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Chew the Fat! => IAC & Master Solvers Club => Topic started by: Masse24 on September 12, 2020, 02:09:02 AM

Title: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: Masse24 on September 12, 2020, 02:09:02 AM
NOVEMBER 2020 MSC

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

Submit your NOVEMBER MSC responses here: The Bridge World - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB (https://www.bridgeworld.com/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)


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Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: blubayou on September 19, 2020, 03:26:00 AM


Quote from: blubayou on September 12, 2020, 11:13:15  (http://iac.pigpen.org.uk/smf/index.php?topic=487.msg3296#msg3296)   In violent contrast to last month, and most others,  I have wrapped November up in twelve minutes flat. <sad-face>   Actually,  I can fuss over problem A, C,  and the lead problem   but likely, I will loose points if making either change.   

  It didn't take long to realize there is more puzzlement in these questions than implied by that quote above!   All my answers have remained the same after a week's mulling, but the idea that they are mostly one-answer problems  has gone up in smoke.

PROBLEM A:>   Two hearts is the closest bid to forcing that I can imagine that might not BE forcing.  I have given my obligatory nothing-rebid (2 diamonds)  and now what i have left is about the best possible spade holding I can have,  so  that is my re-re-bid.   Don't ask me where I will go when I hear 2NT or 3 Diamonds,  but it MIGHT start with "H".

PROBLEM B:>   3 Hearts ---  ONE-answer problem.

PROBLEM C:>   I am staying with 3 clubs which is non-forcing hence not going to get a lot of vote-support. 3 diamonds also non-forcing is in the same boat. I am against game-forcing  (ie: cue-bid)  and especially  "co-operative/takeout double"!  Co-operative means to me  "might be left in"  which cannot be seriously offered with only one trump.

PROBLEM D:>   DO you dare offer to be dropped in game with 10 guaranteed tricks-- when partner has promised "something, somewhere"?  Do you shoot the works, hoping pard's "somethings" WILL NOT be totally locked away from you?   Sounds like the story of the three bears,  so I am staying with the mama-bear's FIVE spades.   Somebody please discuss  "4 hearts".  From a disapproving point of view, I expect.

PROBLEM E:>   I am sure the BWS panel has this 4D rebid convention buried in their notes somewhere  and that the problem-setter was too embarrassed to put a note about it at the bottom.   4D shows a stretchy game raise with massive diamond suit   No way  the overcall changes this.
  4 Diamonds --  ONE-bid answer. 
{If partner has spade KQxx,  heart Hxxx and busted in clubs,  forcing game by any route won't fly so well.}
PROBLEM F:>  Honor-fifth with partner gives us 8 winners.  Pard has more than this, but does that add up to nine tricks, or somehow ten?   I hope my cuebid   will let partner solve this puzzle,  but am not too confident.                                                  anyway   ---  3 HEARTS

PROBLEM G:>   My lead?   Diamond jack.  Oh  the call is   PASS; (ONE-answer question.)

PROBLEM H:>   yes to pass; leading a trump       <<--- pard would bench me for 'safe exit' of trumps, if his diamond king  was the 800 card!, and dummy were entryless!!           
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: jcreech on September 24, 2020, 08:33:21 PM
Initial thought for the November contest:

Problem A:  2NT - Partner has forced me twice and then bid a suit.  Clearly one thing partner wants to know is - am I alive?  With 5 HCPs, I am alive; with a queen and 3 jacks, I am probably on life support.  But what is 2 !H?  Is it a real suit, or a cue bid in support of diamonds?  I don't know, so I think the best move I can make is to try 2NT.  That will show my club stop, says I am alive, but not much since I did not try NT before this.  If nothing else, I am largely out of the way for partner to clarify their bidding.

Problem B:  3 !C - Negative doubles of this type usually have the other minor or a fit for the original minor.  While I am not afraid of the heart Moysian, I think I would like to encourage getting to the right fit.  By bidding clubs, it emphasizes that I truly have diamonds and guarantees that I do not have four hearts.  Whether this actually gets us to the best spot is yet to be seen.

Problem C:  3 !C -  I am torn between making invitational bids such as 3 !C/ !D or forcing with 2 !S.  If I could swap a diamond for a spade, I would be more inclined to try the cooperative double.

Problem D: 4 !S - If things go completely rotten for you on this hand, you can go down two in game; badly, but moderately normal breaks, you will make with nothing useful from partner.  Partner says that they have some values, but are they useful in any fashion?  Three small diamonds and the stiff SK could be enough for the grand to come home, while the CA  and nothing else will be completely worthless unless the opponents lead the suit.  I will bid what I think we can make because there is no way for me to find out what I need to know.

Problem E: 4 !D - 3 !S and 4 !D are picture bids that might be used on this hand - one showing shortness, while the other a source of tricks.  The only reason why I like 3 !S better is that it leaves a bit more room to explore.  But what I really want to know below game is whether partner has good trump - then I would be willing to check on keycards.  Guess I will go with my first thought.

Problem F: 3 !C - Time to compare the back of my cards with the others at the table.  How can I have 18 prime HCPs and everyone else have something to say.  With four spades too, how can I not try for game.  Ok, I also have two possible cue bids that I can make.  I've already shown a stop in hearts, and clubs are cheaper, so I think it is the more appropriate one to bid. I will worry about the next bid after partner has a say.

Problem G:  Pass - I do not think the contract will make, so I am hoping for at least one trick better than we can make ourselves (200 vs. partscore, 500 vs. game). 

Problem H:  3 !S - At last someone has listened to Dick and Todd, a lead problem without, potentially, a lead.  I chose to avoid the lead problem.  The question is whether to jump to show 10 HCPs or not to give partner a bit of leeway for doubling in the balancing seat.  It will be interesting to see if the Panel remembers their thinking from a recent problem set.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: yleexotee on September 26, 2020, 06:04:18 PM
I had a chance to look at these ahead of my usual last second answering. Here are my current thoughts on these:


A. 2nt - Considering pass also. spade and a club stopper, hopefully p isn't counting on my diamond stopper too much.
B. 3H - this is trying to avoid too much of a disaster
C. 2S - I just need something forcing, and I don't mind if this is interpreted as club support. I will likely end up bidding m diamonds again but we basically a Game going hand, possibly in a 5-4 club fit.
D. 6S -This is a problem hand as I feel I need some agreement or system help to really explore. I'm not giving up this 1 loser hand for less than slam when p is showing something more than a minimum.
E. 4H - 3H might be the right bid, but I would be too disappointed not to be in game.
F. This is a problem hand for me as I don't know what 2S is. Is it a transfer to clubs, is it to play like a lebensohl but over 2c interference instead of systems on. why would p trans to club. I think I need some BWS info here.
G. 2nt - I've already denied a 4 card major so hopefully p won't make that mistake, I'm considering bumping this to 3nt.
H. 4S - not much appeals to me at this time.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: blubayou on September 28, 2020, 02:30:17 PM
A complete about-face on problem E:    This is not a hand to set up our slam auction--yet.  It is a GAME try!   Partner bid at the one level,  and there is plenty of room for him to have bad hearts + spade face-cards -- then these running diamonds will be too little and much too late.  I considered for a week  changing my game force from 4 diamonds  to 3 spades thinking pard with such a hand might save the day by bidding 3NT,   but if he doesn't have game-accepting values, that probably would cut our losses from 4H down 2+   to 3NT down 1.  there's plenty of time to bid my fool head off if after my mere jump to 3H  if and when he can say 3 spades.  I guess we will be missing a claimer for 12 if he can draw trumps in 3 pulls, so tomorrow, I may find the glass is half full again-- dammit.       anyway,  for now  a measly THREE HEARTS

Partner is going to need a happy-pill to get us to a makeable 4 spades on PROBLEM F.   3rd and 4th hand appear to be sharing the missing 10 points about equally, so the best we can hope fore over there is K-sixth spades, and a diamond picture.  MY heart cue bid is wrong--need to show him the club ace, so he can stop worrying that the killing lead has just been called for. But he will still need to be a real optimist tho go for 4 spades even so.
    THREE CLUBS

My fantasy on PROBLEM G  (PROBLEM H!!, lordie) is that we can hold 3 diamond opener to six  trump winners, plus NOTHING, for +800! Thus I must not pick off my partner's trump winner by leading trumps.   The spade ace should not blow a trick and it sure wont give opp a make if it does. In the real world, dummy isnt dead to declarer or he can manage a seventh trick on his own,  but I am leaving in a takeout double without a shred of trump stack, so if we need to make up for a missed game, I need that 800, by playing everybody for EXACTLY what can make that a possibility.  ---- PASS / SPADE ACE

As for the actual PROBLEM G...Dear DickH,  in the MSC. partner is entitled to have some raggedy mini-Roman for the re-opening double,  and still I am in quest for the elusive minus 180 all the same,  Is it really true that across the pond opener may just hang it up when dealt 11-12 pts and 'perfect pattern'?    And by the way,  Again it is very good to hear from you again, Your unique take on these quizzes makes my day,  especially when you and I stand alone against the world :-*

And  as for PROBLEM E...thanks for providing this quote: "3C is one option.  I prefer 3S if it is certain that it is a splinter bid agreeing H - what else could it be? ".  My partnerships do not play splinter in the remaining suit  after an opposing overcall, but rather a freak 2-suiter,  (maybe 5=?=7=?  here :)) .  yet i am considering it as a way to avoid 4H in favor of 3NT if pard has k732 in that suit (hearts!, not spades!),  hoping pard has not remembered or doesnt, believe.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: Masse24 on September 28, 2020, 08:09:18 PM
PROBLEM E: First I need to decide whether this hand is merely invitational or a game-force. I’m fairly conservative, but even I would nudge this into the “too strong to invite” category, so game-force it is. That leaves me with three ways to get there:

1.   4 !H — A jump straight to game. Why do this? There are other methods that get us to game but are more descriptive. I never make this jump if I have a picture bid available. Never.
2.   3 !S — Splinter. I “see” this first. I love splinters and use them whenever appropriate. They are very descriptive.
3.   4 !D — Should show “good” four-card hearts and a long, strong diamond suit—a picture bid. Okay, my hearts are not as strong as the strict definition of this jump, but the diamond suit certainly is. And that !C A sort of makes up for the dearth of heart strength.

I prefer the way that 4 !D describes the hand more than 3 !S. That massive !D suit is the primary feature of my hand, more so than the stiff !S.

So for now . . . 4 !D.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: thornbury on September 30, 2020, 12:05:27 PM
PROBLEM A: 2 Notrump
PROBLEM B: 3 Hearts
PROBLEM C: Double
PROBLEM D: 6 Spades
PROBLEM E: 4 Hearts
PROBLEM F: 3 Spades
PROBLEM G: 2 Notrump
PROBLEM H: 4 Spades
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on October 01, 2020, 04:56:48 PM
I have cleaned this up a bit.

Problem A: I will back up the auction:

---    1 !C    X  Pass
1 !D    Pass 2 !C

Partner did not bid 2 !H, not yet.  Now to the auction we are given in the problem. What should we make of first bidding 2 !C and then 2 !H ?
I am going to assume partner has a !H suit. First, an undiscussed artificial 2 !H is a good way to end in a 3-2 fit. Second, I have only two hearts, rho did not bid !H over X and lho did not bid !H over 1 !D. Neither argument is conclusive, but I will assume he has a !H suit and, if he does not, he has some plan.

Still, just what could he have? Let's look at some hands.

!S   Axx 
!H   AKTxxx 
!D   AJ 
!C   Ax 

Holding this, I double 1 !C and then, when partner responds 1 !D, I bid 2 !H. I am willing to bet that the hand belongs in !H, or possibly NT, and I need a little but not much from partner to make 4 !H.


How about
!S   Axx 
!H   AKTx 
!D   AJx 
!C   Axx 

With this, I X over 1 !C and when partner responds 1 !D I rebid 1NT. The hand is too strong for an immediate 1NT overcall, so this seems right.

So just when is it that after my X and partner's 1 !D, I decide to first bid 2 !C and then later bid 2 !H ?

I'm thinking about that, but I am not yet sure. One reasonable interpretation is that I am saying "I have a big hand, I think the hand might belong in !H even though you lack four cards support, but it also might belong elsewhere".

Now back to the South hand to choose a rebid over the 2 !H. I opt for 2NT.

At any rate, I think the interesting question is: Just when does partner first go to 2 !C and then to 2 !H? When would I do it? Not often, I am sure.
 
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: blubayou on October 01, 2020, 07:07:21 PM
I like:  AKxx, AQTxxx, AQJ,  ---   But then who wouldn't.  A hand that  can well imagine we the partner might have a true yarborough.    ( I did express my doubts that we are even allowed to pass the 2 Hearts call)   After 2 spades,  that hand will give us 3 Diamonds, and I go back to 3 Hearts.   and i imagine he will get the drift of my 2 spade re-rebid and surely not miss game, and may find our way to slam  via, for instance,  4  clubs...5 hearts.   "On life-support, indeed" winkie-face
----added: If we agree I cannot pass 2!H,  then my 4th bid must be a jump, or game bid, as the 2 spade effort will have lost any implications of values in that case
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: Masse24 on October 01, 2020, 07:58:50 PM
I agree, Ken, 2 !H is hearts.

Is it game-forcing? No, not in my opinion.

Is it big? Yes . . . very. But not so big it can unilaterally leap to game.

My construction would be about an Ace or so bigger than what is expected for a "minimum-ish" double-and-correct (what's that --17 or 18?). So partner has in the 21+ to 22+ range. Maybe?

I think Blu came up with a decent construction, though with that hand I would simply bid 1 !H (maybe 2 !H) over the 1 !D advance. I'm sure there are other constructions we could imagine. For example:

!S AKxx - !H AKQxx - !D AQJ - !C x 
This is a little more in line with the auction thus far.

Additionally, if the takeout-doubler had a hand where the strain (hearts) was not in question, but needed only a whisper of help to make game, then a jump to 3 !H would be in order, saying in effect, "partner, bid game with any excuse." Partner did not do that, so I think strain is still in question.


ADDED:
I'm more convinced that partner's bidding, because of the failure to jump, shows either a five-card suit or broken six-card suit.

The double--cue bid--new suit path should be a one-round force.

As I wrote earlier, strain is still in doubt. I thnk any of 2 !S or 2NT or 3 !H are viable choices. I think 2NT will be the popular solver choice, but 2 !S will be the sexy choice. It can't be four cards (can it?). As of now, I'm leaning toward the safe 2NT.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: DickHy on October 03, 2020, 11:39:23 AM
I'm rather distracted just now, but I feel compelled to enter this month - the quiz effectively ending at G for once.  Some strange thoughts from Europe:

A.  2S.  The HCP seem to be something like W 12 and E 3, so partner has 20.  From his perspective I could have 2 (W 14 and E 4) to 8 (W 12 and E 0); hence his forcing 2C (my 2D looks a bit wimpish in that context).  P is not balanced, however: as Ken said he would have bid 2N not 2H.  So, he could have good H (4540 or 4630) or he could have D and is exploring NT (4450 or 4441) by showing stops in H.  I don’t fancy bidding 2N because if E has Qxx or Kxx in clubs, which is entirely possible, they can reel off the first 5 tricks in 3N.  If partner bids 3H over 2S, I can raise to 4H otherwise it looks as though we’re destined for 5D – at least I won’t have to put my tram tickets on the table for all to see.  5D looks ok although I’d like another entry to play across N twice (once in D and once in S).  I will have to ruff the third H and play a D across him – conceding a S. 

B.  3H.  I’d expect partner to have 8+ HCP to make a negative double at the 2-level.  I’ve got to lie with this response and 3H seems the less culpable than 3m:  any missing H honour is most likely with E.  I’m not strong enough to bid 3S asking for 3N if p has a S stop.  A 2N rebid is intriguing (show a stop in the bidding and you don’t need one in the play – isn’t that a famous quote?), but EW are vulnerable and so opp’s S suit is likely to be pretty sound: AKJxxx.

C.   2S.  If partner has S we’re playing in 3N otherwise 5m, but partner needs to know we’re heading for game somewhere and 2S seems to be the best bid now.  If he doesn’t bid 2N (say he bids 3H) I can bid 4C.

D.   5S.  How many S – 4 or 6?  “Too strong for a double negative” suggests 4 HCP with partner, which on bad days will be KJx in clubs and on red-letter days SK and DJ.  I’d like very much to bid 5S (just so everyone is clear, Humpty Dumpty explains that this means “bid 6S if some of your HCP is in S”).  Can I make 5S if p has x in S and a useless KJx in clubs? – yeah, of course I can.

E.  3S/3C.  How many H – 4 or 6?  Here it depends on the quality of partner’s H, which we can explore with RKC.  But first, I have to agree H in a forcing way.  Bridge World says that “over a simple overcall, a cue-bid shows a raise with game-invitational or greater strength”, so 3C is one option.  I prefer 3S if it is certain that it is a splinter bid agreeing H - what else could it be?  I suppose a direct 4N is another as long as we have an agreement that it is RKC for the last bid suit.  Then again that looks a bit blunt and simpleminded for these august auctioneers.

F.   3S.  Opponents may have only 15 HCP; opener 11 and West 4 with 6 or 7 clubs – they are white.  North has shown willing, and I am max for my 1N overcall, so 3S seems reasonable.   

G.  pass/2N.  EW are vulnerable and we look to have at least 22 HCP.  Is partner likely to have 16 ish and 4441 (say)?   If so what pays better, passing the x for penalty or bidding 2N which does show my hand well and will take us to 3N?  Will we beat 2C by two tricks? 

H.  4S.  Well, here we are with a chance to avoid a lead problem --- how on earth can I pass????  I don’t like 4D as that really ought to show 44 in the majors.  3S smells of shrinking violets – I have no wasted values.  If we’re going to consign the bidding problem to the bin, let’s do so resoundingly.

Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: blubayou on October 04, 2020, 12:03:11 AM

SOLVER: Jock  McQuade        Pine Grove Mills PA        Uganda
..<comment-limit exceeded--   just the raw data here,  per "the boss' >
PROBLEM A: 2 Spades
PROBLEM B: 3 Hearts
PROBLEM C: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM D: 4 Spades
PROBLEM E: 3 Hearts
PROBLEM F: 3 Clubs

PROBLEM G: Pass
PROBLEM H: Pass | Spade Ace
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on October 04, 2020, 05:10:38 PM
I have been thinking bout 4 !H for D. That can't be natural, right?
After the uncontested auction started with 2 !C - 2 !D - 2 !S - 2NT, I had a chance to bid 3 !H but chose 3 !D, and then partner had a chance to bid 3 !H and chose 3NT. So we are not playing in hearts.

I am thinking that if partner bids 4 !S over 4 !H then I can invite 6 !S with a 5 !C bid. If he still declines, then we will play 5 !S.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: Masse24 on October 04, 2020, 05:46:22 PM
I have been thinking bout 4 !H for D. That can't be natural, right?
After the uncontested auction started with 2 !C - 2 !D - 2 !S - 2NT, I had a chance to bid 3 !H but chose 3 !D, and then partner had a chance to bid 3 !H and chose 3NT. So we are not playing in hearts.

I am thinking that if partner bids 4 !S over 4 !H then I can invite 6 !S with a 5 !C bid. If he still declines, then we will play 5 !S.

Right.

Not sure I would trot out 4 !H. I'll need to think on that one. It had not occurred to me.

Not that it matters. since we must deal with the auction as given--it occurs to me that a possible (preferable?) alternative route would have been:

2 !C - 2 !D
2 !S - 2NT
3 !S - 3NT
4 !D -

But that's not the auction we were provided.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: blubayou on October 04, 2020, 10:50:24 PM
Ken---have you really given him enough data to choose 4 spades with   1=?=3+? pattern (or even 0-?=3/4=? pattern??)with this  <2C>  2!S, 3!d, 4!H  bid plan?, Also  he is simply going to LOVE his hand if he has the club ace for you then??--ouch.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on October 05, 2020, 12:47:58 PM
It's true that partner has so far not said any encouraging word about either spades or diamonds and no doubt there is reason for caution. If all of is values are in hearts and clubs then they are useless since I cannot reach them. Otoh, if he has only one spade and only three hearts, then he has a five card minor and it certainly is not diamonds. Suppose he has
!S x
!H QJx
!D xxx
!C Axxxxx

The auction begins 2 !C - 2 !D - 2 !S. What do I do? Yes, 3 !C is a second negative. But it is only a tentative second negative, I assume. I can bid 3 !C and then, assuming partner bids 3 of something, I can bid 3NT meaning that the clubs are real and I have some values. Or at least that what I think it means.

Caution is warranted, agreed. But if partner has either the !S J or the !D J I should have some play for 6 and if he has both of these cards I have a good play for 6.

MSC hands are rarely if ever clear cut. After 2 !C - 2 !D - 2 !S - 2NT - 3 !D - 3NT partner does not have to have any values in !S or !D but he isn't forbidden to have them either. With a stiff x in !S and a doubleton xx in !D ha probably had a better call than 2NT over 2 !S, so it seems there is some reason to hope. We don't need much from him, we do need something, so as happens with MSC, it's a tough situation.
 
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: bAbsG on October 05, 2020, 02:34:57 PM
SOLVER: Babs Giesbrecht
       Qualicum Beach BC
       Canada

Your Solutions for the November 2020 Contest 
-------------------
PROBLEM A: 2 Notrump
PROBLEM B: 3 Hearts
PROBLEM C: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM D: 5 Spades
PROBLEM E: 4 Diamonds
PROBLEM F: 3 Spades
PROBLEM G: 2 Notrump
PROBLEM H: 4 Spades
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: Masse24 on October 07, 2020, 02:58:25 AM
Trigger not yet pulled, but I will likely stick with these.

PROBLEM A: 2NT. I’ve already mentioned the hand I think partner has. Something 22+ or so. Likely only five hearts. And east has nothing. Zero HCP. I can't envision 10 tricks, but 9 in notrump is possible. If I do not bid 2NT now, I doubt we can end in 3NT.

I do admire the 2 !S bidders.

PROBLEM B: 3 !H. I hate Moysians, but the MSC doesn’t.

PROBLEM C: 2 !S. Automatic. Yes, it’s a mild overbid. But I need to find something forcing in the hopes of finding out more.

PROBLEM D: 5NT. I looked at this over and over and over. 5 !S was the simple bid that always came to mind. I believe it will be the runaway solver choice. Presumably, hearing 5 !S, partner would bid the slam if he had even a stiff honor. So we would play in either 5 !S or 6 !S. But this feels awfully unilateral. So instead I’ll go with the always popular punt to partner bid of 5NT.

PROBLEM E: 4 !D. Too much shape not to force to game. As I wrote upthread, I abhor jumping to game if there is a splinter or picture bid available. Why not describe your hand along the way? The massive !D suit is the primary feature of my hand, so I show it as well as the fit.

PROBLEM F: 2NT. My all or nothing shot. Scores big or not.

Added: Partner is weak, but has at least 5 spades. So we have a nice fit. My heart tenace (a double stop) protects me against a heart lead. Assuming LHO has six clubs, all I need is for partner to have one to withstand a club lead by holding up.

3 !S is my second choice.

PROBLEM G: 2 !D. My first instinct. When I first saw this I thought, “Is this a problem?” That is never a good sign . . .

Playing in a 3-3 fit . . . in a minor . . . at Matchpoints. Probably not a winning move.

Pass is also possible.

PROBLEM H: 4 !S. Another first instinct bid. Mostly because I hate lead problems. Have I mentioned that?




Trigger pulled. No changes from above.

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

PROBLEM A: 2 Notrump
PROBLEM B: 3 Hearts
PROBLEM C: 2 Spades
PROBLEM D: 5 Notrump
PROBLEM E: 4 Diamonds
PROBLEM F: 2 Notrump
PROBLEM G: 2 Diamonds
PROBLEM H: 4 Spades
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: jcreech on October 07, 2020, 11:45:08 AM
Trigger pulled - notes on changes from initial thoughts

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

PROBLEM A: 2 Notrump
PROBLEM B: 3 Hearts  - in my assessment, this hand is not well suited for a Moysian, but Todd is right, MSC loves one
PROBLEM C: 2 Spades - I knew in my gut that I would upgrade to a game force
PROBLEM D: 4 Spades
PROBLEM E: 3 Clubs - as much as I like the picture bids, I think I need to show the fit and retain the room to explore - this is a MSC regret
PROBLEM F: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM G: Pass
PROBLEM H: 3 Spades
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: Masse24 on October 08, 2020, 03:21:21 AM

PROBLEM E: 3 Clubs - as much as I like the picture bids, I think I need to show the fit and retain the room to explore - this is a MSC regret

Jim, does 3 !C "show the fit?"
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: jcreech on October 08, 2020, 01:00:18 PM

PROBLEM E: 3 Clubs - as much as I like the picture bids, I think I need to show the fit and retain the room to explore - this is a MSC regret

Jim, does 3 !C "show the fit?"

It is forcing and implies the fit, which can be clarified, but it does keep the bidding lower which can be critical when trying to locate partner's controls.  I think this is a hand where I need to be captain - an asking, rather than telling situation - perhaps it is because I have two pictures to convey, but only one picture bid that can be used
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: Masse24 on October 08, 2020, 03:25:34 PM

It is forcing and implies the fit, which can be clarified, but it does keep the bidding lower which can be critical when trying to locate partner's controls.  I think this is a hand where I need to be captain - an asking, rather than telling situation - perhaps it is because I have two pictures to convey, but only one picture bid that can be used
This is just the kind of MSC bid that could score big. Or not. I never know.

Assuming that partner cooperates with a suit bid of the next step -- 3 !D here -- so that you may "clarify" with 3 !H, all will be fine. I'm not sure if BWS (or the BWS polls) dives that many layers into contested auctions. Now you have me curious . . . I'll have to look it up. Maybe it's one of those "just bridge" continuations.

I hope they cover this in The Bridge World. It will be an interesting question to have answered.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on October 08, 2020, 04:24:36 PM
About E: I am also thinking of 3 !C.
I start with this: If I bid 4 !D and partner bids 4 !H, surely I must pass. All partner has done is to respond 1 !H to my opening 1 !D (and then bid when forced). So he can have a 6 count and maybe some marginal four card heart holding.

OK, so if he is better he will do more. But how much better?  With !H Axxx and !S Axxx we will, on the lead of the !C K, be losing two !H and a !C, and that is only if !H are 3-2.  If pard has !S A and !H AKxx we can take the !C K with the A, cash to high trump, maybe the Q will drop, sure maybe, but when the Q does not drop maybe we can pitch our losing clubs on the diamonds before they ruff in and cash another !C. So maybe we can make 6 !H. And maybe not.

So: We have first round control of !C, second round control of !S, and a great source of tricks in !D, all to the good. We have weak trumps. It's hard to imagine how we convey all of this to partner. So, echoing Jim, it seems I must find out, if I can, what partner has and then I must take the responsibility for bidding or not bidding the slam.

Afaik, bidding 3 !D just shows !D and a decent hand. So I think 3 !C is reasonable. I assume that this is a !H fit and that partner, at this point, will not think we are in a game force. So, if he bids a passable  3 !H, I will be comfortable raising to 4 !H. This does not show all of my features, but I think it does say "I was hoping for slam, but if you were willing to sign off in 3 !H I think I will settle for 4 !H". Or, if I still want to try over 3 !H, I could then bid 3 !S. Or I could bid 4 !D. But really I think if partner bids 3 !H, rejecting what he sees as a game invitation,  I bid 4 !H. There is this song about how the age of miracles hasn't passed, but I go with 4 !H over 3 !H.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: Masse24 on October 08, 2020, 05:58:30 PM
To me, 3 !C is a game-force, and that's all. The reason for it--like a 4SF bid--will be explained next round.

To agree trump it must be later (as Jim states) "clarified." Ken obviously disagrees.

If it generally forces a relay acceptance from partner (by way of 3 !D) then trump can be agreed below game. Does it?

This is the conversation I am hoping to see in a week in The Bridge World.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on October 08, 2020, 07:59:53 PM
I guess I do need to think about this more.

I would agree that 3 !C, on some occasions, will not be on a heart fit. But when it is not on a heart fit, the 3 !C bidder will have a very big hand, prepared to cope with most anything his partner might do next. This means that responder can treat it as a heart fit and bid a passable 3 !H if he has a minimum hand. When opener does not have the values to move over 3 !H, he will have hearts.

I accept that this is not everyone's approach. But I cannot recall ever getting in trouble playing this way. There just are not that many hands where opener wants to force to game  without a heart fit after 1 !D - Pass - 1 !H - 2 !C.  And if he has a big hand with diamonds and spades, he can bid 2 !S. If he has a big hand with three hearts rather than four, he can start with a support double, that is not a limited bid.

But I agree it could happen that he wants to force to game even w/o a heart fit and no good alternative bid. I just can't recall ever having one.

I'll give it some more thought.  I guess bidding 3 !H over 2 !C can reasonably be taken as invitational, so the 3 !C call is not needed for that.

After coffee I'll make my choices for all the problems but an added thought on this one. Partner has responded 1 !H, Rho came in with 2 !C, I want to play this in game (at least).  But imagine for  moment partner's response had been 1 !S instead of 1 !H, and then Rho had still come in with 2 !C. Of course I do not want yo commit to game. Game was probable but not certain when pard bid 1 !H but now I can maybe hope for game but that's it. Not by coincidence, I have a perfectly reasonable call of 2 !H, after which we can still get out short of game.

The reason I say "Not by coincidence" is that I do not fit partner's suit but, if I still want to force to game, why did I not open 2NT or 2 !C ?Probably because I have a shapely hand with two suits. So if I do want to force to game, I now bid my second suit. And when, like here,  I don't want to force to game but have a strong hand, it's at least likely I have a second suit. At any rate, when pard responds 1M and Rho bids 2 !C, if M is !H I am happy to bid 3 !C to show a !H fit and when M is !S I am happy to bid 2 !H to show a good hand with shape.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on October 09, 2020, 04:59:08 PM
Almost ready but I need help.

On F:

Rho deals and opens 1 !H, I overcall 1NT, Lho bids 2 !C, partner bids 2 !S. Is that natural or not? Would 2 !H not have been a transfer? And if 2 !H would have been a transfer, what is 2 !S? Not a transfer to !C I trust, since I assume the 2 !C by Lho is natural.

I think that some players attach some special meaning to 2 !H on this auction so that 2 !S has to be natural, but I am unsure.

Does anyone know with reasonable confidence? The fact that they do not mention any meaning suggests that 2 !S actually shows spades.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: Masse24 on October 09, 2020, 05:14:40 PM
Almost ready but I need help.

On F:

Rho deals and opens 1 !H, I overcall 1NT, Lho bids 2 !C, partner bids 2 !S. Is that natural or not? Would 2 !H not have been a transfer? And if 2 !H would have been a transfer, what is 2 !S? Not a transfer to !C I trust, since I assume the 2 !C by Lho is natural.

I think that some players attach some special meaning to 2 !H on this auction so that 2 !S has to be natural, but I am unsure.

Does anyone know with reasonable confidence? The fact that they do not mention any meaning suggests that 2 !S actually shows spades.

Yes. 2 !S actually shows spades. To play, so non-forcing.

We know that 1 !H is an opening hand, wide-ranging at the point it was bid. 2 !C is non-forcing and limited to around 8 HCP, since with more he presumably doubles for penalty. So giving opener a minimum of 12 or so, I assume the balance of strength (8-10 HCP? Could be less) to be roughly split between responder and advancer.

That is my understanding.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: jcreech on October 09, 2020, 07:53:01 PM
Almost ready but I need help.

On F:

Rho deals and opens 1 !H, I overcall 1NT, Lho bids 2 !C, partner bids 2 !S. Is that natural or not? Would 2 !H not have been a transfer? And if 2 !H would have been a transfer, what is 2 !S? Not a transfer to !C I trust, since I assume the 2 !C by Lho is natural.

I think that some players attach some special meaning to 2 !H on this auction so that 2 !S has to be natural, but I am unsure.

Does anyone know with reasonable confidence? The fact that they do not mention any meaning suggests that 2 !S actually shows spades.

I think beyond what Todd mentioned, you can have reasonable confidence because the problem did not have system notes that take into account the tangents you mentioned.  When I first approached this problem, I thought about the same issues you mention, but then discarded those thoughts as being meaningless because if we had those agreements in place, they would have been included as system notes.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on October 09, 2020, 08:37:32 PM
with that agreement on 2 !S I have now chosen my bids. I go with 4S on the one in question! We only live once, might as well have some excitement


So if 2S shows spades, that frees up 2H to mean something else. I have seen, but do not remember, various suggestions
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on October 09, 2020, 08:38:03 PM

Your solutions have been received. This copy is for your records.

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

Your Solutions for the November 2020 Contest
-------------------
PROBLEM A: 2 Notrump
PROBLEM B: 3 Hearts
PROBLEM C: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM D: 5 Spades
PROBLEM E: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM F: 4 Spades
PROBLEM G: 2 Notrump
PROBLEM H: Pass | Diamond 3
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: Masse24 on October 09, 2020, 10:54:02 PM
I submitted. No changes to my original post upthread. I have full confidence about only one of my guesses.
And darn it, both of you guys have me concerned that I missed the boat on "E."  :o  :o  :o

As I wrote, I'm looking forward to the conversation about that specific choice. It makes the MSC worth it, to me.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: DrAculea on October 10, 2020, 04:40:03 AM
PROBLEM A: 3 Notrump
PROBLEM B: 3 Hearts
PROBLEM C: Double
PROBLEM D: 5 Spades
PROBLEM E: 3 Spades
PROBLEM F: Pass
PROBLEM G: Pass
PROBLEM H: 3 Spades
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: DickHy on October 10, 2020, 01:00:26 PM
richard Harvey
Southampton
U.K.

PROBLEM A: 2 Spades
PROBLEM B: 3 Hearts
PROBLEM C: 2 Spades
PROBLEM D: 5 Spades
PROBLEM E: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM F: 3 Spades
PROBLEM G: Pass
PROBLEM H: 4 Spades
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: MarilynLi on October 10, 2020, 01:08:55 PM
PROBLEM A: 2 Notrump
PROBLEM B: 3 Diamonds
PROBLEM C: 2 Spades
PROBLEM D: 6 Spades
PROBLEM E: 3 Spades
PROBLEM F: Pass
PROBLEM G: 2 Notrump
PROBLEM H: 4 Spades
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: ccr3 on October 10, 2020, 02:26:25 PM
msc@bridgeworld.com via vps167.pairvps.com
   
Mon, Oct 5, 8:11 PM (5 days ago)
   
to me
==============================================
*  *  *  *  *  THE BRIDGE WORLD  *  *  *  *  *

    MASTER SOLVERS CLUB SOLUTIONS RECEIVED


Your solutions have been received. This copy is for your records.

SOLVER: PATRICIA MCDERMOTT
        N. Chesterfield. Va VA
        U.S.A.

Your Solutions for the November 2020 Contest
-------------------
PROBLEM A: 2 Spades
PROBLEM B: 3 Hearts
PROBLEM C: 2 Spades
PROBLEM D: 5 Spades
PROBLEM E: 3 Spades
PROBLEM F: 3 Spades
PROBLEM G: 2 Notrump
PROBLEM H: Pass | Heart 3
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on October 10, 2020, 05:46:06 PM


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

Your Solutions for the November 2020 Contest
-------------------
PROBLEM A: 2 Notrump                               100
PROBLEM B: 3 Hearts                                  100
PROBLEM C: 3 Clubs                                   100                       
PROBLEM D: 5 Spades                                100
PROBLEM E: 3 Clubs                                     70
PROBLEM F: 4 Spades                                   50
PROBLEM G: 2 Notrump                                60
PROBLEM H: Pass | Diamond 3                      80

                                                                 660

Ok, I figured 4 spades on F was excessive, but I still like it. A little excess now and then is good for us.

Well done, Jim
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: yleexotee on October 10, 2020, 08:30:45 PM
I forgot to submit! missed it.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on October 10, 2020, 09:42:42 PM
I forgot to submit! missed it.

I am sorry to hear that. But I have a story that tops just about all "forgot" stories.

I went through college graduation in June of 1960, getting a slip of paper that could soon be exchanged for a a diploma. I had a local summer job at Control Data and would be starting grad school in the fall. Then I got a job offer at NASA out in Maryland that paid better and sounded more interesting so I accepted that, quit my job at Control Data, and convinced my landlady to let me out of my lease. Next day I got a note from the Univ saying that I had received an incomplete in one of my classes and would not be graduating until that was settled.

I was immediately out the door and over to the U, the prof wasn't in but I found him strolling around campus. He explained the incomplete as "I lost your final exam, but not to worry, I found it again, I'll be changing your grade".

There were further wrinkles to this story but the bottom line is that I survived without either a heart attack or a murder conviction and I had a good summer out in Maryland. My official graduation date is August instead of June but that's ok.

So relax, forgive yourself, and mark your calendar for next month.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: jcreech on October 10, 2020, 10:11:39 PM
November Results

VeeRee led the IAC solvers with 760.  Her score, if it had been submitted, would have been tied for 3rd on the Bridge World Honor Roll.  Very well done Vee!!  Three others made the Honor Roll this month, DickHy with 740 as well as BabsG and JCreech tied with 730.  Our apologies for missing DickHy on the initial posting of the results.

NAMEBW-SCORERANKMPs
VeeRee     760   1   30
DickHy     740   2   25
BabsG     730   3   20
JCreech     730   3   20
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Also participating: Blubayou, CCR3, DrAculea, Hoki, KenBerg, MarilynLi, Masse24, YleeXotee

Note:  YleeXotee received credit for his seven preliminary selections, though he left one without an answer, so it was scored as a zero.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: blubayou on October 10, 2020, 10:25:16 PM
Wimper  :(   My 12-minute first runthrough would have grabbed the magical 730. Allowing for the do-over a couple days later concerning NOT forcing to game with  x J9xx, AKQJT9, Ax  on E  makes it 750  but that's fudging. After massaging the first impressions during the remaining 20-ish days, I may be at the head of the also-rans  with 690  --  or not  ::) !   But there will be no moral from this story  at my house--still in there "anylizing" the be-jesus out of those rascals for ll October!
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: Masse24 on October 10, 2020, 11:27:22 PM
Vee, you rock! Nice score.

And well done Babs and Jim.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: Masse24 on October 10, 2020, 11:35:19 PM
Problem E: Another case of the highest vote-getter receiving a score of 100. But while there were 12 who chose a non-forcing 3 !H, there were 15 who thought it worth the game-force. The game-forcers merely chose four different routes to get there. But it is what it is.  ;)

I'm still eager to hear the thinking on this. I thought it a good problem.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: blubayou on October 10, 2020, 11:56:17 PM
Most of us that contemplated the 4 ways to force game  mentioned in passing partner possibly having 6 points or so   and someone even posted Axxx, Axxx,  blah blah as a possible poor hand  -- HA!     Yet we continued discussing the merits of which game force  better set the stage for the slam search??    I will take my 100  and feel righteous  this time :D   
          The discussion I can hardly wait for is why the lead problem awards ran from the decent 80 down to garbage  -- the 80  for either low trump stands mighty tall against the 30 for the 'high!"  trump six, for instance.   harsh.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: Masse24 on October 11, 2020, 12:05:45 AM
Most of us that contemplated the 4 ways  mentioned in passing partner possibly having 6 points or so   and someone even posted Axxx, Axxx,  blah blah as a possible poor hand  -- HA!     Yet we continued discussing the merits of which game force  better set the stage for the slam search??    I will take my 100  and feel righteous  this time :D

Someone mentioned that it was just enough to "nudge" it into a game-force, so the cuspiness (is that a word?) of the hand was considered. Which the 15-12 GF/Invite ratio confirms.
 8)
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on October 11, 2020, 12:24:44 AM
Ah, congratulations to Vee and Babs, as well as Jim I mentioned earlier. I have not yet learned to math the real names.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: jcreech on October 11, 2020, 12:06:25 PM
Most of us that contemplated the 4 ways  mentioned in passing partner possibly having 6 points or so   and someone even posted Axxx, Axxx,  blah blah as a possible poor hand  -- HA!     Yet we continued discussing the merits of which game force  better set the stage for the slam search??    I will take my 100  and feel righteous  this time :D

Even a blind pig will occasionally find a truffle, Jock - lol.  All kidding aside, the scoring on this hand astounds me.  There just happens to be more ways to show a game-force on this hand than there are ways to show an invitation.  There are more on the panel wanting to be in game than there are those inviting, and the same number of panelists are thinking slam interest as there are thinking game invite, so to give the game invite nearly an average of 27 points higher than the slam invite is patently wrong.  I know there are scoring rules that must be adhered to, but this is a situation that screams for a departure, and unfortunately, the moderator seems to be a rigid rule follower.  If I had the power, the slam tries would have gotten the 100's, the game bid 90 and the game invites 80.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on October 11, 2020, 02:49:15 PM
I assume that the above refers to G. I am not seeing a problem with the scoring, maybe I am missing something. It appears there are 28 panelists. I am going to skip over the 1 that doubled, I am not sure just what he had in mind. Perhaps doublng to show 3 cards support and then, if partner bids !H again presumably content with three card support he will upgrade since his four cars support now seems adequate. OK, I said I would ignore him, so let's look at the other 27.  Now what do they think?

The 3H is surely passable. So he is thinking to play in a part score unless partner has something more than a min.
The 4H says "I have enough for game opposite your 1H. So this is not really a slam try, of course, but since partner could have a good deal more than a minimum, it does not prevent a slam.
In between we have 4D and 3C. This can be seen as: "I have enough for 4H but in case you are thinking about it, here is a bit more info." (if 3C doesn't show heart support then we can still say that after opener next bids 4H the message has been sent).

So it seems we could say, to defend the scoring,"We agree that the invitational  3H is enough, but if we are going to bid 4H we might as well show some extra info along the way just in case pard is interested, so we give those who provided this extra info on the way to 4H a better score".

This doesn't seem crazy.

An amusing had, vaguely related.

!S AKQT
!H J864
!D T965
!C K


!S 92
!H AK53
!D KQ72
!C A42

I held the S hand and through aggressive bidding arrived in 6H by me. Note the !H Jxxx in dummy, this is the sort of problem I was worried about in the problem hand. I won the !C opening lead, cashed the !H AK dropping the Q, went to the board in !H and led a small !D. The ace was on my left. I felt I should apologize to the opponents for being in this making slam. Jxxx just isn't that great a holding for slam purposes.

Back to G. I'm fine with the scoring.

Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: jcreech on October 11, 2020, 04:53:33 PM
Ken,

The discussion involved Problem E.   Unless partner is bidding hearts on a 10 high suit, I expect the hand to have a play in the heart game.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: kenberg on October 11, 2020, 06:34:16 PM
Oops my copying error. Yes, E.  The opening lead will be a club, establishing a club trick. When in with a heart, the opponents will cash a club and quite possibly a spade. Making game could easily depend n holding the heart losers to 1.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: yleexotee on October 23, 2020, 02:20:55 AM
I claim that I would have bid 3s, getting to the level of the trump (thinking they wont let us play 2s anyway). I believe that makes my score a 690, but I see that it is a 100 score so that seems pretty self serving!  How about I get 50 an average score?
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: Masse24 on October 23, 2020, 02:29:39 AM
There just happens to be more ways to show a game-force on this hand than there are ways to show an invitation.  There are more on the panel wanting to be in game than there are those inviting, and the same number of panelists are thinking slam interest as there are thinking game invite . . . .

Director Bramley: "The panel was closely divided on whether to go high or low. However, the low bidders were almost unanimous about what to bid."

Gee . . . ya think?!!!  :o  :o  :o

How many more--other than all of them that we can see--do the "go low" bidders need to be unanimous?  ;)
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: jcreech on October 23, 2020, 11:01:57 AM
I claim that I would have bid 3s, getting to the level of the trump (thinking they wont let us play 2s anyway). I believe that makes my score a 690, but I see that it is a 100 score so that seems pretty self serving!  How about I get 50 an average score?

After massaging the first impressions during the remaining 20-ish days, I may be at the head of the also-rans  with 690  --  or not  ::) !   

Feel free to join Jock at the "head off the also-rans," Joe.  We trust you away from the table.  Not so sure we trust your opening bids though.  For those, we always tread lightly.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: jcreech on October 23, 2020, 02:54:25 PM
NOVEMBER MSC SUMMARY (Part 1)– Bart Bramley, Director

A handful of the panel's comments:

Problem A: 2NT

For the BW Panelists, the choices split nearly in two, with 10 choosing 2NT, 9 choosing 2 !S, and 9 making other selections.  This decision was far more clear cut for the IAC solvers as 75% of IAC went with 2NT and the rest with 2 !S. The big question is what type of hand is partner showing. Everyone agreed that partner is showing a big hand, but Bart Bramley, the moderator, clearly sided with those saying the hand is flexible.  "With a one-directional hand partner would have acted differently, either earlier or now."

Building on this flexibility is the top score of 2NT.  David Berkowtiz wrote "Two notrump.  A club stop and some value.  Why not show them?"  Mike Passell:  "Two notrump.  With a max, a club stopper, and a key jack of hearts, an easy bid."  Some in IAC took more care to build their arguments.  For example, KenBerg constructed hands for the entire auction, but at the end said "Now back to the South hand to choose a rebid over the 2 !H. I opt for 2NT."  Masse24 took a similar approach, "I think partner has. Something 22+ or so. Likely only five hearts. And east has nothing. Zero HCP. I can't envision 10 tricks, but 9 in notrump is possible. If I do not bid 2NT now, I doubt we can end in 3NT."  While JCreech was more transactional "2NT - Partner has forced me twice and then bid a suit.  Clearly one thing partner wants to know is - am I alive?  With 5 HCPs, I am alive; with a queen and 3 jacks, I am probably on life support.  But what is 2 !H?  Is it a real suit, or a cue bid in support of diamonds?  I don't know, so I think the best move I can make is to try 2NT.  That will show my club stop, says I am alive, but not much since I did not try NT before this.  If nothing else, I am largely out of the way for partner to clarify their bidding."  Similar to Jim, BW Panelist Don Stack wrote: "Two notrump.  Partner has asked three times if my hand contains anything of value; after two denials, I must make a small move forward.  It would be cowardly to pass."  In one of his rare pessimistic moods, IAC solver YleeXotee says "2nt - Considering pass also. spade and a club stopper, hopefully p isn't counting on my diamond stopper too much."

A close second choice for the BW Panelists, 2 !S was much more distant for IAC.  DickHy argues "2S.  The HCP seem to be something like W 12 and E 3, so partner has 20.  From his perspective I could have 2 (W 14 and E 4) to 8 (W 12 and E 0); hence his forcing 2C (my 2D looks a bit wimpish in that context).  P is not balanced, however: as Ken said he would have bid 2N not 2H.  So, he could have good H (4540 or 4630) or he could have D and is exploring NT (4450 or 4441) by showing stops in H.  I don’t fancy bidding 2N because if E has Qxx or Kxx in clubs, which is entirely possible, they can reel off the first 5 tricks in 3N.  If partner bids 3H over 2S, I can raise to 4H otherwise it looks as though we’re destined for 5D – at least I won’t have to put my tram tickets on the table for all to see.  5D looks ok although I’d like another entry to play across N twice (once in D and once in S).  I will have to ruff the third H and play a D across him – conceding a S."  BluBayou said "Two hearts is the closest bid to forcing that I can imagine that might not BE forcing.  I have given my obligatory nothing-rebid (2 diamonds)  and now what i have left is about the best possible spade holding I can have,  so  that is my re-re-bid.   Don't ask me where I will go when I hear 2NT or 3 Diamonds,  but it MIGHT start with "H"."From the BW Panel:  Justin Lall: "Two spades.  Strangely.  I am not sure what this bid shows, but it seems as if I have it.  I have denied four spades and have good spades and flexible hand; furthermore, it is the cheapest bid.  I dream of partner's bidding three diamonds, so I can bid three hearts, leaving North room to bid three spades, and then I could finally bid three notrump."  Bob Boudreau:  "Two spades.  Want to show where my strength lies, then can support hearts next."  Danny Kleinman:  "Two spades. Probably the best landing spot if partner has exhausted his struts of strength.  I have a good holding in spades as he could expect in light of the two feeble advances he has twisted from me."  Zia  "Two spades.  This is clean, like my love life."

Problem B: 3 !H

On Problem B, the moderator comments early "North has it in for South again.  Where did this partner come from?"

Ten IAC solvers went with the top choice of the BW Panel:  3 !H.  Mike Passell, from the BW Panel, was particularly poignant:  "Three hearts.  A disgusting choice, but at matchpoints I go for the gusto.  I can't figure out anything else to do."  In a similar vein, YleeXotee said "3H- this is trying to avoid too much of a disaster"  While DickHy analyzed: "3H.  I’d expect partner to have 8+ HCP to make a negative double at the 2-level.  I’ve got to lie with this response and 3H seems the less culpable than 3m:  any missing H honour is most likely with E.  I’m not strong enough to bid 3S asking for 3N if p has a S stop.  A 2N rebid is intriguing (show a stop in the bidding and you don’t need one in the play – isn’t that a famous quote?), but EW are vulnerable and so opp’s S suit is likely to be pretty sound: AKJxxx."  Meanwhile, there was talk of the 4-3 fit.  Masse24 "3 !H. I hate Moysians, but the MSC doesn’t."  JCreech "3 Hearts  - in my assessment, this hand is not well suited for a Moysian, but Todd is right, MSC loves one"  And from the Panel Danny Kleinman:  "Three hearts.  If I could rely on partner for at least three diamonds, I'd bid three diamonds, being more willing to play in a Moysian fit in a suit where I could take a ruff in the short hand.  Alas, I've seen too many doubles on 2=4=2=5, even 3=4=1=5, to risk playing in a sub-Moysian at the three level."

No IAC solver discussed their reasons for any other bid, but on the BW Panel there was a second tier of four choices.  Lets take a quick look at some of those reasons:  Sartaj Hans: "Two notrump.  When every action is flawed, I prefer to lie about a stopper rather than about shape.  Partner' junky holding in spades might help us in notrump."   Steve Beatty:  "Three clubs.  At this vulnerability, LHO may have running spades.  Since I must make a misdescriptive bid, I want to make the bid least likely to be raised to a hopeless game."   Talk about taking the principle of least lie to a new level of discourse.  Continuing up the line, Augie Boehm: "Three diamonds.  Looks peculiar, maybe pessimistic, but it we play in hearts or clubs, the tap comes in the wrong hand.  Also, if we're in trouble, my sturdy diamonds will provide some protection against being doubled.  I'll leave pass and two notrump for  the geniuses."  Then the distinction between genius and insanity is very narrow, and the actual play will clarify that for the passers.  Phillip Alder:  "Pass.  To pass or not to pass, in particular given the vulnerability, that is the question."  Ross Grabel: "Pass.  With no good call, if I'm going to toss the ball up, I might as well play for plus 200.  I certainly won't be surprised if the opponents score it up.  We may take a spade trick we are not entitled to."


Problem C: 3 !C

Five IAC solvers chose 3 !C, the top BW Panel choice, while six went with the Panel second choice of 2 !S. 

Describing their reason for selecting 3 !C:  From the BW Panel, Robert Wolff:  "Three clubs.  Far from perfect, but whenever faced with a close choice, I usually show support, even opposite a one-club opening."  Showing his skills at prognostication, IAC solver BluBayou says "I am staying with 3 clubs which is non-forcing hence not going to get a lot of vote-support. 3 diamonds also non-forcing is in the same boat. I am against game-forcing  (ie: cue-bid)  and especially  "co-operative/takeout double"!  Co-operative means to me  "might be left in"  which cannot be seriously offered with only one trump." And Panelist Eric Kokish:  "Three clubs.  Perhaps a mild underbid, but this hand may not be so great opposite a stiff diamond."  Summing up nicely, Don Stack writes  "Three clubs.  Vulnerable at imps, we want to bid game aggressively, but here we will go low and hope that partner will bid three notrump with the right hand or steer toward five clubs if indicated."

Speaking for the game forcers.  IAC's YleeXotee "2S- I just need something forcing, and I don't mind if this is interpreted as club support. I will likely end up bidding m diamonds again but we basically a Game going hand, possibly in a 5-4 club fit."  DickHy "2S.  If partner has S we’re playing in 3N otherwise 5m, but partner needs to know we’re heading for game somewhere and 2S seems to be the best bid now.  If he doesn’t bid 2N (say he bids 3H) I can bid 4C."  JCreech "I am torn between making invitational bids such as 3 !C/ !D or forcing with 2 !S.  If I could swap a diamond for a spade, I would be more inclined to try the cooperative double. ... 2 Spades - I knew in my gut that I would upgrade to a game force"  Masse24 "2 !S. Automatic. Yes, it’s a mild overbid. But I need to find something forcing in the hopes of finding out more."  The BW Panel had similar comments:  JoAnna Stansby:  "Two spades.  Sets up our game-force and also lets pard know I have a lot of offense (typically a stiff in the opponent's suit when I don't double)."  Jeff Rubens:  "Two spades.  Over two notrump by partner, three clubs can't be far off what I have.  Worth game opposite my opening style."  Kit Woolsey:  "Two spades.  I'm willing to force to game and this figures to maximize our chances ... I'm unwilling to defend against one spade doubled."

Problem D: 5 !S

Half of the IAC solvers went with the top choice of 5 !S.   IAC's DickHy describes his thoughts:  "5S.  How many S – 4 or 6?  “Too strong for a double negative” suggests 4 HCP with partner, which on bad days will be KJx in clubs and on red-letter days SK and DJ.  I’d like very much to bid 5S (just so everyone is clear, Humpty Dumpty explains that this means “bid 6S if some of your HCP is in S”).  Can I make 5S if p has x in S and a useless KJx in clubs? – yeah, of course I can."  BW Panelist's have similar thoughts, from Robert Wolff's "Five spades.  Just a millimeter away from blasting six spades." To Zia's "Five spades.  I'll murder North if he passes with stiff jack of spades and the diamond jack.  This suggests I am not worried about other suits.  I have no quarrel with six spades; I might have done that myself if you weren't looking, but partner's bidding implies a singleton spade."  And a more middle-of-road Kit Woolsey:  "Five spades.  With almost slam in my own hand, I can't bid only four spades.  Partner will like any spade honor, even a singleton.  In addition, he might have four diamonds."

Three IAC solvers take the leap of faith to bid 6 !S and claim second choice points.  YleeXotee "6S-This is a problem hand as I feel I need some agreement or system help to really explore. I'm not giving up this 1 loser hand for less than slam when p is showing something more than a minimum."  Bob Boudreau, from the BW Panel, echoes with "Six spades.  What I hope to make."  And Billy Eisenberg also bemoans the lack of tools "Six spades.  I might have bid five spades, but who knows what that means."  Having grand slam aspirations, Carl Hudecek says "Six spades.  I am playing partner or an opponent for jack-low of spades, or partner to have the diamond jack or at least four diamonds. ... Also partner should appreciate the value of the spade king and raise to seven if he has it."

One IAC solver picked up the third place points with 5NT.  Masse24 "5NT. I looked at this over and over and over. 5 !S was the simple bid that always came to mind. I believe it will be the runaway solver choice. Presumably, hearing 5 !S, partner would bid the slam if he had even a stiff honor. So we would play in either 5 !S or 6 !S. But this feels awfully unilateral. So instead I’ll go with the always popular punt to partner bid of 5NT."  Todd was joined by Panelist Sami Kehela:  "Five notrump.  Too disciplined perhaps.  A straightforward six spades may well be more rewarding."

Two IAC solvers wimped out, and they knew it.  JCreech "4 !S - If things go completely rotten for you on this hand, you can go down two in game; badly, but moderately normal breaks, you will make with nothing useful from partner.  Partner says that they have some values, but are they useful in any fashion?  Three small diamonds and the stiff SK could be enough for the grand to come home, while the CA  and nothing else will be completely worthless unless the opponents lead the suit.  I will bid what I think we can make because there is no way for me to find out what I need to know."  BluBayou "4S ... DO you dare offer to be dropped in game with 10 guaranteed tricks-- when partner has promised "something, somewhere"?  Do you shoot the works, hoping pard's "somethings" WILL NOT be totally locked away from you?   Sounds like the story of the three bears" However, I cannot feel too bad when Mike Passell, number two in ACBL masterpoints agrees:  "Four spades.  Partner has at most one spade, and even five spades may be in jeopardy.  Five spades would not tell partner that two low spades and the jack of diamonds is what is needed."  David Berkowitz:  Four spades.  Partner will be aware that the spade jack is a very good card.  I cannot underwrite the five-level."  And summing up nicely, Sartaj Hans writes "Four spades, Over five spades, partner will never raise with hands that make slam great.  The problem with six spades is that it is too unilateral and will often have very little play."


The second half of this recap will be out ASAP.  Hopefully, this will satiate while we start to fret about the next set.
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: jcreech on October 23, 2020, 07:34:25 PM
NOVEMBER MSC SUMMARY (Part 2)–Bart Bramley, Director

As we continue through the November contest.

Problem E: 3 !H 

The moderator, Bart Bramley, spent considerable time setting up the problem.  "Here is a problem in both evaluation and South has a strong playing hand with weak trumps.  Which is the greater danger that going low will cause missing  good game or slam, or that going high will cause overreaching to a poor game or slam?  The panel was closely divided on whether to go high or low.  However, the low bidders were almost unanimous about what to bid."  As might be expected, this problem led to a lot of discussion post-scoring.  JCreech summed up the scoring question as:  "There just happens to be more ways to show game-force on this hand than there are ways to show an invitation.  There are more on the panel wanting to be in game than there are those inviting, and the same number of panelists are thinking slam interest as there are thinking game invite, so to give the game invite nearly an average of 27 points higher than the slam invite is patently wrong.  I know there are scoring rules that must be adhered to, but this is a situation that screams for a departure, and unfortunately, the moderator seems to be a rigid rule follower."

Only two IAC solvers selected the top BW Panel choice of inviting with 3 !H.  BluBayou "This is not a hand to set up our slam auction--yet.  It is a GAME try!   Partner bid at the one level,  and there is plenty of room for him to have bad hearts + spade face-cards -- then these running diamonds will be too little and much too late.  I considered for a week  changing my game force from 4 diamonds  to 3 spades thinking pard with such a hand might save the day by bidding 3NT,   but if he doesn't have game-accepting values, that probably would cut our losses from 4H down 2+   to 3NT down 1.  there's plenty of time to bid my fool head off if after my mere jump to 3H  if and when he can say 3 spades.  I guess we will be missing a claimer for 12 if he can draw trumps in 3 pulls, so tomorrow, I may find the glass is half full again-- dammit.       anyway,  for now  a measly THREE HEARTS"  Joe Grue bases his decision on the paint:  "Three hearts.  Close between three and four.  Vulnerable, I'd bid four."  Jeff Rubens:  "Three hearts.  If partner has strong hearts, this is a mild underbid for game and a big underbid for slam.  If partner lacks strong hearts, this will be enough.  I'm swayed by the likelihoods that East has high cards and that North has four spades."  Justin Lall:  "Three hearts.  People game-force too aggressively here; three hearts is the value bid.  No opposing spade bidding makes me think partner has some spade values, so if he passes, I will be more than happy; and if we have a slam, we will still be able to reach it.  A game-forcing bid could include an ace extra (or even more)."

Two IAC solvers went with the picture bid of 4 !D, showing 4+ trump and 6+ running diamonds.  Masse24 "4 !D — Should show “good” four-card hearts and a long, strong diamond suit—a picture bid. Okay, my hearts are not as strong as the strict definition of this jump, but the diamond suit certainly is. And that !C A sort of makes up for the dearth of heart strength. I prefer the way that 4 !D describes the hand more than 3 !S. That massive !D suit is the primary feature of my hand, more so than the stiff !S. So for now . . . 4 !D."  From the BW Panel, Pratap Rajadhyaksha says "Four diamonds.  Good diamonds, four hearts, and not two fast losers in either black suit.  That's what I've got.  Maybe not exactly BWS, but that's how I play it."  Danny Kleinman:  "Four diamonds.  Last time I looked, four diamonds showed a hand just like this, but perhaps with a bit less strength in diamonds and bit more strength in hearts.  Doesn't it still, despite East's mild interference?"

Two more IAC solvers went with the picture bid of 3 !S, showing 4+ trump and a singleton or void in spades.  Neither discussed their reasoning, so we will check in with the BW Panel.  Kit Woolsey:  "Three spades.  I'm willing to drive to game in order to make this very descriptive call."  Sartaj Hans:  "Three spades.  Support with support."

Another three IAC solvers cue bid 3 !C.  JCreech "3 Clubs - as much as I like the picture bids, I think I need to show the fit and retain the room to explore - this is a MSC regret - It is forcing and implies the fit, which can be clarified, but it does keep the bidding lower which can be critical when trying to locate partner's controls.  I think this is a hand where I need to be captain - an asking, rather than telling situation - perhaps it is because I have two pictures to convey, but only one picture bid that can be used"  KenBerg "3 !C. I start with this: If I bid 4 !D and partner bids 4 !H, surely I must pass. All partner has done is to respond 1 !H to my opening 1 !D (and then bid when forced). So he can have a 6 count and maybe some marginal four card heart holding.  OK, so if he is better he will do more. But how much better?  With !H Axxx and !S Axxx we will, on the lead of the !C K, be losing two !H and a !C, and that is only if !H are 3-2.  If pard has !S A and !H AKxx we can take the !C K with the A, cash to high trump, maybe the Q will drop, sure maybe, but when the Q does not drop maybe we can pitch our losing clubs on the diamonds before they ruff in and cash another !C. So maybe we can make 6 !H. And maybe not. So: We have first round control of !C, second round control of !S, and a great source of tricks in !D, all to the good. We have weak trumps. It's hard to imagine how we convey all of this to partner. So, echoing Jim, it seems I must find out, if I can, what partner has and then I must take the responsibility for bidding or not bidding the slam.  DickHy "3C.  How many H – 4 or 6?  Here it depends on the quality of partner’s H, which we can explore with RKC.  But first, I have to agree H in a forcing way.  Bridge World says that “over a simple overcall, a cue-bid shows a raise with game-invitational or greater strength”, so 3C is one option.  I prefer 3S if it is certain that it is a splinter bid agreeing H - what else could it be?  I suppose a direct 4N is another as long as we have an agreement that it is RKC for the last bid suit.  Then again that looks a bit blunt and simpleminded for these august auctioneers."  Representing the Panel:  Don Stack sounds a bit like JCreech, writing "Three clubs.  We want to reach game.  The cue-bid shows a strong hand and lets me obtain more info."  Bob Boudreau says "Three clubs.  Showing a control, and when I support hearts later a very powerful hand."  More simply, Billy Eisenberg states "Three clubs,  Must suggest slam."

There are also two IAC game bidders.  YleeXotee "4H- 3H might be the right bid, but I would be too disappointed not to be in game."  Mark Feldman, BW Panelist, agrees "Four hearts.  If partner has merely king-queen-fourth of hearts, four hearts will be a quite-satisfactory contract.  With such weak hearts, I don't want to do anything stronger.  A partner with ace-king-queen-fourth of hearts would usually manage another bid."



Problem F: 3 !S

The moderator began discussion of this problem by talking about BWS methods.  Although the polls used to develop BWS "did not explicitly consider advancing after a one-notrump overcall followed by a natural, new-suit bid by responder.  However, the agreement that, after a one-notrump overcall, advancer's methods are the same as responder's after a one-notrump opening, tells us that two North's spades is natural and competitive.  Even though that bid was not invitational, no panelist passed."

Five of the IAC solvers selected 3 !S, the top score from the BW Panel.  DickHy "3S.  Opponents may have only 15 HCP; opener 11 and West 4 with 6 or 7 clubs – they are white.  North has shown willing, and I am max for my 1N overcall, so 3S seems reasonable."  Phillip Alder argues similarly from the Panel:  "Three spades.  I am concerned that notrump and spades will each take nine (or ten) tricks, but to rebid in notrump seem unnecessary.  Partner knows that I am supposed to pass two spades, so if he has a 5=3=3=2 6-count, he can continue with three notrump.  Less clear, Augie Boehm declares "Three spades.  Undisciplined to do more, dangerous to do less."  Carl Hudecek:  "Three spades.  Certainly worth a raise, but not a double raise." 

Two went with 3 !C, which was the Panel's second choice.  JCreech thinks there are too many points being shown in the auction.  "3 !C - Time to compare the back of my cards with the others at the table.  How can I have 18 prime HCPs and everyone else have something to say.  With four spades too, how can I not try for game.  Ok, I also have two possible cue bids that I can make.  I've already shown a stop in hearts, and clubs are cheaper, so I think it is the more appropriate one to bid."  BluBayou "3rd and 4th hand appear to be sharing the missing 10 points about equally, so the best we can hope fore over there is K-sixth spades, and a diamond picture.  MY heart cue bid is wrong--need to show him the club ace, so he can stop worrying that the killing lead has just been called for. But he will still need to be a real optimist tho go for 4 spades even so.THREE CLUBS"  BW Panelists also think this is the strongest non-game-forcing action.  David Berkowitz:  "Three clubs.  The strongest raise.  WIll not punish partner for competing with king-ten-fifth and out." Danny Kleinman:  "Three clubs.  A super-maximum when I bid one notrump has become a super-duper-maximum, with a fine spade fit, upgraded hearts, and no face cards in clubs to downgrade. ... I won't hang North for competing with little more than a long suit and some shape, but I must issue a stronger game invitation than a mere three spades."

Two selections made up the third choice of the Panel - 2NT and 3 !H.  No IAC chose 3 !H, but one did 2NT.  Masse24 "2NT. My all or nothing shot. Scores big or not."  Justin Lall says "Two notrump.  I have a superacceptance that is highly suitable for playing notrump, and that's what this bid shows.  If I did not like spades, I would pass."  While Zia adds "Two notrump.  My heart says three notrump, but the field won't understand.  Might make game opposite four or five HCP ... I go low, as LHO would double three notrump."  The moderator likes the NT invitation because it "... relieves partner of stopper concerns.

As for 3 !H, Kit Woolsey is leaving room additional tries, "Three hearts.  This must be a big spade raise.  Since I could have bid three spades, I am suggesting three notrump as a possible contract."  But how does partner know that you have the stopper if you don't bid the NT again?

Problem G: Pass

Many on the BW Panel felt that this problem was self-inflicted. Although they were split on what should have happened on the previous round (2 !D or double), they felt that the earlier action would have prevented the current problem.  Nonetheless, you have to live with the hand you are dealt, or in this instance, the hand AND auction you were given.  And btw, the moderator noted that none of the objectors passed on this round.

So under the current conditions - to bid or not to bid, that is the question.  And if you bid, what do you bid?

Three of the IAC solvers chose not to bid, which turned out to be the top scoring selection from the BW Panel.  BluBayou "My lead?   Diamond jack.  Oh  the call is   PASS; (ONE-answer question.)"  DickHy expresses the uncertainty of the problem "pass ...  EW are vulnerable and we look to have at least 22 HCP.  Is partner likely to have 16 ish and 4441 (say)?   If so what pays better, passing the x for penalty or bidding 2N which does show my hand well and will take us to 3N?  Will we beat 2C by two tricks?"  JCreech "Pass - I do not think the contract will make, so I am hoping for at least one trick better than we can make ourselves (200 vs. partscore, 500 vs. game)."  Speaking from the BW Panel:  Steve Beatty thinks  "With controls and a limited source of offensive tricks, I pass and will lead the diamond jack."  Most of the other comments are less thoughtful, but still entertaining.  Mike Passell:  "Pass.  Matchpoints at its best."  Sartaj Hans:  "Pass.  Tops and Bottoms, here we come."  Joe Grue:  "Pass. Matchpoints, dude!"  Kit Woolsey:  "Pass.  Let's see wjere East can possibly find eight tricks." And let's not forget Zia:  "Pass.  This is the fun action."

The rest of IAC are bidders, and eight of them banded together to try 2NT.  Before KenBerg was willing to make his call, he had a question on this problem.  "Does anyone know with reasonable confidence? The fact that they do not mention any meaning suggests that 2 !S actually shows spades."  After receiving reassurances that it was, he chose 2NT.  YleeXotee "2nt- I've already denied a 4 card major so hopefully p won't make that mistake, I'm considering bumping this to 3nt."  BW Panel member Mark Lair says "Two notrump.  Pass is reasonable, but I wouldn't do it on Board 1."  Robert Wolff:  "Two notrump.  Three notrump when partnering with a conservative."  Are there any conservative bidders in IAC?

Problem H: 3 !S

The moderator points out that "(t)his problem is thematically similar to the previous one:  Whether to pass for penalties, at matchpoints, against vulnerable opponents, and, if not passing, what to bid."

This problem was a close one for the BW Panel.  Nine votes for 3 !S, eight votes for 4 !S and seven for Pass along with a low diamond lead.  What really set this problem off, is that it was not a mandatory lead problem.

In the IAC, two solvers received the top score for 3 !S.  JCreech "3 !S - At last someone has listened to Dick and Todd, a lead problem without, potentially, a lead.  I chose to avoid the lead problem.  The question is whether to jump to show 10 HCPs or not to give partner a bit of leeway for doubling in the balancing seat.  It will be interesting to see if the Panel remembers their thinking from a recent problem set."  The referred to thinking was to give some leeway for a partner balancing - essentially, you need an extra Q or K to respond to a balancing double, than to make the same bid had it been in the direct seat.  Roy Welland remembered, "Three spades.  Tempting to pass, but partner would balance too light with shortness for passing to be sound."  Joe Grue: "Three spades.  Always good to have an ace extra."  Kit Woolsey is looking at the trump, "Three spades.  Passing wasn't on my radar.  Without a good trump suit, it tends to be better to take the low road."

The most popular IAC solver answer was the second choice of the panel - 4 !S.  Masse24 "4 !S. Another first instinct bid. Mostly because I hate lead problems. Have I mentioned that?"  YleeXotee "4S - not much appeals to me at this time."  DickHy "4S.  Well, here we are with a chance to avoid a lead problem --- how on earth can I pass????  I don’t like 4D as that really ought to show 44 in the majors.  3S smells of shrinking violets – I have no wasted values.  If we’re going to consign the bidding problem to the bin, let’s do so resoundingly."  The BW Panelist that bid game, seemed to have no concern about partner bidding light.  Danny Kleinman:  "Four spades.  Four spades and three working cards warrant bidding game when partner has twisted my arm to bid within one trick of game."  Carl Hudecek:  "Four spades.  Too many diamonds to pass."  Mike Passell:  "Four spades.  Pass could be right, but I like to keep my partners." 

And two solvers passed and found a low diamond.  BluBayou "yes to pass; leading a trump <<--- pard would bench me for 'safe exit' of trumps, if his diamond king  was the 800 card!, and dummy were entryless!!"  [Note:  Jock switched to the !S A in his final selection, but I borrowed his argument for a trump lead from earlier in his thought process, as the actual voters were not reticent.]   The moderator considered "(t)he lead aspect of this problem was a dud.  Nearly everyone, including several non-passers who weighed in, led a trump.  Most are looking for safety, since the defense seems to have all of the side suits under control; some are trying to stop a ruff in dummy, unlikely as that may be."  Justin Lall:  "Pass | diamond deuce.  ... I would lead a trump, because I don't want to blow a trick and it seems safest ..."  Augie Boehm: "Pass | diamond three.  A gamble, but there is no attractive alternative.  A trump lead is clear." 
Title: Re: 2020 November - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
Post by: blubayou on October 24, 2020, 12:57:48 AM
     re the final paragraph:  I switched late in the month to NOT a trump lead and so lost a spot on the podium  with my spade ace choice costing 50,  i believe, compared to low trump.   Still bitter about that downgrade, along with any poor  schlubb who lost ONE HUNDRED(!!!)  for leading diamond six rather than 3 or two!   ( sure hoping zero percent of everybody  caught THAT cruel downgrade!)