Author Topic: 2020 February - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB  (Read 4740 times)

kenberg

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Re: 2020 February - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2020, 06:24:06 PM »

These MSC problems are fun. In a weird way.

You're a sick man, Ken Berg! LOL  ;D



Appreciation of the weird is the key to a happy life!

Anyway, I did a little browsing in the books. I can't say it was very productive, but I did find a hand in a 1970 book by Robert Ewen, pp135-136:

!S Q863
!H K74
!D 853
!C J74

The auction is 1NT-4NT-6NT, again an auction where we expect balanced hands totally very close to 33 highs. The recommended lead is the !D 8.   
This is a little different of course. With a 6 count we expect partner to hold at most a J.

There was a similar hand in Lawrence's book on opening leads. The person on lead held a 7 count and the auction suggested balanced hands. In these cases we know partner is broke or close enough to broke.

Most of the lead problems , against slams,  that I found in books were against suit slams. That's a different situation entirely. But what I did find on leads against balanced 6NT slams recommended leading passively, perhaps acknowledging exceptions.


I don't think Ewen is involved in bridge anymore. Here is something that shows books he has written:

https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS873US873&q=robert+b+ewen+books&stick=H4sIAAAAAAAAAOPgE-LSz9U3MC1PM44v0ZLKTrbST8rPz9ZPLC3JyC-yArGLFfLzcioXsQoX5SelFpUoJCmklqfmKYClAK4osblAAAAA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj06LiLyu_mAhVqmeAKHQ6eBzMQ44YBKAIwDXoECAwQCA&biw=1353&bih=667


« Last Edit: January 06, 2020, 06:26:15 PM by kenberg »
Ken

bAbsG

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Re: 2020 February - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2020, 09:15:02 PM »
Your solutions have been received. This copy is for your records.

SOLVER: Babs Giesbrecht
       Qualicum Beach BC
       Canada

Your Solutions for the February 2020 Contest 
-------------------
PROBLEM A: 3 Spades
PROBLEM B: 3 Diamonds
PROBLEM C: (a3)
PROBLEM D: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM E: Pass
PROBLEM F: 2 Spades
PROBLEM G: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM H: Spade 4

hoki

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Re: 2020 February - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2020, 11:16:34 AM »
I was disappointed with your response to Problem H.
other possibilities.  Please reconsider your decision to not share this one time.
The ♠5 - and I never said I had a good reason for this lead. I shall be the first
to admit it was crazy if it turns out that a spade lead is going to help declarer
set up the 12th trick. I'm a bit worried that a heart lead will help declarer in
that suit. No one ever said that opening leads are a science. Thanks for
challenging me on the suppression of my answer.  ;)

blubayou

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Re: 2020 February - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2020, 06:17:18 PM »
I did it.   stuck with my day-one impressions all the way through.   except for thelead problem which i misread  (  low heart is for GAME bid--very silly vs point-count NT slam bid).
problem F  i should have switched to 2NT rather than the "cue-bid"  as my spade holding may need lead protection more than partner's hearts do, but who knows,  we may be headed for somewhere else than 2 or 3  notrump?

SOLUTIONS FOR jock mcQuadeportland ORU.S.A
.PROBLEM A: 2 Spades
PROBLEM B: 3 Diamonds
PROBLEM C: (a3)
PROBLEM D: Pass
PROBLEM E: 2 Notrump
PROBLEM F: 2 Spades
PROBLEM G: Double
PROBLEM H: Club 3[
« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 06:21:10 PM by blubayou »
often it is better to beg forgiveness, than ask permission

DickHy

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Re: 2020 February - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2020, 09:14:51 PM »
Here’s a view from the cheap seats.

A.   2S/3S.  1N is semi-forcing, but we are vulnerable so N probably has 6+ HCP rather than being lighter.  N could quite easily be 2x2x, so 3C could be a safe spot.  However, with that distribution 3 or 4S could be on: lose 2D and 1S.  If N is 1x3x, 3S might be ok on a good day – trumps 33 or 42 with N having the T).  Having made a preliminary choice of 2S, am talking myself into a 3S bid.

B.  2N.  When my p jump re-bids their opening suit I always think “16 (HCP) and 6 (c suit).” So, 3D might be passed.  Under BWS a 1N rebid may include a singleton in p’s suit, so why not a 2N rebid?  I might end up in 4H (or 6H) on a 6-1 fit; cue crossed fingers.

C.  a3.  Seems slightly less bad than the others.  On a black-letter day, I might downgrade because of AKJ and weak clubs; then I would want (a5) 2C.

D.  2C.  This looks like a part-score hand, unless W is a bust and N has 10/11 HCP, say.  In that case, as N is likely to be short in H, should I pass and wait for a x; then bid 2N?  But if N is a bust and W bids 1S or 1N on the way to 3S/4S or 2N/3N, N will never lead a C, no matter how hard I pray.  Bidding 2C makes N’s life easier defending, and if N does have 10/11 I’ll get another bid.

E.   Pass.  If N has 3c H support, 2H looks a champion bid, but with 1 or 2 cards in H we might be left in 2N with a combined 21 HCP.  Not a good idea if I am declaring.  In 2D, I can offer 2 quick tricks and S ruffs.  So 2N goes down but my p strolls to a plus score in 2D.

F.   2H.  Just how strong is N’s hand?? EW are vulnerable, so probably hold a combined 17, which leaves N with 12.  So, let’s not go mad.  On the other hand, I am forced to bid and have the sort of hand (3+ card support – for D - and 9+ HCP) with which I would advance by making a UCB everyday, even after the cows are in the shed.  But which bid as UCB – 2H or 2S?  If there is a danger N takes the UCB bid as asking for a stop in that suit, 2H is better.  E probably has a 2c S suit – with 3 or 4 E might have bid (xx or 2S respectively).  So N may well have 3361 (maybe 3370).  If N has a H stop, 3N looks none too shabby.  Over 2H, if N has no decent H stop, 3D is a safe spot. 

G.    3C.  With 54 in the majors and non-vulnerable W could be a light opener and E evidently might be light too.  That might mean N has 7 HCP with something like 25xx/24xx – possibly 35xx which would leave E (13xx) a thorn in the side in a C contract.  Still, I can’t be passing this hand.   

H.   H7.  W has 4 spades (with 5 a 3-level bid would have followed 2N) and 3- hearts (with 4 W would have responded 1H).  E could be any of 2443/3343/2353/2344/3352/3253.  That leaves N with 3 or 4S and on red-letter days, 3 or 4 hearts.  So why not H7?  N probably has a K or a J and Q, K or J in H and might be our best chance.

This is lots of anguish so early in January, and I suppose it’s not going to get any easier as 2020 rolls on.  Happy New Year!?
 
Dick

Masse24

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Re: 2020 February - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2020, 03:14:37 AM »
low heart is for GAME bid--very silly vs point-count NT slam bid.

This is a very simple, clean assessment, Blu.

But correct, I think. So I steer clear of a heart lead. Let declarer find the queen.
“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

MarilynLi

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Re: 2020 February - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2020, 05:49:35 AM »
It takes some courage to post my answers and share my thoughts here. I know pretty good players are around here.

Problem A: 3C. It shows my shape and strength.

Problem B: I see a few options: 3D. this hand is too strong to bid 3D.
                                              3NT. It should show a long D suit with 16-19 hcp, the other suits stopped. But here, I feel the D suit is neither long enough (maybe one more D) nor solid enough(maybe one more J at least).
                                              2NT.  I don't really like. With all very good controls and a small singleton, I don't feel like showing a balanced hand.
                                              1S. The problem with 1S is it's not forcing. But if partner can't make a rebid over 1S, we probably don't have anything anyway, because for me rebid 1S after 1D always shows a shapely hand, usually 5/4 in D/S (could be 4441), so even though with a very minimum response, my partner would probably make a 2D rebid with 3 cards. If he doesn't even have that, we probably don't have anything anyway. And 1S is flexible, with any of my partner's rebid, I can show my D again. But again the problem is 1S doesn't show my strength and probably hard to show such a good hand later after partner's rebid.                                                   
                                              2S.  It is a jump reverse, also lying about S suit, but I feel the lie can be expected more than 1S. I tend to make a lying jump reverse in this situation. And more importantly, it shows my strength. I go with this bid.

Probelm C: a3. I'm reluctant to make a reverse here, but life isn't perfect.

Problem D: 2C. I feel this is the only option if choose to make a bid.

Problem E: 2H. I don't want to pass risking partner having 3 cards D and I feel with 9 hcp I owe my partner a bid here.

Problem F: Pass. This one is a real headache for me. I decide to make a bold bid. Partner has Hearts for sure. My second option is 1NT.

Problem G: 3C. I don't see other options.

Problem H: S4. I tend to make a passive lead against 6NT.

jcreech

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Re: 2020 February - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2020, 11:42:25 AM »
Welcome MarilynLi. 

In my mind, the most important piece to an exercise like this is the sit down and justify (at least in your own mind) why you have chosen a particular bid, and then have a a discussion among people you know and play with about options that you couldn't see, or the options you could see but dismissed for your own reasons.  Finally, after the experts weigh in, see what was chosen by top players are the best choices, why they thought it was best, and most importantly, you can see when the experts tend to agree with one another and when their solutions are as scattered as the IAC contributors.

What I can say about your responses is that they look to be well thought out, and a nice addition to the discussion.  Thank you and good luck!
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

jcreech

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Re: 2020 February - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2020, 02:38:46 AM »
I've pulled my trigger and am going with the following:

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

PROBLEM A: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM B: 1 Spade
PROBLEM C: (a3)
PROBLEM D: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM E: 2 Hearts
PROBLEM F: 2 Notrump
PROBLEM G: Double
PROBLEM H: Spade 10

Before I go further, treat Ken Berg as my partner for this competition.

I changed a few from my initial guesses. 

On B, I always felt that 3 !D was too weak of an action, and while I know 1 !S is nonforcing, it gives me the best chance of getting to the right spot.  If partner has four and a weak hand, I am still happy to play this as a Moysian (taking one ruff in my hand, but unless partner is QJTx, I really don't want to do more.  But if NT is right, partner can bid and probably right-side the contract, and I probably will get a chance to show my strength and diamond length.

On E, I was always tempted to bid the hearts, became enamored of getting out early.  I was forgetting that I have 9 HCPs, mostly in aces.  So I will make a weak 2 !H bid, and hope partner has the strength to make a game try that I will gladly accept.

On H, I behaved like Blu and was defending 3NT not the slam.  Although I am intrigued by the idea of identifying where there may be a 3-3 solid fit, I think my better bet is to lead through presumed strength and hope to find partner with four (maybe even five) cards in the suit as well.  So now I am leading a spade, but which one.  I am guessing that I will find AKQx or AKJx for the leap to 6NT, so I am hoping to find partner with Jxxx(x) or Q9xx(x) - in the first case it doesn't matter much which spade I lead, but in the other, the 10 is an important card for partner to know about, so I may as well make it know from trick 1.

Anyway - good luck to all, I hope everyone makes the honor roll.
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

MarilynLi

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Re: 2020 February - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2020, 08:15:31 AM »
Welcome MarilynLi. 

In my mind, the most important piece to an exercise like this is the sit down and justify (at least in your own mind) why you have chosen a particular bid, and then have a a discussion among people you know and play with about options that you couldn't see, or the options you could see but dismissed for your own reasons.  Finally, after the experts weigh in, see what was chosen by top players are the best choices, why they thought it was best, and most importantly, you can see when the experts tend to agree with one another and when their solutions are as scattered as the IAC contributors.

What I can say about your responses is that they look to be well thought out, and a nice addition to the discussion.  Thank you and good luck!

Thank you Jcreech!

Most of these problems are tough and some of them have no right or wrong answers--even the experts panel's votes split. But most importantly, what I like is to see how the experts think about the problems and the good points they make, that I missed. We all want to Think Like an Expert ;)

wackojack

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Re: 2020 February - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2020, 03:02:12 PM »
My solutions sent yesterday:

A 3 !C
B 3 !D
C a 3
D 2 !C
E 2NT
F 2NT
G 3 !C
H 10  !S

Wackojack


Masse24

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Re: 2020 February - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2020, 03:08:47 PM »
F.   2H.  Just how strong is N’s hand??

Exactly!

Jim also asked this question, as I think we all did when reading the helpful BWS note.

Attempting to enlighten myself I went searching through BWS2017, but found only this: "A low-level delayed double by lurker after the opponents have bid three suits shows strength with length in the suit of the opening bid."

So not much help. Fortunately the MSC panel will be working under the same constraints. Except that they are world class, and have probably orchestrated such a double in their lifetimes. Me? Never. At least as far as I can recall. So it's a guess.

But . . .

I cannot imagine partner perpetrating such a call with a bunch of diamonds and 9 or 10 HCP. With that strength I don't see the need for it. So I will attribute partner with (and this is a bit of guesswork) an opening hand--or very close to it. Maybe a minimum of 11 or 12 HCP? Does that make sense? Hope so cuz that's my thinking.

Do I Pass . . . or stick with my first instinct and try 2NT?

This one is hard.


« Last Edit: January 09, 2020, 03:11:47 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

Curls77

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Re: 2020 February - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2020, 03:23:55 PM »
Here I come to collect my 1 monster point for participation!  :P

A: 3C
B: 2N
C: a3
D: 2N if it is unusual, otherwise 2C
E: pass
F: 2N
G: 3C
H: h7

kenberg

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Re: 2020 February - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2020, 04:55:30 PM »
Some of my choices might be odd.

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

Your Solutions [comments added] for the February 2020 Contest
-------------------
PROBLEM A: 3 Clubs
This seems reasonable. I suppose partner has long hearts and too little strength to do otherwise. Since, after 1M, BWS says " a jump-shift to three of an underranking suit is invitational;" I suppose he does not have much. Still, 3C seems right.

PROBLEM B: 1 Spade
Often partner will not have four spades and then we will move on elsewhere. If partner does have four spades, it is very possible 4 !S is the right contract.

PROBLEM C: (a3)
This seems to be a popular choice.  Often we read about how disciplined a reverse must be. The advocates for discipline then need to explain what else to do. Here, partner might well rebid 2S over 2H. BWS says "Opener's reverse after a one-notrump response is forcing. Opener's reverse after a one-level suit response is forcing and promises a rebid below game.". Over 2S I am forced, I don't mind, I bid 2NT. This seems like a decent start.

PROBLEM D: 2 Clubs
It would not occur to me to do anything else. I don't know what happens next, but 2C, for now, seems clear. Yes I would like to have a better five card suit or else a six card suit, but I am not passing.


PROBLEM E: 2 Hearts
As has been noted, I should have a sixth heart. I don't. 2H might well end the auction, I don't mind.

PROBLEM F: 3 Diamonds
I have a good hand, partner is advertising a good hand with diamond length. How much length I don't know, but I can imagine a continuation that gets us to 3NT.

PROBLEM G: 2 Spades
Another choice that seems to be just me. Partner could be, say, 2=4=6=1. If instead I bid 3C I doubt he would pull 3C to 3D, he would figure he has one more club than he had shown so far, that I probably had six clubs or else a very good five for my 2C and have now gone on to 3C without encouragement, so he would leave it. But over 2S he will figure I have asked for his thoughts on the matter.

PROBLEM H: Heart 9
How about a small heart? Well, if partner has the K and plays it, declarer will take his ace. That heart K will be close to the last high card partner has, so probably declarer can take four spades in dummy, four diamonds in hand, the heart A and three clubs. Or maybe he will, after taking the heart A, lead a heart to the J on the board establishing the T in his hand. At any rate, if I play a small heart and partner produces the K I doubt we are actually beating 6NT. Better to play the 9 I think. If the dummy hits with the T, this might work well. If partner has Txx then the 9 was no worse than the 7. I really hope the experts talk a bit about fourth best leads against 6NT. Against 3NT we are trying to set up a card by repeated leads. We will not be having repeated leads against 6NT.


And I want to say, as I have before, that I think the MSC thread has been one enormous success.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2020, 04:58:41 PM by kenberg »
Ken

Masse24

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Re: 2020 February - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2020, 05:19:16 PM »

PROBLEM A: 3 Clubs
This seems reasonable. I suppose partner has long hearts and too little strength to do otherwise. Since, after 1M, BWS says " a jump-shift to three of an underranking suit is invitational;" I suppose he does not have much. Still, 3C seems right.


I think maybe you misunderstand this jump-shift reference? I believe they are referring to a Bergenesque sequence? Something like:

1 !H - (P) - 3 !C or
1 !S - (P) - 3 !D

Or I am misunderstanding your post.
“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