Author Topic: Master Solvers Club - September 2019  (Read 21067 times)

Masse24

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Master Solvers Club - September 2019
« on: July 14, 2019, 02:12:21 PM »
September MSC

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

Submit your September responses here: https://www.bridgeworld.com/indexphp.php?page=/pages/msc/mastersolversmainpage.html

BWS 2017 System: https://www.bridgeworld.com/indexphp.php?page=/pages/readingroom/bws/bwscompletesystem.html

BWS 2017 POLLS, CHANGES AND ADDITIONS: https://www.bridgeworld.com/indexphp.php?page=/pages/readingroom/bws/bwspolls2017.html 
  • (This page shows (1) the results of the panelist polls that were used to adjust the system; and (2) the changes in and the additions to Bridge World Standard 2001 (BWS2001) that were made.
       In the listings of the questions and answers, an asterisk indicates the BWS2001 agreement; the proportion of the expert votes for each item, rounded to the nearest percent, is shown in brackets
    .)

Good Luck!
« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 02:48:55 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 - September 2019
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2019, 04:16:27 PM »
Just to get things going, I thought I would look at the first two problems rather than wait until I have thought through all  8 of them.

A:  The competitive auction begins with W:  2 !S  - 3 !H - Pass - ?

It indeed seems possible that there are 12 tricks in NT, and it also seems possible that there are not 12 tricks in anything. Should we try? I have gone back and forth on this but I am thinking pessimism is right. W opened 2 !S vulnerable missing the KQ, my guess is he has a  little extra shape. Partner's !H do not have to be headed by the AKQ. This still leaves us to choose between 4 !H and 3NT, but I really am thinking a simple 4 !H has merit.

B: This time the auction begins with E:
1 !C - 1 !D - 1 !H - 1 !S
 X         ?

I checked BWS and NS are playing Snapdragon (not by that name) so if N held !S together with !D support he could have shown that by doubling.  So he has !S but he probably does not have !D support. Well, he has to have something, I guess in !H or !C. Not aces, but something. Such a holding could be useful on defense, not so useful on offense.  At first I was thinking that bidding 5 !S is right but now I think I go with  4 !S. We can probably make 4 !S and if I am right about partner having some values in the round suits then they might not find 5 !H to be all that easy.


I'm not so sure of either of these, I seldom am sure, that's the point of these problems.   
Any thoughts?
Ken

Masse24

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Re: Master Solvers Club - September 2019
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2019, 05:10:34 PM »

A:  The competitive auction begins with W:  2 !S  - 3 !H - Pass - ?

I really am thinking a simple 4 !H has merit.

B: This time the auction begins with E:
1 !C - 1 !D - 1 !H - 1 !S
 X         ?
At first I was thinking that bidding 5 !S is right but now I think I go with  4 !S. We can probably make 4 !S and if I am right about partner having some values in the round suits then they might not find 5 !H to be all that easy.


I'm not so sure of either of these, I seldom am sure, that's the point of these problems.   
Any thoughts?

A. I think I take the high road and express at least mild slam interest with 3 !S.

B. I agree, Ken, 4 !S. 5 !S did not even occur to me.

I feel good about A. Problem B, not so much.
“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

jcreech

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Re: Master Solvers Club - September 2019
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2019, 08:23:58 AM »
Very rough initial thoughts.

1.   3 !S.  My initial thought is to cue bid.  It seems the right way to begin a slam try.  I think slam is likely, but when the opponents preempt, it applies pressure to the rest of the auction.
2.   4 !S.  My initial thought was whether 4 !D would show a 6-4 after an overcall like it would an opener, but decided that would be too convenient.  Then I wondered how likely it would be for partner to have the right cards to make the spade slam, and whether I should try.  I had come to the conclusion that I was hoping for the 50 point deck, when I read the results of Ken’s research which dovetailed into my conclusion of bidding 4 !S.
3.    3 !S.  I am not willing to force to game, do not have a good enough stop in the unbid suit to feel comfortable with 2NT, but my spades are an excellent source of tricks.  Right now, I feel more comfortable with the invitational self-raise, but may subscribe to the notion that the opponents are not in the auction, maybe I should bid 3NT with confidence and hope for a 4-4 break and/or help from partner to bring home 9 tricks.
4.   2 !S.  The chances seem good to explore slam possibilities.  So I will try 2 !S as my first trial balloon.
5.   Pass.  I still have something in reserve and first round spade control.  I think it is time for a forcing pass.
6.   2NT.  This seems to be the value bid.  I would rather bid this now than to face the reopening double that I am unwilling to make a penalty pass at this level and vulnerability.
7.   Redouble. ?.  I have not even come up with a preliminary decision.  Is this another 50 point deck, or has partner preempted with total cheese?  I am torn among 3 and 4 level bids in both hearts and spades.  I am leaning toward spades because partner’s hand will be more useful in their long suit, and with the negative double advertising hearts on my right, I could easily have two losers in that suit if trump.  I still think the bidding reflects a 50 point deck, so I think I should advertise my piece of the deck.  When I later bid my !H suit, I am showing a good hand with a good suit.
8.   !D J. ?.  I do not have a good idea on this one. There has to be a weakness, but nothing stands out yet.
  My thoughts are now considering diamonds a potential source of weakness.  West did not jump to 6 !C until East showed something in diamonds.  If it were a singleton, then they might have bid slam before this bid.  I still do not hold much hope of defeating this contract, but I hope this will give us our best chance.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2019, 03:44:52 AM by jcreech »
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

wackojack

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Re: Master Solvers Club - September 2019
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2019, 12:37:52 PM »
I intended to complete all the questions before looking at other opinions and then possibly modify after looking at other submissions.  That I have not achieved as I have already read some thoughts on A.  The remainder are unprompted.

A. 3 !S:  If partner can cue 4  !C or 4  !D, I will bid 4N.  If partner bids 4 !H, I will pass.

B.  4  !C.  I splinter with 4  !C.  If partner can cue 4 !D, I will be really tempted to to bid 5  !H (Exclusion)  If partner cues 4  !H, I am not sure what to do.  I cannot just sign off in 4  !S

C. 2NT.  I cannot make a game force with just 11 points.  So I make the least imperfect bid of 2NT.

 D. 4 !H  What else?

E. 6  !D.  It could be that there are 2 11 card fits and both 5  !H and  5 !S are making.  Pursuing this further, if we can make 6  !H, the opps have a cheap save in 6  !S.  The most helpful bid I can make I think is 6  !D

 F1 Pass.    Any other bid looks worse. 
F2 3  !D.   I certainly don't fancy a penalty pass or 3N.  So I conservatively bid 3  !D my suit.

G. pass   Very unhappy that 3  !H is not forcing.  So if I bid 4  !H will partner take this as a splinter agreeing spades?  It looks like if we play in 4  !S we may never get to make the long hearts, so we are between a rock and a hard place.  How about passing and then bidding hearts after west bids a number of diamonds?  I suppose this is the best option. 

H  J !C.  I confess that at the table I would just lead a "safe"  J !S.  However, I suspect that I might be squeezed in hearts and spades when I lead a spade.  Perhaps the best chance of avoiding this assuming that it is not a laydown is to make a less informative lead.     

kenberg

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Re: Master Solvers Club - September 2019
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2019, 01:43:05 PM »
I'll still hover over the first two problems for a bit.

A: It seems clear that we can take ten tricks in hearts even in the somewhat unlikely case that E has a stiff !S so that the defense begins with a !S to the A and a ruff.  After that beginning, it is likely the next eleven tricks are ours. But this is matchpoints. Is it clear that we can take more tricks in hearts than we can in NT? We have more control if !H are trump, but do we have more tricks? Of course if E has the !H  Kx, and presumably two !S, then NT might go badly. W leads the !S J. We can duck, and that will stop W from establishing and running !S, but it does mean that they get two !S and a !H where we could hold them to two tricks playing in !H.  That's the argument, I think, against NT. The argument for playing in NT is that it seems unlikely we can ruff a minor suit in our hand, ruffing a !S in the N hand wilt not increase our trick total, and if partner has six !H then ruffing a !S on the board and then ruffing a minor on the board also will not increase our trick total. It would not surprise me at all if we have exactly eleven tricks, and that's the total in either !H or NT.

I also think that if we bid 3 !S in response to partner's 3 !H it is virtually certain the rebid will be 4m. Partner did not bid 3 !H on simply AKxxxx.  And I have another thought: Imagine that I, as S, hold a good hand, with maybe  two  small !S instead of the KQx, a small !H, and a running !D suit. Over 3 !H I do what? Do I not bid 3 !S hopping partner can bid 3NT? And then, when partner cannot bid 3NT and chooses 4 !C instead, do I not bid 4 !D? Not as a cue in support of !H, which I don't have, but rather to show a game forcing hand with !D which I do have? Yes, I could show good values and a good hand by bidding 4 !D over 3 !H but at least in some cases I am not sure I want to pass up the opportunity to play 3NT.

Maybe I am making this too complicated, but I am still fretting over it.
Ken

Curls77

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Re: Master Solvers Club - September 2019
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2019, 07:35:32 PM »
I am gathering courage to join the quiz, post and suffer from deep embarrassment  :-\

kenberg

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Re: Master Solvers Club - September 2019
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2019, 09:48:52 PM »
I am gathering courage to join the quiz, post and suffer from deep embarrassment  :-\

That's a great idea. You do a lot for IAC, it's good to have IAC doing something for you.  One of the most important lessons of life: "I don't have to be right".  Join in.
Ken

jcreech

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Re: Master Solvers Club - September 2019
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2019, 12:22:02 PM »
When I submit for this month, I intend to list Ken as a partner.  However, partners should not become disheartened if they do not match well in their choices.  When Ken and I play, we seem to understand what the other is trying to do with their bids, but we may have chosen differently if we held the other's hand.

For example, in last month's contest, we made the same choice in 25% of the bidding and lead questions, but while I may not have selected the same as Ken, his choices were nearly always something that I considered for myself. I don't know if we will ever get to the point where we concur the 75% of the time for the bonus, but it is still fun and interesting to see how Ken came to his final choice; and to the extent that I agree with those thoughts, he will gradually influence my own thinking.
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

kenberg

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Re: Master Solvers Club - September 2019
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2019, 05:10:15 PM »
Thanks.

I think Rodwell and Meckstroth would not always choose the same call. The best that can be hoped for is that we have an agreement on which bids are artificial, which are natural and forcing, and similar matters. I suppose if I had an identical twin we both might make the same choice, but even there I am not so sure.

Anyway, I will soon put out more thoughts on this month's stuff. I heartily encourage more participation. It can be fun too be wrong, it makes us human. And of course to forgive is divine, but I have never set divinity as a goal for myself. Realism can also be useful.
Ken

Masse24

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Re: Master Solvers Club - September 2019
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2019, 12:15:39 AM »
First guesses:

PROBLEM A: 3 !S. I’ll start out by stating the obvious, 4333 hands are ugly. And my !S honors do not carry the full weight of their HCP. But I have a big fit. Control rich. WTP? I would like to make some slam noise; 3 !S accomplishes this.

PROBLEM B: 4 !S. If 3 !H is a splinter (is it?) then 4 !H is a void, yes? And what about the other splinter--4 !C ? Or is this far too optimistic with everyone bidding? If I did splinter it would be 4 !C since it allows partner to show a !D control. Partner's own !H length will announce my !H shortness (void?). But maybe 4 !S is best? And take the push(es). This is a very, very close call.

If I were brave I’d be very tempted to walk the dog with 2 !S or 3 !S (I'll bet one or two panelists try this) in an attempt to let them push us to game. But if I’m passed in a part-score, I’ll look like an idiot. Today I’m the Cowardly Lion, so I get there fast with 4 !S in an attempt to prevent the opps from exchanging information. This is admittedly a safe choice.

ADDED: So close to trying 4 !C here, but stayed with my first instinct of 4 !S . Partner's failure to bid 2 !S (a fit jump) reduces the possibility of his having any !D support.
BWS defines a jump by advancer thusly: "Over a bid by responder, a jump, below-game, new-suit advance is a fit-jump."
Partner only needs !C A and !D K for slam to make, but the failure to jump to 2 !S reduces that possibility.


PROBLEM C: 2 !D. Close. Very close.
Yes, it’s an overbid, so is flawed. But 2 !D has a lot going for it. Keeps the auction low, giving us room to find our best fit. It allows partner to show support. Remember, partner’s 2 !C rebid is wide-ranging; I’m allowed to be an optimist! If we end in a major suit Moysian, it would not be the first time. Change the !D Jack to the Queen and I think we all bid a game-force 2 !D. I will not quibble long over one measly HCP.

Alternatively, a non-forcing 2NT is flawed but is right on values. My guess is this will be the plurality choice of solvers. And a non-forcing rebid of the !S suit (3 !S is right on values but shows six) is also flawed. The solidity of the spade suit sorta looks like a six-card suit, which entices me to make this call—but not today. Not only am I short a !S for this call, it consumes a full level (and then some) of bidding space, which is too much to give up for such a flawed call.

PROBLEM D: 2 !S. We know we have at least game, but surely this is worth a slam try? Initially, 2 !S will be interpreted as a game-try. If partner signs off in 3 !H, I will continue with 4 !C, attempting to extract a diamond cue. I wonder though about bidding 3 !C rather than 2 !S. While forcing only one round, it squeezes partner’s rebid choices below a 3 !H sign-off to 3 !D, which is what I want to hear. My subsequent !S bid—showing a control--would then then be an unequivocal slam move.

I may be overthinking this.

ADDED: I ended up going with 4 !H . The "perfect fit" slam--at Matchpoints--is tempting, but I'll settle for the "get there fast lack of specificity" jump to game.

PROBLEM E: 6 !C. What does partner have to freely bid 5 !H? Values in !C? !C AK would be outstanding! Surely partner with !S xx knows, or strongly suspects, I have a !S void. If I bid 6 !C and partner has this perfecto of !C AK, he will suspect what I am up to and will be better informed to bid the grand over the probable 6 !S . My thinking here is admittedly a stretch.

Also, is pass forcing? I’d like it to be, showing a better than minimum, trying to elicit a (first-round) !C control from partner. But we must remember that, while freely bid, partner’s response was made under pressure. For this reason I am not convinced that it is forcing. To quote Zia, “In principle, anytime both sides may logically be able to make what they bid, it’s non-forcing.” And Larry Cohen, “Other than where stated in our notes, pass is forcing only if the janitor of the building would know it is forcing.” When asked, our janitor gave me a blank stare.

Finally, I think 6 !D will be the plurality choice here. While it shows a first-round control, I’m not sure it helps partner find the grand, if it is there. It does have the added benefit of giving partner a clear lead versus 6 !S x, if that’s where we land.

ADDED: Stayed with 6 !C . This is a bit of a "Zia bid." I am hoping this can help partner decide on bidding the grand--if it's right. 

PROBLEM F: 2NT. Flawed, as is often the case. That !H Jack is a long stopper, so 2NT is only a mild overbid. But Pass (my second choice) carries with it additional problems in subsequent bidding. Both 3 !C and 3 !D are, in my opinion, horribly wrong. So while flawed, 2NT is the best of bad choices.

PROBLEM G: 3 !H. I could go in many directions here. Redouble is also attractive—as is 4 !H. With East advertising four !H, I’ll go low.

ADDED: Changed my mind. Went high with 4 !H .

PROBLEM H:  !S J. To avoid getting squeezed like a grape appears to be the goal here. But my initial thought was to lead the safe !S J. Opener must have some crazy length in !C for that leap to 6 !C lacking the !C JT. So something like !C AKQ9xxx(x)? Although the !H Q or !C J lead may be required to break up the squeeze, I’ll stick with safe and let declarer find the right line.

A new day may bring changes. Nothing yet set in stone.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2019, 04:12:09 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

wackojack

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Re: Master Solvers Club - September 2019
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2019, 03:59:14 PM »
More thoughts on Problem B

I think partner's distribution is likely to be 5503 or 5512.  Also partner can deduce that I have a void in    !H  I need to tell partner that I have a singleton club by making the splinter bid of 4  !C.
 Now partner is completely in the picture and "knows" that my distribution is 5071.  (Well almost knows)  Will partner go overboard seeing no losers in  !S!H and   !D and only 1 in    !C ?  He could put me with some top  diamonds on that bidding.  In a spade contract with a spade lead 9 tricks will be available ignoring any top cards in  !D or  !C that he might think I have.  So even if he thinks I have the A  !D he is not likely to be looking for slam.  So knowing this he is much more likely to make the right decision if the opps bid to the 5 or 6 level in  !C or perhaps in  !H

 

kenberg

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Re: Master Solvers Club - September 2019
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2019, 06:21:06 PM »
Well, here are some thoughts:


A: 4NT. This is described as invitational. I might describe it as "This punk feels lucky". I suppose if partner raises 4NT to 5NT that's a choice of slams bid and I will bid 6 !H.


B: 4 !S.  Partner is short in !D, so maybe 6 !S is there by establishing the long !D, but it seems overly optimistic, more likely we have to lose a club and a diamond first.  My biggest concern is that they will bid 5 !H and neither I nor partner will know whether to pass, to double, or to bid on. Well, I have cleverly shifted some of the responsibility to partner. Put the blame on Mame, boys, put the blame on Mame.


C: 2 !D, pretty much as Todd says. It's optimistic,but so what.


D: 3 !C. As Todd says, partner will  take such a bid as a game try. If he accepts, and bids 4 !H, I will now bid 4 !S. He will now know that I was looking for slam rather than game, and surely this will draw his attention to his !D holding.


E: 6 !H.  There is not much room!  I would love to tell partner "If you have the !C AK don't worry about your holding in any of the other suits, just bid 7 !H but I have no idea how to legally tell him/her that. So I will just accept that I can't, and I will bid the very reasonable 6 !H.



F: 3 !D. Forcing but not game forcing I assume. We are likely to have a minor suit fit somewhere: If partner has five spades he has six clubs, if partner has at most four spades then the opponents have at least an eight card spade fit so we are likely to have a fit. And, if we belong in NT, that is still possible.

G: XX.  Not sure where we belong, but this seems like a good start.

H: !S J, on about the same thinking as Todd. Very possibly I will be throwing all of my spades on the run of the clubs. We will see after I see the dummy and how the hand starts to unfold.


I need to give these some more thought, but this is it for the moment.




« Last Edit: August 03, 2019, 06:27:32 PM by kenberg »
Ken

Masse24

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Re: Master Solvers Club - September 2019
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2019, 11:10:18 PM »
G: XX.  Not sure where we belong, but this seems like a good start.

Yup. Redouble is a strong contender and was a choice I strongly considered. This is certainly flexible, which is often a good start. I'll need to ruminate on this one a bit.

By the way, Ken, I am curious about your thinking on "D." Why 3 !C and not 2 !S? I considered it too, and tried to look into the future as to how the auction might go. But I could not come to an obvious advantage to one over the other, so I "punted" and chose the lower suit. Assuming the panel goes with one of these black suit "game-try" "slam-tries," the rationale for one over the other could be an interesting topic. Unless I'm missing something.  :o
“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 - September 2019
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2019, 12:34:26 AM »
G: XX.  Not sure where we belong, but this seems like a good start.


Yup. Redouble is a strong contender and was a choice I strongly considered. This is certainly flexible, which is often a good start. I'll need to ruminate on this one a bit.

By the way, Ken, I am curious about your thinking on "D." Why 3 !C and not 2 !S? I considered it too, and tried to look into the future as to how the auction might go. But I could not come to an obvious advantage to one over the other, so I "punted" and chose the lower suit. Assuming the panel goes with one of these black suit "game-try" "slam-tries," the rationale for one over the other could be an interesting topic. Unless I'm missing something.  :o



Various typos corrected, thanks Oliver!  I need a keeper. Or at least an editor.


With regard to 3 !C  rather than 2 !S in D: Suppose it goes 1 !C - 1 !H  - 2 !H -  2 !S - 4 !H.     Great, partner is at the upper end of his raise to 2 !H.  But now? I have three keys, do I want to be in slam if partner has only one? If he also has the !D K then yes, it seems worth a shot. If he has say Jx(x) in !D, then no. Of course I could, over 4 !H, bid 5 !C and see whether he comes back with 5 !D.  But cueing clubs first and then spades seems simplest. If he lacks second round control of diamonds, surely he will just sign off in 5 !H. At any rate, after 4 !S, partner can take control. Thee is still room for rkc if he wants, although unless he has at least the !D K I expect he will sign off in 5 !H.

I suppose a pair could have more detailed agreements. For example maybe after 1 !C - 1 !H - 2 !H - 3 !C - 4 !H - 4 !S a pair could agree that 5 !C would say "Yes I have help in clubs, and I do have the !D K, so if you think that's enough, go on."  On this hand I am sure S would be glad to hear such a message since he will be declarer and he has the !D Q to back up the K.

I think that you recently mentioned that a good discussion of cue bidding could be valuable  I very much agree. For one thing, if 4 !S over the 4 !H would be kickback, this plan would not go well. As I usually play, it is not kickback. I guess I need to check BWS, If I cannot cue with 4 !S over 4 !H then I have to revise this.


Added, Sunday morning: Looking over BWS I cannot really tell if, on my imagined auction of 1 !C - 1 !H - 2 !H  - 3 !C - 4 !H - 4 !S, whether 4 !S is a cue or kickback. I know that  some use kickback only over the minors, some use it over hearts as well, but BWS? I don't know.  I think I will assume 4 !S is a cue, so I will stick with my 3 !C.  Would partner bid 3 !D with the A (or K) if he accepted the invitation? That requires discussion. His 2 !H call did not  promise four card support and he might well see his first task as clarifying when he holds four by either 3 !H, discouraging, or 4 !H, encouraging.

Back to A for a moment, where I bid 4NT. It says this is invit but does not explain further.  I assume 4NT to be passable and I am ok with that. If he wants to accept the invit, I would like him to just raise to 6NT with xx in !S but bid a choice of slams 5NT with a stiff !S.  With a minimum hand and a stiff !S I would hope for 5 !H.   Or pass, his choice. But just what invit means? I dunno.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2019, 01:08:22 PM by kenberg »
Ken