Author Topic: 2020 October - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB  (Read 2991 times)

jcreech

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Re: 2020 October - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #45 on: September 18, 2020, 12:23:08 PM »
OCTOBER MSC SUMMARY (Part 1)– Kit Woolsey, Director

A handful of the panel's comments:

Problem A: 4 !C

Masse24 got the top score on Problem A when he spurned the famous advice to not bypass 3NT if at all possible.  “4 Clubs Hamman? Who’s he? If partner is doubling at this level, we belong in game. Not sure where. This may help us find the right spot. It should certainly show a complete max for my overcall.”  Joining Todd, with a bit more confidence are several Panelists.  Billy Eisenberg: “Four clubs. If partner bids four diamonds, five clubs will suggest slam; if he bids four hearts, I will pass.”  Zach Grossack: “Four clubs. With four aces and a vulnerable partner entering the auction, I must commit to game at imps. I’m angling for five diamonds. If partner has a black-suit singleton and five diamonds, that should play very well. If he bids four of a major, I will pass. If he bids four diamonds, 1 will raise to five.”  Geoff Hampson: “Four clubs. We are close to slam. I will bid six diamonds over four diamonds or pass four hearts.”

Among IAC solvers,  Thornbury was the only one to select the second choice 4 !D.  The Bridge World Panelists had much to say though.  Phillip Alder: “Four diamonds. I expect that four clubs will get votes, but what will those bidders then do after partner bids four hearts?”  Bob Boudreau: “Four diamonds. Shows no interest in hearts and a better-than-average hand.”  Mark Cohen: “Four diamonds. The value bid.”  Carl Hudecek: “Four diamonds. I must express my strength more forcefully than by a mere three diamonds. Four aces aren’t chicken feed.”

The third choice was Pass, which no IAC solver selected. However, Zia did “Pass. What fun if partner has a stiff spade. With no clear game available, the conditions give me a little solace; I’m glad it’s not matchpoints.”  Fred Stewart also likes " Pass. With no guarantee of a game, I’ll take my plus. (Second choice: three notrump.)”

IAC solvers were mostly further down the list.  At 3 !D, Hoki wrote “3 Diamonds    Not 3NT where partner needs five running tricks (outside of our aces) for us to be successful.” And YleeXoTee said “3D - I don't usually go low, but I don't favor my chances of finding partner with 5 straight tricks to make 3nt.”  Among the Panelists, Brian Glubok wrote “Three diamonds. A proverbial pinochle deck; probably, the others are all near their respective minimums (12, 4, and 8 HCP).”

The same points were available for 5 !D, where BluBayou waffled between 5 !D, 3NT and pass before finally settling in with 5 !D.   “We have to bid game -- there is no point inviting when pard has zero aces --and I think either 5 diamonds or 3NT  is on. especially when my dream of a running 5-4 diamond fit comes true.”  While KenBerg dreamed of the top spot but settled for the clearer “5 !D I would dearly like to bid 4 !C, with the understanding that when partner responds 4 !H and then I bid 4 !S, this would mean that I want to play in spades if partner has 3 and in 5D if he does not. But I am far from sure that would be understood.”  Jeff Rubens has loftier thoughts - “Five diamonds. Hoping that partner will be able to bid six.”

And several gambled on the nine-trick game.  WackoJack argued for “3NT.  I reckon there is better than a 40% chance of 8 top tricks outside clubs.  Say  !H KQ and  !D KQ.”  Though Jcreech bemoaned “Where do I go from here?  The opponents have preempted, partner made a responsive double, I have 16 HCPs all in aces, we are unfavorable vulnerability and nothing seems good.  Partner has to have values to make a responsive double at that level, so I am thinking 3 !D if I take the low road, 3NT, 4 !C and 4 !D if I take a high road.  Aces and spaces really make this difficult.  If I pass, I start with two rounds of hearts and try to find partner for a ruff.  The advantage to 3 !D is that is stays below 3NT, but what if partner has 9 or more.  3NT would be better with a third club so I could duck two rounds.  Nothing feels right yet, but at least 3NT puts us in a game.” From the Panel, Eric Kokish argues “Three notrump. Give North an unexceptional hand with five de¬cent diamonds and the heart king or queen¬jack; three notrump will be very good. If we could count on five diamonds, we could aim for five or six diamonds, but as the double covers a lot of ground, there might be too much handling in five diamonds on a four- four fit, and four of a minor would take us past three notrump.”

Problem B: 4 !H

YleeXoTee simplifies the top choice by saying “4H - Moysian and staying away from 5 level games.”  While BluBayou thinks it through carefully.  “Ignoring the 'pick a minor' debate because I believe we have three 'holes'.  … I give partner ALL the missing points in our suits (!h jack??)  and 9 or 10 of them.. ( opening points + 2 FOUR card suits is really swinging from the trees at the colours).  But I can't see another king over there , so unless he has 10 cards,  we are stuck with the equivalent of 3 losers in their suits.  That lets 5 clubs out for me, but i am betting the ranch on hearts coming home, partly hoping for !HAKxxx and partly that he has he jack as well as the AK.        --4 HEARTS”  The Bridge World Panelists were confident.  Eric Kokish: “Four hearts. No spade raise hints at North’s holding two, and we’d need a very good mesh to make five clubs with two fast spade losers. A craven four clubs could well be our limit, but with these working cards, reaching game at imps is much more reasonable, and four hearts might be okay with only seven trumps. A considerate North will deliver a fifth heart.”  David Berkowitz: “Four hearts. Four diamonds would be natural. I can take the tap in the short hand (I hope). Five clubs seems like a stretch.”  Robert Wolff: “Four hearts. Likely the best effort available.”

4NT drew as many Panelist votes as 4 !H, but less than half of the Bridge World solver votes, and found itself in second place.  KenBerg makes his argument:  “4NT (trusting that it asks pard to choose a minor) Pard is forcing me to the 4 level, so maybe my hand is good enough for the 5 level.  I suppose they are playing some big club system and I suppose that their 1NT would be maybe 13-15 or 12-14 or some such. If we end up declaring it's important to know which. If indeed the opener has only two !D then it is very likely that they do not have the point count to open 1N. Knowing their NT range could guide us in the play. At any rate, for the bidding, I think I want to go to game and I imagine opener can have two diamonds and four clubs just as easily as he can have two clubs and four diamonds.  Yes, I know, maybe 4 !H is the winning contract. We can't have everything.”  From the Panel:  John Carruthers: “Four notrump. A bit of an overbid, but I’m hoping it will take us to the correct strain. Four clubs or four hearts would be pusillanimous and cowboy¬like, respectively.”  Jeff Rubens: “Four notrump. Even with only four-four, the high cards are enough above expectation to raise the level.”  Daniel Korbel: “Four notrump. Let partner pick the minor. We should treat the opening bid as though it could have been a natural bid in either minor. Four hearts is possible, but partner hasn’t guaranteed four.”

The third choice was the BW solver leader, 4 !C.  Hoki likes it because it “Keeps more options open than the alternatives.”  WackoJack views it as “One chance to land on the head of a pin.”  And Masse24 cops out with 4 !C when his “… first instinct was 4NT. But it’s a bit rich for me.”  The Panelists seem to view 4 !C as a compromise.  Steve Robinson: “Four clubs. Since three spades could end the auction, partner is balancing and might not have an opening bid.”  Geoff Hampson: “Four clubs. Partner will need an especially strong hand to produce 11 tricks.”  Mark Cohen: “Four clubs. Very conservative, but I don’t know what else to do. Maybe another bathroom break?”

Problem C: 2 !C

Jcreech succinctly described the choices.  “Again, what to do?  The best description is 3 !C showing invitational values and six clubs; but what a lousy suit, it has way too many honor gaps at the top.  For similar reasons, I am not keen on bidding 2 !C and forcing to game with this hand.  At least with 2 !D I have the right values and a concentration in the suit, but a potentially 3-3 fit is not at all appealing (though I really expect to see at least 4 in partner's hand).  The good thing about 2 !D is that partner is highly motivated to show the heart stop, and perhaps move us toward 3NT.  Speaking of NT, I am more inclined to bid 1NT than 2NT.  In both, the stiff heart makes me reluctant.  The values are more right for 2NT, but the stiff makes me more inclined to bid a heavy 1NT.  One last thought ia 1 !S (borrowing a club to be my fourth spade).  If partner fails to bid 1NT or raise spades, I will begin to picture a shape something like 3-4-5-1.  Nonetheless, I will have more information about partner's hand.”

Those going with the top choice recognize that it is an overbid.  KenBerg: “2 !C Oh I suppose I am a bit light. Ok. But bidding 3 !C could leave us in a stupid 3 !C contract when we belong in !D, and bidding an inverted 2 !D might get us to a stupid !D contract when we belong in !C.  At least by bidding 2 !C this will steer us to !C when we belong in !C and we can still find !D when we belong in !D.”  YleeXoTee “2C - Its technically a GF hand and I should take the hint of 3C invitational, but I'm not going to pretend I didn't see that Intermediate jump shifts are on.”  And Masse24 “2 Clubs  2 !C –big overbid. 3 !C – should show a much better suit. These invitational type bids—with a long suit—seem to consistently promise a very good suit. I do not have that, so I squint a bit and choose the overbid. It allows us to let partner describe his hand further. I also liked 2 !D.”  Those Panelists choosing 2 !C feel that any other bid would be a distortion.  Howard Weinstein: “Two clubs. Not an overbid, and anything else would be a huge distortion—bidding out of fear, not a good approach vulnerable at imps.”  John Diamond: “TWO clubs. A three-club response could see us down in three clubs when three notrump makes.”  Zia: “TWO clubs. This is a better opening hand than some we see. No reason to down-grade unless we are using a sick opening-bid style.” 

While those showing the values understand its flaws.  Hoki: “3 Clubs  Yes, it's a rotten suit but we have two good aces and it's less of a distortion than 1S.”  And WackoJack: “3 !C.  I am resisting the temptation of making the slight over bid of the game forcing 2 !C.”  While the Bridge World Panelists making this choice feel it is the best description:  John Carruthers: “Three clubs. This may be the worst suit I’ve ever held for the bid. Nevertheless, it is the most-descriptive bid available.”  Brian Glubok: “Three clubs. The suit is bad, but the rest of the hand is perfect. I can’t find a one-card missort that makes two notrump reasonable.”  Mark Cohen: “Three clubs. The value bid; nothing else makes sense.”

The one IAC solver selecting 2 !D was not reticent of their choice.  Panelists, though, spent time justifying their decision:  Steve Robinson: “TWO diamonds. 1 can decide later whether the strength is invitational or game-forcing. We’ll probably end up in three notrump, especially if partner bids two hearts.”  Danny Kleinman: “Two diamonds. Then three clubs. Too weak a club suit for three clubs directly. This is a hand-type that two diamonds should be defined to include. The late Max Hardy, a meticulous expositor of strong two-over-ones, used the three-club follow-up as showing shortness, but it is far more useful to show a hand such as this.”

And finally 1 !S.  BluBayou wrote “I checked BWS2017 and found  "1D, 1S; 1NT, three clubs"  is a natural, N.F.  invite,  so we are going that route. Of partner's other likely rebids, there is no problem  except a single raise in spades.   At the table,  this dilemma would almost rule out  the 1 spade response, since passing there at vulnerable imps  is disgusting.  but...  --1 Spade.”  Agreeing with Jock were Fred Stewart: “One spade. Least of evils. There are prime cards, ruffing values, and a potential source of tricks, particularly if we end in notrump.”  And David Berkowitz: “One spade. No minor-suit or notrump bid seems appropriate.”

Problem D: (c) 3NT

This hand is all about thinking about where you think the final contract should be.  Most Panelists and Solvers voted for some sort of direct game choice.

Bidding 3NT directly (c)  led to the top score.  YleeXotee tries to keep partner from heading down the wrong path:“3nt against trying to keep us from going to 5D when 3nt is the right choice”  While Hoki chooses 3NT because “Answer (b) tells us pard has a single-suited diamond hand (which we are not supposed to know), so have UI.” [Editor note: UI = Unauthorized Information.]  While Curls77 selects (c) but wants to know “why cant I X?”  [Editor note:  You could have tried to double by passing  - choice (a).]  From the Bridge World Panel, Larry Robbins makes this analysis: “(c).  I can hold off in hearts one round, which may shut out East’s hearts.  With king-low of hearts, three notrump would not be as appealing.  Three spades would be a distinct underbid.  Four spades might work, but doubler might have only three spades.”  Eric Kokish:  “(c).  Nothing awful about four hearts, which will take s to five of a minor when North lacks four spades, but on some of those deals we would miss an easier three notrump.”  Or John Diamond’s more simple “(c).  A bit of a guess.”

Bidding 4 !S directly (d) garnered the next largest block of votes from both Panelist and solvers.  Masse24 expressed a longing for the top choice but chose otherwise:  “(d) 4 !S. My first instinct was 3NT. I admire Oliver’s bravery, but I chose the safe route.”  While WackoJack “4 !S. (d)  I bid what I think we can make.”  And Jcreech pontificated as he selects “d  Planning an auction.  The values are reasonable for passing, but trumps are not up to snuff.  I will try 4 !S (d) because I am close to a jump response.  My other thoughts include c (3NT) shows values and a stop, but not such a great stopper that I do not pass for penalty, and b3 (bidding 4NT, which should be natural showing the heart stop).  Of these, d is more appealing to me.  But I would rather just bid 3NT at my first turn than to back into it later over 4 !D.”  From the Panel, Zach Grossack “(d).  At most slightly aggressive.  Three spades would be too timid – I won’t tolerate an accusation of timidity.”  Daniel Korbel: “(d). This need not work, but the hand is too strong not to try it.  Any other action would complicate things.”  And Zia:  “(d).  I will be surprise if this is not a majority vote.  (I didn’t say ‘unanimous.’”

Tying for the second place score was bidding 3 !S and passing if partner then pulls to 4 !D (b1).  KenBerg chooses not to stretch because “b1 I have no serious reason to think we can make more than 9 tricks in spades.”  John Carruthers, from the Panel, expresses concern:  “(b1).  Plus scores are the name of the game.  Had I known that partner would bid over three spades, three notrump would have been more attractive – bidding it over the double would have relied on nine runners after a heart lead, needing considerable extra values with North.  At imps, I’d have tried three notrump anyway.”


The second half of this recap will be out ASAP.  Hopefully, this will satiate while we start to fret about the next set.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2020, 12:27:27 PM by jcreech »
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jcreech

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Re: 2020 October - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #46 on: September 18, 2020, 02:47:48 PM »
OCTOBER MSC SUMMARY (Part 2)– Kit Woolsey, Director

As we continue through the October contest.

Problem E: Pass

The critical question for this problem is whether you think there is a good shot at game.  Most Panelists and a large number of BW solvers said no, and passed thinking the partnership will set the contract by more than what can be earned by declaring.  KenBerg described his choice:  “Pass It's mps, they are vul, and it's not crazy to hope we can beat this a trick. Maybe yes, maybe no.”  Similarly realistic are the Panelist comments.  Mark Cohen: “Pass.  Going for the magic plus 200, but could be minus 160.”  Robert Wolff:  “Pass.  Going against my usual judgment of shying away from low-level penalty attempts.”  Arthur Robinson: “Pass. But not if they make it.”  But Rozanne and Bill Pollack see blood in the water:  “Pass. If our wonderful partner has a heart honor, this could be a feast.  Given today’s far-reduced standards, there is nothing wrong with going for blood a bit more often.” 

If you choose action, the next question is whether to push your values or not.  Most solvers (both IAC and BW) chose to be aggressive.  Jcreech describes his thought process:  “With two bullets and four spades, I will upgrade a bit for the jump response.  1 !S is a good choice if you do not upgrade, as is 1NT.  I do not like passing the double at this level and with this holding.  You will probably emerge with three heart tricks, but still need four more.  I might pass with AJ9xx though.”  WackoJack is similarly pessimistic about the penalty double, while optimistic about a second chance: “2 !S.  A penalty pass may not work.  Besides we may be lucky enough to get a penalty double of 3 !H.”  While two invoke the rule of nine:  Hoki “2 Spades   One point shy for a pass, using the rule of nine.”  YleeXoTee “2S. not enough to pass, doesn't meet rule of 9”  From the Panel, Bart Bramley says “Two spades.  The value bid.  Pass is tempting, but one heart will succeed on too many normal layouts.  Since I passed over one heart, partner should place me with exactly four spades.”  Fred Stewart echoes with “Two spades.  The value of the hand.  Partner’s action covers a wide range, passing would be too speculative.”  And Zia;  “Two spades.  In the middle of the possible calls.”

However if you chose to simply bid 1 !S, you were not punished much compared to the jump.  Masse24 says“1 Spade 1NT is the value bid. 1S is what I would do at the table.”  And BluBayou “We are big believers in the Rule of the Borrowed Queen in balancing auctions (more like the borrowed king)  so, this EASY positive response had partner doubled directly is not so certain  on this deal.  I am thinking about waiting for partner to tell me he has at least the middle range of a normal double -- WITH four spades  before reaching for that brass ring.  Knowing all the while that we may be able to scramble 10 tricks even with only 20-21 points between us.   Leaning heavily to the low road .  -- ONE SPADE”  Panelists are concerned with partner reopening light and do not want to punish them for being aggressive.  Carl Hudecek:  “One spade.  North should act again with a good hand, so I won’t punish him for enterprise.  Too many spades and too few defensive tricks to pass.”  Steve Robinson:  “One spade.  After a reopening, subtract a king; not even close to two spades.”  Danny Kleinman:  “One spade.  Reopener can be a queen-light; advancer can be queen-heavy.  About a nine-spot light for a pass.”  And Nik Demirev:  “One spade.  Gives opponents a chance to get in trouble or to reveal more about their hands.  If partner bids, there will be lots of room to explore.”

Problem F: 6 !D

The question asked with Problem F is “How high do you go?”  Somehow it seems appropriate that the top score was for the middle choice of 6 !D.  Hoki concludes, “6 Diamonds. How wrong can this be when we've got all the other suits controlled?”  WackoJack is uncertain of going higher “6 !D.  I Don,t think we could ever bid 7 !D with any certainty.”  And YleeXotee is uncertain of how to proceed, “6D I wouldn't clearly know all the meanings of other possible cue bidding or what not to find a slightly better 6nt.”  KenBerg summarizes nicely – “That 5 !D does not leave me with room to explore, but I have the !S A opposite what is probably a stiff, I have two other aces, all I have said so far is X over the 1 !S.  6 !D seems to be odds on. If it makes 7 that's tough. I'll hope for 6.”  A majority of Panelists bid what they thought could be made.  Brian Glubok:  “Six diamonds. … If partner is ‘heavy’ seven might be cold, so passing would be too timid.  Five spades would beg for  catastrophe.”  Mark Cohen:  “Six diamonds.  No cue bid, since the matchpoint risk/reward ratio is not good.”  Danny Kleiman:  “Six diamonds.  I never promised an ace-garden, but I have one.  Must bid a slam to beat the pairs in three notrump making four.”

The next highest score went to the high road, 5 !S.  Jcreech started with 6 !D, then switched to 5 !S late because “… I choose to try for 7 by cue bidding the opponents suit “ His earlier thoughts included, “I am a bit concerned about missing 7 !D.  I thought about 5NT, but that only asks about two of the top three - I don't have any top honors, so partner would be justified to go with KQ ...  I also thought about passing; it may be right, but seems wimpy.”  While BluBayou muses “Seven running diamonds plus a king and a KQ is not too much to expect, and adds up to thirteen notrump.   but how to ask if pard has this.   Can a 5 spade cue bid  show all three aces at once?  Well, it might with a dream partner, as what else CAN I have to be proud of, if he dos have such? Let's go for it  --5 Spades …  This won’t get us to seven, but I tried.”  The temptation of a grand lures several Panelists.  Sami Kehela:  “Five spades.  My distinguished partner will discern that this establishes the possession of all the missing aces, thereby offering six notrump and seven diamonds as alternatives to six diamonds.”  Geoff Hampson:  “Five spades.  Worth a seven-try.  I hope partner won’t assume I lack the heart Ace.”  And John Carruthers:  “Five spades.  Could we have a grand slam?  Sure.  Could we bid it with any confidence? Maybe not. … The aces are the Siren’s Song.”

And representing the low road, Masse24 selects “Pass A "gambling pass."  ;) These are the October problems, so I thought I would pull a Halloween answer! This one is scary!  :-\ I’ll set aside my slam aspirations. Partner had the opportunity to show more, but didn’t. He also had the chance to bid 3 !S, or double--but didn’t. He had the opportunity to show the hand I want to see for slam, but didn’t. So he is not terribly strong, but has lots of diamonds. This is high enough.”  Of those on the Panel that agree with Todd, some struggle to count to 12 tricks.  Carl Hudecek:  “Pass..  I have an unexpectedly large number of aces, but how do we get up to 12 tricks.”  Bob Boudreau:  “Pass.  In light of no cue-bid and favorable vulnerability, not clear that having three tricks is enough to raise.”  While others are convinced that partner is preempting.  Larry Robins:  “Pass.  At this vulnerability, partner’s action may be an advanced save.”  Steve Robinson:  “Pass.  Partner is preempting.  With a strong hand, he’d have doubled three diamonds.”

Problem G: Double

BluBayou described Problem G as being “The year's champion for driving a solver insane.   no FANCY  gadget to wish  your pair has agreed, just hunker down and guess well.   First blush it looks like 2 or 3 sick answers  (3C, 2NT,  or give up  [pass)..  but there are actually two more even sicker!   --  DOUBLE (responsive)  then correct hearts to spades  [letting poor pard make the fatal choice between clubs and spades,  and GLORY BE!--  BIDDING 2 spades!.  3 Clubs i would bid in a heartbat when i was 18.  Taking the diamond punches with pard's hoped-for good clubs not a problem, as i still have the mighty 9-8xx.  Jim's scenario of 'Let them rape me in diamonds  playing notrump --it's only FOUR tricks,  and i may manage 8 of the next nine  or come close"  has to be considered.   anybody who PASSES,  may easily find herself in posession of a plus score --  check out how  defense might have 6+cashers vs. opps perfectly OK diamond contract” In the end, he went with the top scoring Double “Prepared to force/suggest a choice between spades and clubs.”  Sami Kehela seemed to understand Jock’s concern:  “Double.  Could be a rocky landing.”  As did Daniel Korbel:  “Double.  Not sure what I’ll do over virtually any continuation, so thanks for not asking.”  YleeXoTee agreed, “X  !, I know that this is what I would do at the table. I suspect this won't be a popular answer.”  Joe was wrong, and in good company to boot.  Zach Grossack:  “Double.  What else?  Values with no clear direction.”  Bart Bramley:  “Double.  Avoids a three-three fit in two spades.  Pulling two hearts to two spades will imply clubs.  If LHO boosts diamonds and partner bids hearts, I will execute this plan at a higher level.”  And Fred Stewart:  “Double.  Too much strength to pass, and anything else would be crapshoot.  I’ll pull two hearts to two spades.  (Frying pand to the fire.)”

The moderator found double to be scary.  “There is no guarantee that partner has four clubs, and three clubs on a four-three fit might be one partscore North-South can’t make.”  Which led into his conclusion that “(a) better way to improve the chance of a plus score is” pass.  Pass was the next highest score.  WackoJack described his selection as follows:  “Pass.  Partner could reopen with a good take out double.  Then, I will pass for penalties.”  Panelist’s going this direction described their choice:  David Berkowitz:  “Pass.  Okay to defend with values in short suits.  Partner is still there.”  Echoing Jack, John Diamond (with Geoff Hampson):  “Pass. And go for the penalty if partner doubles again.”  Nik Demirev:  “Pass.  No good bid.  I plan to pass  reopening doublr, which rates to score at least 500 when three notrump makes.”

Among the IAC solvers, 3 !C was the most popular.  KenBerg: “3 !C Well, I have four clubs and I have some values. Unfortunately the values are not in clubs. Maybe pard doubled with good values and hearts, and we are about to hear a 3 !H bid.  Or not. But if 3 !C gets passed out I should probably be ok.”  Hoki: “3 Clubs   An underbid for sure, but the alternatives are all overbids.”  Masse24: “3 Clubs Double also a strong contender.”  Two Panelists made this bid.  Jeff Rubens:  “Three clubs.  If the opponents’ bidding is normal, partner is a heavy favorite hold at least four clubs.”  Although Brian Glubok is not as certain:  “Three clubs.  Prepared to look foolish.  I’m hoping for a five-card fit and a diamond void opposite.  There’s gotta be a pony in here somewhere.”

Problem H: !S 4, 10, or 3

The Bridge World Panel was clearly concerned about ruffs, but as the moderator asks “which trump? … it can matter a lot. .  If you lead a low trump, and East-West have a five-three fit, declarer may be able to win cheaply and draw trumps, taking five trump tricks, four diamond tricks, and a club trick.  If you lead the ten, partner’s stiff jack may come crashing down, and you will have given away the setting trick.”  About half of the Panel voted for a spade lead, the !S 3, 4 and 10 were all given the top score.  KenBerg argued “!S 3 (or some !S spot) The fewer ruffs they get the more apt we are to beat this.”  BluBayou began planning to lead the !C Q, but switched before the end.  “WHAT the heck were we thinking when first looking at this problem? -- Declarer running 4 trumps+club ace + 5 solid diamonds  for ten??   And how will a club lead change that?   kill some x-ruffing  and they are toast, toast TOAST,  unless they have all the above goodies!   IF pard actually has more than  nine clubs to the ten,  i predict a non-vulnerabl, not-doubled "bloodbath"!  SPADE TEN   (actually giving them credit for an 8-card fit which hurts , if i crash my partner's stiff jack/queen,,lol)”  From the Bridge World Panel, Fred Stewart:  “Spade 10.  Clearly a spade will be the unanimous choice.  Where are declarer’s tricks coming from?  The only digression will be whether we should lead low or high.  Probably doesn’t matter.”  Geoff Hampson:  “Spade four.  Likely declarer will come up short without some ruffs.”  Robert Wolff:  “Spade four.  Trying to slow down a crossruff.”  Carl Hudecek (and Danny Kleinman similarly):  “Spade three.  East has at most two hearts, so a crossruff may be looming.”

A top heart was also given a good score.  Either the ace or king was also a strong choice for the Panel, but not selected by any of the IAC solvers.  John Diamond:  "Heart ace.  Anything else would be silly."  Phillip Alder (and Mark Cohen):  Heart ace.  All right, let’s look at the dummy and go from there.”  John Carruthers:  “Heart king.  I’m worried that a heart loser or two may disappear on dummy’s diamonds.”  Zia:  “Heart king.  Partner is allowed to have two low hearts and the spade eight.  When he sees the heart queen in dummy, he will know who has the ace, whereas the ace-of-hearts lead might be confusing.”

Popular with solvers (both IAC and BW) was the Club Q.  Jcreech:  “The choices I like best are the !C Q and any small spade.  Partner was willing to bid the suit, so I will lead it.  However, they may be in a 4-3 or worse, and the lead of a trump may help the defense immeasureably.  But who knows, maybe the Q will hold, and a switch to a trump will look good.” Hoki: “As a simple soul, I look no further than partner’s suit.”  WackoJack” “Q !C. A trump lead does not look like saving a trick.”  YleeXoTee: “Q of clubs. tried to talk myself into the King of H to get count from p, but they won't have any trump so it wouldn't matter.”  And finally Masse24, making it clear he would like to see Problem H’s eliminated in the future: “Club Queen Partner’s suit. Have I mentioned I hate lead problems?”  The moderator clearly feels that “it is often right to lead partner’s suit, but there should be a reason to do so.”  But concludes with a question “what is the point of the club lead?”  There were not good answers from the Panelists making this choice.  Bob Boudreau:  “Club queen.  I doubt that partner has a spade.”  Brian Glubok:  “Club queen.  This might be wrong, but at worst it will be the second weirdest lead I have made lately, probably not even second.”  Not exactly ringing endorsements.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2020, 02:50:20 PM by jcreech »
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

ccr3

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Re: 2020 October - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #47 on: September 19, 2020, 02:05:58 PM »
Very well done Jim :)

jcreech

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Re: 2020 October - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #48 on: September 23, 2020, 01:18:37 AM »
This will be a double posting.  Originally posted in the Nov 2020 thread, it pertains exclusively to the Oct 2020 thread.
I am late reading Woolsey's recap of October's contest,   and I have been sulking  over the 100 for cue-bid versus only 60 for 5 diamonds so should have been real eager to learn something wonderful  from the panelists' opinions.  This hope was ONE THIRD fulfilled  as some of my heros explained that a MERE 5D was  inadequate, so cue bidding before placing it in 5D  (or SLAM if 4 diamonds was partner's reply!!)  was where their headwas.  My hat is off to them.   But the majority of 4 club bidders mentioned settling in one 5-2 major or another.  'This leaves me cold'  is a roaring understatement.  i am NOT buying two+ of the panelists'  comment that "a responsive double at three covers a wide selection of hand shapes."  I chose bidding a game, while many  invited or or worse.   IF diamond slam-try is worth the 100,  we 5D  (OR THREE NOTRUMP) bidders deserve  90 or 80, because most of the positive aspect of cue-bidding goes to the brave that are thinking about even higher--in diamonds. 


       note to moderator:  put this rant in the october thread again for me,  in a few days , if you wish:)
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

hoki

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Re: 2020 October - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #49 on: September 26, 2020, 07:04:35 AM »
Jock wrote on A: He HAS 5 running tricks.

To justify a 5 bid, you are presuming partner is strong, in which
case why did partner not simply bid 3? Since ours was just a
one-level overcall a 3 bid would be non-forcing constructive. If
partner is strong and fears that a 3 bid might be passed,
then bidding 3 is fine because partner can bid again with
a stronger hand.

hoki

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Re: 2020 October - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #50 on: September 26, 2020, 07:18:22 AM »
On problem G: How much fun will 3C be with  diamonds  tapping your [HOPEFULLY] nice club support a few times? Better we  join Jim  and hope diamonds actually stopped once,  or that the rape ends after four tricks in notrump :)

Not sure I quite understand: Are you suggesting we bid 2NT and find partner with
the stiff jack? That's not such a bad idea. However, you decided to double - meaning
that presumably you are prepared to play in a 4-2 heart fit and take the diamond
ruffs in the long trump hand? Or were you going to convert 3 to 3♠ and risk playing
in a 3-3 spade fit rather than a 4-2 heart fit if partner has a 3=4=1=5 shape?

Since I'm playing partner for the hand that the double showed, for instance K987,  KQ87, 6,
A654 I'm not worried about taking the diamond ruffs in the dummy hand (in 3♣).

kenberg

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Re: 2020 October - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #51 on: September 26, 2020, 04:16:59 PM »
Problem A is a great advertisement for why a person should subscribe to Bridge World. I thought I might mention that since I am sure they hope this thread gets them some customers.

To start with the amusing, Danny Kleinman notes that his choice of 5 !D eschews the Lazzeri Coup bid of 4 !C. He explains " Reportedly Tony once flipped a routine ground ball to Leo Durocher instead of the first baseman saying 'You take it, Leo. You're so smart I am sure you will know what to do with it' " I don't know enough baseball to track this down, but browsing on the Wikipedia I did learn that Durocher had played for the St. Paul Saints in 1927. I grew up in St. Paul back when the Saints were a Dodger farm club, but '27 was before my time.

More seriously, Kit Woolsey rhetorically asks if a bid of 4 !D would be forcing, He says it should be. He sets the rule "When both hands are unlimited, there should be no such thing as an invitational bid of four of a minor". We debate at times which 4m bids are passable and which are not and this is a reasonable standard. It's clear cut and it makes decent sense. There could be a counter argument. Say the hand is such that it is clear to the bidder it should be played in diamonds. 3 !D is very likely to be passed fir reasons discussed in the article, and 5 !D commits us to at least 5 !D (obviousl0 so there could be a reason for 4 !D to mean, "Well, !D are trump and I have more than a minimum so 4 !D should be safe. I''ll leave it up to you to choose 4 or 5." Woolsey notes that stopping on a dime is tough and so he recommends just biting the bullet. Reasonable enough.  Of course 1 !S was an overcall, so that hand is somewhat limited, but not seriously limited, and the same for the X. It's not on nothing but it does not have to be on huge values. So the idea is that while an invit 4 !D might work out it is just too iffy, and it is more useful to play it as being ok, we will play in game, but I have not ruled out playing it somewhere other than diamonds. Or maybe that's what it means. We should be clear about what we will do next if partner now bids 4 !H. Woolsey says he will pass 4 !H.
As I say, the whole article is very interesting.
Ken

hoki

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Re: 2020 October - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #52 on: September 26, 2020, 06:54:20 PM »
Problem A is a great advertisement for why a person should subscribe to Bridge World. I thought I might mention that since I am sure they hope this thread gets them some customers.

I took up a subscription for Bridge World this year but I shall not be renewing it.
That is because I read for pleasure and enjoyment and personally I find that Bridge World
is more like hard work and I often end up on the computer playing the hands through on
BBO to get a better grasp of any point in a particular bridge deal. Further, it irritates
me exceedingly that the bidding tables show South on the left - instead of West.

For me it's the ACBL Bulletin every day of the week for pure enjoyment and for
the delight in seeing West's bids first.

kenberg

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Re: 2020 October - MASTER SOLVERS CLUB
« Reply #53 on: September 27, 2020, 01:04:40 PM »
I understand. I own more bridge books than I have read, and a great many more mathematics books than I have read. I have this great book on advanced partial differential equations that I really should get to sometime. 400 or so pages of really good stuff. And then there is this book club Becky and I go to. We discussed A Gentleman in Moscow.  Good book. And somewhere i have the one we are to discuss next. I have to get to that, whatever, and wherever, it is.

So right,  choices must be made.

But I did really like the lengthy discussion of problem A. The moderator, Kit Woolsey, thought 4 !D was the clear choice and was disappointed to find the majority on the panel thought otherwise.  I understand his argument.

It was interesting that both Frank Stewart and Zia agreed on  Pass. I do not think of these two as peas n a pod.

And I would still like to hear more about the Lazzeri Coup.  I just found the A discussion a kick.
 
Ken