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THE BRIDGE WORLD

Unique Winner Challenge

   A unique winning move for declarer is a card that must be played by the declaring side in order to make the contract from that point with best (i.e., double-dummy) play by both sides. We challenge readers to discover the highest number of consecutive initial unique winning moves for declarer (the longest unbroken series of such plays beginning with the first card played from dummy) that they can find.

   The current sequence of 18 consecutive initial unique winning moves for declarer was sent by Stefan Ralescu, Riverdale, New York.

NORTH
K Q J 9 7
Q 10 6
J
A J 8 3
WEST
8
J 8
Q 10 9 7 5
Q 6 5 4 2
EAST
10 5 4 3 2
K 7 4 2
A 3 2
9
SOUTH
A 6
A 9 5 3
K 8 6 4
K 10 7

   Contract: Seven hearts by South

The play begins:
Heart eight, ten, deuce, three.
Heart queen, king, ace, jack.
Club ten, deuce, jack, nine.
Heart six, four, five, diamond five.
Spade nine, two, six, eight.
Spade seven, ten, ace, diamond seven.
Heart nine, diamond nine, diamond jack, heart seven.
Club king, four, three, spade three.
Club seven, five, eight, diamond deuce.

Eighteen unique winners.

In context, each of the declaring side's plays is a unique winning move.

This will be superseded when we receive one with a longer sequence. If you can beat the currently-posted champion, send your deal, contract, and early play in the body of an e-mail to the editor, along with whatever attribution you prefer for the solver. Please be very careful! Keep in mind the requirement of uniqueness—a member of a set of functionally-equivalent cards does not qualify. We recommend using a double-dummy player to check your work.

ESOTERICA

This section is devoted to weird, wild and wacky material. For bridge friends, lovers of arcana, pursuers of special interests, and anyone intrigued with a particular facet of the game of bridge.