Author Topic: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB  (Read 4431 times)

Masse24

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2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« on: January 21, 2020, 02:24:56 AM »
MARCH 2020 MSC

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

Submit your March responses here: The Bridge World - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB

BWS 2017 System: BWS 2017
BWS 2017 POLLS, CHANGES AND ADDITIONS: BWS 2017 - Polls, Changes, and Additions
  • Bridge World Standard 2017 (BWS or BWS2017) is effective beginning with the January 2017 Master Solvers' Club problems. 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.


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blubayou

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2020, 05:06:20 AM »

PROBLEM A :>>     East hasn't a prayer of having a 2-level free-bid,  so he will pass when raised.   If opener puts him in game when I pass,  and [surprise]  it is makeable,  are we going to save red vs. not?   That's 500  folks.This looks like 9 for each side to me  quite often, so I let sleeping dogs lie,  not even trying to eke out the 1 IMP  for 4 diamonds -100.       ---  PASS now,  and sell out to 3 hearts, also.

PROBLEM B: >>  The first step here is to realize  that this is a mere opening hand after all.  The second  is to research BWS agreements about what a LEAP TO 4 HEARTS would have meant.  (Is it some kind of "picture bid", or is it "Drop-dead unless you have all the goodies").  But given all that I am making the hinted-at mild slam try of 3NT -- because of the top cards and great hearts.  i fantasize pard's4 club cue, so i can get the diamond ace of my chest  then let 4H  alone  if that comes next.  May Brigita have mercy on my soul.    -------3NT

PROBLEM C:>>  This problem  made me recall the habit of the Big Gun  panelists  of the 50s--70s  to ABSTAIN  when they simply could not swallow the bidding dictated to them  ie: opening one club. But that time is gone   along with the dream-auction of  "1D, 1H; 2C, 2D; 2NT".    LETS avoid the distortion of both size and shape in a 1NT rebid,  and try another one of those cute 3-card 1 spade rebid.                        ------ 1S    (scoring 30 this month)

PROBLEM D:>>            ---- 3C

PROBLEM E:>>  Three-only choices.  I  cross off the 1NT overcall  because the tight AK  do not provide enough bang for the buck.  I like to expect to play my 1NT overcalls  and make them,  and those diamonds are a bad start at doing this.  Coin toss between  Double  and One Spade came ut "Double"                     -----DOUBLE


PROBLEM F:>>    Too hard;  maybe Feb9th   lightning will have struck.    ---tabled


PROBLEM G:>>   In the Bronze Age,  this was a 3NT opener. I miss those days.  So obviously,  i am in for 3NT  on round two.        -----  B6


PROBLEM H:>>   Playing pard for the heart ten  [ or maybe just the eight], for all the marbles. Cannot dream up a reason to lead the honest 4th-best -- pard's roll  on this one  is probably just to avoid revoking                     ------ HEART DEUCE
« Last Edit: January 30, 2020, 10:36:34 PM by blubayou »
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jcreech

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2020, 02:48:26 PM »
Initial thoughts - this is a bit early for me, but took a little time to run through the problems:

Problem A:  3C  - Speak of the proverbial 50 point deck, this seems to be one of those.  I don’t like keeping secrets from partner and we have a nine-card fit, so I cue bid to let partner know we have a fit and I have values (and most of them should be working).  Partner’s hand has a flaw that kept him from making a takeout double – either too short in hearts or spades.  The next round of bidding should help clear things up.

Problem B:  3NT – I’m not absolutely sure I want to go slamming, but not sure that I don’t either, so a mild slam try seems reasonable.  If partner has a club control to cue, then I cooperate one more time, after that, it is up to partner to continue.

Problem C:  2C – Partner’s expected heart bid puts me in a bind that I should have anticipated.  All of my options are bad so this is a least lie situation.  I don’t think this is right for a Moysian, so 1S is out, I don’t like bidding an immediate 1NT with a singleton in partner’s suit, not enough points to reverse and not enough hearts to raise – guess what that leaves?  The club suit is robust enough for me to rebid and pretend there are six.

Problem D:  2C – Research what BWS considers 2C followed by 3C.  What I need is an invitational sequence.  I am too good for a preempt and not good enough for a game force.  If 2C followed by 3C is not right then I will be stuck with a less than satisfactory 1NT, to show my stopper and slightly underbid my values.

Problem E:  1NT – With this shape and a better suit, I like to overcall in spades, and reopen with a double.  With 16 HCPs and a double stop in diamonds, I’ll just show everything except the 5th spade with 1NT.

Problem F:  4S – This hand is right for a Moysian, though I am a bit worried about a bad break in the spade suit.  The advantage is that this bid keeps us one level lower, but a minor may be a better strain.  I’m going to gamble on the Moysian, and if doubled, run to 4NT to ask for partner’s better minor.  My second choice is 4NT immediately and my third is to pass and hope we have four defensive tricks.   

Problem G:  (b6) – I am torn between opening 2NT  and opening 1D and rebidding 3NT.  2NT does a better job of conveying the HCPs – 19 + an upgrade for the diamond length.  However, opening the suit and rebidding 3NT may do a better job of describing the playing strength and defensive concerns when owning a long solid suit.  Right now, I am going with the playing strength, but may decide that it also undervalues the HCPs before I actually vote.

Problem H:  H6 – I have entries, so despite having four hearts in dummy,  this may be our best suit to attack.  I am hoping that the 10 is not in dummy and partner has Hx.  Although I have not seen dummy yet, there is potential room for something useful in partner’s hand.
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

Masse24

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2020, 08:16:25 PM »
PROBLEM B: 3NT. In my opinion, this is a hand valuation problem. How strong am I?

Although BWS2017 does not provide detailed information as to its preferred method of follow-ups employing 3NT as a “mild slam try,” it does provide this explanation:

Mild and Serious Slam-Tries: When an eight-plus-card major-suit fit has been established, neither partner has made a natural two-notrump bid, and the auction is forcing to game, a nonjump bid of three notrump is a mild slam-try, and a control-bid or a long-suit indicator is a strong slam-try.”

One advantage of using either Serious 3NT or Frivolous 3NT is having the ability to show a hand that is more than a complete garbage minimum, but less than a hand with the extras necessary to make a hard drive to slam. A hand that a "fast arrival" jump (which I abhor) might lose.

Like this hand.

We have a double fit. My trumps are great. Partner has four or fewer cards in the minors, so I’ll have little in the way of wasted values. But I’m flat. And I hate my xxx in spades. All of that together looks like a hand willing to cooperate in a slam move if partner has extras. But I want to send the message that I do not have the “stuff” to make the move myself.

3NT accomplishes this.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2020, 11:25:44 PM by Masse24 »
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kenberg

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2020, 03:22:49 PM »
Speculation on hand A. Red against white, I suppose that 2 !D is not based on AQxxxx and zip. Some more shape or strength or something. Letting imagination run wild, maybe

!S Qxx
!H void
!D AQxxxx
!C xxxx.

Now that's a pretty good hand, maybe too good for a 2 !D call, but with vulnerability as it is I think it could be so. Some pairs revert to intermediate jump overcalls when red versus white, but I did not see anything in BWS saying they do.

We can make 5 !D, but I do not have an agreement with anyone that says a 3 !C call (as with  Jim) over East's 2 !H says  "If you have a !H void the !S  Q, and the !D AQxxxx then please go on to 5 !D.

On the other hand, or maybe this is the other other hand, if the opponents go on to 4 !H, partner will no doubt look at his heart void and figure that if that 3 !C bid was inviting him to further compete  then surely this is the hand to do it with.

Perhaps more realistically, assume partner has a stiff heart. Then the opponents can easily take the first three tricks. But can they make 4 !H? Maybe, maybe not. We get at most one !D, and unless !S are 3-3 we get only two spades. Of curse that's in quick tricks, after they get the lead they still have to find ten tricks. If Lho has a 2=2=4=5 shape this might be pretty easy.


!S xxxx                        Qx
!H Axxx                        KQJxxx
!D x                             xx
!C AKJxx                      xxx

5 !D X is one of those rare cases where the red against white sac pays of, -200 instead of -420, there is at least a chance that W, with his stiff !D, will alter the old adage to "The five level belongs to me" and bid 5 !H. Ok, probably not, but maybe.

Of course the hands could also be

!S xxx                          Qxx
!H Axxx                        KQJxxx
!D x                             xx
!C AKJxx                      xxx

in which case 4 !H would have been off 1. That assumes decent defense, but not hard.

Usually, after North's 2 !D, we expect N to shut up. But Jim's 3 !C  presumably invites further participation. There will be some guesswork involved, but that's bridge. If the opponents have hands such that going on to 4 !H seems right to them, N can reasonably think " !H void very good, stiff !H rather good, doubleton !H bad. " Well, we can hope.

So I think I am liking the 3 !C call. It certainly could go wrong, but it could also go right.
Ken

Masse24

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2020, 04:33:47 PM »
Speculation on hand A.

So I think I am liking the 3 !C call. It certainly could go wrong, but it could also go right.

I like 3 !C too.

But I also like 3 !H. But what does it mean? I have not taken a deep dive into BWS2017 to see if this is mentioned. I assume, like 3 !C, it shows support. Even if not specifically mentioned in BWS, does it imply more support? Four, rather than three cards? Maybe, but I don't know.

It certainly pushes us (and them?) up a level. The question is, how high do I wish to compete?

Plenty of time left to look into it.

[Added] Upon further reflection, I think if I were going to contemplate a call that forces to the 4-level, it would be 3 !S (fit jump?) to get my entire hand off my chest at once. Yes, it's flawed, being a spade short. And yes, it's risky vulnerable. Just ruminating at this point.  ???

« Last Edit: January 25, 2020, 04:55:18 PM by Masse24 »
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kenberg

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2020, 03:21:22 PM »
I don't think I want to force to the 4 level. Partner might have !H xxx in which case the opponents might well not have a biddable or makable game and we might be in a tough spot. Over 3 !C partner might well settle for 3 !D, the opponents are not all that apt to double, maybe they play 3 !H.  It's more when they have a nine or ten card heart fit, leaving partner short in hearts, that they will go on to 4 !H and we might want to go on to 5 !D, possibly off 1 or even making.

I am interested in the following: After partner makes a preempt, 2 !D in this case. what sort of actions by me invite him to bid on? And when should he bid on? I am thinking that if the opponents go on to 4 !H and if he has a significant shortage of hearts, that might well be the time for him to go on assuming that I have, through 3 !C or otherwise,invited him to do so. But this gets tricky, I think.

I can't recall seeing such matters discussed in the bridge literature.  Anyone have any references?
« Last Edit: January 26, 2020, 03:24:08 PM by kenberg »
Ken

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2020, 12:06:11 PM »
I'll proffer a contribution here, though I may be an uninvited guest.

I don't have much bridge literature to hand, but years ago a teacher explained a Unassuming Cue Bid (UCB) was necessary because partner's overcall could be quite wide-ranging, say from 6/7 to about 14/15 HCP.   Clearly, advancer with 9/10+ HCP and support uses a UCB because game might be on.  A weak jump overcall, in contrast, is limited in range (6-9 probably) so my teacher considered a UCB much less useful: advancer could decide what level was reasonable.  That seemed a sensible view.

Turning to this hand, as Ken points out, various hands can be constructed to produce a decent 5 !D contract.  At the table, however, I would probably diagnose this as a 20-20 hand, where a part-score was the limit.  We should make 8 tricks (2S, and 6D) even if overcaller has AQxxxx in D and nothing else and, in that case, we can make 9 if overcaller has 3 cards in C (overcaller might easily be 3262 however).  A 9th trick might also come if overcaller has SQ or CK.

In other words, if overcaller is min 3 !D looks to be the limit (-100 or making with a club ruff) and 4 !D looks dangerous (potentially the dreaded -200).  If overcaller is max then 4 !D looks safe (-100 at worst).  So, despite what my teacher said, this looks a good example of advancer opposite a WJO using a UCB to say "we can play two levels up if you are max and if we're pushed to that, otherwise one level up is the limit." 

Of course after bidding 3 !C we may then have to suck our teeth wondering if we can defeat 3 !H.  We probably won't if overcaller is min (2S, S ruff, D), but then the alternative to -140 will be -200 in 4 !D

jcreech

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2020, 12:38:22 PM »
Hi Dick,

No one gets a written invitation to join in, but all are welcome to express their thoughts and opinions.  All we ask is that anyone who participates, does so in a polite and respectful manner.  So do not expect an SNL-like (Saturday Night Live) dismissive rebuttal to any opinion expressed (i.e, Dan Akroyd to Jane Curtain).

I don't remember that cue bid ever being given a name.  Perhaps it came along after I learned to use it, but I like the name you have brought into the discussion.
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

kenberg

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2020, 02:19:36 PM »
The MSC thread has been successful in stimulating discussion. So "uninvited guest"? Consider yourself very enthusiastically invited. Of course after Jim's comment about the need for politeness I was thinking of phrasing this as "How could you be so stupid as to think you were uninvited" but I have more than once discovered that irony often doesn't go well in electronic postings.

The phrase "unassuming cue bid" has been around for a while, long enough for me to be aware of it, but browsing online I see that I might have misunderstood the meaning. Suppose, for a moment, the contested auction had gone 1 !C - 1 !D - 1 !S - 2 !C.  When I say that the 2 !C is unassuming I thought that meant that it is very likely that the 2 !C bidder has diamond support, but it is not certain. he either has a good hand with diamond support or else a very good hand, better than just a good hand, where he hopes to explore for both the right strain and the right level. The issue is whether the diamond support is absolutely guaranteed by the cue  or whether it is implied but not completely certain. Probably the 3 !C bidder would have at least something like Kx, else he is not apt to think of his hand as all that great opposite an overcall, but Kx night be all there is in the !D suit.

I might be mis-using the phrase.

Anyway, opposite a weak jump overcall now I would expect 3 !C to show a diamond fit, especially after the 2 !H call. Partner did say weak with his WJO.  But game is still a possibility, even if a distant possibility. Of course when the fit is in the minor, 3NT rather than 5 !D  is always under consideration if we are going for game. But I think 3 !C has to be on a !D fit.

Myself, when red against white, I would not bid 2 !D over the 1 !C with xxx / xx / AQxxxx / xx. I think 2 !D invites partner to compete to 3 !D and, at this vulnerability, I am not at all sure I want to do that.  With xxx / x / AQxxxx / xxx the 2 !D becomes more appealing. They probably have a heart fit, I probably won't get doubled even if partner does bid 3 !D, and there is a fair chance a !D lead will go well for us against a !H contract declared on my left.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2020, 02:24:07 PM by kenberg »
Ken

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2020, 03:57:54 PM »
Thanks guys for the welcome.

The UCB (as I was taught it) always shows support for overcaller's suit: 3+ card support and 9+ HCP.  So in an auction like 1 !C - 1 !D - p - 2 !C, the 2 !C says nothing about C but promises D support and 9+ HCP.  The same would be true for the 1 !C - 1 !D - 1 !S - 2 !C auction, as 2 !C is the only cue bid available which allows overcaller to sign-off one level up from his overcall.  2 !S would also be a UCB but forces a minimum overcaller to sign-off at the 3-level.  (Btw, the advancer with 9+ HCP and at most 2-card support would bid NT or his own suit.)

An auction can give advancer two choices for a UCB.  This is rare, but happened in Problem F from last month's Bidding quiz where the overcaller used a x to show "strong hand with length in D".  This was the auction:  1 !D - p - 1 !H - p - 1 !S - x - p  to us.  We had this hand:

 !S A J 8 3  !H 5 3  !D Q 6 3  !C A 9 3 2

This is a hand I'd want to use a UCB for - 3+ card support and 9+ HCP.  The question which I struggled with was which one, 2 !H or 2 !S?  Usually a UCB says nothing about the suit bid, as there is only one choice.  Here there was a choice and I think the correct bid must depend on partnership agreement: either the UCB shows the usual stuff and stops in the suit bid (2 !S) or the UCB shows the usual stuff and asks for stops in the suit bid (2 !H).  I chose incorrectly.

Returning to Hand A for this month a UCB of 3 !C to me says nothing about clubs, just good D support and 9+ HCP.

I remember my teacher saying that the UCB was so-called because it did not assume overcaller had a good hand, merely a good suit. 



 




blubayou

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2020, 03:48:10 AM »
I hesitate to  revisit our favorite problem this month---   but noboy so far  has conviced me yet  that minus 140  or 170  is a looser  (of more than a single IMP)  4 Diams buying and making  is a wild fantasy,  and if 4 hearts is ON,   -420  wont look terrible versus  our FIVE diamonds,     LET heart partial play,   or hope to nick 4h  without remorse  if we do not.    I vote  forever ,  9 tricks  for both sides!!

On problem B,  i found in the first pages of the BWS2017 summery  this suprising gem:  "when either a jump-raise or a single raise  is game forcing,  the jump raise shows MORE."   so we are all safe issuing the frivolous slam try of 3NT,   having already shown minimum for the heart raise.   I think the voters on this tratment  need more work, however.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2020, 09:13:24 PM by blubayou »
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kenberg

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2020, 12:44:24 PM »
I hesitate to  revisit our favorite problem this month---   but nobody so far  has convinced me yet  that minus 140  or 170  is a looser  (of more than a single IMP)  4 Diams buying and making  is a wild fantasy,  and if 4 hearts is ON,   -420  wont look terrible versus  our FIVE diamonds,     LET heart partial play,   or hope to nick 4h  without remorse  if we do not.    I vote  forever ,  9 tricks  for both sides!!

I am not a great fan of LOTT but it can be a guide. If by any chance partner has a heart void then we have ten diamonds, they have ten hearts, LOTT says that there are 20 total tricks. If partner has a stiff heart LOTT says 19 total tricks.  My thinking is that 3 !C, forcing us to 3 !D,  should be safe. If Lho then bids 3 !H and partner passes, then I pass also. Same if Lho bids 4 !H and partner passes. Often, they will be playing hearts, I am not suicidal. But on the occasional hand, 5 !D will make or sometimes be off 1 against a making 4 !H. Will 3 !C help partner identify when it is right to go on?  That's a bit iffy, but if the opponents bid to 4 !H and partner is looking at at most one heart, he might give it a thought. It's possible that 3 !D will be hit and go down, but with ten trump this usually does not happen.
We  surely have 8 tricks, we have a  likely club ruff for 9, so 3 !D should be safe and I can leave it up to partner to do more if it seems right after my encouraging 3 !C.



Nobody mentioned X over the 2 !H. A snapdragon showing five spades and a diamond fit? Well, we don't have five spades, so the question is academic.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2020, 01:59:38 PM by kenberg »
Ken

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2020, 10:24:56 AM »
A   3C, diamond support. We could be cold for 5D, which is why I don’t
    agree with pass.

B   4S, I don’t have more than what I promised with my initial 2C response.

C   1S, and hope to survive. I can sympathise with a 2C rebid despite only
    five clubs but this hand is simply too strong in high cards for that bid.

D   2C.

E   1S, I agree with the ‘bang for buck’ argument against the 1NT overcall
    and I prefer to try and play in my major than a minor.

F   4NT, with five spades partner might have bid 4S rather than double.

G   b5, colour me yellow but I don’t want to hang partner for responding 1H
    on five hearts to the queen and out.

H   Heart Q, uninspired I know, but that’s me.

Oliver

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2020, 10:33:05 AM »
I failed to notice that partner's 2 bid was a jump. Possibly I would then
have elected to bid 4.


Added by jcreech:

For reasons discussed in a subsequent post, we are allowing hoki to change his bid on Problem A.

Hi Jim,

Thanks for getting in touch. I'm still very new to this, so I was under the
impression that I couldn't change it once I had submitted my answers.
Now you're suggesting that I can - unless this is just for the purpose of
our IAC discussion group.

You've made me think about the whole problem again and I'm inclining
more and more towards changing my bid and, if I could, I would change
it to 5.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2020, 11:53:15 AM by jcreech »