Author Topic: 2021 April MSC  (Read 4611 times)

wackojack

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Re: 2021 April MSC
« Reply #30 on: March 10, 2021, 10:10:08 AM »
SOLUTIONS FOR:
Jack Goody
England

PROBLEM A: 3 Notrump
PROBLEM B: 4 Diamonds
PROBLEM C: Pass
PROBLEM D: 2 Spades
PROBLEM E: 5 Diamonds
PROBLEM F: Yes | 6 Diamonds
PROBLEM G: 3 Spades
PROBLEM H: Spade 7

I note that I am entirely alone in my choice of 6 Diamonds for problem F.  So be it.

MarilynLi

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Re: 2021 April MSC
« Reply #31 on: March 10, 2021, 10:41:10 AM »
PROBLEM A: Pass
PROBLEM B: 4 Diamonds   I hope partner likes to hear about the diamonds rather than my clubs
PROBLEM C: Pass
PROBLEM D: 2 Diamonds
PROBLEM E: Pass         
PROBLEM F: Yes | 5 Diamonds  By doubling first, we don't lose the oppotunity to play 3NT. 4NT by partner typically shows 6+/4+ in Clubs and Diamonds asking me to pick a minor
PROBLEM G: 3 Spades   If partner doesn't have Spades fit, my hand doesn't look that good any more.
PROBLEM H: Club 10

jcreech

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Re: 2021 April MSC
« Reply #32 on: March 10, 2021, 11:54:06 AM »
Although I am happy to have you and Jack join me with the !S 7 lead, I dislike being ignored more than I dislike lead problems.  I was there before either of you - lol.  And gives no credit for either Babs or Vee getting there before you as well.  Nonetheless, I agree with you about this lead not being a favorite of the BW solvers; I just hope it is a favorite with the Panelists - the two groups diverge more frequently than you would think.


H - think I'm sticking to 7 of spades, glad wackojack is with me, but I doubt the solvers are going to choose this much.


Initial toiughts.

...

PROBLEM H: !S 7.  The majors are in front of me, while the minors behind, so I will try hitting partner's length and go passive.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2021, 12:01:41 PM by jcreech »
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

kenberg

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Re: 2021 April MSC
« Reply #33 on: March 10, 2021, 02:45:06 PM »
About being in with crowd versus lone-wolfing it:

Usually I look over the choices others made just before I submit my answers, just in case I might want to re-think something. This time I was busy so I just submitted.

But now I have looked a bit. Some thoughts:

A. I expected to be close to a lone wolf on 1 bypassing but no, many others agree. It seems to me that the club A and four tricks in the side suits are the best path for a plus, and if we cannot do that we also are very unlikely to make 3NT. I wouldn't be surprised to find that we can make 8 tricks in NT and they can make 8 tricks in clubs.

E. Here I can sit on a cliff and do my lone wolf howl. But I have a great deal more than I need for my reopening double and pard still thinks we should play this at the four level. I can't imagine how to explore carelully so 6H seems right. We shall see. I am confident that this would be my choice at the table, less confident that it will be anynone else's choice.

F. We have discused this some and I have nothing new to say so I am sticking with 5D

H. Some, a reasonably sized group,  agree with my small club lead. The opponents have values but I "only" have an eleven count so partner probably, or at least perhaps,  has something. Like maybe the J of clubs. Rho lacks a major so he probably has some length in clubs. Partner probably does not have much length.  Maybe partner has the club Jx. If so, a small club is much better than the club ten. And there are variants. Maybe he has the stiff J. He could have the stiff K. Or Kx. If I am going to lead a club, I am going with the club spot here. I can't say I like leading a club, but I don't like leading anything else either. So club deuce it is, no doubt pard can tell me how wrong this is after the hand is over.

As always, I have no idea which choices will score well. All? None? Some?


Ken

Masse24

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Re: 2021 April MSC
« Reply #34 on: March 10, 2021, 03:02:41 PM »
I usually feel good about three or four of my choices. This time, only one . . . Problem E where I chose 5 !H. This is often a harbinger of doom. My "best" pick has historically done poorly. Sigh . . .
“Kindness is the only service that will stand the storm of life and not wash out. It will wear well and will be remembered long after the prism of politeness or the complexion of courtesy has faded away.” Abraham Lincoln

blubayou

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Re: 2021 April MSC
« Reply #35 on: March 10, 2021, 03:52:38 PM »
Nobody  is  giving  poor partner  leeway  to hold a little MAFIA hand, instead of specifically Both Majors   on problem E.....Anyone who jumped to only 5 Hearts will probably survive,  since when a pard with 11 blacks corrects to spades, we can re-correct to the club slam,  ..But that might not fly if the correcting is to 6 spades, then onward to SEVEN clubs:) --  or it might be cold for 13   wheeeee!
All MONTH, I never noticed we had an opp's DOUBLE in front of our deciding-point, hence the chance to just pass!   The panel went for this in a big way,  and so would have I--as a better form of "listening for clarification" then the re-cuebid which deservedly scored a zero given this option.  How can it be that NONE of us mulled over this chance to pass the buck back to our friend?
« Last Edit: March 10, 2021, 11:52:49 PM by blubayou »
often it is better to beg forgiveness, than ask permission

jcreech

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Re: 2021 April MSC
« Reply #36 on: March 10, 2021, 05:36:44 PM »
April Results

Lots of plus 700 scores this month! There were 7!
 
BabsG won this month with 770 and was tied for second on the Bridge World Honor Roll! 

Also making the BW Honor Roll were the following IAC solvers.  In second was MarilynLi with 760. And Masse24 and YleeXotee tied with 740 place! Jcreech also made the Honor Roll with 730, but lost out on 2nd when he mistakenly clicked on the No portion of F.  (Apparently the undo button was not working.) And VeeRee made the Honor Roll with 710. Congratulations to all!

NAMEBW-SCORERANKMPs
BabsG     770   1   30
MarilynLi     760   2   25
YleeXotee     740   3   20
Masse24     740   3   20
Jcreech     730   5   11
VeeRee     710   6   11
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Also participating were Blubayou, CCR3, Curls77, DickHy, DrAculea, Hoki, KenBerg, Msphola, Peuco, Thornbury, WackoJack
 and one anonymous solver.

Note:  There were corrections made to JCreech and YleeXotee to reflect what they actually submitted to both IAC and BW.



« Last Edit: April 01, 2021, 10:26:16 PM by jcreech »
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

Masse24

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Re: 2021 April MSC
« Reply #37 on: March 10, 2021, 05:55:57 PM »
Joe was on The Bridge World Honor Roll with a 740, but his garbled submission on this forum was nowhere near that.

Help me . . . please . . . by submitting a clearly understandable reflection of your choices. Otherwise, I do not know what to enter on our little spreadsheet! Please save me the hassle of attempting to decipher your hieroglyphics if that is the language you prefer to write with. I'm too old to try to learn that one!  ;)

A copy/paste of your BW submission is of course best.
“Kindness is the only service that will stand the storm of life and not wash out. It will wear well and will be remembered long after the prism of politeness or the complexion of courtesy has faded away.” Abraham Lincoln

Masse24

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Re: 2021 April MSC
« Reply #38 on: March 10, 2021, 11:22:22 PM »
Congratulations, Babs! Nice score--you're consistently placing high. Great bidding!  :)
“Kindness is the only service that will stand the storm of life and not wash out. It will wear well and will be remembered long after the prism of politeness or the complexion of courtesy has faded away.” Abraham Lincoln

blubayou

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Re: 2021 April MSC
« Reply #39 on: March 11, 2021, 02:32:01 PM »
Quote: wackojack-- "I note that I am entirely alone in my choice of 6 Diamonds for problem F.  So be it."  I am with you Jack!  We 5H bidders have just forced 6 Diamonds (leaving out the problem we do not have to solve IF  this brings a suprize "5S" reply).    Also,  I see Joe did NOTICE the double in front of us on problem E, but brushed aside the chance to make the winning PASS. :(
« Last Edit: March 11, 2021, 02:33:34 PM by blubayou »
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jcreech

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Re: 2021 April MSC
« Reply #40 on: March 17, 2021, 10:45:43 PM »
April MSC SUMMARY (Part 1)– Kit Woolsey, Director

Problem A  -- Pass (Masse24, KenBerg, MarilynLi, CCR3, Peuco)

Board-a-match
Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:
♠ J 8 6    Q 7 4    K Q J 9   ♣ A 9 3
SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
  1         3 ♣      Double   Pass
 ?         
What call do you make?

Board-a-Match, like matchpoints is a brutal form of scoring.  Your sole goal is to come back with a better result than your counterparts at the other table.  You have a minimum balanced opener, there is nothing to gain from a vulnerability difference, and partner has made a negative double, showing length in your three-card majors.  What should you do?  If you have game, you will need to set them three tricks.  If you have a part score, you will still need to set them two tricks.  Yet, if you bid, you still have to establish the appropriate strain.  Is a single stop enough for 3NT?  At the 3-level, partner should have at least invitational values, but will it be enough for game?  Or will it be enough to set the opponents two or more tricks?  These are the sort of questions that mark a good problem hand.

Pass (100).  56% of the Bridge World panelists decided to take their chances in 3 !C X and passed.  They were joined by 27% of the IAC solvers and 37% of the BW solvers.  KenBerg:  “I expected to be close to a lone wolf on 1 bypassing but no, many others agree. It seems to me that the club A and four tricks in the side suits are the best path for a plus, and if we cannot do that we also are very unlikely to make 3NT. I wouldn't be surprised to find that we can make 8 tricks in NT and they can make 8 tricks in clubs.”  Peuco thinka that ” Pass going for a plus better than a partial”  Masse24 says it is a “Crapshoot. I see three perfectly viable choices. I am usually a strong advocate for Hamman's Rule, so this Pass is extremely uncomfortable.”  From the Panel, Karen McCallum believes “If partner’s hand will produce nine tricks at notrump, it will probably produce seven tricks against three clubs doubled.  It is much more likely that three notrump will fail and that three clubs doubled is our last plus score.”  The moderator (Kit Woolsey) agrees “…that defending against three clubs might be the last achievable plus score, but it won’t be a large plus score. … West will almost surely find at least one more trick, so the penalty won’t compensate for a game.  And, if West can find two more tricks, the penalty won’t compensate for a partscore.”  Why did Pass get the top score then?  Too many experts believing as Jeff Rubens does “The default (three-level) action with three trumps and nothing descriptive to bid.”  Indeed, Zia “… tried to write three notrump, but it came out pass.  Must be a sign.”  And Eric Kokish gets on his soap box “If BWS switches to weak notrumps, we will never again need to see this type of problem.  Is that not worth the price of admission?”  Perhaps expressing the wish and a prayer approach to this problem is CCR3:  “Close but hope to cash in for the reward.”  She may not have reaped the reward at the table, but in the MSC contest, she certainly did!

3 NT. (80)  26% of the panelists, 67% of the IAC solvers and 43% of the BW solvers tried their luck at the NT game.  Echoing the moderator from above, DickHy: argues for 3NT  “Partner should have 10/11 (+) HCP for a negative double at the 3-level, and they all figure to be outside clubs.  What are the chances of us making 3N?  We have to hope the pre-emptor doesn’t have the diamond ace.  Perhaps that’s reasonable given the vulnerability?  We will need 5 major suit tricks if partner does not have the diamond ace.  In that case his HCP will be split between the majors; AQxx(x) and AJxx(x) say.  But if partner has that minimum we could well lose 5 tricks (2 major suit kings, two clubs and the diamond ace).  With that same minimum hand can we take 5 tricks against 3Cx?  We’re unlikely to get two tricks in both majors alongside the trump ace (unless West is 3316, and partner is exactly 44 in the majors).  I might be bidding 3N to avoid the risk of 3Cx making when partner is minimum, knowing that if he is not, I’ll be scoring 400 against 300.”  The moderator seems to endorse this choice, writing, “Some panelists went for the biggest plus, a reasonable move when one doesn’t know what trump suit to pick.”  WackoJack thinks  “Bidding a major would be wrong.  3NT?  Assuming, East has no more than 3 clubs west has no outside entry then we are likely to make 9 tricks in no trumps. Pass the double is an alternative but 3♣x-1 with 3NT= looks quite possible.  So, I go for 3N.”  JCreech writes  “I checked BWS understandings, and found that negative doubles are through 3 !S, so I felt an increased responsibility to pull the takeout double.  Since nothing else seemed better, I decided that I would show my stopper and hope for the best.”  YleeXotee pulls out the wish and prayer technique for a different purpose,  “hoping those half stops in my hand will lead to some good finesse of whatever other honor west has”  Larry Robbins, for the panel, has one of the best discussions:  "I can hold off in clubs and hope that the preemptor is entryless.  Sometimes pard will hold the queen of clubs or jack-low (and there will be a stiff honor on my right).  Three notrump would not be as attractive with only ace-low of clubs.  Passing is an option, but three notrump will often make opposite a random 10-count.  Searching for a five-three major-suit fit would be reasonable, but every possible bid is moderately flawed.”

3 !D (70).  15% the panelists, 5% from IAC and 10% of the BW solvers tried rebidding their four-card suit.  Hoki explained his reasoning as follows:  “Partner’s most likely hand imvho has five cards in one of the majors and ten points – so I rejected my first choice of a very aggressive 3NT and went low. Plus 100 from 3♣ doubled is going to lose against plus 140 in three of a major and that’s what we need to win the board.”  Panelist John Carruthers argues, “If we must play in a four-three fit, the three will be in the hand that takes the tap.”  Danny Kleinman waxes philosophical:  “Maybe standard negative doubles don’t work so well at the three-level.  Maybe Marty Bergen is right to prefer thrump doubles.  Maybe the author of the American Contract Bridge League’s Yellow Card was right to suggest negative doubles only through two spades.  But in our agreed methods, I’m willing to rebid diamonds on four in a pinch.  I’m thankful to have a beefy four-bagger, but I’m not thankful to have opened this wretched, flat hand.  Where are the 3 honor tricks?”

Problem B  -- 4 !C  (Hoki, BabsG, DickHy, Yleexotee, Msphola, VeeRee, KenBerg, CCR3, Peuco, Anonymous)

Matchpoints
Both sides vulnerable
You, South, hold:
♠ Q    10 6 5 2    K 9 3   ♣ K Q J 10 2
SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
   ——      ——      1        Pass
  1         1 ♠        2 ♠*      3 ♠
   ?         
*BWS: general game-force
What call do you make?

In Problem B, partner has made a general game-forcing bid, and the opponents have made a bid that allows you a choice between passing the bid back to partner, so the cue bid can be clarified or making a bid yourself.  The argument for bidding is that you have not shown the full value of your hand yet as the responder; the argument for not bidding is that partner seems to have an idea where this auction is going, and may need room to show you as well.  If you bid, do you continue to bid out your shape, or tell partner about the fitting diamonds right away?  Let’s start with the simpler choice.

Pass (90)  One-third of the BW Panel, 22% of the IAC solvers and 18% of the BW solvers wait patiently for partner to share.  JCreech described his thinking:  “Partner put on the game force, and my primary responsibility was to keep the auction open.  Should I bid the clubs?  Maybe, but partner needs to clarify the cue.  If he wants to take a piece of 3 !S, I will pass; otherwise I listen.”  Fred Stewart says “Let’s not get in partner’s way.  With four hearts, he would have raised.  Why should I take us beyond three notrump, which may be our most-likely game?”  Billy Eisenberg believes that “A bid should be descriptive; a new suit would be a slam try.”  While Howard Weinstein thinks that “Pass seems the best way to discover his hand-type.  North will likely double with the strong, balanced hand, bid three notrump with shape and a stopper, or bid a new suit with shape and no stopper.”

4 !C (100)  37% of the BW Panel, 56% of the IAC and 66% of the BW solvers continued to bid out their shape.  The moderator seems to favor this selection, writing “West may be about to ram it into four spades, after which we will be flying blind, so if South has something to say, it may be vital to say it now.”  Leonard Helfgott argues that “A minor figures to be the best trump suit.  Now or never for four clubs.”  Peuco agrees:  “A good suit worth showing it now.”  CCR3: “Partner has no idea I have anything more than 6 pts. Didn’t finish describing my hand.”  Hoki: “Yes, 4♣ initially and didn’t change it since partner can always retreat to diamonds.”  YleeXotee:  “I would like to let partner know I have a good side suit besides hearts”  Similarly, John Diamond says “Might as well tell partner I have something and where.”  Carl Hudecek points out that it is “What I have, awaiting clarification.  Freely bid, this implies a good suit.”  Though Danny Klienman thinks this is “The last train to perhaps the best strain.”

4 !D (80)  22% of the panelists, 17% of the IAC solvers and 6% of the BW solvers chose to show their support for opener’s suit.  Masse24 thinks  “Partner has all sorts of ways to support hearts.  Attempting to do so with 2 !S would be rare.  I think the popular solver choice will be the “bid what you have” 4 !C.  But in an attempt to “see” into partner’s hand--I’m thinking he has a one-suiter in diamonds.  So although a pass allows him more room to tell me that, and 4 !C is certainly “showing” my suit, 4 !D is telling partner that indeed I do have support.”  WackoJack believes  “Partner should be telling and not asking with his first re-bid.  Nevertheless, I have to trust partner is doing the right thing.  So, what have I got to tell partner?  Pass is out because I have 11HCP, 6 more than I might have.  Partner wants me to describe my hand and so passing now to catch up later could lead to misunderstandings and reproach.  … So, the choice is between 4♣ and 4♦.  I think it is more important to show that I have ♦ support rather than long clubs as at least 4♣s implied.”  MarilynLi is just thinking of partner:  “I hope partner likes to hear about diamonds rather than my clubs.”  Bart Bramley summarizes nicely:  “Practical.  Should be our best strain.  Ambiguities still exist if partner bids four hearts.  Four clubs by me would muddy the waters.”  Ultimately, the moderator comes down on the side of 4 !D, “Four clubs certainly shows clubs, but it sounds like a two-suiter.  If North bids four spades, the diamond support will be left on the shelf.  Perhaps that is the most important feture of South’s hand.”

Problem C  -- Pass (DickHy, VeeRee, CCR3, Peuco, WackoJack, Masse24, BabsG, MarilynLi, Jcreech, Thornbury, Blubayou)

Matchpoints
Both sides vulnerable
You, South, hold:
♠ Q 9 4 2    K 7 6    9 7   ♣ A 10 6 4
SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
  ——       3 ♣     Double    Pass
    ?         
What call do you make?

Preempts are meant to make things difficult for the opponents, and this one is no different.  Partner should have a decent hand for the direct seat double, but do you have enough for game?  Also, partner is marked with shortness, so there was added pressure to act, and may not have ideal shape for the double.  Do you want to play in a 4-3 fit when there may be a 5-3 available?  You also have a stopper in clubs, in fact, with a bit of luck, you may have a double stop.  Should you bid 3NT?  Should you pass, hoping to get better than your game or partscore? 

Pass (100)  63% of the BW Panel passed, along with 50% of the BW solvers and 44% of the IAC solvers.  We start here because it is the option that will not lead to other considerations.   Zach Grossack gives this a lot of thought:  “Pass.  At imps, I would just slam down four spades; at matchpoints, it’s a tricky expected-value problem, because I don’t know how many spades to bid.  If I bid three, we will miss game a lot of the time when we have one, but, with imminent bad breaks, four spades would be an overbid – RHO overruffing in clubs, and , more importantly, there is no guarantee of an eight-card fit. … I expect to defeat three clubs, usually beating those who stopped in a partscore when our side  has a game, and winning big when our side has no game.  Sometimes we will catch the opponents speeding and collect a large number.”  JCreech has similar thoughts:  “This should beat the partscore contracts, and may lose to game contracts (which may not always make).  I will go for the plus results.”  Masse24:  “Difficult problem, but Pass will be popular.”  CCR3:  “Hope to pick up the marbles.  No where to go.”  DickHy: “I would expect both majors from partner … One problem with 3N is that the missing high cards are likely to be over partner.  One problem with 3S is that partner may pass (?) and leave us with a measly 140.  Maybe it’s time for the axe for 200.” Daniel Korbel thinks “We could make game, but it’s not a certainty, and I wouldn’t know which game to bid.”  John Diamond is particularly succinct:  “Take the money when game and fit are questionable.”

3 !S (80)  22% of the panel guessed at 3 !S, joined by 13% of the BW solvers and two of our IAC solvers.  Neither from IAC discussed their reason, so we are left with the expert opinions.  Mark Cohen bids “Three spades.  Conservative, yes, but I’m not passing, don’t play top-or-bottom matchpoints, and am not convinced that we are a big favorite to beat three clubs.”  Steve Robinson:  “Partner made a takeout double, so I’m taking it out.  I very rarely pass partner’s takeout double.”  Brian Glubok:  “A stick-out, because often best when right and only rarely worst when wrong.  Partner will raise with four spades and 16-17 HCP, so there are few hands with which North will pass and miss game.  If South jumped to four spades, North might get rambunctious …”

3 NT (70)  25% of the BW solvers tried 3NT, but it was less popular for the BW Panel (15%) and IAC solvers (12%).  Hoki: “since I do have two stoppers in clubs.  Many advocate passing but plus 200, even plus 500, is not as good as plus 600.  And partner’s double is in the direct seat, not the balancing seat.”  YleeXotee: “Rule of 9 says to pass here, but even two down is a bad score in Matchpoints.  … I have 2 club stoppers….but they are also club tricks.  still I think the math here is to take our NT score, not the x for -2.  can we get -3?? not sure enough.”  Billy Eisenberg agrees “Three notrump.  Expect to make.  500 is the most we could expect on defense.”  Eric Kokish wished for the talents of BluBayou in MSC months of yore:  “Three notrump.  We desperately need a very good simulation to know the percentage action (and why).  Then we could eliminate this family of problems.”

Problem D -- 2 !D  (Blubayou, Jcreech, Yleexotee, MarilynLi, Masse24, Msphola, CCR3, BabsG)

Imps
Both sides vulnerable
You, South, hold:
♠ Q 3    6    K J 10 8 2   ♣ J 10 9 7 6
SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
   ——      1         1 ♠       Pass
     ?*         
*BWS: simple new-suit advance nonforcing; jump new-suit advance invitational
What call do you make?

To advance, or not to advance, that is the question.  You only have 7 HCPs and less than a three-card fit for partner – so perhaps, you should not take a bid until you are forced.  On the other hand, you have two potential places to play and an excellent doubleton for partner, so if you chose to bid, you have several possibilities, particularly since a simple new suit is not forcing.

Pass (80) The easiest path to justify is to pass, which is what more than half (51%) of the BW solvers did, as did large segments of the panel (37%) and IAC solvers (32%).  DickHy: “I seem to be considering an awful lot of passes for an MSC bidding quiz!  West figures to have a big hand and this feels a little like a trap.  I can offer a trick – two on a non-trump led, with perhaps a club too.”  Peuco: “Pass maybe I can show minors later.”  Similarly, Larry Robbins writes, “I will bid later.  Two diamonds would be reasonable, but, with East passing, it is very likely that partner has four hearts.  If opener reopens with two hearts, passed around to me, I will bid two spades (rather than two notrump for the minors).”  Nik Demirev wants more information:  “Pass.  Heresy, but there isn’t game on every deal.  Can we miss one?  Sure.  Is there a remotely-straightforward bid to develop an auction catering for spades or either minor that can’t backfire?  No.  If opener and partner bid one more time, I will be much-better placed.”

2 !D (100) Most (56%) of the panel, and large portions of both the  37% BW (37%) and IAC 32% solvers took the hint about the new suit not being forcing.   Sharp in his prediction (not), Zia says “Nobody else I know will do this; but when the final contract is in hearts, I will feel smug.”  A bit worried, CCR3 states that “If this is a trap, I fell for it hook, line and sinker.  If it weren’t for the foot note I’d bid 2 S.”  BluBayou embraces the hint: “It’s nice to hear that both “2D” and “3D” are not forcing (how strange).  Otherwise, we would be stuck with the choice between a single raise and passing.  It almost always happens that when I raise an overcall on Qx, partner competes to 3 Spades, thinking he is following the LAW (or fudging by one length-card) and we go down instead of the opps doing so.  So, I am pleased to call my lead, and come back with 2 Spades later, if the other players don’t blow on past that spot.”  JCreech:  “Let’s go with the clue and bid one of my minors.  2 !D is a bit of a lead director, and I can always go back to support spades if it goes 2 !H back to me.”  Karen McCallum is cautiously optimistic:  “A bit to strong to pass.   This leaves plenty of room to esxplore, and there is safety with queen-low of spades.”   

2 !S (60) The third highest score went to 2 !S, which received less than 10 % from the BW panel, as well as both solver groups.  WackoJack: “2♠ on a doubleton is not ideal but better than bidding a minor because West is very likely to rebid 2♥ over a minor whereas might be shut up if I raise to 2♠.”  Eric Kokish has “No strong feelings, but I don’t like passing opposite an overcaller whose style meshes with mine.  Although both minors are chunky, I’d rather wait for a six-card suit before inviting North to pass with a misfitting near-minimum.”  And Carl Hudecek thinks that “Two spades, with honor-low, a stiff heart, nice diamonds, and club pushers can’t be that wrong.”

And thus ends the part.  I will return with the second when I have a chance.  Until then, please enjoy.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2021, 11:45:35 PM by jcreech »
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

jcreech

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Re: 2021 April MSC
« Reply #41 on: March 19, 2021, 08:00:44 PM »
April MSC SUMMARY (Part 2)– Kit Woolsey, Director

Problem E  Pass  (MarilynLi, Hoki)

Imps
Both sides vulnerable
You, South, hold:
♠ K Q    A K 10 5    Q 6 2   ♣ A K 6 4
SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
   ——      3        Pass       Pass
Double      Pass     4      Double
    ?         
What call do you make?

Again, we have a preempt, and it has made life difficult.  On the previous round of bidding, it wasn’t too hard to find a double.  You only have 21 HCPs and need to do something, and without a five card or longer suit, it was the most sensible way to start.  But now partner has cue bid, which suggests at least two places to play.  If one of those is hearts, then no problem; if spades and clubs, then there might be a problem.  What to do?  The opponents have graciously doubled, so you can pass to let partner clarify the cue bid.  You also have a huge hand and a partner that seems to have some values as well; shouldn’t you try to move things in the right direction? 

Pass (100)  44% of the BW Panel chose pass, along with 18% of the BW solvers and two of IAC’s own.  Hoki was the only one in IAC to discuss his reason:  “Let’s hear what partner’s cue bid was based on – and if we hear a heart or club bid we can still move towards slam.  Pass and then 4♥ (if partner redoubles) is stronger than an immediate 4♥.”  As the moderator (Kit Woolsey) writes, “If East had not been kind enough to double, South’s options would have been limited.  The double provides the opportunity to take a two-step approach first.”  Most of the panel took a similar approach to Hoki.  For example, Robert Wolff said, “Pass. And raise to six of either rounded suit or bid five hearts over four spades.”  Or more colorfully, Mark Cohen:  “Pass.  I will force to slam.  As Ralph Kramden would say, “To the moon, Alice!”” 

A more sophisticated approach is discussed by Eric Kokish:  “Pass.  If North redoubles (showing a diamond control), we can move toward slam more comfortably.  If North reopens with four spades (no diamond control), he will have spades and clubs (not five spades and four hearts, with which he would bid four hearts, showing his cheapest four-plus-card suit).”  This can be an extremely useful understanding to develop with a regular partner, but you should not assume this sort of understanding without discussion.

5 !H (90)  Around 30% of all participants went with 5 !H (Panel: 33%; BW solvers: 30%; IAC solvers: 27%).  Some of the panel making this choice, were worried that even 5 !H was too high.  Daniel Korbel said, “Too much for four hearts, but I don’t want to drive to slam, in case partner was stretching …”  Brian Glubok has a more specific nightmare in mind:  “Four hearts would be too timid.  I fear something like:  ♠AJxxx ♥Jxxxx ♦xx ♣Q, down at the five-level after three rounds of diamonds.  Worse, partner will have better hearts, say queen-fifth and after three rounds of diamonds I will need to guess the jack of hearts to make five.  Sounds like Dante’s Sixth Circle.”  IAC solvers were less worried, and thought they were asking either for a diamond control (Masse24: “This hand – “got their suit controlled?””  JCreech: “Partner is asking about my suit, but has no clue about my strength.  My problem is the opponent’s suit; this should ask for a control.”) or suit quality  (DickHy: “Partner’s 4D suggests equal length majors and East’s x of 4D suggests partner is void in the suit … 4H from me is a woeful underbid.  Do I pass and let partner set trumps, and then leap into slam action and what would 4N from me mean?  If partner is 4405 we’d prefer a heart slam to a club slam, so I could get us going in that direction with 5H – which maybe has the meaning of “bid 6H if your hearts  are Qxxx and not xxxx.”  Maybe a straight 6H is better than that.”).  YleeXotee bids “5h because 4h just doesn’t tell the story of that hand at all.”   But he has a concern that did not even register with anyone else: “east’s X doesn’t make sense to me, they should just bid 5D, only thing that gives me pause”

6 !H (70) Around 10% of all participants went for the gusto and selected 6 !H as their choice (Panel and IAC solvers: 11%; BW solvers: 8%).  KenBerg was the only one from IAC to voice their thoughts: “Here I can sit on a cliff and do my lone wolf howl.  But I have a great deal more than I need for my reopening double and pard still thinks we should play this at the four level.  I can’t imagine how to explore carefully so 6H seems right.  We shall see.  I am confident that this would be my choice at the table, less confident that it will be anynone else’s choice.”  Panel members also talked of the difficulty of having a sensible auction to slam.  Carl Hudecek:  “Six hearts.  I don’t see any scientific way to bid.  East-West may take a bloody save with all this diamond bidding and doubling going on.”  Rozanne and bill Pollack: “Time to bid like a truck driver.  Some wil say that five hearts just asks for a diamond control, but we don’t think life is that simple on an accelerated auction.  What is CHO bidding on?  Yes it’s important to find the right strain when he’s four-three in the majors, but he did force to game.”


Problem F  Yes | 5 !D  (KenBerg, Hoki, Peuco, Thornbury, BabsG, VeeRee, Yleexotee, Curls77, MarilynLi, CCR3, Masse24)

Imps
Both sides vulnerable
You, South, hold:
♠ A Q J 8 7 2    5    K 10 9 4   ♣ K 10
SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
   ——     Pass      1 ♣      Pass
   1 ♠        2        Pass     3
Double     Pass     4 NT     Pass
      ?         
(F1) Do you agree with the double [BWS: cooperative-takeout]? (yes|no)
(F2) What call do you make?

Nearly everyone among the IAC solvers (89%) agreed with the double, and one of the three that did not, voted no by accident.  70% of the BW Panel and 57% of the BW solvers also agreed.  Karen McCallum expressed the reason for responding “No” well:  “Wouldn’t risk defending with a strong offensive hand (especially when we probably belong in a slam).  … If you don’t want double to end the auction, don’t double.”  The moderator agrees with the principle, but defends the other perspective,  “… is it so clear that you don’t want to defend if North passes?  Partner will have every reason to think you might have a singleton heart, so the South hand is about what he will expect.”

First, we need to resolve the meaning of 4NT.  As YleeXotee thinks it through: “Very difficult to make sense of that 4nt bid.  Can’t be BW in spades, although maybe partner wants to know if I have the AK of spades..but what possible hand could they have and pass 2h. yikes.”  However, immediately after one member of the panel does indicate that they are showing one ace, the moderator steps in.  “An ask?  To play in what suit?  Partner can’t have spade support.  Four notrump must show the minors.”  Now on to the answers that recognize the generally recognized reality that 4NT is for the minors.

Yes | 5 !D (100) Most IAC solvers (61%) thought the double was appropriate and bid 5 !D; they were joined by 37% of the Panel and 30% of the BW solvers.  Larry Robbins points out that “Every bid is flawed.  A double allows partner to show two spades or to bid his diamonds.”  Also discussion flexibility, MarilynLi says  “By doubling first, we don’t lose the opportunity to play 3NT.  4NT by partner typically shows 6+/4+ in Clubs and Diamonds asking me to pick a minor.”  Hoki: “Tough – my inclination was to bid 6♦ but discussion on this thread encouraged me to go low rather than high, but have no logical explanation for that.”  Some of the panel may have Hoki’s answer.  Steve Robinson says, “Doubles of raised suits usually stress takeout.  North is limited by the earlier pass.”  John Diamond (and others) think the clubs are not particularly hardy:  “There was no reason to expect the bidding this high.  North’s sequence suggests four+six with weak clubs and not a great hand.”

No | 5 !D (70) 15% of the Panel disagreed with the double and bid 5 !D, along with 22 % of the BW solvers and two of the IAC solvers.  DickHy argues that “I had to do something over 3H, and 3S probably struck me as too weak, but why not 4D which gives a better view of the hand?  4H also has virtues.  There’s no doubt that the double has woken up partner.  With two spades would he have bid 3S?  I can’t criticise partner over the 4NT – it’s clear as some of my bids.  My t/o double might be inferred to show 4144, so partner might be asking about minors in which case 5D might correct the faulty picture.”  Brian Glubok thinks “Six diamonds could be cold opposite something like:  ♠Kx ♥x ♦AQxx ♣Axxxxx, but in real life partners often have less, and sometimes they have something quite different than expected.”
 
Yes | 6 !D (70) 15% of the Panel agreed with the double and bid 6 !D, along with 12 % of the BW solvers and one of the IAC solvers.  WackoJack thinks “4NT must be saying “choose a minor” so do I bid 5♦ or 6D?  Could partner have ♠x, ♥xxx, ♦AQJx, ♣AQJxx.  Yes.  Or could partner have ♠x, ♥Kxx, ♦AQJx, ♣QJ10xx?  Yes perhaps.  Or perhaps 3N here.  This is a tough one.  My gut feeling is that partner is more likely to have 2 aces than 1 ace when she bids 4NT.  So I go for 6♦”   Zia has similar thoughts, “I hope North has ace-jack-fifth/ace-jack-sixth in the minors (rather than queen-jack-fifth/ace-queen-jack-sixth).”  Bart Bramley would “… prefer another heart for the double, but I see not good alternative with a strong hand offering many viable strains.” 


Problem G  3 !S  (Jcreech, Peuco, Yleexotee, WackoJack, Thornbury, Curls77, MarilynLi, VeeRee, BabsG, Blubayou, DickHy, CCR3, Hoki, Anonymous)

Imps
Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:
♠ A Q 7 6 4 3    Q    A K Q   ♣ Q 6 5
SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
   1 ♠      Pass      1 NT     Pass
    ?         
What call do you make?

Unbalanced hands in the 17-19 HCP range can be difficult to describe in certain situations, and this hand is among them.  This is particularly true when you also have a stiff honor thrown into the mix.  JCreech describes the choices well:  “I am not sure whether to over or under bid here.  I am the uncertainty of the stiff !H Q from a jump shift.  I am afraid of the two of a minor or 3 !S being passed out when game is on.  I do not want to unilaterally bit 3NT or 4 !S.  I also do not want to manufacture a jump shift into a three-card suit.”

3 !S (100)  The IAC solvers (78%) overwhelmingly jump raised  themselves; a choice that was not nearly as strongly supported by either the BW Panel or solvers (both 30%).  MarilynLi says it simply,  “If partner doesn’t have a Spades fit, my hand doesn’t look that good any more.”  CCR3 feels there is “No problem here.  Dismiss the H queen, 17 pts, what I would do at the table.”  BluBayou is either dusting off his philosophy coursework or returning to his commune days: “My glass is half-empty today;  Will rebid as if my HQ is a small card rather than jump-shift in either of those minors.  … Three days later, I am still seeing loss of a club, a heart, and two spades – if pard is inclined to drop our 3 Spade rebid, so no game-force for me.”  DickHy “Sure, the spades are patchy and who knows how useful the heart queen will be, but this feels right.”  The panelists hit similar themes:  Leonard Hefgott thinks that 3 !S is “Just a trifle of an overbid.  Bidding a three-card suit or notrump on an unbalanced hand hasn’t worked out for me.”  Carl Hudecek opines:  “What is lacking in suit texture is compensated for by high cards.  Jumping in a minor would make a spade bid following a raise a control-bid.”  Robert Wolff thinks it is “Too much of a distortion not to rebid spades.”

3 !C (90)  By contrast, 22% of the Panel, 11% of the BW solvers and no IAC solver decided to jump shift into the three-card club suit.  IAC solvers were completely unwilling to make this bid, but it scored too well not to see some of the expert thinking behind this bid.  Larry Robbins points out that “Most experts assume that three clubs does not guarantee clubs.  Maybe partner has six diamonds, and we want to play game or slam in, diamonds.  I need to keep multiple options open.”  Similarly, Daniel Korbel says “Partner knows this could be suspect.  He will often give preference on a doubleton spade.  Yes, it’s an overbid and a little misdirected, but everything else is goofy.”  Zack Grossack thinks “Value-wise I should probably be forcing to game.  I will bid three notrump over three hearts, raise three spades, or pass three notrump.  Three diamonds will excite me.”  The moderator cautions that while “Three clubs has the advantage of forcing to game as cheaply as possible, … it doesn’t help reach the best strain.  Partner will expect the black suits, look at his three low diamonds, and not accept three notrump.”

3 NT (80)  3NT was a choice considered by some IAC solvers, but always rejected, but 19% of the panelists and 8% of the BW solvers made that their choice.  Again the choice scored too well to ignore, but was never chosen by IAC solvers.  Bart Bramley gives the honest appraisal:  “Shows long spades and extras.  The spades should be stronger, and the singleton is a defect (but at least it’s an honor), and I do have lots of extras.”  Mark Cohen thinks it is “The value bid.  The singleton is a queen, and the spade suit is too ratty to insist on it.”  And John Diamond says “Balanced game–force is a decent description of the hand.”  The moderator feels that “… three notrump might work, … it could lead to an inferior contract since partner will be guessing.  It must be wiser to bid where you live and give partner the information he needs to make a choice.”

2 !C (70)  Another significant selection was 2 !C.  15% of the Panel, 4% of the BW solvers, but only one IAC solver went that direction.  Masse24 “Just shy of a jump-shift.  The choices are, I think, 3 !S (what I would have done three years ago), 3 !D, 3 !C, and I suppose a jump-shift.  I think the suit quality to be too poor for 3 !S, a sentiment I hope the panel agrees with.  I can see the allure of 2 !D due to the suit quality, but 2 !C is where I’m hoping the panel goes.”  While Hoki prefers a different option, he primarily discussed “The problem I see with 2C is that we may well be playing there is partner has five clubs and K-x of spades with only a minimum.”  The moderator echos Hoki:  “The danger is that two clubs will end the auction; if so, a game may be missed.  Granted, this isn’t likely, but does bidding two clubs really gain anything?”



This ends Part 2.  Unfortunately, the length requires me to put out a Part 3, which will only have the lead problem.
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

jcreech

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Re: 2021 April MSC
« Reply #42 on: March 19, 2021, 08:07:56 PM »
April MSC SUMMARY (Part 3)– Kit Woolsey, Director

Problem H  !S 7  (VeeRee, BabsG, Yleexotee, Masse24, Jcreech, WackoJack, Anonymous)

Imps
Both sides vulnerable
You, South, hold:
♠ 7 5    A Q 10 4    K 10 6   ♣ Q 10 9 2
SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
  ——      ——       ——      2 NT
  Pass      3 ♣       Pass       3
   Pass     3 NT      (All Pass)   
What is your opening lead?

The real debate with opening leads is whether to be aggressive or passive.  The major considerations should be things like: (1) what might be found in partner’s hand, (2) what do I hold that might be compromised by leading, (3) how close do I think declarer is to having the needed tricks, and (4) is there any suit that we must establish while we have an entry?  It all begins with trying to place cards around the table while you can still only see the 13 in front of you.

!S 7 (100)  More than half of the BW solvers selected the !S 7 as their lead; a lead also chosed by roughly 40% of the Panel and IAC solvers.  Masse24 “This was my out-of-the-box first instinct, and what I believe will be the popular solver choice … The !S 7 is the “safe” lead.  I still hate lead problems.”  JCreech “The majors are in front of me, while the minors behind, so I will try hitting partner’s length and go passive.”  WackoJack “I think with only 4 card suits it pays to be passive.  So 7♠.  Yes partner may well have ♠Hxxx but likely would get it finessed anyway.  Alternative is 10♣.  The most I can expect is partner to have 4HCP.  If partner as the J♣ or K♣ then I like a ♣ lead.  OK if I lead a ♦ and declarer reels off 4♠ tricks I have to discard twice 4♥ and when I see dummy I will know which other.  I fear being endplayed but to give away a trick on the lead would be worse.”  YleeXotee “7 of spades for me, I’m being influenced by a lot of robot play lately where they don’t give up anything on their leads.”  The experts agree.  Howard Weinstein says “The likelihood of giving away a free trick seems to outweigh needing to set up hearts or clubs and guessing which one.  Spade is percentage to be passive.”  Sami Kehela, is “Keeping other options in abeyance.”  And Billy Eisenberg already feels “Endplayed, as another lead could be disasterous.”

!S 5 (90) No one in IAC, only 1% of the BW solvers, and only 15% of the Panel made this lead, yet it received the second highest score.  Bart Bramley is “Avoiding a broken suit until I have more info.  The five to delay tipping off my problem as long as possible, fooling partner is less likely to matter than fooling declarer.”  Brian Glubok says “Our hand is strong enough that we can probably afford to mislead the others.”  The moderator adds “I agree with the falsecard.  Partner has so little that he is unlikely to be involved, and he has heard the bidding, so he knows declarer doesn’t havefour spades.  It is unlikely that the choice of spot card will cause North to have an accident.  However, if declarer thinks we are leading from length, this may cause him to misjudge the play in spades or in general.”

!C 10 (80) 28% of the IAC solvers chose to lead the !C 10 on Problem H; 22% of the Panel and 16% of the BW solvers also made this choice.  The primary reason for IAC solvers to lead the !C 10 is to avoid giving up a trick to declarer.  For example, CCR3: “No hesitation here.  Least likely to lose a trick.”  And Peuco thinks “… the best shot at not giving a trick”  While DickHy is avoiding the same problem in another suit: “Partner looks to have 4 spades, but he might also have just one honour there (the K).  So let’s not kill that straightaway.”  The Panel, though viewed it as the means to set up defensive tricks.  Danny Klienman argues “Defense against notrump is more about establishing intermediate cards than trying to cash top winners.  I’d lead the ten of clubs even at matchpoints, where a stronger case could be made for passivity because a spade lead could pickle partner’s meager strength.”  Rozanne and Bill Pollack:  “Combines reasonable aggression with controlled risk.  A seemingly-safe spade might yield an extra entry for a finesse.  A heart could be right, especially if partnr has the jack, but it could easily blow the critical trick.”

!C 2 (70) 11% of the Panel, joined by 8% of the BW solvers and one IAC solver, led the !C 2.  KenBerg gave his lead a lot of thought:  “The opponents have values but I “only” have an eleven count so partner probably, or at least possibly, has something.  Like maybe the J of clubs.  Rho lacks a major so he probably has some length in clubs.  Partner probably does not have much length.  Maybe partner has the club Jx.  If so, a small club is much better than the club ten.  And there are variants.  Maybe he has the stiff J.  H could have the stiff K.  Or Kx.  If I am going to lead a club, I am going with the club spot her.  I can’t say I like leading a club, but I don’t like leading anything else either.  So club deuce it is, no doubt pard can tell me how wrong this is after the hand is over.”  Carl Hudecek says “At imps, I attack.  Finding partner with the club king or two minor-suit jacks should give us a good chance.”  David Berkowitz also leads the !C 2, “Playing partner for the jack that helps me the most.”  However, the moderator thinks “Leading the deuce could give declarer four club tricks with king-jack-low opposite ace-eight-fourth or expose South to a later squeeze.”

The moderator made some interesting points on this lead problem.  “Against three no trump, a good tactic is to look for a five-card suit.  If you have one, lead it; if not, visualize whether partner might have one, and if so lead that suit.  Otherwise make a safe lead.  When the leader has most of the defensive strength, plenty of intermediates, and no indication that there is a long suit in the declarer’s hands, there are several reasons to go passive.”  So how might this relate to clubs?  Elsewhere, the moderator asks, “When does the club lead gain?  When it hits parner’s five-card suit, but that isn’t very likely when declarer doesn’t have a major. … The other time a club lead gains is when a spade lead would blow a spade trick.  This is possible if partner has a lower spade honor without intermediates, but these layouts involve fairly specific holdings.  Declarer doesn’t have four spades, and dummy might not have four either.”
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

Masse24

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Re: 2021 April MSC
« Reply #43 on: March 20, 2021, 02:54:58 PM »
Thank you, Jim!
“Kindness is the only service that will stand the storm of life and not wash out. It will wear well and will be remembered long after the prism of politeness or the complexion of courtesy has faded away.” Abraham Lincoln

blubayou

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Re: 2021 April MSC
« Reply #44 on: March 20, 2021, 11:03:59 PM »
RE: the final comment on problem C: Eric Kokish wished for the talents of BluBayou in MSC months of yore:  “Three notrump.  We desperately need a very good simulation to know the percentage action (and why).  Then we could eliminate this family of problems.”
Yes, this puzzle could use a large simulation  (set West to 6-9 Clubs + 3-11? pts, South to the exact hand shown and make 200 examples--discarding the many dozens of deals where North would not hold a hand that would double the 3C opening). Unfortunately, IAC's del-generator cannot define mor than any two hands so requiring North hands to hold more than so-many HCP can't help out this large pruning demand :(
« Last Edit: March 21, 2021, 05:22:50 AM by blubayou »
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