Author Topic: 2020 August - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB  (Read 4731 times)

jcreech

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Re: 2020 August - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #30 on: July 20, 2020, 02:51:07 AM »
I should learn not to complain:

Personally, I like to have a bit of closure on the previous months problems before opening up the new set, but Todd is getting slower in providing a summary of the comments and Pat is getting faster with her complaints about no activity on the new month's problems.  I keep looking around for Major Major Major, to ask if he got his promotion to Major yet.

So Todd is in a bit of a time bind, and has now asked me to see if I can pull together a summary.  The squeaky wheel gets to do... Below is the first half of the August hands.  I will get to the second half as soon as possible (unless Todd feels sorry for dumping this on me - not a chance).


Problem A:  Five of the IAC solvers (BabsG, BluBayou, WackoJack, DrArcula, DickHy) went for the top choice of 3 !S.  There were a number of IAC solvers that waivered between 1 !S and Pass.  WackoJack said it best “I initially thought I should pass.  On further reflection partner cannot have anything much weaker than something like ♠AJ109xx, ♥Ax, ♦ xxx, ♣Kx. Here you would expect to make 9 tricks.  If we give opps 5HCP opposite 12 then partner could have 15 say ♠ AKJ109x, ♥Ax, ♦xxx, ♣Ax and we likely make 10 tricks.  It is a tall order but could partner have these “right” cards.  So, I need to raise to 3♠ to find out.”  From the BW panel  Berkowitz comments “Three spades.  A vulnerable two-spade bid is not to be sneered at; partner has a good hand.  Perhaps the better try is three diamonds, but I hate playing in three-two fits.”  “Three spades.” Writes Boudreau, “At imps push to invite but not to accept.  Both partners can’t push.” 

Ten IAC solvers went with Pass.  According to Jcreech “Pass  I suspect that both partnerships have roughly half the deck, and partner is already looking at a known bad split in trump, so I am not inclined to move.”  Woolsey’s logic was “Pass.  Bidding would be punishing partner for making what is one of the most effect overcalls.”

Interestingly enough, the submitter of the problem, Chorush, was also a panelist and thought that 3 !D would be fit showing in spades and showing a concentration of strength. P0stm0rtem was the only IAC solver that was brave enough to take this position, “I come from the school of thought that if you're going to want to bail out partner from their suit better preempt in advance such that when you don't, a new suit should be fitted.  The only way partner thus can find game without holding their breath is to bid 3D showing values in !D with !S support.  Even AJ9xxx xx Axxx x will make on a 3-3 !D Split.  Add the !D J and it's a perfecto.  If 3D means something else I'd love to hear what.”  However, the moderator said “If it were known to be a raise, three diamonds would be superior to three spades, but is dangerously ambiguous, as several direct raisers indicated(.)”

Problem B:  Almost all of the IAC solvers got the top score for this problem with the 2 !H cue bid.  DickHy said it nicely “BWS seems to offer two options.  A cue-bid shows “at least game interest” and “2N is forcing”.  Presumably, the latter would show a  !H stop.  I’m a bit shy of game values but partner (the stronger hand of the two of us) is over the opponent who opened, so why not?  We know shrinking violets just get trampled into the dust in BWS bidding quizzes.”  Zia likes this bid well enough to quote himself, “Two hearts.  The cue-bidder can’t pass intrvenor’s below-game continuation, but I may well forget that when he bids two spades.  ‘Winning is purer than purity’ – Zia circa 2019.”  While Wolff just doesn’t like the other options.  He writes “No doubt an overbid, but no good choice is available.  I might as well be aggressive.”

The next choice for IAC solvers was 3 !D.  Masse24 described his thoughts “3 !D. Right on values, though a fifth diamond would be nice. With 2 !D a very close second.  I had initially chosen 2 !D but switched to 3 !D. I think 2 !D can be tactical, allowing the opps to bid again t the two-level--WHICH I WILL HIT. I am curious if a panelist or two see it that way.”  Kamil and Sherman agree – “Fudging one notrump (which we might be constrained to bid with only 6-7 HCP) without a stopper simply to show values feels misguided, and a cue-bid would be too much.  We’ll go the stodgy route by bidding our best suit while showing values.”

Problem C:  Five IAC solvers chose 1 !D (Masse24, KenBerg, WackoJack, BluBayou, P0stm0rtem), the Panel’s choice.  BluBayou is both grateful and perplexed as he wrote “Thanks for the footnote,  bridge world.  This is a clear inverted raise to me,  but not if  "our" systems says we cannot crash in 2NT--which puzzles me no end.  So  i vote for  "1 diamond"  not willing to get another 10 points for bidding another forward-going  notrump bid with both majors  at xxx.    who voted this footnote into our system?”  While Masse24 says “2 !C also works. But I've been responding 1 !D with this hand shape as long as I can remember in an effort to right-side.”  Kriegel says it nicely from the Panel “One diamond.  I don’t want to play in clubs opposite a minimum weak notrump, and I don’t want to grab the notrump.  If partner rebids one notrump, I will probably pass.”  And Swanson argues, “Even with three quick tricks, this is a pathetic hand.  If partner rebids in a, I’ll give him three clubs.  I’ll pass North’s one-notrump rebid.”

Seven IAC solvers went with the inverted raise.   YleeXotee said “2c inv minor - this is the kind of hand that IM solves our problems.”  And Jcreech agrees, “No other good bid – great 11 HCP, no other biddable suit, and I don’t want the lead coming into my hand.  All I am missing is a fifth club.”  From the BW Panel, Kleinman  opined “A hand for which The Great Shuffler in the Sky created inverted minors.  Don’t tell me anyone would dream of bidding the newly-fashionable invitational two notrump with this extremely anti-positional hand.”

Problem D:  Seven IAC solvers (BabsG,  Jcreech,  MarilynLi,  DickHy, DrArculea, P0stm0rtem, BluBayou) selected the top bid of Pass.  MarilynLi summed it up succinctly, “Pass.   Hopefully, partner will make a reopening double, and I'd pass.”  Planning his next bid, P0stm0rtem wrote “I'll bid to 3N if partner can't strive to make the reopening X.”  Hurd noted the range of possibilities – “Could be minus 670 Instead of plus 420 or more but could also be plus  500 or plus 800.” With a different view of bidding following a reopening double, Kriegel writes “If partner doubles, I will bid four spades.  The diamonds spots might be strong enough for a promotion on defense late in the day, but they aren’t good enough to tempt me to sit for the double.”

Four IAC solvers received a 90 on this problem; three for 3NT and one for 3 !S.  Representing the 3NT bidders, DickHy tells us “3N or 4 !S?  We need to be in game somewhere.  My hand makes 3 !S too weak and 4 !D too zealous.  I’m offering no ruffs – with a 53 M fit and a 4333 hand don’t you experts often prefer 3N to 4M?”  While Masse24 is a bit flippant with his reasoning – “How does it go? Blah, Blah, Blah Hamman’s Rule? This is the only one I like. Sigh . . . I would bid 3 !S with less. Partner knows this. I recall an MSC hand from a year ago that was something like this. The winning choice was 3NT. Surprisingly, 3M (not forcing) garnered more votes than 4M, so took second in the scoring. I thought it strange that to score 100 you had to bid game, but the second place score was a non-forcing bid.”  Lee from the BW Panel  thinks this bid “Could be a big matchpoint winner in several ways, especially as East likely has ace-king or diamonds and no side entry.”

3 !S was the other 90 selected by an IAC solver.  She provided no discussion so we don’t have her reasoning, but Silver argues from the BW Panel for “Three spades.  Influenced by the sterile shape, diamond wastage, the lack of a fourth spade, the possibility of bad breaks, and, of course, the form of scoring which encourages going low.  Brave ain’t I?”  Adler is more succinct.  “An underbid, but it is pairs, and there are lots of losers.”
« Last Edit: July 20, 2020, 02:52:06 PM by jcreech »
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jcreech

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Re: 2020 August - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #31 on: July 20, 2020, 01:21:33 PM »
Part two of the summary:

Problem E: This was the problem IAC solvers struggled with most.  Jcreech described the overall problem like this:  “I am still struggling with this one.  I detest manufactured reverses, and it would be especially dangerous reversing into spades.  I dislike making a jump raise of partner’s suit with only three.  I detest splintering into a suit that contains an honor and only have three of partner’s suit. I dislike rebidding my six bagger headed by only QJ8.  And I am absolutely not inclined to bid NT with  singleton in an unbid suit.  Double and redouble are inadmissible.  So I am left with Pass, but that is not an option either.  Guess I huddle.”

IAC solvers largely missed the boat on this problem.  Only Msphola selected the winning 3 !D bid, but without comment.  So we need to look the BW Panel for why it won out.  Woolsey writes “Three diamonds.  About right on value, and this is pretty-good three-card support.  Partner had some reason for bidding diamonds.  Anything else would be a big distortion.”  The thought process for Bramley was “Three clubs is a close second.  Two notrump would be grotesque, though it might work.  Majors-first responding style implies greater chance that partner has five-plus diamonds.”

By and large, the IAC solvers picked one of the two choices that received an 80, 3 !C.  When Jcreech finally selected, “3 Clubs  One of my lesser bad choices.”  P0stm0rtem, upon selection, gave a more thoughtful response, “I like partner's suit, maybe the feeling is mutual?  In any case I need that for game in 3N or 5C (even 5D?) and the response to this bid should clarify whether this is the case or not.  Admittedly it doesn't feel great, but sometimes partner has a clunker.”  From the BW Panel, Meyers said “Another problem with no scintillating options.  Two notrump was my knee-jerk reactions, but I talked myself out of it.  Too far out.  Three clubs is boring, and I’m not proud of it.  If I could have one hand each session where I could peek in partner’s hand before bidding, this would be the one.”  Similarly, Rosenberg writes “Hate it, but I hate everything else more.  Switch the spades and diamonds, and I might try one spade.”

Speaking of 1 !S, IAC solvers also tried it, the other 80.  WackoJack gave the choice nice thought:  “Partner likely does not have a 4 card major and so either is weak with a ♦ suit or balanced weak. I do not like jumping to 3♣ with this suit.  OTOH a game forcing jump shift to 2♠ is out because I do not have a game forcing hand opposite a minimum response.  A 3♥ splinter surely also must be a game force.  That leaves 1♠.  If partner does have 4 spades and raises to 2♠, then I know partner has a good hand with at least 5♦ and 4♠ and we could be investigating a slam in ♦s.”  Nonetheless, I liked Hoki’s reason best, “1♠, again probably not the bid I'd make at the table but sometimes these panellists can get quite adventuresome.”    Silver, from the BW panelists, gave the most thorough analysis:  “Too strong for two clubs, but the suit quality is not good enough for three.  Too strong for two diamonds, but not enough of them to jump to three.  Maybe two notrump, valuing the quingleton heart?  Nah!  One spade is the perfect rebid except for the insignificant detail of the lack of a fourth spade.”  Which leaves us agreeing with Adler’s assessment of “One spade.  With my fingers and toes crossed.”

Problem F:  This problem was brutal for most of our solvers - if you did not get it right, the drop to 50 was precipitous.  Only two (Masse24, MarilynLi) managed to find the right choice of 3 !C.  This sounded easy to MarilynLi, who wrote, “3 Clubs.  To me, opener has a unbalanced hand, probably 5 card clubs.”  Masse24 agreed:  “Partner should be unbalanced for this auction.”  From the BW Panel, Chorush describes 3 !C as “Honest, if not typical.  If partner tries three notrump, I will be delighted.”  Bramley agrees, saying “Partner’s rebid shows real clubs, so I’ll angle for three notrump.  Grabbing the notrump is for matchpoints.”  And Zia seals the choice with “The easiest bid in 20 years of Master Solvers’ Club problems.”

Hoki and MsPhola were the only other IAC solvers to get as much as 50 on this problem with his choice of 1NT.  Hoki chose “1NT, as with problem C this is about describing the general hand shape rather than guessing the right suit contract to play in.”  Brogeland, from the BW Panel, describes his thoughts on the problem as “Eleven points, but we don’t rate to make game opposite partner’s 12-14 HCP in a balanced hand (even if he has a maximum).”  And Rosenberg points out that “In BWS, opener’s rebid guarantees at least four clubs but does not promise and unbalanced hand, so there is no good answer.”

Almost all of the remaining IAC solvers chose one of two 40 point selections.  1 !S was the slight favorite.  WackoJack described his decision as “I will go for the 1♠ lie, as it is a safe lie.  OK if partner has 4405 distribution, we may not be able to get out of a ♠ contract but that is most unlikely.”  P0stm0rtem is a bit more succinct with, “Not wanting to gf or wrong-side the NT contract.  I can then raise 1N to 2 or rebid 3C next.”  And Masse24 is even more pithy with, “Waiting.”  Woolsey, from the BW Panel, agrees:  “I’ll show the four-card spade suit I don’t have.  If partner raises, I’ll bid two notrump and then three notrump, and he should get the message.” 

The other popular 40 for the IAC solvers was 2 !C.  DickHy was the only one to express his reasoning, though it is based on the players violating the BWS system.  “If a partnership plays Walsh over a 1 !C opener, 2-way XYZ is tremendously useful.  The continuations take up an awful lot of brain cells, but it is a wizard scheme.  After 1x-1y-1z: 2 !C = GI (and forces 2 !D, unless opener is 17+) and 2 !D = GF (and asks for more info).  BWS doesn’t seem to mention it, but I would expect the pros on the panel to use it.  In which case 2 !C is automatic.  If we are not playing 2-way XYZ, why the hell didn’t I respond 2N in the first place?”  But then the moderator points out that many of the BW Panelists made bids that “… were deliberate system violations”  on this problem.  There were two panelists that voted for 2 !C, but neither were quoted in the article.

Problem G:  Five IAC solvers (CCR3, VeeRee, Hoki, Masse24, YleeXotee) made the top pick on this problem with 3 !C.  Masse24 said “3 !C. Very difficult!  Double is too painful with Ax. I see five ugly clubs. Bid what I see.”  While Hoki doesn’t “… buy into the argument that we are changing a potential plus score into a minus one, would seem to me to be a clairvoyant's view. If a partner who passed initially is unable to balance then bidding 3♣ now could do the reverse, change a minus score into a plus one.”  Echoing Masse24, Adler (from the BW panel) said “Three clubs.  The brave will double, but that doubleton heart makes me nervous.”  Fleisher and Friesner sees “… little reason to distort the description.”  And keeping partner in mind, Kamil and Sherman bid 3 !C “Trying to avoid a scolding from pard.  We live in fear.”

Nine IAC solvers went with double.  P0stm0rtem writes “X:  Though I don't know Equal Level Corrections really apply here and doubt it's BWS even if so.  3C appears too give up on Spades too early and 2S over commits.  In competition Partner should be bidding Spades before Hearts when 4-4.”  While Jcreech banks on luck: “Dbl  Too many points to pass, not good or long enough suits to bid, so try a double and hope partner bids one of my suits.”  The BW Panelists were not much better at justifying a double.  Hudecek has a warning for partner:  “Double.  At some point my partner will need to develop skills at declaring with a combined six rotten trumps.  It is best to practice this art when nonvulnerable.”  Rosenberg describes his choice as “Not liking it, but disliking the other choices more.  I’d bid three clubs if guaranteed that it wouldn’t be the final contract.  If partner advanced two spades, I’ll raise to three.  Whether I should continue after a two-heart advance is probably a  function of what partner should do with four-four in the majors.  Over a three-heart advance, I’ll be truly stuck: pass and four clubs will both be legitimate choices.  Basically, I am doubling and praying that something good will happen.”

Problem H:  KenBerg was the only IAC solver that found the winning lead of the !C J.  He did not describe his thoughts, but Jcreech did in his initial thoughts:  “I am torn between the wooden HK and the more aggressive CJ.  I am being aggressive today, but by the final decision, I may chicken out.”   From the BW Panel, Meyers writes, “Club jack.  At the table, I would lazily lead the heart king, but here I fantasize about declarer’s having no entry outside of diamonds and not being able to enter the closed hand in a timely way.”  Brogeland’s analysis goes “If partner has the ace of hearts, I doubt that we have another trick.  So I hope t find partner with ace-queen of clubs, or the king of clubs and another trick.  After the opponents had supported each other in spades, it is not so clear that partner would have doubled five clubs, anticipating that he would be on lead against six spades (or helping the opponents to play in spades instead of diamonds).”

All other IAC solvers selected the “wooden” !H K.  DickHy writes, “K !H.  By now my incompetence at opening leads should have become starkly apparent.  What do the 3 !S and 4 !S bids mean - 1st and 2nd round control?  West skipped over 3 !H and East as shown x in  !H, so as blubayou says, let’s cash our  !H.  I’ll lead the K (rather than Q or J) so that when it wins, I can make a safe exit (from the point of view of the post-mortem) of the J !C.”    Masse24 is getting the obvious out of the way:  “I have thirteen cards. This is one of them.  Seems like partner has the !H Ace. My King lead will permit him many ways to defend.”  Among the BW Panel members voting for the !H K, the lack of a double seems to weigh heavily.  For example, Kitty and Steve Cooper say “Heart king.  Pard didn’t double five clubs.”  And Rosenberg’s analysis is “The best chance is that there has been a misunderstanding, and that we can cash two hearts.  Partner didn’t double five clubs or six diamonds.”  The moderator threw in another twist to the !H K lead – “How about a dull idea?  If South thinks the king-of-hearts lead is as likely to defeat the contract as any other thrust, a tie-breaker is that it will often stop an overtrick.  The contract will frequently be cold against any lead, so …”
« Last Edit: July 20, 2020, 03:03:50 PM by jcreech »
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

Masse24

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Re: 2020 August - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #32 on: July 20, 2020, 06:18:05 PM »
Thank you, Jim!
Nice summary.
 :) :) :)
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hoki

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Re: 2020 August - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #33 on: August 05, 2020, 07:33:43 AM »
Problem E. So you raise to 3 and end up in a 3-3 fit if partner bid 1 with a hand like in problem C.
Pretty.  ;)