Author Topic: Master Solvers Club - September 2019  (Read 15053 times)

Masse24

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Re: Master Solvers Club - September 2019
« Reply #45 on: August 11, 2019, 01:58:15 PM »
The !H Q on Problem "H" was my first choice, but I changed my mind to the "safe" !S . I even considered the !H J for the reasons the panel will give in their answers (a similar situation and choice was made by Zia several months ago simply because it costs nothing but may mildly confuse declarer). The avoidance of squeezery would be the goal.

I had worked out three or four possible layouts on the bidding. This was the closest I could come to:

!S -AKx
!H -x
!D -Ax
!C -AKQxxxx

!S -xxx
!H -AKxxx
!D -KQ9xx
!C-

West did not trot out RKC, instead he leapt directly to 6 !C , so it is also possible he is void in !H . If dummy has exactly 1 heart, leading a heart honor could be essential to disrupt a squeeze, for example if my LHO has !S Hxxx opposite declarer's HH tight, and declarer’s !S AK10. On a non-heart, declarer can take his HH in !S and end up after 9 tricks in dummy with !S Hx. !H x !C x opposite His !H AK10x. I’m squeezed, unable to hold both !S and !H . He doesn’t even need the !H 10. If I give up my !H guard, he cashes his !S winner to squeeze partner in !H and !C .

But in the end, after all those gyrations, I chose the safe !S J.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2019, 02:07:08 PM by Masse24 »
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Masse24

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Re: Master Solvers Club - September 2019
« Reply #46 on: August 11, 2019, 04:33:58 PM »
By the way, the panel choices (and the attached rationale), are submitted a full 18 months in advance. The director's choices (if there is no majority) as well his commentary are added between the date panel choices are in and the press date. So, logically, only the panel choices and comments are considered. Solver's choices, while interesting to compare with the cognoscenti, are not considered.
“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

blubayou

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Re: Master Solvers Club - September 2019
« Reply #47 on: August 11, 2019, 11:14:50 PM »
    MASTER SOLVERS CLUB SOLUTIONS RECEIVED


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

SOLVER: Ronnie Ronstadt
        Gresham OR
        U.S.A.

Your Solutions for the September 2019 Contest 
-------------------
PROBLEM A: 3 Notrump --  I knewthat would get a mark-down,  but its what i did live, that day
PROBLEM B: 4 Spades
PROBLEM C: 3 Spades
PROBLEM D: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM E: 6 Diamonds
PROBLEM F: 2 Notrump
PROBLEM G: 4 Hearts
PROBLEM H: Spade Jack
often it is better to beg forgiveness, than ask permission

kenberg

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Re: Master Solvers Club - September 2019
« Reply #48 on: August 12, 2019, 05:15:05 PM »
Fwiw, I also considered 3NT.  This is matchpoints. But I chose 4NT, the invitational bid. My thinking: If hearts run, there is a good chance that the hand will take as many tricks in NT as in hearts. But if hearts don't run, so that I have to give up a heart before cashing my tricks, the hand might well play a trick better in hearts than in NT. If the lead is the !S J and I have to lose a !H, I have to duck when playing in NT but not when playing in hearts.  Of course with my 4NT I might then end in 4NT, but I figure I will chance it while inviting the slam. If partner has a good enough hand to bid slam, I expect t lose to the !S A, and very possibly take everything else, regardless of whether we play in hearts or NT.

Anyway, I did consider 3NT, it doesn't seem crazy to me, but eventually I decided to go with 4NT, scoring a bit better than 3NT. I am not yet convinced that 3 !S is better. With 4NT I am asking partner to choose whether to bid a slam, based on his strength. With 3 !S I am not sure who will be choosing about a slam, and on just what that decision will be made. I suppose that over 3 !S partner will show a minor suit K if he has one. And then?

Anyway, we are seriously outvoted by the panel on this, even if we combine the panel's votes for our choices. It's ok, stubbornness is an underrated virtue.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 05:17:55 PM by kenberg »
Ken

wackojack

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Re: Master Solvers Club - September 2019
« Reply #49 on: August 12, 2019, 05:54:19 PM »
The !H Q on Problem "H" was my first choice, but I changed my mind to the "safe" !S . I even considered the !H J for the reasons the panel will give in their answers (a similar situation and choice was made by Zia several months ago simply because it costs nothing but may mildly confuse declarer). The avoidance of squeezery would be the goal.

I had worked out three or four possible layouts on the bidding. This was the closest I could come to:

!S -AKx
!H -x
!D -Ax
!C -AKQxxxx

!S -xxx
!H -AKxxx
!D -KQ9xx
!C-

West did not trot out RKC, instead he leapt directly to 6 !C , so it is also possible he is void in !H . If dummy has exactly 1 heart, leading a heart honor could be essential to disrupt a squeeze, for example if my LHO has !S Hxxx opposite declarer's HH tight, and declarer’s !S AK10. On a non-heart, declarer can take his HH in !S and end up after 9 tricks in dummy with !S Hx. !H x !C x opposite His !H AK10x. I’m squeezed, unable to hold both !S and !H . He doesn’t even need the !H 10. If I give up my !H guard, he cashes his !S winner to squeeze partner in !H and !C .

But in the end, after all those gyrations, I chose the safe !S J.

OK to break up the squeeze you need to be leading to the suit that has a singleton in dummy.  From the leader's point of view then with equal length in  !H and   !D , then dummy is is more likely to have a singleton  !H than a singleton  !D, simply because opener has either equal length in  !D and   !H or longer  !H.  So top marks for a  !H lead.  And 2nd top marks for a   !D lead. OK so far I understand.  Now there is no chance that dummy has a singleton  !S (or is there?) Could declarer have a 1-2-3-7 distribution?  Anyway, I am beginning to see why leading a  !C gets a zero.

Masse24

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Re: Master Solvers Club - September 2019
« Reply #50 on: August 16, 2019, 10:47:29 PM »
The director for September was Kokish.
 
A few snippets from the panel:

PROBLEM A: A fairly clear vote for 3 !S. Kokish called it a “heavy vote” and a “clear indication of its merit.” He went on to say, “It’s true that a Bridge World Standard advancer must start with three spades to investigate slam in hearts, so, for system adherents, the main choices are to go low via four hearts or three no trump, high via a natural four no trump, or TBD via three spades.”

PROBLEM B: Votes were all over the place, but the “get there fast” 4 !S garnered the most panel votes. The general consensus being to “buy the contract.” Close behind, however, were the slam-seeking 4 !C and 4 !H. Interestingly, there were five panelists (Zia, Wolff, Wirgren, Lawrence, Woolsey) who decided to slow-play the hand with either 2 !S or 3 !S. Another two mentioned the “slow-play” !S bids but chose differently. So, as mentioned—votes were all over the place, for all the reasons we stated . . . plus a few more.
Kokish closed with Janice Seamon Molson’s words: “Four spades. Who knows? We could make seven spades. I hate these hands.”

Indeed. Who knows?

PROBLEM C: 2 !S . This is the problem that shocked me the most. I thought it to be a borderline game-force, but the quick tricks and suit quality pushed it over the edge. Jim’s reasoning echoed my own exactly. Alas, the panel did not agree. The reasons for the admitted “underbid” of 2 !S (the plurality choice) included “Matchpoints” and “eight losers.” There were also quite a few 3 !S bids, concentrating on the suit quality and also mentioning it as “the value bid.”

PROBLEM D: 2 !S . Panel votes were quite evenly split, with the top four scores receiving 7, 8, 6, and 6 respectively. The top three, however, were all slam moves, explaining the scores. Bobby Wolff echoed my (eventual) thinking with the “go low” 4 !H stating, “I won’t attempt to thread the slam needle.” As for which “slam move” to make? Mike Lawrence mentioned the fact that 2 !S “leaves room.” Meckstroth and Molson preferred 3 !C as they “hope to hear 3 !D next so I can bid 3 !S next and search for slam.” Others chose 3 !D. As mentioned, quite evenly split.

Kokish, in validating his choice for the highest score stated, “My inclination on slam-zone hands is to start with my longest or equal-longest side suit. Three diamonds would help us when North has a balanced hand, but it will deprive him of the room to jump to four diamonds with four hearts and diamond shortness. That is enough to make 2 spades or 3 clubs more effective first moves, with 2 spades more attractive, because it leaves room for North to show a good five or six card club suit.”

PROBLEM E: 5NT was the plurality choice. While I considered this, I quickly dismissed it as I thought it to be too ambiguous. The panel disagreed, seeing it as primarily a grand slam try. The 6 !C bid that I chose was widely considered a second suit and a way to find grand if partner has the !C AK. Silver, Wirgren, and Robson collectively stated a version of, “if partner has the AK of clubs, he’ll know what to do.” There was not widespread agreement as to what six of a minor means. Gerstman and Meckstroth bid 6 !D as lead directional, Kehela as a try for the grand. Interestingly, many of panel did not consider the grand, signing off in 6 !H.

Rubens was the only one who chose Pass, stating that 6m would be non-forcing. His follow-up would be to pull a double of 5 !S to 6 !C to invite seven. Kokish explains, “Rubens is confident his pass is forcing, because BWS makes a special provision for unfavorable vulnerability in this type of auction. . . . Pushing the opponents to the five-level and selling out has been widely recognized as a sound strategy when ownership of the deal is not clear from the earlier bidding.” That’s an interesting bifurcation of whether Pass is forcing or not; the vulnerability. I’ll have to look that up.

PROBLEM F: 2NT. An actual majority here, with 15 of the panel choosing 2NT. 

PROBLEM G: Redouble. Not the plurality vote-getter, but second. Still, it scored highest. The redoubler’s plan is to bid a later three or four hearts. The thinking being that it is flexible, showing both spade tolerance and a long heart suit. [A good plan in my opinion]. I believe Ken mentioned something similar.

PROBLEM H: !H Q and !H J scored 100. Only one of our solvers (Isabelle10) chose a !H . Most chose a “safe” !S , as did the majority of the MSC solvers. The reasons for the !H lead (as well as all the others) were as varied as the answers. Kokish summarized with, “Panelists hoping for an Ace [with partner] are thinking impure thoughts. Compared with trying to break up a squeeze, playing for a blocked position in the red suits is not only less complicated but also considerably more likely to be right. The heart-honors leaders rule."
« Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 11:42:36 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