7 2 Plays 1 2 3 4

West’s lead shows an odd number of diamonds. East wins the Q (or ace if you play K) and shifts to the 6.

 4. None Vul 9 8 7 10 2 10 7 2 Q 6 5 4 2 WestPass NorthPass EAST4 Pass South6 Lead: 6 6 South A A K Q J 9 A J 4 A K 8 7 Plays 1 2 3 4

Not much science in the bidding. Luckily you caught a suitable dummy.

 5. E-W Vul Q J 10 9 J 10 4 Q J 8 2 A 6 WestPassPassPassAll Pass North1 4 5 EastPassPassPass SOUTH1 3 NT4 6 Lead: J 6 South A 2 A K 9 8 3 2 K 10 9 K Q Plays 1 2 3 4

West pitches a club on the first heart lead.

 6. N-S Vul A J 6 5 4 3 A K 2 2 K 9 8 WestPassPassAll Pass NORTH1 4 5 EastPassPassPass South2 5 6 Lead: J 6 South — Q 8 7 6 3 A J 7 6 5 4 A J Plays 1 2 3 4

Partner’s splinter bid drove you to a difficult slam — for anyone but St. Valentine.

To check that all your plays are valid, click

If desired, you may submit your plays using the form below. Plays may be submitted only once, and doing so will add your name to the list of participants. You will also receive an automated reply including Richard’s recommended plays and the reasoning behind them.

Click for a list of participants

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