Author Topic: 2020 May - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB  (Read 6368 times)


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« Reply #30 on: April 11, 2020, 12:14:56 AM »
One thing is certain, it wasn't Kleinman as director! When he is director, there are few 90's. You either ace the test, or fail.  ::)

The tight scores at the top of the honor roll seem to point to someone like Bramley as director. We'll see in a week or so.

I'm fine with the calls I chose on A and D, but I'm not happy with my "inaction" (as Jim calls it) on G. Pass was timid. I should know better. One thing I've learned in the two years I have been doing the MSC, if it's close between pass and another call, pass is more often than not---wrong.

Another thing I've learned ---- my hindsight is very good!  :o

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« Reply #31 on: April 11, 2020, 12:17:14 PM »
Yes, choosing the scorer's second or third choice of calls still scored well.  There is some realism in that. Take C. 9 panelists chose the top scoring 2 !H, 9 chose the second scoring 1 !H. I chose 1 !H, for reasons I have mentioned,  but I certainly considered 2 !H.  It seems to me to be a close call. Suppose we randomly picked a panelist from the 18 who chose one of these two bids and have him/her assign scores. It makes sense for the scores then to be 10 and 9 (or maybe 8) rather than 10 and 5 (or maybe 4) .

Of course the vote split on other problems was more strongly in favor of one specific choice. On A, it was 16-9 for X over 2 !C. Still, I very strongly considered 2 !C and I can very much imagine myself, on any given day, choosing 2 !C for the reasons you, Todd, said. Again I think the choice is very close.

One effect of having close second choices get a decent score is that a low score then really gets my attention.  I had good luck this time but got 60 on D. I'll be interested in seeing the reasons but I am guessing that the hand is not seems as constructive enough for a constructive raise. I suppose I agree, I just wasn't thinking. I am not all that big a fan of the constructive raise idea and I sometimes just forget about it. Yes, I could bid 1NT and then maybe Lho bids 2 !C, partner passes, Rho bids 3 !C and i do what? Sure, maybe they get to 3 !C no matter what, but raising 1 !H to 2 !H crowds them a bit. Anyway, I did not think much about it, for me it was one of those "of course I bid 2 !H" things.  If nothing else, getting a lower score tells me not to be too quick.

Often I see it as a very close call between two choices, it's what makes these hands challenging. So the high scores for second choice make sense. Next month I will go back to some 40s and 30s no doubt.



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« Reply #32 on: April 11, 2020, 02:24:31 PM »

PROBLEM D: 1 Notrump
Obviously intending to show a weak hand with two (or three like here) hearts. Since my HCP are in spades, it is less likely that LHO will compete in spades if I pass. The advantage of bidding something—even 1NT—is that it removes the one-level from the opponents arsenal. Coincidentally, so does the constructive 2 !H response. (Remember the “seemingly normal” 3 !C preempt from last month?) Sometimes, the risk involved with making a bid—despite the system—is outweighed by the effect it has on the auction.

This is my "woop-woop" out there bid this month. Not too crazy, though.

Some additional explanation for my choice of 1NT rather than 1 !S . . .

Yes, I wanted to show the "weak !H raise" as explained above. But I chose 1NT--bypassing a perfectly respectable FIVE-CARD !S suit to do so. Although I did not mention it in my original explanation, my thinking was that, by introducing a new suit, it might imply more values when I subsequently showed preference to hearts. That thinking must have been clear to the director, who awarded a 90 to the 1NT responders.

Most of the panel (well, half) disagreed, choosing the "it's right in front of you" 1 !S.

I'm looking forward to the panel thoughts on this.
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« Reply #33 on: April 18, 2020, 03:17:56 PM »
MAY MSC SUMMARY – Bart Bramley Director

A handful of the panel's comments:

PROBLEM A: Double . A majority. Although both 2 !C (my choice) and 1 !S (WackoJack’s choice) scored highly. Bramley began by pointing out the difficulty in “competing with strong two-suiters,” especially when “we don’t have an action that shows both suits immediately.”
Similarly, JCreech:
•   “Double  I do not have a way to show both suits, and I have a very strong hand.  I will take my chances that partner has a penalty double.  Plus I do have defense.  If partner jumps in hearts, I still have the boss suit.”
•   Bobby Wolff: “Double. Planning to bid clubs and perhaps bid spades. How else can one scientifically show this hand?”
•   KenBerg: “Double. This hand could provide hours of discussion.” Then later, “2 !C was my second choice, I think maybe it should have been my first.”

Classic second guessing! Isn’t that what makes the MSC fun?!

PROBLEM B: Double. A majority. Again. Even more convincingly. 

Bramley began with: “Another brutal reopening situation.” Ya think?!

Although 3 !D (our long suit) garnered few panel votes, it scored only a middling 60. Personally, I thought it was a close call, and said so. Those who pulled the trigger on 3 !D included, Yleexotee, WackoJack, Joe Grue, and of course Kleinman. You’re in good company, guys!

In addition to the mildly conservative 3 !D, there were a few bold 3NT bidders including Kokish and Passell.
Kokish: “3NT. Life is too short to worry about club stoppers.”

But the runaway panel choice was double:
•   Jeff Rubens: “Double. Looks bad until compared with other possibilities.” Yup, pretty much.
•   Zia: “Double. Not as confident with this double, but I’m hopeful.”
•   Bobby Wolff: “Double. And overbid with 4 !D over 3 !S.”
•   Justin Lall: “Double. 3NT would avoid doubling with only a doubleton spade,” planning to bid a delayed 3NT. This plan was echoed by many of the panel who chose double.
•   JCreech: “Double.  I wish that 4 !C would be a successful ask for 3NT with a stop, but the director would rule against me on that one.” This is an elegant solution by Jim, and one that did not occur to me. But I fear he is right, the director might have something to say about this.
Nice try, Jim! 😊

PROBLEM C: 2 !H . Tied with 1 !H on panel votes, but the preemptive response got the nod from Bramley, scoring 100 to 1 !H receiving a close 90. Our IAC solvers leaned heavily toward the preemptive 2 !H, favoring it 8-3 (with one pass).

The heart bidders were all over the place with their reasoning. Two of the best (and conveniently also concise) were:
•   Justin Lall: “One heart. I don’t like two hearts with such weak hearts and good club support. If partner has a strong hand with short hearts, we could easily belong in clubs.”
•   Jeff Rubens: “Two hearts. Pretending to hold Queen-Jack-Ten-sixth of hearts and nine-fourth of clubs.Tie-breaker: Long in partner’s suit, short in opponent’s.”
•   MarilynLi, still the master of brevity: “One heart. I like my hand.”
•   And KenBerg, less brief with: “We surely have a fit, but in hearts, in clubs or in both? Both is fairly likely. And once we find our fit, my hand is pretty good. If we play in clubs, my honors are in trumps and I have a stiff diamond. And a doubleton spade.

Thinking about the fit:
It's unlikely partner has five spades but if so then he has a lot of clubs so we have a super fit there. Let's now go with the realistic assumption he has at most four spades.
If he has seven cards in the minors then he will have at least four clubs (partner would not open 1   on three if he held four  ) and he also holds at least two hearts since he holds 13-7=6 cards in the minors.
If he has eight cards in the minors then, at least if he bids as I do, he holds at least five clubs since when 4-4 in the minors I open 1  .
If he holds six or fewer cards in the minors then he holds at least seven cards in the majors and so at least three hearts.

The upshot is that we hold at least an eight card fit in at least one of the two obvious suits, and it seems that starting with 1   is the best way to sort out the details. With my shape, and with honors in partner's club suit, I am not all that worried about getting too high . For example, if over my 1  then Lho bids 4  and partner bids 4 , this might well be making."

Marilyn said it best! 😊

PROBLEM D: 1 !S. First—let’s point out that it’s ONLY A THREE COUNT! 😊

Half the panel voted for 1 !S, but only two IAC bidders found the winner, Hoki and MarilynLi. Well done.
There were four clear possibilities and all four received panel votes. Pass was deemed too timid. The constructive 2 !H was too aggressive. The “preference showing” 1 !S then 2 !H was followed closely by the “weak raise” 1NT then 2 !H route, and were the winning choices.

PROBLEM E: 3 !H. A clear winner, with exactly half the panel choosing it.

Bramley starts things out with: “We have an impressive array of tools for raising diamonds strongly. However, we also need to worry that notrump or spades could be superior, especially at matchpoints.”

Our IAC solvers:
•   Masse24: “Not sure where I go with this one. Probably 3 !H. Although 4 !C fits nicely, it blows right past 3NT. I doubt the MSC panel would think that wise when 3NT is still in the offing. With partner probably short in clubs, hopefully this increases the chances that partner has enough in hearts to offer 3NT as a place to play. 3   is both aggressive, and still allows partner an opportunity to say where we are going.
•   JCreech chose to go slammy with: “4 Clubs  Having limited my hand with my first bid, how can I not show a maximum raise in diamonds.  Not only do I have a club control, I have TWO.  And I have the ace in partner's first bid suit and five pieced in partner's second bid suit.”
•   And following the path provided by the system, Wackojack, with a shrug: “This is a question of interpreting BWS.  I suppose 3 !H must be the bid.”

Bramley continues with: “The main choice is between the completely artificial three hearts, which saves space, and the control-showing four clubs, which takes up space to show a specific feature.” BINGO!

I like the following . . .
•   David Berkowitz: “Three hearts. Leaving room for three spades, which I will happily raise. Will I pass four diamonds? That may depend on how I feel that day.”
And . . .
•   Don Stack: “Three hearts. Don’t want to bypass three notrump. This gives partner a chance to rebid a strong five-card spade suit, which I will be glad to raise.”

There was one 3NT by the solvers. I predicted there would be two, Kit and Kokish. But only Woolsey chose the gambler’s 3NT — this time!

PROBLEM F: 3NT. Nothing resembling a majority, the panel was split three ways on this one.

Bramley calls this a tactical problem. I think we all agreed when making our own picks on this one. Do I go with the pure preempt, taking away the four-level from the opps? Do I make a game-force bid, keeping slam in the picture? Or maybe the middling 3NT, in an attempt to accomplish both?

Helping to define what this jump to 3NT looks like:
•   Joe Grue: “Three notrump. Not the typical hand, which would be Ace-fifth and King fifth, but it will need to do.”
It’s good to see at least a partial “picture” of what this looks like since there does not seem to be a lot of information out there on this treatment.
•   KenBerg: “Three notrump. I guess so.”
Well put, Ken. Well put.
•   Masse24: “Three notrump. 3NT is a fair description.”
•   JCreech: “I have so many temptations, but the 3NT offering by the BW staff makes the most sense to me.”
Most of our solvers chose the system-noted choice of 3NT, but the third place choice—also scoring well, was a Jacoby 2NT. Mentioning it . . .
•   BluBayou: “3 NT.   Spade barrage WITH some teeth. By trigger-pulling time, I may be switching back to  Jacoby 2NT?”

Although the 4 !S choice had an equal number of panel votes, Bramley decided to give it a 90. This is understandable since a Jacoby 2NT was close behind in third place. So the director (correctly in my opinion) awarded the “aggressive” action a higher score than the preemptive.

PROBLEM G: Double! Only three vote-getters for this problem. But it was close, with all three garnering about a third of the panel votes.

•   Don Stack: “Double. This hand is promising enough to compete, so let’s show some strength.”
Our IAC participants were mainly passers and doublers. There were ZERO 3 !C bidders. But of the MSC panel . . .
•   Zia: “Three clubs. I have never seen a more simple answer nor a more universal answer. I can’t believe there will be a dissent or an alternative. The club ten is enormous. In fact, I would bet on it.
•   KenBerg: “Double. Partner has one heart (at most). If he has six spades he at least might rebid them.. Lacking six spades, he will have a four card minor. This might be ok.”
•   And Wackojack with an opposing view: “Pass. Certainly double looks wrong here.  I give partner the chance to make a take-out double with a suitable hand should it be passed round to partner.”
•   Masse24: “Pass. Going with pass. Reluctantly. Double has merit.”
•   And MarilynLi: “Pass. We probably have a minor fit, but I don't like risking going down in MP.”

PROBLEM H: Any !C. Like most lead problems this one had many answers. Several could work.

Bramley summarizes nicely stating, “When we picked up this hand, the last thing we expected was to be on lead, certainly not against a lowly three clubs. But here we are. We face the classic conundrum of whether to try for ruffs or to try to stop ruffs, a choice that arises surprisingly often.”
•   BluBayou: “A trump. The four, if it matters. (If the forcing defense  is the way to go,  I hope I have enough in-cards to get back on that track.)”

I, too, contemplated the !C4 (and also the 5) to later show suit preference. Bramley agreed stating, “In the matter of which trump to lead, I found little to choose so I scored them equally. Those who commented advocated count or suit preference. All of that is largely irrelevant, as partner is unlikely to have any problem knowing what to do.”

That’s all folks. Still time to opine----or complain about the MSC panel’s opinions. We welcome the conversation!
« Last Edit: April 18, 2020, 07:25:45 PM by Masse24 »
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« Reply #34 on: April 18, 2020, 04:40:38 PM »
I see that I best get into the strategy of the contest. It's clear to me that conservative bids are not valued as much as aggressive action. Which suits me just fine! I believe I took a conservative bid on about 4 problems and all turned out less than 100! Next time...


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« Reply #35 on: April 19, 2020, 08:03:39 PM »
A big tumbs up  from this member for mailing us faithful  the screen-shots of your BW pages of the MSC postmortem--  the best christmas present I have had in 10 years., ;)   
Thanks also are due to  Kokish and Feldman for at least MENTIONING  that the balancing cue-bid on Problem A  is THEIR correct answer.  I wish they had gone rogue and voted their beliefs,  then pat and I would have gotten 50 instead of stinking ten!   So many of us and them  have spit in the face of what they see or assume BWS2017 "mandates" lately   that  I sure hoped for some support there.
       On that note-- has anybody  remembered that the whole direct-sealt complex of  -"Unusual Notrump + Michaels cue"  is null and void  in 4th chair?  since  reopening 2NT  is NOT unt,  but natural , around 20 pts!  So Kokish  and my team are right,  and the other 26 of em are wrong   hehehe
« Last Edit: April 20, 2020, 10:30:49 AM by blubayou »
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