Author Topic: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB  (Read 4399 times)

jcreech

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2020, 12:25:55 PM »
There are two ways of entering answers to the MSC problems. 

The first is formal, by posting your answers on the Bride World website and receiving a receipt by email oy your selections.  We regard those as "written in stone"  because you have taken the extra step of joining the international poll of responses to the series of problems.  Those results are sent to use either by posting them publicly on the forum or privately by sending to either Masse23 or jcreech.

The other is informal.  You only post your answers to the forum on IAC.  Those answers may be subject to a change of heart.  We don't close these responses as final until you can no longer submit answers formally through Bridge World.

If IAC solvers have noticed, a number of us who go through the formal process, also post preliminary thoughts, and if you compare the initial thoughts to the final formal submission, we have often changed at least one answer, if not more.  Sometimes our formal submission is very close to the 10 Eastern deadline because we are still mulling over some problem until we are afraid the poll will close without our votes.

There is no reason to not give the informal voters the same benefit of preliminary vs. final selections as the formal players receive.

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 #16 on: February 04, 2020, 03:50:37 PM »
Adding a bit: The attraction of the IAC part of MSC is exactly that we can put forth our views, see the views of others, change our minds, etc.  After the submission to BridgeWorld that one submission to BW is the final submission to BW, but there is no reason at all we cannot continue to discuss and perhaps change our mind.

Eg

On A, I have no idea how many tricks, in diamonds for us added to the tricks in hearts for them, are available.  I don't know if the opponents do or do not have a heart fit. I don't know if par will be -200 for 5 !D X down 1 against 4 !H making for -420. It's imps, so we don't want to cut it too close. It seems to me that 3 !C is the way to get partner in on the decision making. Usually a preempter is expected to pass after his initial action, but surely (or I hope surely) a 3 !C call invites further participation.

On C, I will be rebidding 2 !C. I am a bit strong for this, that is true, and it bothers me a bit but not too much. My strong five card, rather than a six card, club suit doesn't bother me at all. Requiring six cards surely needs some sort of asterisk since if the rule is taken to allow no exceptions it makes some hands unbiddable. Here, it is true, 1 !S is an option, but of course partner will expect 4. And 1NT is an option, I will consider it, but I don't much like it. One problem with my 2 !C choice is that partner might well now bid 2 !D. I play that as natural, I think BWS does also, but after 2 !D from pard some number of NT seems right. 2NT would again understate my strength.

Anyway, the discussion is what I am here for. Of course I like to get a good score, but I value the discussion.
Ken

bAbsG

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2020, 05:06:42 PM »
Your solutions have been received. This copy is for your records.

SOLVER: Babs Giesbrecht
       Qulaicum Beach BC
       Canada

Your Solutions for the March 2020 Contest 
-------------------
PROBLEM A: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM B: 3 Notrump
PROBLEM C: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM D: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM E: 1 Notrump
PROBLEM F: 4 Spades
PROBLEM G: (b2)
PROBLEM H: Heart 6

jcreech

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2020, 06:44:20 PM »
I am concerned about whether I will be in a good position to wait much longer, so I have pulled the trigger.

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

PROBLEM A: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM B: 3 Notrump
PROBLEM C: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM D: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM E: 1 Notrump
PROBLEM F: 4 Notrump
PROBLEM G: (b6)
PROBLEM H: Heart 6

I made one change.  On Problem F, I would probably still go with my original answer, but for MSC I am switching to 4NT.  I think the panel are more likely to steer clear of the Moysian that I was willing to try on a personal basis.

I also misread Problem A, but I still want to let partner know that I have values and a likely fit, so I am sticking with my original choice.

As usual, I am declaring Ken as my partner in this exercise - though my expectation of 75% agreement on our specific selections are not great.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2020, 04:24:28 PM by jcreech »
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

blubayou

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2020, 01:39:12 AM »
SOLUTIONS FOR Jock McQuade,Portland ORU.S.A.
PROBLEM A: Pass,
PROBLEM B: 3 Notrump,
PROBLEM C: 2 Clubs,
PROBLEM D: 2 Clubs,
PROBLEM E: Double,
PROBLEM F: 4 Notrump,
PROBLEM G: (b6),
PROBLEM H: Heart 2
    I  wimped out of both  attractive  'natural'  3-card spade rebid/responses  (C  and F).  Have grown more content with 4NT for his minor on #F  as the weeks passed,  but  sad to wave goodbye  to  "1 Spade"   on #C.
i wonder how much mark-down  5th best heart lead will get compared to the 4th-best 6!
« Last Edit: February 07, 2020, 01:59:48 AM by blubayou »
often it is better to beg forgiveness, than ask permission

MarilynLi

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2020, 11:28:29 AM »
A. 3S. For me this is a matter of 2S or 3S fit bids. Since partner made a WJO, spades bid must be fit showing bid. Although the S length doesn't seem to be sufficient, but it should be just lead directing. I choose 3S, jumping to the level I want to be at.

B. 3NT. Double fit. slam is possible vs. a medium strength partner.

C. 2C. Partner bid my singleton and we doesn't seem to have a S fit, so I will just bid 2C and wait. If partner rebids 2D or 2NT, I'd bid 3NT.

D. 2C.

E. 1NT. To me that's a 4 card S suit.

F. 4NT. Pick a minor.

G. B6. I don't really like this option, I feel it screams for a club lead. But I like to show my solid D this way and hope for luck.

H. H6

DickHy

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2020, 11:27:27 PM »
Thoughts (increasingly lengthy ones)

A.  3C.

B.  3N.  We have a double fit and N could have a strong hand and/or 55xx.  Apart from being a slam try, this gives N a chance to cue 4C.  I can’t as N is declarer.  If 4C comes, we’ve gone from mild to very interested. 

C.  2C.  When I have to lie a little, I prefer not to mislead partner about a major or a reverse – since each of those can spark enthusiasm.  On the other hand, we are vulnerable and don’t want to miss a thin game.  So, should I bid 2D and then (whether N bids 3D or 2H), bash out 3N, dreaming about getting a S lead and 7 top tricks in my hand alone?  If we’re struggling and need the IMPs, I’d bid 2D.

D.  2C.  A hand which shows the importance of clear agreements.  What does “2C is forcing to two hearts” mean?  Surely not a H raise, as other bids are available for that.  If it simply means 2C is a forcing bid and natural, I want to bid 2C and then bid NT later to show the S stop.  Grr … 2C looks to be the ‘right’ bid, and I would have had no hesitation in making it if the explanation of 2C had been excluded.  I am too strong for a pre-empt, so the alternative is 1N.  That’s dangerously wimpish (all my 10 HCP are working and JT9 is worth more than 1 HCP in NT), but 2N seems to be an invitational raise in H.  I’ll bid 2C – at least N will not pass that.

E.  1N.  How important is the weak S suit to this hand?  My granny used to say suits like this were only good as trumps, and she would show them (either by 1S or x then S).  But a 5c holding stops the suit (and p rates have 1 of the missing honours).  I’ll show the 16-point balanced hand.  Partner may be a bust, and I could end up playing there, hoping that S are 3-3 and with four fingers crossed for fortune in both the minors to avoid the dreaded -200.  In that case my granny would be doing better.  However, it might be W that is bust, in which case we’ll finish in 4H (making) or 3N (making because N has a S honour!)

F.  x.  I confess a 4N bid in this situation showing two places to play entrances me, having seen it work so many times on vugraph.  But I might have to ignore the siren-calls because I have a third place to play if partner has 5 cards in spades.  N could be 5(Axxxx)242/5224 – a suit too weak to overcall 4S – and, besides, N knows I must have at least 2 places to play.  If I x here, N knows I have not got 4 cards in spades (otherwise I would bid 4S).  If he has 5 cards in spades, he can bid 4S knowing that, if I have only 2 cards in S, we can bang out into a minor fit.  So, I will x and we’ll make 4S in a 53 fit.  The sirens will scream at me if the panel chooses 4N.  Now, a little imp is whispering to me “pass is the right bid here – take ‘em down for a plus score, ‘cos 5D is one off” but that’s the voice of the devil.

G.   (a)  We have game but which one – 4H (if p has 6 cards in hearts), 5D or 3N (if he doesn’t).  We might have slam in H or D.  Our 9 top tricks in NT could disappear as they club us to death.  I can see the attraction of (b4) from that perspective, but would be tongue-tied when opponents, quickly followed by the Director, asked me for an explanation of my 3C bid.  (b5 3D) looks too weak for my hand, as partner with 6 HCP may well pass.  A 2N opening, shows my strength and gives N a chance to use Texas, and N can then pursue a H slam.  N could also convert (b6 3N) to 4H if he has 6 hearts.   The advantage of the former is that if N shows only 4 or 5 cards in hearts (2N – [3D – 3H/3C- 3D] – 3N) I get a chance to make a 4D slam try bid.  I don’t get that option with (b6).  After (b3) N could bid 4H with 6 cards in the suit and 3N with fewer, which again gives me the chance to think about making a slam try with 4D.  However, with (b3) if N has 6 cards in hearts, his route to testing for a H slam is perhaps murky (1D – 1H – 2N – 4N?).  A 2N opening makes H and D slam tries clearer.  If N rejects a 4D slam try with a 4N bid, I will convert that to 5D.  It seems I’ve talked my way into a 6H, 6D or 5D contract … as well as putting any readers to sleep [Ed: that happened 4 hands ago].

H.  QH.  I’m a big fan of Kantar and lead from the top of near-perfect sequences (2 touching honours then a space skipped).  Last year there was one quiz where leading Q from QJ942 was marked down in favour of 4th highest.  But I can’t change a habit ‘cos of a bidding quiz - consistency is the key to partner’s confidence.

wackojack

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2020, 06:52:17 PM »
March 2020 Contest
Problem A     3♣
Our likely losers are 2 clubs and however many hearts partner has.  If partner has:
1♥:  Likely we make 10 tricks in ♦s and they make 10 tricks in ♥ provided they do not lose a club trick and this is a big assumption. 
2♥s: What is partner’s distribution: 2263?  3262? 1264? Difficult to 2nd guess.  If partner has a doubleton spade then it becomes likely that we defeat 4♥.  So we make 9 tricks in ♦s and they make either 9 or 10 tricks in ♥s.
Void ♥: Then we make 11 tricks.   
A restrained pass could be the best, but if  opps were bid to 4♥ and partner has a ♥ void, then 3♣ could be the bid that would persuade partner to bid 5♦.   So I will go with the crowd and bid 3♣.

Problem B     4♣
It is necessary to understand the auction so far.  3♥ shows extras because we are in a game forcing situation.  Although my distribution is 4333 and 13 HCP this bid is reasonable because we have a double fit and good controls.  Partner, therefore, even with a minimum opener should keep things going with a courtesy cue bid below the game level if possible.  Thus 3♠ does not guarantee a 6 card suit as it could be just showing controls.  However, I would expect 3♠ at least to show ♠KQ10xx.  It would seem, therefore, that I have already “done my bit” by bidding 3♥ and could now just bid 4♥ and leave any slamming up to partner.  Nevertheless, my controls are so good that I reject that notion and have to go slamming as we are still below the level of game.  If I bid 3NT designated as a mild slam try and partner has in the minors say ♦Kx, ♣Ax .  Then if I bid 3NT, partner cues 4♣ and I cue 4♦, then partner does not know that I have the very important ♣K.  OTOH if instead I cue 4♣ immediately (ostensibly a serious slam try that my hand does not fully justify) Then if partner wheels out 4NT, partner has the luxury of knowing that I have the K♣.

I will go out on a limb sacrificing the possibility of a good score and ignore the BWS constraint and go for 4♣. 

Problem C     2♣
1♠ or 2♣?  I don’t fancy the Moysian.  Will go for 2♣

Problem D    2♣
2♣ It describes the hand


Problem E   1NT
I don’t like to overcall 1♠ with such a weak suit and 16HCP.  So go for 1NT.

Problem F    4NT
I prefer playing in a 4-4 fit to a 4-3 fit even a level higher.  So, go for 4NT to find partner’s 4 card minor.

Problem G    2NT

This hand is well worth 20HCP.  Automatic 2NT.

Problem H  Lead 6♥
Partner has 1 or 2 hearts.  You are playing imps so need to try and defeat the contract.  So you must play partner for an honour.  If you lead the Q and partner has a singleton honour you give away a trick and if partner has Hx you block the suit. Lead 6♥ 4th best.

kenberg

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2020, 09:24:57 PM »
Dick, "forcing to 2 !H ". This means that neither you nor partner should allow the auction to stop below the level of 2 !H. Thus, if you bid 2 !C and Lho passes, then your partner must bid. If he bids 2 !D and Rho passes, then you must bid again. If he bids 2 !H, you may (and probably would) pass.

The min point, I think, is that if you bid 2 !C you must be prepared with what you will do if partner now bids 2 !D. You cannot pass.

Well, that's what I think it means. I have, once or twice in my life, been wrong.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2020, 09:32:39 PM by kenberg »
Ken

blubayou

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2020, 09:52:53 PM »

To Jacko,  and maybe others:  near the bottom of sectionIII of the BWS agreeements,  I found this suprising gem:
  "Slow arrival: Except where there is a specific agreement to the contrary, when there is a choice between two game-forcing bids in a particular strain, BWS uses slow arrival (a jump is either stronger than a simple bid or it is a picture bid with a specific descriptive meaning)."


  I take that to apply to our   1S-2C; 2H-3H  auction,  and I hope the panelists do also.  so maybe your serious slam try inclination  is on target!   But did you forget that clubs is "your suit"  so why not seriously bid your diamond ace? :)
often it is better to beg forgiveness, than ask permission

kenberg

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2020, 01:56:24 AM »
I have never understood just what a picture bid is. For the auction 1 !S - 2 !C - 2 !H - 4 !H I would understand the 4 !H to show good hearts, good clubs and you are on your own in the other suits. For example
xx / KJxx / xx / AKQJx
would be fine.
And if that's what is meant by raising 2 !H to 4 !H then raising 2 !H to 3 !H is anything else with a heart fit.

Maybe 4 !H on xx / KJxx / xx / AKQJx is what is meant be a picture bid, I really don't know.

Application to B: The 3 !H then means that I do not have  xx / KJxx / xx / AKQJx and that's true, I don't. And then, after 3 !S, I am interested in slam but only in that I think it is possible. I think 3NT is reasonable. If partner bids 4 !C that might well be a stiff instead of the A, he does have 8 cards in the majors,  but then I just bid 4 !D and let him take it from there.

I have thought it standard practice for the jump from 2 !H to 4 !H to show something like xx / KJxx / xx / AKQJx and thus 3 !H is for everything else.  Maybe that's not as universal as I thought..

Ken

DickHy

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2020, 10:14:56 AM »
Babs:  thanks - I must be all at sea, cast off from Europe (though my heart will stay there).  On F, with the sort of minimum hands N might hold (A, AK, A + a useful Q, say) we can make 5m but if they have flattish distributions (2632/3532) we can defeat 4H by 3 tricks for 500.  They may have a better fit, especially if E is one of those souls who open a weak 2 with another 4-card suit - then 4H might be -2 for 300.  Those sort of hands (0643 opposite 4522) might make 5m tricky for us.  So pass could be a winning bid.  However, N may also have a 5440-shape and with enough for slam.  The sirens win!

Ken: thanks for that.  If 2C is natural then I will bid 2N over N's 2D or 3C over 2H. 

SOLUTIONS FOR:
Dick Harvey
Southampton
U.K.

PROBLEM A: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM B: 3 Notrump
PROBLEM C: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM D: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM E: 1 Notrump
PROBLEM F: 4 Notrump
PROBLEM G: (a)
PROBLEM H: Heart Queen

DickHy

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2020, 11:07:55 AM »
Ken, here’s an article on picture bids v fast arrival https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/21-auctions-fast-arrival-vs-picture-bidding/.  The example centres on a 1S – 2C – 2H auction but where responder has S support.  Instead of 4S being fast arrival, the jump picture bid scheme is:

   4S = good trump support, good clubs, no outside control
   3S = good trump support, good clubs, one or more outside controls
   2S = good trump support and unreliable clubs

For our problem (1S – 2C – 2H and responder with H support) there are only two levels available.  There seem to be two options here:

(a) A jump picture bid might still apply – exactly as you say and showing the hand you cite (4H = good trump control, good clubs and nowt else) - with 3H covering all other hands. 

(b) Fast arrival might be used instead of a picture jump.  With this option a hand like xx KJxx xx AKQJx would be too good for a fast arrival 4H. 

Judging from what Blubayou found in the BWS description, jump picture bids are used when there are three levels available i.e. two game-forcing bids (2S and 3S in the first auction above) but when there is only one game-forcing bid available (3H in our problem), perhaps BWS adopts fast arrival. 


wackojack

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2020, 12:55:56 PM »
A difficult and intriguing set.

SOLUTIONS FOR:
Jack Goody
Guildford
England

PROBLEM A: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM B: 4 Clubs
PROBLEM C: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM D: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM E: 1 Notrump
PROBLEM F: 4 Notrump
PROBLEM G: (a)
PROBLEM H: Heart 6

kenberg

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Re: 2020 March - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2020, 05:18:54 PM »
I am worried about the lead problem but not just the usual difficulties.

The auction begins 1NT - 2 !C - 2 !D - 3 !S , explained as five spades and four hearts. But BWS stipulates Smolen, and Smolen would be five hearts and four spades. Of course we are seeing the opponent's auction, so I am assuming/hoping that we are to view this as "Well, we cannot force opponents to play Smolen, these opponents don't, so 3 !S is on five spades and four hearts." I hope that's it.

So I assume declarer has exactly two spades and either two or three hearts, three being more likely.

If the opponents have 14 cards in the majors then we have 14 cards in the minors. Which means that partner has a five card minor suit. But can I guess which it is, can we establish it, and then can we cash it? It's unlikely that yes is the answer to all three of these questions.

So do I lead a heart? Four the board, a better than even chance of three in declarer's hand, and then one in partner's hand. Not all that attractive. Still, probably right. Maybe he has the T. Maybe he has Tx. If he has the !S Qxx we might be in business, and perhaps even if he has !S Jxx.

Time is running out, but I am not yet ready.



Ken