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Bridge Columns

 by Richard Pavlicek

Richard Pavlicek was the Sunday bridge columnist for the Fort Lauderdale News and Sun-Sentinel from 1984 to 1990, and occasional guest columnist for several years before. Over 300 columns are archived here in chronological order. You will find many instructive tips, as well as personal glimpses and historical notes. Columns can be viewed individually in HTML or downloaded by year in PDF.
1981-83 ColumnsPDF
Spectacular Defense Sets Contract
Summer Tourney Offers Curious Deal
Think Twice Before Conceding
Proper Trumps Produce Grand Slam
Big Risk Justified by Big Reward
Smoke Screen Wins Bridge Hand
Twelve-Year-Old Squeeze
Life Master at Thirteen
Squeezed and Endplayed
1984 ColumnsPDF
Slam Creates Big Swing
Aggressive Bidding Pays Off
The Dummy Reversal
Sparkling Defense
Dallas Team To Represent U.S.
A Chance To Go Wrong
Slim Chance Better Than None
Slam Succeeds — Game Fails
Endplay Avoids Losing Finesse
A Tribute to Charlie
Russell Team Wins Zonal Match
Always Set Up Your Long Suit?
The Squeeze Is On
The Squeeze Is Off
Holdups Not Just For Notrump
Aces Are Meant To Take Kings
A Communication Breakdown
Broward Lady Tops in D.C.
Fine Play Wins Thirteen Tricks
World’s Smallest Finesse
Greedy Double Backfires
Cover an Honor with an Honor?
Defensive Duck Dupes Declarer
Scientific Bidding Reaps Reward
Skillful Play Avoids Finesse
The Compound Squeeze
The Power of the Falsecard
A Kingdom For a Finesse
Clever Play Wraps Doubled Bid
Poland Wins Bridge Olympiad
U.S. Women Top Britain
Overcoming a Blocked Suit
Trump Management Technique
Coup Lands Tenuous Game
Unusual Finesse Nets Slam
1985 ColumnsPDF
Free Finesse Ends Up Costing
Five-Zero Break Foils Teen
Losing an Ace Reaps Reward
Overplay Justifies Overbid
Three Bids With No Points
Defender Guilty on Innocent Deal
Local Tournament Begins Friday
Holding Up Too Long Can Cost
Common Sense Breeds Success
Expert Technique Avoids Guess
Unlucky Finesse Was Unnecessary
The Vanishing Trump Trick
Faulty Play Spoils Superb Bidding
Tough Defense Is Mark of an Expert
Slam Hand Decides Match
Sound Deduction Nets Slam
Grand Slam Challenge
Broward Team Wins Again
Trump Coup Nets Crucial Overtrick
Holdup Play Backfires
Think Before Playing to First Trick
“Second Hand Low” Is Good Advice
Improve Your Game “The Fun Way”
Picture Full Deal To Improve Play
Careful Play Rewards Daring Bid
Trump Sacrifice Keeps Control
Keep String Attached to Lost Trick
Expert Technique Lands Thin Slam
Surviving a Bad Trump Break
Lousy Trump Suit Gets Bum Rap
Overcall Tips Off Winning Play
Declarer’s Fate Is Self-Sealed
Broward Expert Wins Spingold
Scientific Bidding Unveils Grand
Trump Coup Lands Doubled Slam
Calculated Overbid Pays Dividend
Void Suit Is Key to Grand Slam
Sophisticated Play Fails
Defensive Holdup Tests Declarer
Fateful Deal Decides Match
Defensive Slip Spoils Good Lead
Bidding Is Clue to Winning Play
Weak Trumps Cause Undue Alarm
“A Christmas Stocking” Delightful
Diamond Play Does Not Dazzle
Spot Cards Play Key Role
Proper Play Depends on Scoring
1986 ColumnsPDF
Count Your Top Tricks
Suit Planning Technique
Local Player Invents New Bid
Slam Bid Wins Match
Beating the Unbeatable
Cagey Bidding Nets Reward
The Lowly Deuce
Fierce Bidding
Tournaments Are Fun
The Negative Double
Bad Breaks
A Crucial Guess
Brilliant Play
Unusual Holdup
Missed Opportunity
Bold Bidding
Throw-In Play
Plan Before Playing
The Splinter Bid
Sound Technique
Good Card Reading
Greed Pays Off
Restricted Choice
Singleton King
What’s the Game?
Moysian Fit
Routine Holdup
Throw-In Play Nets Slam
Sound Technique Prevails
Bold Bidding — Lackluster Play
A Slam Made with No Points
World Event Under Way in Miami
Declarer Elicits Defender’s Help
U.S. Wins World Championship
Audacious Overcall Steals Our Suit
The Disappearing Loser
Unblocking Play Foils Throw-In
Elopement Play Eliminates Loser
Broward Team Wins in Miami Beach
Throw-In Play Justifies Bold Bid
Are You a Player or a Defender?
Keeping a Trump in Dummy
Unbeatable Slam with 23 Points
Christmas Came Early This Year
1987 ColumnsPDF
World Champion New ACBL Prez
Who Is To Blame on Defense?
Diamond Play Is Key to Slam
Anxiety To Ruff Can Be Costly
Proper Slam Play Defies Analysis
The Battle For Trump Control
Finessing Technique Is Culprit
Singleton Kings Effect Nightmare
Good Card Reading Averts Finesse
Sound Technique Nets Thin Slam
Poker Tactics Useful at Bridge
Low-Level Double Reaps Bonanza
Crafty Defense Sets Expert Declarer
Flair To Declare Wins Tricks on Air
Bidding Not Guilty, Play Indicted
Replay Shows Self-Inflicted Blow
Tricky Lead Beats Cold Contract
Grand Slam Poses Complex Play
‘Ham’ Turns Defense into Cheese
Penalty Double Clues Winning Play
Careful Play Overcomes Bad Break
Expert Defense Breaks Up Squeeze
Local Pair Tops Florida
Testy Deal Requires Lucky Guess
Winning Defense Goes Unnoticed
Winning Defense Missed
Floridians Second in Spingold
One Tiny Slip Lets Bold Bid Make
Gambling Three Notrump Is Old Hat
Scramble and Crossruff Nets Game
Event Marks 50 Years of Bridge
Eagerness To Win Tricks Costly
Too Many Discards Brings Downfall
Fine Defense Tough To Counter
Counting the Hand Beats All Odds
Small Slam Fails but Grand Makes
Nothing Hand Offers Good Lesson
Weird Deal Spawns Seesaw Battle
Perseverance Is Rewarded
Table Presence Is Key to Success
Sparks Fly in Five-Level Frenzy
Miami Duo Will Represent Florida
1988 ColumnsPDF
Declarer Avoids Trap in Slam
Old Deal Deserves a Second Look
Moysian Fit Is Only Hope for Game
“Wizard of Ozzie” Remembered
Tips on Planning and Control
Doubled Game Is Play Battlefield
Defensive Holdup Foils Declarer
Declarer Lured by Defensive Trap
Par Contest Challenges Collegians
Is Your Game Up To Par?
Give Opponents a Chance To Err
Well-Reasoned Gamble Wins
Finding a Queen Decides Match
Small Slam Down with Grand Cold
The Disappearing Loser
Timing Is Key to Winning Defense
Forcing Pass Finds Best Trump Fit
Lucky Lead Revives Hopeless Slam
Clever Play Nets Elusive Overtrick
Ruffing Attempt Destined To Fail
Trump Coup Delivers Grand Slam
How To Avoid Carding Mishaps
Extreme Distribution Foils Declarer
Fourth Suit Solves Bidding Woe
Premature Ruff Brings Demise
Barbecue at the Bridge Table
Overbid Has Happy Ending
Who Was More at Fault?
Perilous Distribution Causes Swing
Bold Bids Collect Daily Double
Trump Suit Needs Special Handling
When To Win the Ace of Trumps
Flexible Play Allows Changing Plan
Sharp Defense Redeems Bad Lead
Trump Stack Ground to Mincemeat
Fox Is Outfoxed as Ace Is Lost
Be Aggressive with Extreme Shape
Trump Quality Key to Better Slam
Misunderstanding Incredibly Lucky
Urge To Grab King Gives Contract
Failure To Combine Chances Costs
West Is Caught Napping
Fierce Bidding Steals Contract
Mistiming the Play Costs Game
Unusual Notrump Leads to Slam
Slam Well Played but Beatable
1989 ColumnsPDF
Dummy-Locked at Trick One
The Delicate Art of Timing
Running Trumps Can Work Miracles
Elopement Play Lands Sacrifice
Optimitis — A Bridge Disease
Duplicate Bridge Is For Everyone
Careful Play Solves Entry Problem
Grand Slam Made by Throw-in Play
Two Chances Missed To Avert Ruff
There’s Gold in Them Thar Hills
Is the Principle of Symmetry Valid?
Make a Game To Beat the Experts
Unusual Squeeze Eludes Declarer
Declarer Squeezes Both Defenders
Look at the Forest, Not Just a Tree
Preserve Dummy’s Ruffing Power
Key Defense Enables Two Chances
Shrewd Defender Finds Uppercut
Backdoor Attack Beats Contract
Bidding Reveals Winning Finesse
Play or Defend? A Real Squeezaroo!
Local Player Outshines Omar Sharif
Reprieve Granted After Killing Lead
Communication Crucial in Notrump
Six Spades — Make It then Break It
Splinter Bid Is Key To Reach Slam
Fireball Bidder Burns Out in Play
Both Sides Wary in Thrust and Parry
To Fight Forcing Defense, Join It
Eliminate Exit To Nullify Ruff
Logic Would Reveal Proper Defense
Indiscretion Bears a Steep Price
Shrewd Play Steals a Trick
Old Puzzle Gets New Lease on Life
Proper Timing Averts Finesse
Elusive Slam Challenges Entrants
O Can-a-da, You Did Us In Again
Logic Defies Mathematical Odds
Reaching an Unreachable Dummy
Friendly Lead Keeps Contract Alive
Clever Play Would Fool Anyone
The Vanishing Trump Trick
Winning Defense Takes Foresight
“Precision” Reaches 26-Point Slam
Deceptive Play Keeps Hopes Alive
Chance Missed To Ruin Squeeze
Forcing Defense Sets “Cold” Game
1990 ColumnsPDF
Scoring Method Affects Play
Early Concession Establishes Suit
Avoiding the Anxiety Syndrome
Lloyd’s Leap — A Novel Approach
Scheming For a Top Board
Make It and Break It — Times Two
The Case of the Paradoxical Lead
Coping with a Bad Trump Break
Declarer’s Trump Suit Is Riddled
Most Valuable Slam-Bidding Tool
Expert Plays Little Cards First
Elopement Technique Gains a Trick
Don’t Accept a Gift Horse!
Clever Play Overcomes Blocked Suit
From the Ridiculous to the Sublime
Subtle Logic Helps Find a Queen
Greed For Overtricks Costs Game
Gadgetry Reveals Missing Queen
Aspire For Luck but Not Miracles
Delicate Bidding and Delicate Play
The “Do It Yourself” Rule of Defense
Great New Book on Declarer Play
Funeral For the Strong Cue-Bid
Local Pair Tops in North America
My Lead Was Worse Than My Hand
Declarer Wins Prize For Endplay
Stepping Across the River
The Power of the Dual Threat
Do Your Own Thinking
Opportunity Missed To Ruin Slam
Strong Trumps or Weak Trumps?
What Is a Reverse Bid? Not This!
Drawing Trumps the Hard Way
The One That Got Away
South Bids Game in Enemy Suit
Careless Trump Play Triples Loss
Making a Slam Off Two Aces
Grand Slam Eludes All Players

In October 1990 Richard was fired — a surprise to the South Florida community considering the popularity of the column. A syndicated daily column had pressured the newspaper for exclusivity, no doubt to avoid comparison, and the spineless newspaper agreed.

Some columns have been edited since publication to remove obsolete items such as phone numbers.
Columns with a predominantly humorous theme have been relocated to the Bridge Humor page.

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© 2024 Richard Pavlicek