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Chew the Fat! => IAC & Master Solvers Club => Topic started by: Masse24 on January 21, 2020, 02:24:56 AM

Title: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: Masse24 on January 21, 2020, 02:24:56 AM
MARCH 2020 MSC

Deadline: February 10 at 9:00 a.m. (ET)

Submit your March responses here: The Bridge World - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB (https://www.bridgeworld.com/indexphp.php?page=/pages/msc/mscentercontest.html)

BWS 2017 System: BWS 2017 (https://www.bridgeworld.com/indexphp.php?page=/pages/readingroom/bws/bwscompletesystem.html)
BWS 2017 POLLS, CHANGES AND ADDITIONS: BWS 2017 - Polls, Changes, and Additions (https://www.bridgeworld.com/indexphp.php?page=/pages/readingroom/bws/bwspolls2017.html)


IAC Forum MSC Scores (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1whamPj4_SDF3cbYUdGL9dpMX23tpwzUJzUvNoVmip_w/edit?usp=sharing)


*     *     *

Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: blubayou on January 22, 2020, 05:06:20 AM

PROBLEM A :>>     East hasn't a prayer of having a 2-level free-bid,  so he will pass when raised.   If opener puts him in game when I pass,  and [surprise]  it is makeable,  are we going to save red vs. not?   That's 500  folks.This looks like 9 for each side to me  quite often, so I let sleeping dogs lie,  not even trying to eke out the 1 IMP  for 4 diamonds -100.       ---  PASS now,  and sell out to 3 hearts, also.

PROBLEM B: >>  The first step here is to realize  that this is a mere opening hand after all.  The second  is to research BWS agreements about what a LEAP TO 4 HEARTS would have meant.  (Is it some kind of "picture bid", or is it "Drop-dead unless you have all the goodies").  But given all that I am making the hinted-at mild slam try of 3NT -- because of the top cards and great hearts.  i fantasize pard's4 club cue, so i can get the diamond ace of my chest  then let 4H  alone  if that comes next.  May Brigita have mercy on my soul.    -------3NT

PROBLEM C:>>  This problem  made me recall the habit of the Big Gun  panelists  of the 50s--70s  to ABSTAIN  when they simply could not swallow the bidding dictated to them  ie: opening one club. But that time is gone   along with the dream-auction of  "1D, 1H; 2C, 2D; 2NT".    LETS avoid the distortion of both size and shape in a 1NT rebid,  and try another one of those cute 3-card 1 spade rebid.                        ------ 1S    (scoring 30 this month)

PROBLEM D:>>            ---- 3C

PROBLEM E:>>  Three-only choices.  I  cross off the 1NT overcall  because the tight AK  do not provide enough bang for the buck.  I like to expect to play my 1NT overcalls  and make them,  and those diamonds are a bad start at doing this.  Coin toss between  Double  and One Spade came ut "Double"                     -----DOUBLE


PROBLEM F:>>    Too hard;  maybe Feb9th   lightning will have struck.    ---tabled


PROBLEM G:>>   In the Bronze Age,  this was a 3NT opener. I miss those days.  So obviously,  i am in for 3NT  on round two.        -----  B6


PROBLEM H:>>   Playing pard for the heart ten  [ or maybe just the eight], for all the marbles. Cannot dream up a reason to lead the honest 4th-best -- pard's roll  on this one  is probably just to avoid revoking                     ------ HEART DEUCE
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: jcreech on January 22, 2020, 02:48:26 PM
Initial thoughts - this is a bit early for me, but took a little time to run through the problems:

Problem A:  3C  - Speak of the proverbial 50 point deck, this seems to be one of those.  I don’t like keeping secrets from partner and we have a nine-card fit, so I cue bid to let partner know we have a fit and I have values (and most of them should be working).  Partner’s hand has a flaw that kept him from making a takeout double – either too short in hearts or spades.  The next round of bidding should help clear things up.

Problem B:  3NT – I’m not absolutely sure I want to go slamming, but not sure that I don’t either, so a mild slam try seems reasonable.  If partner has a club control to cue, then I cooperate one more time, after that, it is up to partner to continue.

Problem C:  2C – Partner’s expected heart bid puts me in a bind that I should have anticipated.  All of my options are bad so this is a least lie situation.  I don’t think this is right for a Moysian, so 1S is out, I don’t like bidding an immediate 1NT with a singleton in partner’s suit, not enough points to reverse and not enough hearts to raise – guess what that leaves?  The club suit is robust enough for me to rebid and pretend there are six.

Problem D:  2C – Research what BWS considers 2C followed by 3C.  What I need is an invitational sequence.  I am too good for a preempt and not good enough for a game force.  If 2C followed by 3C is not right then I will be stuck with a less than satisfactory 1NT, to show my stopper and slightly underbid my values.

Problem E:  1NT – With this shape and a better suit, I like to overcall in spades, and reopen with a double.  With 16 HCPs and a double stop in diamonds, I’ll just show everything except the 5th spade with 1NT.

Problem F:  4S – This hand is right for a Moysian, though I am a bit worried about a bad break in the spade suit.  The advantage is that this bid keeps us one level lower, but a minor may be a better strain.  I’m going to gamble on the Moysian, and if doubled, run to 4NT to ask for partner’s better minor.  My second choice is 4NT immediately and my third is to pass and hope we have four defensive tricks.   

Problem G:  (b6) – I am torn between opening 2NT  and opening 1D and rebidding 3NT.  2NT does a better job of conveying the HCPs – 19 + an upgrade for the diamond length.  However, opening the suit and rebidding 3NT may do a better job of describing the playing strength and defensive concerns when owning a long solid suit.  Right now, I am going with the playing strength, but may decide that it also undervalues the HCPs before I actually vote.

Problem H:  H6 – I have entries, so despite having four hearts in dummy,  this may be our best suit to attack.  I am hoping that the 10 is not in dummy and partner has Hx.  Although I have not seen dummy yet, there is potential room for something useful in partner’s hand.
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: Masse24 on January 24, 2020, 08:16:25 PM
PROBLEM B: 3NT. In my opinion, this is a hand valuation problem. How strong am I?

Although BWS2017 does not provide detailed information as to its preferred method of follow-ups employing 3NT as a “mild slam try,” it does provide this explanation:

Mild and Serious Slam-Tries: When an eight-plus-card major-suit fit has been established, neither partner has made a natural two-notrump bid, and the auction is forcing to game, a nonjump bid of three notrump is a mild slam-try, and a control-bid or a long-suit indicator is a strong slam-try.”

One advantage of using either Serious 3NT or Frivolous 3NT is having the ability to show a hand that is more than a complete garbage minimum, but less than a hand with the extras necessary to make a hard drive to slam. A hand that a "fast arrival" jump (which I abhor) might lose.

Like this hand.

We have a double fit. My trumps are great. Partner has four or fewer cards in the minors, so I’ll have little in the way of wasted values. But I’m flat. And I hate my xxx in spades. All of that together looks like a hand willing to cooperate in a slam move if partner has extras. But I want to send the message that I do not have the “stuff” to make the move myself.

3NT accomplishes this.
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on January 25, 2020, 03:22:49 PM
Speculation on hand A. Red against white, I suppose that 2 !D is not based on AQxxxx and zip. Some more shape or strength or something. Letting imagination run wild, maybe

!S Qxx
!H void
!D AQxxxx
!C xxxx.

Now that's a pretty good hand, maybe too good for a 2 !D call, but with vulnerability as it is I think it could be so. Some pairs revert to intermediate jump overcalls when red versus white, but I did not see anything in BWS saying they do.

We can make 5 !D, but I do not have an agreement with anyone that says a 3 !C call (as with  Jim) over East's 2 !H says  "If you have a !H void the !S  Q, and the !D AQxxxx then please go on to 5 !D.

On the other hand, or maybe this is the other other hand, if the opponents go on to 4 !H, partner will no doubt look at his heart void and figure that if that 3 !C bid was inviting him to further compete  then surely this is the hand to do it with.

Perhaps more realistically, assume partner has a stiff heart. Then the opponents can easily take the first three tricks. But can they make 4 !H? Maybe, maybe not. We get at most one !D, and unless !S are 3-3 we get only two spades. Of curse that's in quick tricks, after they get the lead they still have to find ten tricks. If Lho has a 2=2=4=5 shape this might be pretty easy.


!S xxxx                        Qx
!H Axxx                        KQJxxx
!D x                             xx
!C AKJxx                      xxx

5 !D X is one of those rare cases where the red against white sac pays of, -200 instead of -420, there is at least a chance that W, with his stiff !D, will alter the old adage to "The five level belongs to me" and bid 5 !H. Ok, probably not, but maybe.

Of course the hands could also be

!S xxx                          Qxx
!H Axxx                        KQJxxx
!D x                             xx
!C AKJxx                      xxx

in which case 4 !H would have been off 1. That assumes decent defense, but not hard.

Usually, after North's 2 !D, we expect N to shut up. But Jim's 3 !C  presumably invites further participation. There will be some guesswork involved, but that's bridge. If the opponents have hands such that going on to 4 !H seems right to them, N can reasonably think " !H void very good, stiff !H rather good, doubleton !H bad. " Well, we can hope.

So I think I am liking the 3 !C call. It certainly could go wrong, but it could also go right.
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: Masse24 on January 25, 2020, 04:33:47 PM
Speculation on hand A.

So I think I am liking the 3 !C call. It certainly could go wrong, but it could also go right.

I like 3 !C too.

But I also like 3 !H. But what does it mean? I have not taken a deep dive into BWS2017 to see if this is mentioned. I assume, like 3 !C, it shows support. Even if not specifically mentioned in BWS, does it imply more support? Four, rather than three cards? Maybe, but I don't know.

It certainly pushes us (and them?) up a level. The question is, how high do I wish to compete?

Plenty of time left to look into it.

[Added] Upon further reflection, I think if I were going to contemplate a call that forces to the 4-level, it would be 3 !S (fit jump?) to get my entire hand off my chest at once. Yes, it's flawed, being a spade short. And yes, it's risky vulnerable. Just ruminating at this point.  ???

Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on January 26, 2020, 03:21:22 PM
I don't think I want to force to the 4 level. Partner might have !H xxx in which case the opponents might well not have a biddable or makable game and we might be in a tough spot. Over 3 !C partner might well settle for 3 !D, the opponents are not all that apt to double, maybe they play 3 !H.  It's more when they have a nine or ten card heart fit, leaving partner short in hearts, that they will go on to 4 !H and we might want to go on to 5 !D, possibly off 1 or even making.

I am interested in the following: After partner makes a preempt, 2 !D in this case. what sort of actions by me invite him to bid on? And when should he bid on? I am thinking that if the opponents go on to 4 !H and if he has a significant shortage of hearts, that might well be the time for him to go on assuming that I have, through 3 !C or otherwise,invited him to do so. But this gets tricky, I think.

I can't recall seeing such matters discussed in the bridge literature.  Anyone have any references?
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: DickHy on January 28, 2020, 12:06:11 PM
I'll proffer a contribution here, though I may be an uninvited guest.

I don't have much bridge literature to hand, but years ago a teacher explained a Unassuming Cue Bid (UCB) was necessary because partner's overcall could be quite wide-ranging, say from 6/7 to about 14/15 HCP.   Clearly, advancer with 9/10+ HCP and support uses a UCB because game might be on.  A weak jump overcall, in contrast, is limited in range (6-9 probably) so my teacher considered a UCB much less useful: advancer could decide what level was reasonable.  That seemed a sensible view.

Turning to this hand, as Ken points out, various hands can be constructed to produce a decent 5 !D contract.  At the table, however, I would probably diagnose this as a 20-20 hand, where a part-score was the limit.  We should make 8 tricks (2S, and 6D) even if overcaller has AQxxxx in D and nothing else and, in that case, we can make 9 if overcaller has 3 cards in C (overcaller might easily be 3262 however).  A 9th trick might also come if overcaller has SQ or CK.

In other words, if overcaller is min 3 !D looks to be the limit (-100 or making with a club ruff) and 4 !D looks dangerous (potentially the dreaded -200).  If overcaller is max then 4 !D looks safe (-100 at worst).  So, despite what my teacher said, this looks a good example of advancer opposite a WJO using a UCB to say "we can play two levels up if you are max and if we're pushed to that, otherwise one level up is the limit." 

Of course after bidding 3 !C we may then have to suck our teeth wondering if we can defeat 3 !H.  We probably won't if overcaller is min (2S, S ruff, D), but then the alternative to -140 will be -200 in 4 !D. 
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: jcreech on January 28, 2020, 12:38:22 PM
Hi Dick,

No one gets a written invitation to join in, but all are welcome to express their thoughts and opinions.  All we ask is that anyone who participates, does so in a polite and respectful manner.  So do not expect an SNL-like (Saturday Night Live) dismissive rebuttal to any opinion expressed (i.e, Dan Akroyd to Jane Curtain).

I don't remember that cue bid ever being given a name.  Perhaps it came along after I learned to use it, but I like the name you have brought into the discussion.
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on January 28, 2020, 02:19:36 PM
The MSC thread has been successful in stimulating discussion. So "uninvited guest"? Consider yourself very enthusiastically invited. Of course after Jim's comment about the need for politeness I was thinking of phrasing this as "How could you be so stupid as to think you were uninvited" but I have more than once discovered that irony often doesn't go well in electronic postings.

The phrase "unassuming cue bid" has been around for a while, long enough for me to be aware of it, but browsing online I see that I might have misunderstood the meaning. Suppose, for a moment, the contested auction had gone 1 !C - 1 !D - 1 !S - 2 !C.  When I say that the 2 !C is unassuming I thought that meant that it is very likely that the 2 !C bidder has diamond support, but it is not certain. he either has a good hand with diamond support or else a very good hand, better than just a good hand, where he hopes to explore for both the right strain and the right level. The issue is whether the diamond support is absolutely guaranteed by the cue  or whether it is implied but not completely certain. Probably the 3 !C bidder would have at least something like Kx, else he is not apt to think of his hand as all that great opposite an overcall, but Kx night be all there is in the !D suit.

I might be mis-using the phrase.

Anyway, opposite a weak jump overcall now I would expect 3 !C to show a diamond fit, especially after the 2 !H call. Partner did say weak with his WJO.  But game is still a possibility, even if a distant possibility. Of course when the fit is in the minor, 3NT rather than 5 !D  is always under consideration if we are going for game. But I think 3 !C has to be on a !D fit.

Myself, when red against white, I would not bid 2 !D over the 1 !C with xxx / xx / AQxxxx / xx. I think 2 !D invites partner to compete to 3 !D and, at this vulnerability, I am not at all sure I want to do that.  With xxx / x / AQxxxx / xxx the 2 !D becomes more appealing. They probably have a heart fit, I probably won't get doubled even if partner does bid 3 !D, and there is a fair chance a !D lead will go well for us against a !H contract declared on my left.
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: DickHy on January 28, 2020, 03:57:54 PM
Thanks guys for the welcome.

The UCB (as I was taught it) always shows support for overcaller's suit: 3+ card support and 9+ HCP.  So in an auction like 1 !C - 1 !D - p - 2 !C, the 2 !C says nothing about C but promises D support and 9+ HCP.  The same would be true for the 1 !C - 1 !D - 1 !S - 2 !C auction, as 2 !C is the only cue bid available which allows overcaller to sign-off one level up from his overcall.  2 !S would also be a UCB but forces a minimum overcaller to sign-off at the 3-level.  (Btw, the advancer with 9+ HCP and at most 2-card support would bid NT or his own suit.)

An auction can give advancer two choices for a UCB.  This is rare, but happened in Problem F from last month's Bidding quiz where the overcaller used a x to show "strong hand with length in D".  This was the auction:  1 !D - p - 1 !H - p - 1 !S - x - p  to us.  We had this hand:

 !S A J 8 3  !H 5 3  !D Q 6 3  !C A 9 3 2

This is a hand I'd want to use a UCB for - 3+ card support and 9+ HCP.  The question which I struggled with was which one, 2 !H or 2 !S?  Usually a UCB says nothing about the suit bid, as there is only one choice.  Here there was a choice and I think the correct bid must depend on partnership agreement: either the UCB shows the usual stuff and stops in the suit bid (2 !S) or the UCB shows the usual stuff and asks for stops in the suit bid (2 !H).  I chose incorrectly.

Returning to Hand A for this month a UCB of 3 !C to me says nothing about clubs, just good D support and 9+ HCP.

I remember my teacher saying that the UCB was so-called because it did not assume overcaller had a good hand, merely a good suit. 



 



Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: blubayou on January 30, 2020, 03:48:10 AM
I hesitate to  revisit our favorite problem this month---   but noboy so far  has conviced me yet  that minus 140  or 170  is a looser  (of more than a single IMP)  4 Diams buying and making  is a wild fantasy,  and if 4 hearts is ON,   -420  wont look terrible versus  our FIVE diamonds,     LET heart partial play,   or hope to nick 4h  without remorse  if we do not.    I vote  forever ,  9 tricks  for both sides!!

On problem B,  i found in the first pages of the BWS2017 summery  this suprising gem:  "when either a jump-raise or a single raise  is game forcing,  the jump raise shows MORE."   so we are all safe issuing the frivolous slam try of 3NT,   having already shown minimum for the heart raise.   I think the voters on this tratment  need more work, however.
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on January 30, 2020, 12:44:24 PM
I hesitate to  revisit our favorite problem this month---   but nobody so far  has convinced me yet  that minus 140  or 170  is a looser  (of more than a single IMP)  4 Diams buying and making  is a wild fantasy,  and if 4 hearts is ON,   -420  wont look terrible versus  our FIVE diamonds,     LET heart partial play,   or hope to nick 4h  without remorse  if we do not.    I vote  forever ,  9 tricks  for both sides!!

I am not a great fan of LOTT but it can be a guide. If by any chance partner has a heart void then we have ten diamonds, they have ten hearts, LOTT says that there are 20 total tricks. If partner has a stiff heart LOTT says 19 total tricks.  My thinking is that 3 !C, forcing us to 3 !D,  should be safe. If Lho then bids 3 !H and partner passes, then I pass also. Same if Lho bids 4 !H and partner passes. Often, they will be playing hearts, I am not suicidal. But on the occasional hand, 5 !D will make or sometimes be off 1 against a making 4 !H. Will 3 !C help partner identify when it is right to go on?  That's a bit iffy, but if the opponents bid to 4 !H and partner is looking at at most one heart, he might give it a thought. It's possible that 3 !D will be hit and go down, but with ten trump this usually does not happen.
We  surely have 8 tricks, we have a  likely club ruff for 9, so 3 !D should be safe and I can leave it up to partner to do more if it seems right after my encouraging 3 !C.



Nobody mentioned X over the 2 !H. A snapdragon showing five spades and a diamond fit? Well, we don't have five spades, so the question is academic.
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: hoki on February 03, 2020, 10:24:56 AM
A   3C, diamond support. We could be cold for 5D, which is why I don’t
    agree with pass.

B   4S, I don’t have more than what I promised with my initial 2C response.

C   1S, and hope to survive. I can sympathise with a 2C rebid despite only
    five clubs but this hand is simply too strong in high cards for that bid.

D   2C.

E   1S, I agree with the ‘bang for buck’ argument against the 1NT overcall
    and I prefer to try and play in my major than a minor.

F   4NT, with five spades partner might have bid 4S rather than double.

G   b5, colour me yellow but I don’t want to hang partner for responding 1H
    on five hearts to the queen and out.

H   Heart Q, uninspired I know, but that’s me.

Oliver
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: hoki on February 03, 2020, 10:33:05 AM
I failed to notice that partner's 2♦ bid was a jump. Possibly I would then
have elected to bid 4♦.


Added by jcreech:

For reasons discussed in a subsequent post, we are allowing hoki to change his bid on Problem A.

Hi Jim,

Thanks for getting in touch. I'm still very new to this, so I was under the
impression that I couldn't change it once I had submitted my answers.
Now you're suggesting that I can - unless this is just for the purpose of
our IAC discussion group.

You've made me think about the whole problem again and I'm inclining
more and more towards changing my bid and, if I could, I would change
it to 5♦.
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: jcreech on February 04, 2020, 12:25:55 PM
There are two ways of entering answers to the MSC problems. 

The first is formal, by posting your answers on the Bride World website and receiving a receipt by email oy your selections.  We regard those as "written in stone"  because you have taken the extra step of joining the international poll of responses to the series of problems.  Those results are sent to use either by posting them publicly on the forum or privately by sending to either Masse23 or jcreech.

The other is informal.  You only post your answers to the forum on IAC.  Those answers may be subject to a change of heart.  We don't close these responses as final until you can no longer submit answers formally through Bridge World.

If IAC solvers have noticed, a number of us who go through the formal process, also post preliminary thoughts, and if you compare the initial thoughts to the final formal submission, we have often changed at least one answer, if not more.  Sometimes our formal submission is very close to the 10 Eastern deadline because we are still mulling over some problem until we are afraid the poll will close without our votes.

There is no reason to not give the informal voters the same benefit of preliminary vs. final selections as the formal players receive.

Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on February 04, 2020, 03:50:37 PM
Adding a bit: The attraction of the IAC part of MSC is exactly that we can put forth our views, see the views of others, change our minds, etc.  After the submission to BridgeWorld that one submission to BW is the final submission to BW, but there is no reason at all we cannot continue to discuss and perhaps change our mind.

Eg

On A, I have no idea how many tricks, in diamonds for us added to the tricks in hearts for them, are available.  I don't know if the opponents do or do not have a heart fit. I don't know if par will be -200 for 5 !D X down 1 against 4 !H making for -420. It's imps, so we don't want to cut it too close. It seems to me that 3 !C is the way to get partner in on the decision making. Usually a preempter is expected to pass after his initial action, but surely (or I hope surely) a 3 !C call invites further participation.

On C, I will be rebidding 2 !C. I am a bit strong for this, that is true, and it bothers me a bit but not too much. My strong five card, rather than a six card, club suit doesn't bother me at all. Requiring six cards surely needs some sort of asterisk since if the rule is taken to allow no exceptions it makes some hands unbiddable. Here, it is true, 1 !S is an option, but of course partner will expect 4. And 1NT is an option, I will consider it, but I don't much like it. One problem with my 2 !C choice is that partner might well now bid 2 !D. I play that as natural, I think BWS does also, but after 2 !D from pard some number of NT seems right. 2NT would again understate my strength.

Anyway, the discussion is what I am here for. Of course I like to get a good score, but I value the discussion.
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: bAbsG on February 05, 2020, 05:06:42 PM
Your solutions have been received. This copy is for your records.

SOLVER: Babs Giesbrecht
       Qulaicum Beach BC
       Canada

Your Solutions for the March 2020 Contest 
-------------------
PROBLEM A: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM B: 3 Notrump
PROBLEM C: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM D: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM E: 1 Notrump
PROBLEM F: 4 Spades
PROBLEM G: (b2)
PROBLEM H: Heart 6
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: jcreech on February 06, 2020, 06:44:20 PM
I am concerned about whether I will be in a good position to wait much longer, so I have pulled the trigger.

SOLUTIONS FOR:
James Creech
Fredericksburg VA
U.S.A.

PROBLEM A: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM B: 3 Notrump
PROBLEM C: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM D: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM E: 1 Notrump
PROBLEM F: 4 Notrump
PROBLEM G: (b6)
PROBLEM H: Heart 6

I made one change.  On Problem F, I would probably still go with my original answer, but for MSC I am switching to 4NT.  I think the panel are more likely to steer clear of the Moysian that I was willing to try on a personal basis.

I also misread Problem A, but I still want to let partner know that I have values and a likely fit, so I am sticking with my original choice.

As usual, I am declaring Ken as my partner in this exercise - though my expectation of 75% agreement on our specific selections are not great.
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: blubayou on February 07, 2020, 01:39:12 AM
SOLUTIONS FOR Jock McQuade,Portland ORU.S.A.
PROBLEM A: Pass,
PROBLEM B: 3 Notrump,
PROBLEM C: 2 Clubs,
PROBLEM D: 2 Clubs,
PROBLEM E: Double,
PROBLEM F: 4 Notrump,
PROBLEM G: (b6),
PROBLEM H: Heart 2
    I  wimped out of both  attractive  'natural'  3-card spade rebid/responses  (C  and F).  Have grown more content with 4NT for his minor on #F  as the weeks passed,  but  sad to wave goodbye  to  "1 Spade"   on #C.
i wonder how much mark-down  5th best heart lead will get compared to the 4th-best 6!
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: MarilynLi on February 07, 2020, 11:28:29 AM
A. 3S. For me this is a matter of 2S or 3S fit bids. Since partner made a WJO, spades bid must be fit showing bid. Although the S length doesn't seem to be sufficient, but it should be just lead directing. I choose 3S, jumping to the level I want to be at.

B. 3NT. Double fit. slam is possible vs. a medium strength partner.

C. 2C. Partner bid my singleton and we doesn't seem to have a S fit, so I will just bid 2C and wait. If partner rebids 2D or 2NT, I'd bid 3NT.

D. 2C.

E. 1NT. To me that's a 4 card S suit.

F. 4NT. Pick a minor.

G. B6. I don't really like this option, I feel it screams for a club lead. But I like to show my solid D this way and hope for luck.

H. H6
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: DickHy on February 07, 2020, 11:27:27 PM
Thoughts (increasingly lengthy ones)

A.  3C.

B.  3N.  We have a double fit and N could have a strong hand and/or 55xx.  Apart from being a slam try, this gives N a chance to cue 4C.  I can’t as N is declarer.  If 4C comes, we’ve gone from mild to very interested. 

C.  2C.  When I have to lie a little, I prefer not to mislead partner about a major or a reverse – since each of those can spark enthusiasm.  On the other hand, we are vulnerable and don’t want to miss a thin game.  So, should I bid 2D and then (whether N bids 3D or 2H), bash out 3N, dreaming about getting a S lead and 7 top tricks in my hand alone?  If we’re struggling and need the IMPs, I’d bid 2D.

D.  2C.  A hand which shows the importance of clear agreements.  What does “2C is forcing to two hearts” mean?  Surely not a H raise, as other bids are available for that.  If it simply means 2C is a forcing bid and natural, I want to bid 2C and then bid NT later to show the S stop.  Grr … 2C looks to be the ‘right’ bid, and I would have had no hesitation in making it if the explanation of 2C had been excluded.  I am too strong for a pre-empt, so the alternative is 1N.  That’s dangerously wimpish (all my 10 HCP are working and JT9 is worth more than 1 HCP in NT), but 2N seems to be an invitational raise in H.  I’ll bid 2C – at least N will not pass that.

E.  1N.  How important is the weak S suit to this hand?  My granny used to say suits like this were only good as trumps, and she would show them (either by 1S or x then S).  But a 5c holding stops the suit (and p rates have 1 of the missing honours).  I’ll show the 16-point balanced hand.  Partner may be a bust, and I could end up playing there, hoping that S are 3-3 and with four fingers crossed for fortune in both the minors to avoid the dreaded -200.  In that case my granny would be doing better.  However, it might be W that is bust, in which case we’ll finish in 4H (making) or 3N (making because N has a S honour!)

F.  x.  I confess a 4N bid in this situation showing two places to play entrances me, having seen it work so many times on vugraph.  But I might have to ignore the siren-calls because I have a third place to play if partner has 5 cards in spades.  N could be 5(Axxxx)242/5224 – a suit too weak to overcall 4S – and, besides, N knows I must have at least 2 places to play.  If I x here, N knows I have not got 4 cards in spades (otherwise I would bid 4S).  If he has 5 cards in spades, he can bid 4S knowing that, if I have only 2 cards in S, we can bang out into a minor fit.  So, I will x and we’ll make 4S in a 53 fit.  The sirens will scream at me if the panel chooses 4N.  Now, a little imp is whispering to me “pass is the right bid here – take ‘em down for a plus score, ‘cos 5D is one off” but that’s the voice of the devil.

G.   (a)  We have game but which one – 4H (if p has 6 cards in hearts), 5D or 3N (if he doesn’t).  We might have slam in H or D.  Our 9 top tricks in NT could disappear as they club us to death.  I can see the attraction of (b4) from that perspective, but would be tongue-tied when opponents, quickly followed by the Director, asked me for an explanation of my 3C bid.  (b5 3D) looks too weak for my hand, as partner with 6 HCP may well pass.  A 2N opening, shows my strength and gives N a chance to use Texas, and N can then pursue a H slam.  N could also convert (b6 3N) to 4H if he has 6 hearts.   The advantage of the former is that if N shows only 4 or 5 cards in hearts (2N – [3D – 3H/3C- 3D] – 3N) I get a chance to make a 4D slam try bid.  I don’t get that option with (b6).  After (b3) N could bid 4H with 6 cards in the suit and 3N with fewer, which again gives me the chance to think about making a slam try with 4D.  However, with (b3) if N has 6 cards in hearts, his route to testing for a H slam is perhaps murky (1D – 1H – 2N – 4N?).  A 2N opening makes H and D slam tries clearer.  If N rejects a 4D slam try with a 4N bid, I will convert that to 5D.  It seems I’ve talked my way into a 6H, 6D or 5D contract … as well as putting any readers to sleep [Ed: that happened 4 hands ago].

H.  QH.  I’m a big fan of Kantar and lead from the top of near-perfect sequences (2 touching honours then a space skipped).  Last year there was one quiz where leading Q from QJ942 was marked down in favour of 4th highest.  But I can’t change a habit ‘cos of a bidding quiz - consistency is the key to partner’s confidence.
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: wackojack on February 08, 2020, 06:52:17 PM
March 2020 Contest
Problem A     3♣
Our likely losers are 2 clubs and however many hearts partner has.  If partner has:
1♥:  Likely we make 10 tricks in ♦s and they make 10 tricks in ♥ provided they do not lose a club trick and this is a big assumption. 
2♥s: What is partner’s distribution: 2263?  3262? 1264? Difficult to 2nd guess.  If partner has a doubleton spade then it becomes likely that we defeat 4♥.  So we make 9 tricks in ♦s and they make either 9 or 10 tricks in ♥s.
Void ♥: Then we make 11 tricks.   
A restrained pass could be the best, but if  opps were bid to 4♥ and partner has a ♥ void, then 3♣ could be the bid that would persuade partner to bid 5♦.   So I will go with the crowd and bid 3♣.

Problem B     4♣
It is necessary to understand the auction so far.  3♥ shows extras because we are in a game forcing situation.  Although my distribution is 4333 and 13 HCP this bid is reasonable because we have a double fit and good controls.  Partner, therefore, even with a minimum opener should keep things going with a courtesy cue bid below the game level if possible.  Thus 3♠ does not guarantee a 6 card suit as it could be just showing controls.  However, I would expect 3♠ at least to show ♠KQ10xx.  It would seem, therefore, that I have already “done my bit” by bidding 3♥ and could now just bid 4♥ and leave any slamming up to partner.  Nevertheless, my controls are so good that I reject that notion and have to go slamming as we are still below the level of game.  If I bid 3NT designated as a mild slam try and partner has in the minors say ♦Kx, ♣Ax .  Then if I bid 3NT, partner cues 4♣ and I cue 4♦, then partner does not know that I have the very important ♣K.  OTOH if instead I cue 4♣ immediately (ostensibly a serious slam try that my hand does not fully justify) Then if partner wheels out 4NT, partner has the luxury of knowing that I have the K♣.

I will go out on a limb sacrificing the possibility of a good score and ignore the BWS constraint and go for 4♣. 

Problem C     2♣
1♠ or 2♣?  I don’t fancy the Moysian.  Will go for 2♣

Problem D    2♣
2♣ It describes the hand


Problem E   1NT
I don’t like to overcall 1♠ with such a weak suit and 16HCP.  So go for 1NT.

Problem F    4NT
I prefer playing in a 4-4 fit to a 4-3 fit even a level higher.  So, go for 4NT to find partner’s 4 card minor.

Problem G    2NT

This hand is well worth 20HCP.  Automatic 2NT.

Problem H  Lead 6♥
Partner has 1 or 2 hearts.  You are playing imps so need to try and defeat the contract.  So you must play partner for an honour.  If you lead the Q and partner has a singleton honour you give away a trick and if partner has Hx you block the suit. Lead 6♥ 4th best.
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on February 08, 2020, 09:24:57 PM
Dick, "forcing to 2 !H ". This means that neither you nor partner should allow the auction to stop below the level of 2 !H. Thus, if you bid 2 !C and Lho passes, then your partner must bid. If he bids 2 !D and Rho passes, then you must bid again. If he bids 2 !H, you may (and probably would) pass.

The min point, I think, is that if you bid 2 !C you must be prepared with what you will do if partner now bids 2 !D. You cannot pass.

Well, that's what I think it means. I have, once or twice in my life, been wrong.
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: blubayou on February 08, 2020, 09:52:53 PM

To Jacko,  and maybe others:  near the bottom of sectionIII of the BWS agreeements,  I found this suprising gem:
  "Slow arrival: Except where there is a specific agreement to the contrary, when there is a choice between two game-forcing bids in a particular strain, BWS uses slow arrival (a jump is either stronger than a simple bid or it is a picture bid with a specific descriptive meaning)."


  I take that to apply to our   1S-2C; 2H-3H  auction,  and I hope the panelists do also.  so maybe your serious slam try inclination  is on target!   But did you forget that clubs is "your suit"  so why not seriously bid your diamond ace? :)
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on February 09, 2020, 01:56:24 AM
I have never understood just what a picture bid is. For the auction 1 !S - 2 !C - 2 !H - 4 !H I would understand the 4 !H to show good hearts, good clubs and you are on your own in the other suits. For example
xx / KJxx / xx / AKQJx
would be fine.
And if that's what is meant by raising 2 !H to 4 !H then raising 2 !H to 3 !H is anything else with a heart fit.

Maybe 4 !H on xx / KJxx / xx / AKQJx is what is meant be a picture bid, I really don't know.

Application to B: The 3 !H then means that I do not have  xx / KJxx / xx / AKQJx and that's true, I don't. And then, after 3 !S, I am interested in slam but only in that I think it is possible. I think 3NT is reasonable. If partner bids 4 !C that might well be a stiff instead of the A, he does have 8 cards in the majors,  but then I just bid 4 !D and let him take it from there.

I have thought it standard practice for the jump from 2 !H to 4 !H to show something like xx / KJxx / xx / AKQJx and thus 3 !H is for everything else.  Maybe that's not as universal as I thought..

Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: DickHy on February 09, 2020, 10:14:56 AM
Babs:  thanks - I must be all at sea, cast off from Europe (though my heart will stay there).  On F, with the sort of minimum hands N might hold (A, AK, A + a useful Q, say) we can make 5m but if they have flattish distributions (2632/3532) we can defeat 4H by 3 tricks for 500.  They may have a better fit, especially if E is one of those souls who open a weak 2 with another 4-card suit - then 4H might be -2 for 300.  Those sort of hands (0643 opposite 4522) might make 5m tricky for us.  So pass could be a winning bid.  However, N may also have a 5440-shape and with enough for slam.  The sirens win!

Ken: thanks for that.  If 2C is natural then I will bid 2N over N's 2D or 3C over 2H. 

SOLUTIONS FOR:
Dick Harvey
Southampton
U.K.

PROBLEM A: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM B: 3 Notrump
PROBLEM C: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM D: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM E: 1 Notrump
PROBLEM F: 4 Notrump
PROBLEM G: (a)
PROBLEM H: Heart Queen
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: DickHy on February 09, 2020, 11:07:55 AM
Ken, here’s an article on picture bids v fast arrival https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/21-auctions-fast-arrival-vs-picture-bidding/.  The example centres on a 1S – 2C – 2H auction but where responder has S support.  Instead of 4S being fast arrival, the jump picture bid scheme is:

   4S = good trump support, good clubs, no outside control
   3S = good trump support, good clubs, one or more outside controls
   2S = good trump support and unreliable clubs

For our problem (1S – 2C – 2H and responder with H support) there are only two levels available.  There seem to be two options here:

(a) A jump picture bid might still apply – exactly as you say and showing the hand you cite (4H = good trump control, good clubs and nowt else) - with 3H covering all other hands. 

(b) Fast arrival might be used instead of a picture jump.  With this option a hand like xx KJxx xx AKQJx would be too good for a fast arrival 4H. 

Judging from what Blubayou found in the BWS description, jump picture bids are used when there are three levels available i.e. two game-forcing bids (2S and 3S in the first auction above) but when there is only one game-forcing bid available (3H in our problem), perhaps BWS adopts fast arrival. 

Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: wackojack on February 09, 2020, 12:55:56 PM
A difficult and intriguing set.

SOLUTIONS FOR:
Jack Goody
Guildford
England

PROBLEM A: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM B: 4 Clubs
PROBLEM C: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM D: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM E: 1 Notrump
PROBLEM F: 4 Notrump
PROBLEM G: (a)
PROBLEM H: Heart 6
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on February 09, 2020, 05:18:54 PM
I am worried about the lead problem but not just the usual difficulties.

The auction begins 1NT - 2 !C - 2 !D - 3 !S , explained as five spades and four hearts. But BWS stipulates Smolen, and Smolen would be five hearts and four spades. Of course we are seeing the opponent's auction, so I am assuming/hoping that we are to view this as "Well, we cannot force opponents to play Smolen, these opponents don't, so 3 !S is on five spades and four hearts." I hope that's it.

So I assume declarer has exactly two spades and either two or three hearts, three being more likely.

If the opponents have 14 cards in the majors then we have 14 cards in the minors. Which means that partner has a five card minor suit. But can I guess which it is, can we establish it, and then can we cash it? It's unlikely that yes is the answer to all three of these questions.

So do I lead a heart? Four the board, a better than even chance of three in declarer's hand, and then one in partner's hand. Not all that attractive. Still, probably right. Maybe he has the T. Maybe he has Tx. If he has the !S Qxx we might be in business, and perhaps even if he has !S Jxx.

Time is running out, but I am not yet ready.



Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on February 09, 2020, 10:20:57 PM

Well, ready or not, here I come.

SOLVER: Kenneth Berg
        Sykesville MD
        U.S.A.

Your Solutions for the March 2020 Contest
-------------------
PROBLEM A: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM B: 3 Notrump
PROBLEM C: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM D: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM E: 1 Spade
PROBLEM F: 4 Notrump
PROBLEM G: (b6)
PROBLEM H: Heart 6
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: Masse24 on February 10, 2020, 01:28:33 AM
Submitted answers--with a few comments . . .

SOLUTIONS FOR:
Todd Holes
Glen Ellyn IL
U.S.A.

PROBLEM A: 2 Spades
Lead directing (possibly), yet competing for the partscore. I intend to take the push to 4 !D. Double, though, intrigues me--showing four spades and a place to retreat to—obviously diamonds. I’m not totally sure of that, so opt for the crystal clear 2 !S. My second choice is 3 !D.

PROBLEM B: 3 Notrump
I like this gadget. Used properly, in conjunction with picture bids and last train, it makes sorting out extras and slam viability more precise. This one feels like a “what else?” choice to me.

PROBLEM C: 2 Clubs
The least lie. One spade looks interesting, but last month’s “cutesy” bid of a three card major has used up my supply of “cutesy” bids for a while. I’m sure there will be a few panelists who choose one spade, but two clubs should receive more votes, and it’s certainly what I would bid at the table. One Notrump also possible, and is my second choice.

PROBLEM D: 2 Clubs
A binary choice again? A bit strong for 1NT, and the single spade stopper is whispering, “something else—not no trump.” So 2 !C it is.

PROBLEM E: 1 Notrump
A binary choice (although I suppose double is also viable). For me, it’s either 1!S or 1NT. While 1NT immediately limits our hand to a specific range, it fails to tell partner of our holding in the spade suit. One spade has the obvious flaw of a less than robust suit (do I want a !S lead?). 
This was very, very close for me. I wonder if the panel will have similar difficulty?

PROBLEM F: 4 Notrump
4NT. I’d like another King. It’s Matchpoints, so who knows. Pass could be right.
 4 !S in a Moysian is possible, and I’m sure there will be a few panel votes for game a level lower. But a 3-3 “fit,” while not likely, is a possibility. And 3-3 play poorly at the four level.

PROBLEM G: (b6)
My first instinct was the “bid what I have” 1 !D, followed by a descriptive jump to 3NT (long solid diamonds). Were this MPs, a prosaic 2NT open would be fine. But it’s IMPs. I want to find the slam—in whatever strain—if it’s there. The descriptive jump to 3NT will help partner assess our chances. It’s risky: Marilyn nailed it when she commented that it screams for a club lead. Crossing my fingers for some luck. Basically, the upside of this risk outweighs the downside.
I think a couple of the alternatives are interesting:
Opening 1 !D then tossing in a “fake suit” jump shift of 3 !C may steer the opponents away from a club lead. Or not.
A fake jump-shift into a three card major, 1 !D – 1 !H – 2 !S, attempting to right-side 3NT (if partner had a club stop) is also interesting. This is actually my second choice.
Tough problem.

PROBLEM H: Diamond 10
Partner has very little. With the opps playing Reverse Smolen, partner has either one or, very rarely, two hearts. If I lead a heart, I need partner to have the A, K, or T.  Is there a reason to give a rule-of-eleven count on my heart suit by leading the six? No, so I would opt for the deuce.
But today I’m leading something else. I worry the heart lead gives away the suit, so I’m hoping to hit gold with a diamond lead. I choose the ten—beginning the unblock—and hope I am finding partner’s five card minor. The diamond King is also a possibility.
(I hate lead problems!)
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: DrAculea on February 10, 2020, 12:44:13 PM
SOLUTIONS FOR:
Wladislaws Dragwlya
Castrum Sex
Romania

PROBLEM A: Pass
PROBLEM B: 4 Hearts
PROBLEM C: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM D: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM E: 1 Notrump
PROBLEM F: 4 Spades
PROBLEM G: (b6)
PROBLEM H: Heart 6
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: Curls77 on February 10, 2020, 02:17:36 PM
9:15 am eastenrn, running!

PROBLEM A: 3C
PROBLEM B: 3N
PROBLEM C: 2C
PROBLEM D: 2C
PROBLEM E: 1S
PROBLEM F: 4N
PROBLEM G: b6
PROBLEM H: h6

To be honest on G I'd opt for b3 answer, but I cheated and looked at evaluator, K&R (AJT K9 AKQJT7 T3) = 21.60, wow! If that's true value of this hand, then I suppose it should be open 2N, but it's something I'd never dare lol
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on February 10, 2020, 02:17:55 PM
I was glad to see that, on E,  Todd found it a close call as to bidding 1NT or 1 !S. So did I. I see that everyone, or close to everyone, chose 1NT. [Curls also went with 1 !S I now see]

A couple of reasons:
1. My major is spades, not hearts. If the auction does not die out at the one level, we might want to contest their 2 !H contract with 2 !S.
2. Often NT plays better when a lot of the values are in lesser honors, and suit contracts play better when the honors are aces and kings.

But yes, I hardly want a spade lead and perhaps that should settle the issue for 1NT. But I went with 1 !S. We will see what the panel thinks.
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: Masse24 on February 10, 2020, 03:09:49 PM
I was glad to see that, on E,  Todd found it a close call as to bidding 1NT or 1 !S. So did I. I see that everyone, or close to everyone, chose 1NT. [Curls also went with 1 !S I now see]

A couple of reasons:
1. My major is spades, not hearts. If the auction does not die out at the one level, we might want to contest their 2 !H contract with 2 !S.
2. Often NT plays better when a lot of the values are in lesser honors, and suit contracts play better when the honors are aces and kings.

But yes, I hardly want a spade lead and perhaps that should settle the issue for 1NT. But I went with 1 !S. We will see what the panel thinks.

I truly thought it a coin flip. Maybe the panel will think differently.

One thought about overcalling 1 !S was that I could later double, if needed, to show both a five-card spade suit as well as the strength to compete further.

We'll know soon.
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: jcreech on February 10, 2020, 03:26:34 PM
I really thought someone would double.  It isn't that hard to think of the Txxxx as a four bagger - I used to do that all the time with a former partner - then the shape feels more right for a double.  In my mind, 1NT, 1 !S, and Dbl are the three choices, in that order.  All are reasonable choices, the rest is partnership agreements and personal valuations.
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: Masse24 on February 10, 2020, 04:57:16 PM
MASSIVE scores on the Honor Roll, here: https://www.bridgeworld.com/indexphp.php?page=/pages/msc/mschonorrollforlastmonth.html (https://www.bridgeworld.com/indexphp.php?page=/pages/msc/mschonorrollforlastmonth.html)

It took a 750 to make the MSC Honor Roll, a huge number.

Nice job Marilyn scoring a 740. No bad guesses!  ;D
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on February 10, 2020, 05:09:32 PM
PROBLEM A: 3 Clubs                   0
PROBLEM B: 3 Notrump           100
PROBLEM C: 2 Clubs                100
PROBLEM D: 2 Clubs                100
PROBLEM E: 1 Spade                  90
PROBLEM F: 4 Notrump            100
PROBLEM G: (b6)                       70
PROBLEM H: Heart 6                   90
                                               650

I expected E, G, or H might score badly, but they did ok sort of. I did not expect A to score badly.  I did consider the X, scoring 80. Shows spades and diamonds I suppose, but I thought I needed five spades for that. Maybe double, intending to follow with 3 !D to show a not so standard snapdragon. Maybe so.
And I thought 2 !S would be spades without diamond support.  Live and learn.
But 3 !C seemed reasonable enough. To me.  0 panel votes and a score of 0.
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: jcreech on February 10, 2020, 05:24:17 PM
Congratulations to MarilynLi, this month's winner; she just missed having enough points for the BW Honor Roll by 10 points.

NAMEBW-SCORERANKMPs
MarilynLi     740   1   20
Masse24     680   2   15
BabsG     660   3   10
Blubayou     660   3   10
JCreech     660   3   20
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Also participating and receiving 1 Monster Point are (alphabetically): Curls77, DickHy, DrAculea, GG_Bridge, Hoki, KenBerg, WackoJack and one anonymous participant.  JCreech also received bonus points for matching 75% or more with declared partner KenBerg.

We had a nice turnout! Hopefully we can continue to build on this in the coming months!

Commentary is still welcome for this set.  :) There were some interesting problems, solutions, and choices by our members.
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: jcreech on February 10, 2020, 05:43:58 PM
Some of the scores were interesting. 

I was shocked that 3 !C on Problem A was a zero, and that result caught nearly all participants.

I was also stunned that on Problem G that 2NT received 100.  I thought the entire panel would view the hand as being too good for that bid, but was prepared for any number of other choices to outscore mine.  I was more prepared for 2NT to get a zero than for 3 !C on Problem A to get a zero.

I will be very interested to see what the reasoning was for the lead problem.  I can understand a mild difference between the two low hearts, but the only reason I can think of for the 2 scoring higher than the 6 is it being deceptive when dummy also has four.  Also the Q received almost no points; the best reason I can think of is the panel expects the declaring side to have the 10 and the lead pickles the suit.
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on February 10, 2020, 05:50:57 PM
The lead problem: If Rho has three hearts then partner has a stiff. If it's a stiff T, or even worse the stiff K, you do not want to lead the Q.
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: Masse24 on February 10, 2020, 07:30:15 PM
I get the panel's preference for the !H deuce over the !H six. It would have been my second choice. I assume my reasons were in line with the panel's. But I am perplexed by the scoring for the diamond leads. I thought I was being so clever with my unblock of the !D T, attempting to hit my partner's suit. They scored the !D 4 a 70, but only 10 for the !D 10? Is no once concerned about blocking the suit? Apparently not. Sigh . . .

Good job to Blu, by the way, for understanding this and choosing the winning lead. (Though the chances of this making any difference are almost nil).
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: blubayou on February 11, 2020, 02:34:01 AM
lead problem  :    hearts is either the mother-lode  or it isnt  --KEEP your big ones   even the six!   deception has no roll in this problem     


I LOST my deuce  [actually the three]  to enemy's  54 on 4th round  with this exact holding in BBO  a week after the msc  set was posted!   


should i smell "RAT"  inBBO dealing???
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: jcreech on February 11, 2020, 02:56:50 AM
A late entrant to MSC, and a victim of the infamous spam folder routing.  Good to see your entry GG_Bridge.  I have added your name to this month's participants.

SOLVER: Charlene Gallaty
        Bedford TX
        U.S.A.

Your Solutions for the March 2020 Contest
-------------------
PROBLEM A: 2 Spades
PROBLEM B: 4 Diamonds
PROBLEM C: 2 Diamonds
PROBLEM D: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM E: Double
PROBLEM F: 5 Clubs
PROBLEM G: (a)
PROBLEM H: Heart 6
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: wackojack on February 11, 2020, 11:06:34 AM
Where I fell short:

A Zero
Went with the 3  !C crowd on A.  The lead directing fit non jump bid of 2  !S did not  occur to me. I have not looked to see if BWS confirms that 2 !S is a fit bid. I see now that I should have thought of this. 

B Zero
 I bid 4  !C because that is what I would have done at the table believing that it is technically superior to 3NT because it is the only way I can convey to partner that I have the K !C which could be crucial for partner to know.  Sadly BWS rules 4 !C is a serious slam try rather than a mild slam try and presumably this ruled out any panellists voting for it. 

H 90
I overlooked the remote possibility that the 6 !H might become good if I led the 2 whereas the 2 would not if I led the 6.   
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on February 11, 2020, 01:44:53 PM
I am not understanding the discussion about whether to lead the 6 or the 2, unless we are assuming that dummy might come down with a five card heart suit.
Assuming dummy hits with four, then after T1 dummy will have three and declarer will have either two or one.  I will have the QJ9x. It was mentioned that dummy could have the 5 and the 4. OK, suppose he starts with the AK54. I lead a small hear, the 2 or the 6, and after trick one maybe dummy has AK5 on the board or maybe A54. If declarer still has the Tx my QJ  will take care of that, even if I am leading the suit instead of covering a card declaer leads. Every time I am in I lead a top heart and, eventually, my 9 is good. And my spot.

So, when dummy cmes down with four, I just am not seeing how it matters. I agree that it could matter if dummy comes down with five.

Assuming that I simply have a blind spot, could someone explain this? It's in the nature of blind spots that we do not see them.

Here is  an example from one of the "crazy slams" session that I noted at the time.

At T1 against a NT contract a diamond is led from T8543. Some play second best leads from such a holding, so the 8 was chosen. The full layout was:

                       KQ62

T8543                                   J7

                       A9


The 8 is led, dummy plays small, third hand must rise with the J to keep declarer from winning with the 9, declarer takes the A.
Now declarer can lead the 9, letting it ride of not covered. So the 9 is covered with the T, dummy plays the Q, the 7 falls under the Q, and the K and 6 are both good.

This one I picked up on when I saw it. The choice of spots can matter. But I am not seeing how it matters on the problem at hand, unless dummy can come down with five cards. I was assuming that if dummy was 5-5 in the majors they would have a way to show that, so I assumed 5-4. I agree this assumption could be an error, but so far nobody has said anything about a five card dummy. I get the idea people are saying the  choice of spots could matter even when dummy comes down with four cards, and, having QJ9 in my hand, I just don't see it. After the first round, dummy has three cards, declarer two (or one), it seems that  the QJ9 should suffice.

Help please.

Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: Masse24 on February 11, 2020, 02:57:02 PM
I lead the !H 2 (instead of the !H 6) because:

   1.) I expect a stiff in partner's hand.
   2.) It may cause mild confusion with declarer, who may misread the !H position. (Maybe he wins trick 1 when a duck is best?)
   3.) It costs nothing to do so. (Any confusion on the part of partner is of no matter.)
   4.) So misdirection, subterfuge, hoodwinkery is exactly why I am doing it.
   
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on February 11, 2020, 06:28:18 PM
Yes, the false card for misdirection makes sense to me. I decided against it but I considered it. Partner will not have much but he has a little something and, assuming the spades are eventually developed and run, he will have to choose some discards and knowing my shape could be, I suppose, important. At any rate I decided to play it straight. But the false card makes sense.

As to how many hearts dummy will hit with, their auction showed five spades and four hearts. Could it be five hearts? I doubt it. Since they can show four hearts and five spades I assume that they can also show five hearts and four spades, and thus 1NT - 2 !H - 2 !S - 3 !H presumably is a game forcing 5-5. So I assume dummy will hit with exactly four hearts so my QJ9x should cover all possibilities after the first round, however that first round goes and whatever my x is.

Anyway. yes, as a deceptive play I can see leading the deuce.
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: EddyHaskel on February 11, 2020, 09:03:32 PM
I scored only 600
A double  80 (why not tell pard we have exactly four spades and opening pt count? 2S was my 2nd choice but panel's first
B 4D       30 (why not look for "serious" slam? we have a double fit and can always stop of at 5 if needed)
C 2D       60   (yes I reverse, KnR agrees w/17.65 pts..also 2D shows my correct hand pattern)
D 2C      100
E  1S       90  I'm with Curls.  If 1NT pard will never ever believe I have five spades
F  Pass    80  If pard has the cojones to X their 4H we ought to set this at matchpoints for a + score
G (b3)    70 
H  H6      90
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on February 13, 2020, 10:58:25 PM
I am hoping that the panel's answers will clarify the meaning of some options on A. I did consider doubling.

Consider the contested auction 1 !C - 1 !D - 1 !H - X.

In BWS, VI C, we find:
Among advancer's actions when responder bids a new suit:
(a) a double shows length in the unbid suit plus a tolerance for overcaller's suit;
(b) a cue-bid in opener's suit is similar to one had responder passed;
(c) a cue-bid in responder's suit is a strong raise of overcaller's suit;
(d) a simple bid in the unbid suit is nonforcing.

So a double would show spades plus a tolerance of diamonds.

But how many spades? And just tolerance? And, importantly, does the same general idea hold after 1 !C - 2 !D - 2 !H - X?

My understanding of the Snapdragon double, as 1 !C - 1 !D - 1 !H - X is called, is that it shows five spades and modest tolerance for !D. For 1 !C - 2 !D - 2 !H - X  I can imagine it being different. The situation is certainly different. Partner now has more diamonds than he would promise  for a 1 !D call and fewer points. And he seems even less likely to be holding four spades. And maybe 1 !C - 2 !D - 2 !H - 2 !S should also show a diamond fit (else we are getting pretty high) and just be guiding the defense if they go on in hearts.

But I was not sure of any of it, so I decided that we will contest this in diamonds, forget the spades, and see where that takes us. Playing in a 4-3 spade fit when a 6-4 diamond fit is available did not appeal to me.

Well, I get 0 for my choice. So I await their thinking. I still sleep well, but I do await their thinking.
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on February 16, 2020, 10:01:10 PM
There were three pages of discussion on Problem A.
Quote from the moderator, Eric Kokish: "Although not explicitly, the doublers treat this as a version of Snapdragon: diamond tolerance and fewer spades than a bid of two spades".  Well sort  of. My understanding is that a Snapdragon double shows spades and a diamond tolerance, 2 !S shows spades without a diamond tolerance.  But the double, as I understand Snapdragoon, still shows five spades.  But is a double snapdragon when partner has made a weak jump overcall?

What I got out of the three pages of discussion is that there is pretty substantial uncertainty as to just what 2 !S would be. Philip Adler chose a call of 3 !S. If my partner did that I might still be at the table trying to figure out just what he had.

There was an amusing variant at the club the other day.  Nobody vul, Rho dealt and bid 1 !C, I decided to jump in with 2 !D holding

void
T763
AKJ74
9876

If anyone wants to say mean things about my 2 !D call I heartily agree but I did it. Lho now bid 2 !H, I was getting a feeling of deja vu.
Partner bid 3 !D and they went on to 4 !H, off 3. Who has the spades? I was wondering about that myself. Partner had a 6=2=3=2 shape. I have no idea what I was going to do had he bid 2 !S over 2 !H. He has six to the J.         

As to the lead of the heart deuce on H, Bart Bramley opines "There is not much use in leading an honest count card when I have most of our assets" Well, ok.  And there are a pile of reasons offered for instead leading the 6. The 2 scores 100, the 6 scores 90, I'm ok with that.


Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: Masse24 on February 17, 2020, 02:01:42 AM
March solutions. Eric Kokish was the director.
A handful of the panel’s comments:



PROBLEM A: 2 !S. Friendly scoring by Kokish, with five answers scoring 70 or above.

Kokish began with, “The main criterion was tactics, either in choosing the appropriate number of diamonds or in showing spades without overstating prospects.” Indeed.

Berkowitz: “Two spades. Before insisting on diamonds, let’s see how partner feels about spades. Is: !S Qxx !H x !D AQxxxx !C xxx too much to hope for? This deal ha the makings of a double game swing.”

Bramley: “Four diamonds. Bid the limit immediately.”

DickHy: “At the table, however, I would probably diagnose this as a 20-20 hand, where a part-score was the limit.  We should make 8 tricks (2S, and 6D) even if overcaller has AQxxxx in D and nothing else and, in that case, we can make 9 if overcaller has 3 cards in C (overcaller might easily be 3262 however).  A 9th trick might also come if overcaller has SQ or CK.”

I thought this an extremely difficult problem with many viable answers. The panel seemed to agree, both by their answers and opinions.


PROBLEM B: 3NT.

I‘ll begin with my own assessment, “What else?”

But my thoughts are not what count. So . . .
Kokish: “In BWS, four hearts over two hearts would have been a picture bid: for most, strong clubs and hearts, no spade or diamond control, and 2=4=2=5.”

Which is what KenBerg wrote: “For the auction 1 !S - 2 !C - 2 !H - 4 !H I would understand the 4 !H to show good hearts, good clubs and you are on your own in the other suits. For example
xx / KJxx / xx / AKQJx
would be fine. And if that's what is meant by raising 2 !H to 4 !H then raising 2 !H to 3 !H is anything else with a heart fit.”

Willenken. echoing my “what else” thinking: “3NT. I do not understand this problem. Can’t sign off with great hearts and side controls nor make a serious slam-try with a minimum including three low spades. Textbook hand for non-serious try.” Yup.


PROBLEM C: 2 !C.

JCreech: “Partner’s expected heart bid puts me in a bind that I should have anticipated.  All of my options are bad so this is a least lie situation.  I don’t think this is right for a Moysian, so 1S is out, I don’t like bidding an immediate 1NT with a singleton in partner’s suit, not enough points to reverse and not enough hearts to raise – guess what that leaves?  The club suit is robust enough for me to rebid and pretend there are six.” This explanation is as good as any of the panelists.

Agreeing were Janice Seamon Molson, Pepsi, and Jeff Rubens: “Two clubs. Closest description of my hand, the least of horrible choices, and seems to lie the least.”

This was, however, an almost binary choice, with 1 !S coming in a close second. Hence the high scores for 1 !S (even with a three-card suit).


PROBLEM D: 2 !C. Almost unanimous, which is rare. Thirteen of fourteen IAC bidders chose this, so it was apparently fairly obvious to our crew as well.

George Jacobs concurring: “Two clubs. Obvious. A rare occurrence."

Pepsi: “Two clubs. Everyone’s bid.”

Hoki, putting it succinctly with, “2 !C.”

Wackojack: “2 !C. It describes the hand.”


PROBLEM E: 1NT. Close. Very, very close. A coin flip.

Twelve panel votes for 1NT and ten for one spade. Double received several votes, but was a distant third. All three possible bids scored highly.
 
KenBerg “found it a close call as to bidding 1NT or 1 !S. . . . I see that everyone, or close to everyone, chose 1NT. [Curls also went with 1 !S I now see]
A couple of reasons:
1. My major is spades, not hearts. If the auction does not die out at the one level, we might want to contest their 2 !H contract with 2 !S.
2. Often NT plays better when a lot of the values are in lesser honors, and suit contracts play better when the honors are aces and kings.
But yes, I hardly want a spade lead and perhaps that should settle the issue for 1NT. But I went with 1 !S."

The panel explanations go back and forth, primarily between 1 !S and 1NT. For obvious reasons. All make good points.


PROBLEM F: 4NT. With 4 !S close behind. Pass, too, garnered some votes.

Rubens in summarizing said, “There is something positive to say about each of the main candidates, and I’d be surprised to see any smug comments.” I agree. All viable choice—ANY OF WHICH COULD BE RIGHT.

Barry Rigal, recognizing the risk in bidding the spade game: “4 NT. Taking out takeout double works well for me, and I’m not a sufficient fan of Mr. Moyse to head for a four-three (or three-three) fit.”

BluBayou initially bailed on this one, deeming it too hard: "Too hard; maybe Feb9th lightning will have struck." Apparently there was a storm early this month because Blu found the winning 4NT.


PROBLEM G: 2NT. This was a majority. Personally, I was surprised. I had guessed it would be between this and the 1 !D open then 3NT rebid, but that the votes would be far closer.

Meckstroth: “2NT. Simple is sometimes best. Witness the problem rebids with the other options.”

Wackojack also chose simple: "This hand is well worth 20HCP. Automatic 2NT."

There were a few who, like our IAC crew, saw the slam potential in first bidding diamonds to convey the length.


PROBLEM H: !H 2. Twenty-two of twenty-seven panelists led a heart. Thirteen chose the deuce.

Kokish: "A heavy majority picked dummy's four-card suit, with more support for the "slightly-deceptive" deuce than the honest, very-rarely-spot-wasting six."

Bramley: “There’s not much point in leading an honest count card when I have most of our assets.”

Becker: “The deuce might confuse declarer and is unlikely to trick partner . . . .”

BluBayou, our only IAC voter who got this one right opined: "lead problem: hearts is either the mother-lode or it isn't--KEEP your big ones even the six! Deception has no roll in this problem." So we give Blu credit for the !H deuce, but deduct for the "deception has no role" comment. I'm thinking half-credit. Whaddya think? Blu? ;)

So a bit of hoodwinkery was the intent of at least a couple of panelists. I completely booted the lead problem, so will hide in shame.





ADDITIONAL COMMENTS ARE STILL WELCOME.
That’s it. On to the April problems.
Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: jcreech on February 17, 2020, 03:01:04 PM
Thank you Todd!

One question - I noticed this month that the proportion of IAC quotes had increased compared to the Bridge World panel.  Does this mean that at least one IAC member is doing a more complete, succinct and pithy description of the panel response than anyone on the pane?

Title: Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: Masse24 on February 17, 2020, 04:10:18 PM
Thank you Todd!

One question - I noticed this month that the proportion of IAC quotes had increased compared to the Bridge World panel.  Does this mean that at least one IAC member is doing a more complete, succinct and pithy description of the panel response than anyone on the pane?

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
A dearth of comments this month, Jim. We usually get plenty-o-pithy in the IAC forum. But no matter, I can make them up on the fly if needed.