Author Topic: 2020 July - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB  (Read 6504 times)


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« Reply #45 on: June 10, 2020, 11:38:40 AM »
SOLVER: Kenneth Berg
        Sykesville MD

Your Solutions for the July 2020 Contest
Pessimistic I suppose, but  I look at it as "Partner perhaps bid 3NT hoping it would come in. Partners often do that (me too) and with this hand I expect it will.

I expect I can make 1NT. And I can make 2 !C. But if I bid 1NT and Lho bids 2M then I do what? If I bid 2 !C and Lho bids 2M I am comfortable leaving the choice to partner. And, if Lho plays it, I will get a club lead.

PROBLEM C: 1 Notrump
I expect I can make 1NT. Yes, there is a danger of missing a !S fit but I think 1NT is fine.

Checking BWS I see that 2 !C is a drury bid but 2 !D is not. That's the way I like it and this hand was made for that agreement. 2 !D is non-forcing  (?? see below) so pard can pass. Pard will not expect great !D, else I would have opened 2 !D. If he has !H to go with his !S he is free to bid them.
This has been discussed a fair amount. Perhaps Lho will pass but it's not often that this happens and when it doesn't then I am in a fair position to bid. Say Lho bids 2 !C passed to me. Now 2 !D sounds good. I have !D but I didn't think the hand was worth an immediate 2 !D.

PROBLEM F: 3 Spades
I know, that's barely what I would call a five card !S suit but if I am going to bid at all I need to hope for something of a fit. My !H AK should take a couple of tricks whether or not !H are trump.

I think we are beating 3 !C, or at least we have a decent chance. Partner did open 2 !S vul so expecting him to have the A is not rampant optimism. And, if not, then the KQ. Otoh I am for from sure we can make much of anything and yes, bidding 3 !D is forcing. I could be holding a hand where I would be delighted that 3 !D is forcing but this is not that hand.

Did anyone else choose this? I think it is the lead that is the least likely to give away a trick and who knows, maybe we get a ruff.  My first thought was that surely I lead a !C but I doubt pard has the A and, if not, I will  regret the !C lead if the Q is either on the board or on declerer's hand.

About D: Here is BWS on passed hand bidding

Passed-Hand Situations: These methods apply to responding to a major-suit opening by a passed hand:
(a) one notrump is semiforcing (6-12 points);
(b) two clubs is a strong raise (a hand too strong for a single raise, but unsuited to a higher bid);
(c) three clubs is natural, similar to two diamonds but with long clubs;
(d) a jump-shift other than three clubs is a strong raise with length in the suit bid;
(e) a double jump-shift is a splinter raise.

This does not stipulate whether 2 !D is or is not forcing but I am a passed hand so I don't see why it would be. I certainly prefer that it be played as non-forcing.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 01:26:38 PM by kenberg »


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« Reply #46 on: June 10, 2020, 12:13:38 PM »
PROBLEM A: 6 Notrump
PROBLEM B: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM C: 1 Spade
PROBLEM E: 1 Spade
PROBLEM F: 4 Clubs
PROBLEM G: 3 Spades
PROBLEM H: Spade Ace


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« Reply #47 on: June 10, 2020, 03:37:39 PM »
Scores are out . . .

An anonymous participant led the way, with CCR3 a distant second and a tie between last month's winner YleeXotee and perpetual leader Masse24 third; if entered, our leader would have been tied for first in The Bridge World Honor Roll, and other three leaders did make the Honor Roll (which required a 700 this month), so congrats!! 

Way to go to our anonymous participant

Anonymous     780   1   30
CCR3     710   2   25
Masse24     700   3   20
YleeXotee     700   3   20
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Also participating and receiving 1 Monster Point are (alphabetically): Aloha9, BabsG, Blubayou,DickHy,DrAculea, Hoki, Jcreech, KenBerg, MarilynLi, Msphola, Redbird44, Thornbury, VeeRee, WackoJack. A solid month, with some high scores all around!

We had a GREAT turnout, one of our best! Hopefully we can continue to build on this in the coming months!

Commentary is still welcome for this set. :) There were some interesting problems, solutions, and choices by our members.

« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 04:18:26 PM by jcreech »
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran


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« Reply #48 on: June 10, 2020, 04:38:50 PM »
Guilty as charged, I just could not find time to even look hands -- pays me well leaving it for last minute. Swy Todd and Jim!  :-[
But congrats to winners, and so glad see such nice turn out, wtg guys!  !H


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« Reply #49 on: June 16, 2020, 01:22:30 PM »
JULY MSC SUMMARY – David Berkowitz Director

A handful of the panel's comments:

PROBLEM A: 4NT. A majority, by more than a 2:1 margin over Pass. 

Lots of pre-deadline discussion on this one in the IAC. But The Bridge World made no mention of Ace-asking or Gerber. It was, for the most part, a simple quantitative raise decision.

Berkowitz in summarizing the top choice: “It seemed to most panelists that South held too much strength to pass.”
►   WackoJack said it simplist with: “I have a good 17 and partner must have at least a good 14.  That makes 31.  So invite with 4NT.”
►   Bobby Wolff: “4NT. My guess for partner is: !S Kx !H xx !D AKQTxx !C Jxx , but I’m hoping for the Jack of !D and Q of !C .”
Berkowitz counters with: “I don’t get it. With six solid diamonds a spade stop, could a two-diamond response have been that far off the mark?” This thinking echoed that of many of our IAC solvers, me included.
►   Zia: 4NT. No reason not to raise; partner’s range is 11-17 HCP.”
►   The Sanborns: 4NT. The question is, what is the top range for 3NT? 16-17 HCP? If so, we should bid again. What is partner’s likely shape? 4=2=3=4 or 4=2=4=3 are the most likely possibilities. With a five card minor, he could show that first.”
Although a few mentioned what partner did not bid, most concentrated on the fact that we have a big hand, too much to pass.


PROBLEM B: 2 !C. Huge majority.
In this auction, after the double, a two-level suit bid is non-forcing.
Fully 20 of 27 panelists chose this straightforward “bid where I live” response.
►   Adam Grossack: “2 !C. Perfect example of the bid. I’m bidding where I live for lead purposes and not wrongsiding notrump if partner has a strong hand.”
►   Masse24: “2 !C is a bid-where-I-live choice.”
►   Philip Alder: “2 !C. I will bid where I live and hope to be able to act again.”

One-notrump, with both majors unstopped was unappealing, with only two panelists making it their choice. Pass found three votes. And redouble two.

PROBLEM C: 1 !S. This was a “WTP?” choice, it appears.

There were twenty panelists who chose 1 !S and only seven who went with 1NT.

PROBLEM D: 2 !D. Another majority.

There were too many explanations to list. But Chip Martel said it simplest with: “2 !D. Since the only way to play 2 !D is to bid it now, I really should do that.”

“I guess with the agreement of Bart, 2 !D here should be constructive,” was MarilynLi’s thinking.
The Sanborns: “2 !D. We have the values for 2 !D and don’t see any reason to pussyfoot around. Using Bart, if we bid 1NT, we can’t play in 2 !D, and that could easily be our best spot.” 

PROBLEM E: 2 !D. A mostly binary choice.

We (the IAC) missed the boat on this one. 24 of 27 panelists did something other than Pass.

►   Rodwell chose the major saying: “1 !S. Major more important but 2 !D would be reasonable. I can’t afford to bid out later to show a 5=6, as a five-three or maybe a five-four spade fit would get lost. Lead-direction is a secondary consideration.
►   Kehela: “2 !D. Hoping that the bidding will proceed in a fashion to permit me to introduce the spade suit at a sensible level.”
►   DickHy: “Pass.   We’re not vulnerable.  East has passed – what does that show?  I guess p is limited to 15 HCP (otherwise x and then H bid or 1N).  If E is 3/4 HCP that would leave opener with about 17.  But does E pass in this situation with more?  They may well have a C fit and if 2C comes round to me (either from re-bid from W or x and then 2C) I can bid 2D, but for now pass.  After all, they could land in 2S after W re-opens with a x – and I’m dancing on the table again.”
►   WackoJack, more succinctly: “Pass. Stay out of trouble.”
►   KenBerg: “Pass. If I were to bid I would intend the bid as constructive and expect it to be interpreted as constructive. The old axiom is "Don't rescue a partner who has not been doubled". So is the hand worth a constructive 1 !S call? I don't really think so. And I don't want a !S lead. I probably don't all that much want !D lead either and anyway the hand is not remotely worth a call at the 2 level. Passing sounds just fine and dandy to me. Neither 1 !S nor 2 !D would be forcing, but partner would think I had something and that might not end well.”

PROBLEM F: Double.

Several viable choices on this one, which makes for a good MSC problem.
Six of our MSC solvers chose the double, so well done. They were: JCreech, DrAculeA, MSPhola, Hoki, and Aloha9 (and our anonymous victor).

The forcing 3 !D garnered the most votes. Double, though, hoping for a juicy penalty, was a close second. Personally, I thought it a close call, but we only had two doublers.


Bobby Wolff: “ !C 2. No particular reason not to.”
Berkowitz’ pithy response to Wolff: “Other than the fact that BWS uses third-highest or lowest.” (It is not often pertinent, but occasionally one must look at the system). Continuing with, “I can see more winning scenarios for the higher club leads, and the scoring reflects this, along with the corresponding demotion of non-club leads . . . .”

A large majority of our IAC solvers saw it similarly, choosing one of several clubs. 

A rather short summary this month, but plenty of time for others to chime in with opinions and complaints.

P.S. All complaints should be directed to Jim Creech!
« Last Edit: June 16, 2020, 01:25:11 PM by Masse24 »
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« Reply #50 on: June 16, 2020, 04:55:49 PM »
Once again I note that bidding for us regular folks won't cut it. I had two passes, which I think were reasonable, but which I even wrote were not likely to be good for the contest. Have to bid as the superpowers will bid and be slightly aggressive or you get left behind in this contest. Change those two passes and I'm a 780. oy! should, coulda, woulda.


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« Reply #51 on: June 17, 2020, 04:32:36 PM »
Once again I note that bidding for us regular folks won't cut it.

I have to disagree with you there Joe.  Your score was 700.  I have not taken the trouble to find out the top score among the experts.  That is immaterial.  The key thing is that the average score of the world class players was 697 which is practically identical to your score.  The way the scores are marked is that top scores are awarded to how close your choices are to the expert consensus.     

Now imagine that all these world experts had these hands in a competition and they were playing against other world experts who were equally good.  Now let us constrain one of the variables and say that all these world experts are equally good in every way in their dummy play and they only differ in their bidding judgement.  Then the experts who have the highest MSC score will be playing in the contracts that are the most popular and therefore will have no hope of winning the competition.  Only those players with "outliers"  will have any hope of winning.  Some outliers will gain a big swing and some will lose a big swing.  Your "outliers" are 2 50's.  If both these bids turn out right at the table in this imagined competition then you will likely be the winner.  If both turn out to be wrong then you may well come bottom and if one right and one wrong you will end up mid table close the the top MSC scorers. 

My point is that only those who do not have top MSC scores will have any chance of winning a real competition. 
« Last Edit: June 17, 2020, 04:34:43 PM by wackojack »


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« Reply #52 on: June 17, 2020, 07:45:43 PM »
Good points Jack!

And the bridge magazines are filled with stories of world class players having disasters.  I particularly like the one where Eddie Kantar and Miles Marshall got to a grand in AK tight opposite x or xx, and Eddie was thrilled that he was able to get a ruff in with a small trump.  You take your victories where you can find them.
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran