Author Topic: Master Solvers Club, posts up to June 2019  (Read 56246 times)

kenberg

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Re: Master Solvers Club
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2018, 01:42:14 PM »
Another possibility for A.

I bid 3 !S. Let's suppose we agree about how partner asks for my minor, say with 3NT. I then bid 4 !H. Presumably I still have a minor, as promised by my 3 !S, so now I am showing a hand with hearts and a minor but an unusual hand where the hearts are much better. Partner can still get us to 5 !D if he hates hearts.

Usually I regret being inventive, but this should be clear enough.

This does bring up the question of how to ask for a minor given that, after 1 !S - Pass - 2 !S the 3 !S shows hearts and a minor.  Presumably just about everyone (but not everyone) plays that (1 !S)  - 2 !S -(Pass) -2NT asks for the minor,  but at the 3 level the situation probably needs discussing.

Added. I am coming around to 3 !S.

On the auction, and my lack of spades, partner might easily hold five spades. If he also holds six clubs, again very possible with my stiff, he would welcome the possibility of bidding 4 !C showing clubs rather than choosing a red suit. But when, istead of long clubs he holds some clubs and some diamonds, then he will bid 3NT. I then make the surprise bid of 4 !H. He looks at his hand ses a stiff heart, and says "Fine pard, you are on your own, I pass" But on some hands he sees a heart void and says "No, we still belong in a minor" So he bids 5 !C. He will have a tolerance for diamonds when he does this since if he had clubs only he would have bid 4 !C over 3NT.  So I correct to 5 !D and there we are.


A bit far-retched perhaps, but it seems to fit together. 
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 02:01:30 PM by kenberg »
Ken

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Re: Master Solvers Club
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2018, 07:49:12 PM »
Problem B
Todd has an very good point about the spades. Assuming, as certainly we mus, that partner has at most three spades then at least one of the opponents has five.
I think it could be either. Most likely opener, as Todd says. But that X has come to have a number of meanings, I think. Traditionally it has shown an interest in hitting one of the shown suits. Perhaps that is what it is. But sometimes it just shows a good hand. Suppose that Rho has good values, a reasonable but not great five card spades suit, four clubs, and maybe three diamonds and one heart. He realizes the opponents will be competing in hearts. Does he want to play in spades? He doesn't know. So he thinks: If partner has at most two spades then he has at least four clubs. I'll begin with a double, then I will bid 4 !S.  He expects partner to choose between spades and clubs. With Kx in spades pard can pass, but on some hands he bids 5 !C.  With better and/or longer spades he makes the U/U bid (in BWS 3 !D shows spades, different strokes for different folks) but he can keep both 4 !S and 5 !C in sight this way.

So do we want to bid 5 !H? Not the worst idea I have ever heard. Maybe so. The vul is right. Still, since the vu is right partner may have used that fact to bid 2NT on less than I might need.  I trust him for 5-5, and I imagine he is exactly 3=5=5=0. But in 5 !H X we are going to need 8 tricks.

« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 07:54:27 PM by kenberg »
Ken

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Re: Master Solvers Club
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2018, 08:26:44 PM »
Here are my answers all together:
A: 3 spades
B: 4 hearts
C: X
D: 4 Clubs
E: 4 Spades
F: 2 Clubs
G: X
H: Heart 4


A: I should have looked at the system notes, but again I'm trying to answer as I would behave on the table. I find this gives me more insight into my assumptions about bidding or principles that might govern my decisions (which I don't always recognize explicitly until I do these kinds of exercises).  Anyway, I also had a thought about leaping micheals but thought it shouldn't apply here (Although we all know that 2s is often bid on air, just like a preempt). I went with 3s as most obviously showing hearts, and an unknown minor which I will likely bid next no matter what p says.

B: I see that I bid 4h. I presume the X by East is penalty oriented for one of the suits, but its not hearts. In retrospect, I wish I had thought more about where the spades were and gone to 5h since the ops have 4S for sure, so I don't know that 4h is getting us anywhere, but white v red, my impulse was to go for the big 4h.

C: X Since I can't bid 3H, I believe I have no choice but to bid X, showing one of the majors and I don't know what to do when partner inevitably bids 3spades. I guess I bid 4d then, which you all know I hate so thats a bit of a lie because I would probably bid 5d.

D:   4 Clubs - I don't think this is right. I don't know why 4c is there, I can not recall what my thoughts would be here. If we are playing minor wood (which is my preference) 4c would be last train kind of bid, but 4H seems normal here. I think this is a mistake in what I inputted.

E:  4 Spades - Non vulnerable, i prefer to make them do the math on whether double or 5h is their bid.

F: 2 clubs - and 3S over partners positive 3c bid. :P 

G: X  showing my 4 spades. Then when pard passes because he doesn't know what to do over their 3h raise of the preempt, I bid my 4D, which he knows I definately am not offering as a place to play.

H: heart 4. This is the standard lead, therefore it must be the wrong lead in a master solvers club question. However, not knowing the questions too well, I am going to resist out thinking myself and go with standard.

kenberg

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Re: Master Solvers Club
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2018, 12:50:39 PM »
OK, for better or for worse I have chosen.

SOLUTIONS FOR:
Ken Berg
Eldersburg MD
U.S.A.

PROBLEM A: 3 Spades
PROBLEM B: 5 Hearts
PROBLEM C: Double
PROBLEM D: 4 Hearts
PROBLEM E: Pass
PROBLEM F: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM G: Double
PROBLEM H: Spade 9



Thoughts:


PROBLEM A: 3 Spades
This shows !H and a minor in BWS. I assume 3NT by partner asks for the minor.
If partner bids 3NT I bid 4 !H. I think he will then have a pretty clear picture of my hand.
If partner bids 4 !C, as he well might do if he holds 5=1=1=6 shape, I am still bidding 4 !H but I will not be so happy about it.


PROBLEM B: 5 Hearts
I am assuming that the opponents have a 9 card !S fit.They are going to go on to 4 !S if I bid only 4 !H.
 And, with partner holding 10 red cards and 3 spades, we have a ruff coming if we can get it. 
Assume, as Todd suggests, that Lho has six clubs and five spades. He will have a problem after I bid 5 !H. Of course if they have adequate control in the red suits they can make 6 !S. Unless we can take the first 2 tricks they may well be able to take 5 spades, 6 clubs and an eventual ruff after pitching red cards from the dummy. But a heart to the A, if it holds, and a club back will beat 6 !S.
I am pretty confident I can survive in 5 !H X, not going for more than 500 and maybe less.



PROBLEM C: Double

For the negative double at the 2 or 3 level I need to have either both majors or a fall-back position if partner bids the wrong major. No problem. If partner bids 3 !S I correct to 4 !D. If partner has a bigger hand and bids 4 !S instead of 3 !S then we should be fine in 5 !D.


PROBLEM D: 4 Hearts

My first thought was "Of course I bid 4 !H, what's the problem?". But there is an alternative bid, 4 !C.  I would like this to show a stiff club and hearts. It seems 6 !H is a definite possibility here. But does 4 !C show a stiff club and heart support? Not as far as I know. As to just what to make pf partner's 3 !S, I think it could be many things. It's a forcing bid that does not take us past 3NT and shows at least something in spades.

 
PROBLEM E: Pass

That 3 !S will force them to 3 NT or 4 !H so it's some sort of big hand that didn't want to bid 4 !H directly.   Maybe I'm just timid but I don't see this as a hand where I want to do anything to encourage partner to do much of anything. A bid of 4 !C would, I assume, ask for a club lead against a !H contract. But I don't really know that I want a club lead and, if 4 !C is doubled, then where are we? Nowhere good, I think.   And I see no reason to double the 3 !S. Pass is sometimes the best call.

PROBLEM F: 2 Clubs

Yes, I suppose that allows the opponents to get in. But I have a good hand and the way to show it is by starting with 2 !C and then bidding some number of spades. Probably 4 !S.


PROBLEM G: Double

X is the most flexible call. If partner has four spades, we probably want to be in spades. My spades aren't great, I know. Still.


PROBLEM H: Spade 9

Any lead, including this one, might give away a trick.  But if partner has the T this will be fine, and if dummy has the T this lead is likely to be fine. If declarer holds AKQx with the T on the board then I have given away a trick. So be it.


I found these to be tougher than last month's. I am far from sure that I am right on any of them.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 03:01:48 PM by kenberg »
Ken

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Re: Master Solvers Club
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2018, 05:53:58 PM »
Looking at PROBLEM A only:

Ken's thinking . . .
PROBLEM A: 3 Spades
This shows !H and a minor in BWS. I assume 3NT by partner asks for the minor.
If partner bids 3NT I bid 4 !H. I think he will then have a pretty clear picture of my hand.
If partner bids 4 !C, as he well might do if he holds 5=1=1=6 shape, I am still bidding 4 !H but I will not be so happy about it.

and Joe's . . .
A: I should have looked at the system notes, but again I'm trying to answer as I would behave on the table. I find this gives me more insight into my assumptions about bidding or principles that might govern my decisions (which I don't always recognize explicitly until I do these kinds of exercises).  Anyway, I also had a thought about leaping micheals but thought it shouldn't apply here (Although we all know that 2s is often bid on air, just like a preempt). I went with 3s as most obviously showing hearts, and an unknown minor which I will likely bid next no matter what p says.

was similar to my initial thinking. However, employing a two-suited bid somewhat implies equal (or at least similar) length. 

My first guess (though my third choice) was to use a two-suited Leaping Michaels. But per Ken's post about BWS above--it ain't part of the system! I had to look it up (probably a good idea for a bidding quiz reliant on a specific system). I had thought it might be part of BWS. It's Larry Cohen who espouses (or mentions) it. He states, "Note: Even rarer (but popular among many expert pairs) is to use Roman Jump Overcalls [using this interchangeably with Leaping Michaels] after the opponents Bid and Raise a Major.  For example, (1 !S) Pass (2 !S)  4 !D = 5-5 or better in diamonds and hearts.  In that case, 3 !S would ask for a stopper for 3NT.  As usual, this is dangerous stuff unless thoroughly discussed and remembered. Without discussion, the jump overcall would just be preemptive and natural."

I still think I prefer Cohen's method better, but it's good to know "our system" for the purposes of these quizzes!

I may as well quote BWS while I'm at it: "When the opponents raise a one-bid to two, there are no special system agreements other than those listed here:
(a) a cue-bid shows majors over a minor, unbid major plus unspecified minor over a major;
(b) a jump-overcall is preemptive or sacrifice-suggestive.
"

If I could be certain that 3NT by partner "asks for the minor," as Ken suggests, a 3 !S call (intending a 4 !H followup) would have more appeal. But I have serious doubts that 3NT will be available. I think it quite likely that the level of bidding will reach 4 !S before we can blink. If that happens, the opportunity to show the suit disparity will have been lost. By bidding the !H suit first, then introducing the !D suit (most likely at a very high level) the "primary !H suit" with secondary !D will have been communicated.

Another possibility that occurs to me is to take Fido for a walk by slipping in a quiet 3 !H. But this will probably not win any MSC poll points!

I think for now I stick with my initial 4 !H, holding the !D suit back until I need it.

A fun problem!
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 06:31:14 PM by Masse24 »
“Kindness is the only service that will stand the storm of life and not wash out. It will wear well and will be remembered long after the prism of politeness or the complexion of courtesy has faded away.” Abraham Lincoln

kenberg

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Re: Master Solvers Club
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2018, 06:34:50 PM »
The hands are not simple. And A in particular is not simple. I wandered back and forth a few times on this.

I decided that if after my 3 !S  it goes  (4 !S) - Pass - (Pass) I will just bite the bullet and bid 5 !H. Not great but a good chance of being right. It seems likely, but not certain, that a 4 !S bid on my left would be on extra length in spades. Fewer spades for partner increases the chances of support for hearts. I don't need all that much.

Another possibility is that 4 !S is bid on my left and partner bids 4NT asking for my minor.   If that happens I probably forego the hearts and bid my diamonds.

I will be interested in the votes and thoughts of the panel.

If the meaning of 3 !S were put to a vote I am uncertain of how it would go. Of course BWS is a consensus system so apparently there was once support for it being hearts and a minor. This view might be changing. Maybe the panel will address that.



Ken

kenberg

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Re: Master Solvers Club
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2018, 08:20:33 PM »
Ah yes, the mailman just brought me my July issue of Bridge World so I looked at the comments  on the July hands, the first set posted here.

On the lead problem Danny Kleinman claims that this is the third time he has faced this problem. The first time he led the !H Q (one of my initial choices) hoping to smother dummy's stiff J, but declarer, Marshall Miles, held the stiff K and dummy had J third so this did not go well. So the next time, also against MM,  he led the A to drop the stiff K.  MM had bid 3NT on what he first thought was the stiff K but he quickly found a heart spot in with his diamonds and so again this did not go well. So this time DK  is leading the !S J!

A little humor to brighten up things up, but I did have a hand where my robotic partner, channeling Marshal Miles, bid 3NT on a Qx "stopper" after a heart preempt on his/her/its left. His robotic opponent, with AKTxxx decided he should let his partner lead through what he supposed would be the Qxx and so led a side suit.

BW also has a very enthusiastic review of Kit Woolsey's new book The Language of Bridge. I might well buy it.
Ken

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Re: Master Solvers Club
« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2018, 03:57:53 AM »
Pulled the trigger:

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

PROBLEM A: 4 Hearts
PROBLEM B: 5 Hearts
PROBLEM C: Double
PROBLEM D: 4 Hearts
PROBLEM E: Pass
PROBLEM F: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM G: 3 Notrump
PROBLEM H: Spade 6

Only one was I absolutely certain about, 4 !H on "D," which means it's wrong.

Taking a flyer on G. Blast 3NT, give up on slam or a !S game. An MSC bid.

My lead on "H," which I was initially confident about, now troubles me. I like Ken's !S 9, presumably avoiding a future potential blockage. But every time I've tried that, it backfires. I sorta like the !C T too.
“Kindness is the only service that will stand the storm of life and not wash out. It will wear well and will be remembered long after the prism of politeness or the complexion of courtesy has faded away.” Abraham Lincoln

kenberg

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Re: Master Solvers Club
« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2018, 11:55:51 AM »
My lead of the !S 9 was at least partly because it is mps. Also partly because I have the 6 along with the 9 and 8. Dummy will probably show up with something, after all a 7 point hand usually passes and some 8 counts do, but still most of the points will lie on my right. I am inclined to let declarer find his own tricks with me giving him as little help as possible.

This might be right, this might be wrong.  Recently I held such a hand, I led the 9, Txx was on the board. Partner took his A and switched suits, it went something like JQKx (his J, my K) in a side suit. Figuring that I should now continue on my suit (they had bid Stayman and declarer was known to have started with at most 3), I lead the !S J. Oops, I needed to continue his suit.

So you never know.  The !S lead was fine as far as that went, but there were more choices ahead.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 12:55:13 PM by kenberg »
Ken

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Re: Master Solvers Club
« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2018, 02:05:13 PM »
SOLVER: Wladislaus Dragwlya
        Castrum Sex
        Romania

Your Solutions for the September 2018 Contest
-------------------
PROBLEM A: Pass
PROBLEM B: Double
PROBLEM C: 3 Diamonds
PROBLEM D: Pass
PROBLEM E: 3 Notrump
PROBLEM F: 2 Diamonds
PROBLEM G: Pass
PROBLEM H: Diamond 2

yleexotee

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Re: Master Solvers Club
« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2018, 05:27:28 PM »
Scores for August?

I got to 560. My heart lead was almost a zero.  >:(

yleexotee

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Re: Master Solvers Club
« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2018, 05:44:04 PM »
September solutions.

SOLUTIONS FOR:
Joe Albert Garcia
FULLERTON CA
U.S.A.

PROBLEM A: 2 Notrump
PROBLEM B: Double
PROBLEM C: 3 Diamonds
PROBLEM D: 3 Diamonds
PROBLEM E: 4 Clubs
PROBLEM F: 2 Diamonds
PROBLEM G: Pass
PROBLEM H: Spade 6

kenberg

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Re: Master Solvers Club
« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2018, 02:52:59 PM »

SOLVER: Ken Berg
        Eldersburg  MD
        U.S.A.

Your Solutions for the September 2018 Contest 
-------------------
PROBLEM A: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM B: 5 Diamonds
PROBLEM C: Pass | Pass
PROBLEM D: Pass
PROBLEM E: Pass
PROBLEM F: 3 Diamonds
PROBLEM G: Pass
PROBLEM H: Club King


All that passing?  Yep. so I did. 
Ken

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Re: Master Solvers Club
« Reply #28 on: August 09, 2018, 03:59:11 PM »
Pulled the trigger. Will add a comment or two later . . . if time.

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

PROBLEM A: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM B: 5 Clubs
PROBLEM C: Pass | Pass
PROBLEM D: 3 Notrump
PROBLEM E: Pass
PROBLEM F: 2 Diamonds
PROBLEM G: 3 Notrump
PROBLEM H: Heart Ace

A.   3 !C . I didn’t jump-shift, so lack GF values. While 2NT is a close approximation of my values (and was my second choice), I think 3 !C does a better job of conveying my shape. 2 !C also shows the three-suited nature of my hand, but undersells the strength.
B.   5 !C . Lead directing, and also agreeing diamonds? I dunno, this may be a reach. 5 !D will be the majority “solver” answer, I think. It was my initial “duh” answer, too. But the panel sometimes has other ideas.
C.   Pass/Pass. Wimpy. This, too, I think will be the majority “solver” answer. I just could not pull the trigger on the Pass/3 !D option (or other options) with -200 too great a risk.
D.   3NT. I don’t channel my inner Bob Hamman often enough. How’s it go? "When 3 No Trump is one of the alternatives, choose it"?
E.   Pass. Very difficult choice. 3NT may very well be right, but partner could have a slew of !H and decide to “correct” to 4 !H. This is just an awkward shape to try to enter the fray.
F.   2 !D . My initial thinking went with the seemingly obvious 3 !D . I do have 10 HCP after all. But I downgraded the heck out of this quacky collection. I generally lean conservative, so the panel will likely disagree here and go with the “obvious 3 !D .”
G.   3NT. Extremely difficult. Partner is big, and probably does not have a void since there was no raise. The vulnerability makes Pass tempting. 4 !C was my second choice, but feels like an underbid. Similar to “D” above, with 3NT an alternative, I’ll take a “what the heck” approach.
H.   !H A. Declarer probably has a running diamond suit, so this lead employs similar logic to a gambling 3NT lead. I want to get a peek at dummy and get partner’s attitude.   
« Last Edit: August 09, 2018, 07:08:48 PM by Masse24 »
“Kindness is the only service that will stand the storm of life and not wash out. It will wear well and will be remembered long after the prism of politeness or the complexion of courtesy has faded away.” Abraham Lincoln

Masse24

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Re: Master Solvers Club
« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2018, 01:46:10 PM »
My guess on "PROBLEM C," and assessment of the panel's opinion of it was spot on. Wimpy! I can guess the reasoning for the immediate 3 !D will be the immediate preemptive value, not allowing the opponents to communicate where their fit may be. Even knowing that, I remain a wimp. The second place vote, redouble, which I like a lot did not even occur to me. Some sort of blind spot I guess.

I thought "PROBLEM G" was the toughest. The close votes reflect the panel's difficulty in choosing too. I almost pulled the trigger on Ken's choice of Pass. It's really a coin flip between a few choices.

I had planned to do a very brief summary of the written MSC for August, but got sidetracked. I will maybe finish it and tack it on to a previous post.

It will be interesting to read the panel's reasoning for the September MSC when the next issue comes out.
“Kindness is the only service that will stand the storm of life and not wash out. It will wear well and will be remembered long after the prism of politeness or the complexion of courtesy has faded away.” Abraham Lincoln