Author Topic: 2021 JUNE MSC  (Read 14314 times)

wackojack

  • IACAdmins
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 257
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 2021 JUNE MSC
« Reply #45 on: May 07, 2021, 02:04:52 PM »
1NT the choice for B must surely be a mistake.  The Emperor has no clothes

kenberg

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1129
  • Karma: +13/-5
    • View Profile
Re: 2021 JUNE MSC
« Reply #46 on: May 11, 2021, 12:52:55 AM »
I was one of the doublers on B, and I have been thinking a bit about it. Let's see if I can make an argument for 1NT. What should partner make of this bid, given that I passed on the first round?

Can I have both a heart stop and a spade stop? If so, why did I pass on the first round?
And if I stop only one of the two major suits, and if I also have at least some values, then maybe the heart stop is more likely?
So maybe a 1NT call at this point should be thought of as an unusual no trump.
I don't think it's crazy.

As to my double> I thought that pard should be able to figure out what I am doing. But maybe not. Pard probably has four spades. After all, I have only one and the 1S call on my left was not raised. It seems unlikely that the opponents have a nine card spade fit.  Possible, but not likely. With a double I think I should worry that my partner plays me for a three card spade holding and passes. I'm not all that confidant that we will beat it.

As mentioned, I was a doubler. But 12 panelists chose 1NT, and even more significantly several from IAC chose 1NT. Perhaps they wereall out together drinking, but perhaps it makes more sense than I first thought.
Ken

jcreech

  • Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 490
  • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 2021 JUNE MSC
« Reply #47 on: May 11, 2021, 02:38:10 AM »
The only IAC to both bid 1NT and comment was CCR3 “1NT after going round and round: three possibilities.  I passed the first go round to allow partner to double and I convert. That didn't happen so now I'll bid 1NT showing hearts.“

I really would like to see what the BW panel has to say.
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

kenberg

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1129
  • Karma: +13/-5
    • View Profile
Re: 2021 JUNE MSC
« Reply #48 on: May 11, 2021, 11:46:31 AM »
Yes, just about any call that I can find an argument for, I can also find an argument against.

The scoring for C is different. I chose 3C, which scored 100, others chose Pass, which scored 90, and 1C scored 50. So the first three scores, in descending order, are 100, 90, 50 just as in B. But in C, this makes sense to me. I vacillated between 3C and Pass, but I never for a moment considered anything else. In B, my thinking was more "I guess I have to do something, but what?"

So yes, I await the panel's thoughts.

Added: Here is a way I have been trying to think of this. Partner could well be 4=2=3=4 or maybe 4=1=3=5. He is going to have a bit of a guess what to do next, and even more of a guess if then the opponents go on to 2S, a likely event.  If we go with the reasonable idea that passing on the first round and then bidding 1nT now shows heart stops and probably not spade stops, maybe this gives him the best chance of getting it right. If he has some spade values, which seems reasonably likely, he might pass 1NT and then my Rho might choose 2S.  I will feel I have done my bit and let him choose whether to pass it out.

Anyway, we shall see what the panel thinks.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2021, 03:02:18 PM by kenberg »
Ken

kenberg

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1129
  • Karma: +13/-5
    • View Profile
Re: 2021 JUNE MSC
« Reply #49 on: May 14, 2021, 02:15:25 PM »
My Bridge World came today. Interesting, as it always is.

Regarding B: Zia chose 2C, rejecting X because "double gives partner too much chance to err, not a winning policy". I like that. I was a doubler but after seeing it not score well I thought it over and that's pretty much why it got a bad score. A couple of panelists thought 1Nt should have been bid on the first round, directly over the 1H overcall. Danny Kleinman, moderator, said he was surprised only two panelists had said that.
DK welcomed Kit Woolsey to "The Lone Wolf Club" for his choice of 2H. KW regarded this as a natural call (I agree) and figured he had a good shot at taking 8 tricks in hearts (I am skeptical, as was DK).

An amusing point of temporary confusion. BW says there were three panel votes for X but lists four people speaking in favor of X. Ah ha. Pardon my baseball ignorance. One of those speaking in favor is Tony Lazzeri saying "Double. When I can clear the fence..." See
https://www.google.com/search?q=tony+lazzeri&oq=Tony+Lazzeri&aqs=chrome.0.0i355j46l2j0l7.5199j0j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
Lazerri also chose X on problem A with the explanation "When I field a sharp grounder I toss the ball to Durocher. Leo's so smart, he'll know what to do."
I do have occasional memories of long ago baseball. I grew up in St. Paul back when the Saint Paul Saints were a farm club for the Dodgers and the Minneapolis Millers were a farm club for the Giants. Some guy named Willie Mays was playing for the Millers for a while (about a month) before being called up to the Giants. We Saints fans were very happy to see him be called up. Say Hey.
Ken

jcreech

  • Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 490
  • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 2021 JUNE MSC
« Reply #50 on: May 16, 2021, 11:40:20 PM »
June MSC SUMMARY (Part 1)– Danny Kleinman, Director

Problem A  2 !S (VeeRee, Masse24, KenBerg, WackoJack, DrAculea,MarilynLi, CCR3, Jcreech, Thornbury,  Yleexotee, Msphola, Hoki, Peuco)

Imps North-South vulnerable

You, South, hold:
♠ K 10 8 5 3
K 9 2
J 6
♣ K 10 6

SOUTH  WEST  NORTH  EAST
 Pass      1        2 ♣      2
  ?*

*BWS: double = takeout
What call do you make?

This is just about as close to a “What's the problem?” problem that I have ever seen from the Master Solver's Club.  Typically, if the answer is highly consistent among the experts, it may be for the solvers too, but with a different answer.  So let's start with the dissenters.

3 !C (30) 11% Bridge World Panel (BWP) 11%; Bridge World Solver (BWS) 1 vote IAC Solver (IAC)  The choice of 3 !C seems to be essentially a rejection of any other choice.  Doub and Wildavsky make this argument well: “Too weak for a cue-bid; too short and weak for two spades (our second choice); and two notrump wold be dubious with no aces, light values, and only one heart stopper.  Were the ten of spades a low one, and the jack of diamonds a spot card, few would consider anything but three clubs.”

Dbl (40) 11% BWP; 4% BWS;  0 votes IAC  Double is a vote for perceived flexibility.  Billy Eisenberg chooses  double because “Two spades or three clubs would relinquish the chance to play in the other black suit.”  Paul Ivaska has a different perspective:  “Too strong for a competitive three clubs, too weak for two notrump.  Two spades would suppress the club support and fail to convey the nature of the hand; as it isn't forcing, it requires a much better suit.  I'm not sure what this double shows, but it must be better than anything else.”  Not so fast.  Eric Kokish does not double because he “... would be unprepared for partner's three-diamond reply.”  And the moderator, Danny Kleinman, agrees “A double of responder's raise is played almost universally as takeout.”

2NT (50) 14% BWP; 6% BWS; 1 vote IAC  You have a heart stopper; what about 2NT?  BluBayou develops a fairy story  “reminds me of the fairy tale of Goldilocks & the 3 bears.  Single raise of pard's vul. 2C is TOO COLD,  Cue-advance it TOO HOT  unless SHE offers 3NT.  So we are left with the very 'just right' advance of 2NT.  Sorry, I cannot fit showing my spades into a sane auction.  Maybe my glass is half empty.”  I like Brian Platnick's for the bid best:  “Targets the most-likely game, though perhaps missing a five-three spade fit.  Some panelists may suggest that two spades here promises a club fit, but it might be based on no club fit and a spade suit too poor for a two-spade opening.”  Frank Stewart prefers “... the straightforward value bid, aiming toward the most-likely game.”  Zia succinctly regards the bid as “Clear and to the point.”  And the moderator shows his bias:  “I'm surprised to see panelists preferring two spades to two notrump.  Do they expect partner to bid again with a low doubleton in spades and a normal, minimum two-club overcall?”  This said to me that when there is overwhelming concensus for an opinion other than Danny's, he punishes his own choice as severely as he does other minority choices. 

2 !S (100) BWP 64%; BWS 77%; IAC 87%  In a direct response to Jock, Jcreech “2 !S   Unilke Blu, I can also see the 2 !S bid.  It should be constructive, tends to show club support, but gives us possession of the master suit in order to compete.”  Across the board, 2 !S was the choice.  Masse24 stated the IAC position clearly “2 !S. Looks like the HCP are split evenly. This should generally show five, since with six I may have preempted. Shows !C tolerance, too, I think. I do not relish the location of my !H K, but you can’t have everything.”  Agreeing, CCR3 has “No doubt, 2S. I imply I have tolerance for clubs. Give partner the choice.”  WackoJack thinks “2♠ is not forcing and showing tolerance for clubs.  That may be our only chance of a positive score.”  Hoki says “2 Spades - non-forcing constructive, implies at least club tolerance”  And to round out that perspective has KenBerg imagines “I bid 2S. Partner thinks “Hmm, he did not open 2S. Now he bids 2S. I think he has five spades. And that would be a bit risky unless he also had a club fit for those times when I don't like spades." So it seems clear enough.”  Peuco is a simple soul:  “2S I never bypass a decent 5 card spade suit”  While YleeXotee has a stubborn one:  “2S- obvious, I think. and I don't care if the panel disagrees!“  From the Panel, Leonard Hefgott writes “As I didn't open two spades, two spades now implies club tolerance.  A double would suggest at least four-four in the unbid suits.”  Drew Casen has similar thoughts, but adds “I am unlikely to have six, so partner won't leave me in two spades if he's short.”  Bart Bramley is “Rightsiding spades.  As a passed hand, I'm likely to have only five, but partner should expect club tolerance in case he hates spades.  If three notrump is right, we may still reach it.”  David Berkowitz:  “Two spades.  Spades first; everything else can wait.  Having passed initially helps, as partner knows I didn't open two.”  Jeff Rubens:  “The heart king has limited value on offense, so there is not enough room for three clubs then three spades; therefore two spades now.”


Problem B  1NT (MarilynLi, Blubayou, CCR3)

Matchpoints Neither side vulnerable

You, South, hold:
♠ 7
Q J 9 5 4
A 9 5 3
♣ J 6 2

SOUTH  WEST  NORTH  EAST
  ——      ——      1 ♣     1
  Pass      1 ♠      Pass    Pass
    ?

What call do you make?

This problem is a classic case of do I double because I have shortness in the opponent's last suit and no clear choice of actions, do I bid 1NT to show the heart stopper that partner almost certainly does not have and trust that (s)he has that suit covered, or do I raise partner's suit on 3-card support when (s)he only promises three? 

Dbl (50) BWP 11%; BWS 46%; IAC 53%.  Let's start with the solver's choice of Double.  What does double mean?  Philip Alder:  “Double would show a penalty pass of hearts.”  Zia:  “Though a double would show a penalty double of one heart, doubling gives partner too much chance to err, which is not a winning policy.”  Drew Casen:  “Doubling to show a trap pass of hearts doubly flawed:  too few spades and too little high-card strength.”  I fear that IAC did not think this:  Peuco says “X take out, may get us to 1NT 2C or 2D or 2HX or 1SX not afraid “  Hoki writes “Double - even though I passed on my previous turn this must surely be take-out”  YleeXotee goes with Double because it “never works out for me when I support the 1c open with 3 clubs, even given the other bidding.”  KenBerg: “I double. Partner thinks "Hmm. He passed the first time but now doubles. He must have some values or he would not be doubling now. He does not have spades or he would have shown them before. If he just has diamonds he could bit them. After his pass on the first round I would not expect him to have much if he now bid 2D. And if he just has clubs he could bid them or even have bid them first round. So[this is still pard thinking] I guess he has clubs and diamonds, not enough to bid them on his own." And he can probably figure me for some heart length given that I could not bid spades first round and don't have a clear choice yet about which minor. I suppose pard has four spades, more often than not he will, he night choose NT, more often I expect he will bid 2C. He should be able to guess right most of the time.”

1NT (100) BWP 43%; BWS; 19%; IAC 20%.  The Panel was largely split between the next two answers, but had a slight preference for 1NT.    The Panel seems to choose 1NT largely to not sell out too cheaply.  Frank Stewart:  One notrump.  I can't sell out to one spade.  I hope North will visualize my hand.”  David Berkowitz:  “One notrump.  If we belong in clubs, partner will have five and rebid the suit.”  Kevin Bathurst:  "One notrump.  I expect one spade to make, so I won't pass; both double and two clubs have serious flaws.”   While in IAC, BluBayou feels he has to take the bull by the horns:  “It's clear to me that we want to start pushing by getting PARTNER to bid 1NT.  But ...”there is no good way to do that, so I have to bid it myself.”  And CCR3 seems frustrated that there was no reopening double and tries to make the best of the situation  “1NT after going round and round: three possibilities.  I passed the first go round to allow partner to double and I convert. That didn't happen so now I'll bid 1NT showing hearts.“  Robert Wolff is worried about “The alternative, two clubs, which might catch partner with a 4=3=3=3 minimum.”

2 !C (90) BWP 36%; BWS 23%; IAC 27%.  For the Panel, 2 !C was a strong second, but not without its risks.  Carl Hudecek makes the bid and says “I like to see partner squirm in a three-three fit.”  Bart Bramley  is a bit more optimistic:  “Clear.  Short hearts opposite improves the chance of five-card club length, but four-three fit may play well anyway.  Joel Wooldridge thinks that 1 notrum wouldn't help partner judge what to do over twp spades.  I won't double lest partner pass.”  Jcreech :  “2 !C   Matchpoints are nasty.  We need to compete, and clubs look best.  At least we are only at the two level.”  And Marty Bergen thinks the previous bid was the opportunity for NT and now bids “Two clubs.  I object strongly to the pass over one heart.  Supposing that the opponents have at least eight spades, I would have responded one notrump to show my values and shut out West's spades.  It's a flawed description of the hand, yes, but much better than a pass that says nothing.”

In fact, the moderator was surprised that only one panelist, other than himself, objected to the pass over one heart.  His argument is that “As South failed to act over one heart, you cannot expect partner to bid two clubs or anything else over West's one spade.  Yet another merit in an admittedly-flawed one notrump last turn:  It empowers partner to compete effectively.  Not having acted earlier, South must shoulder the burden of competing.”


Problem C  3 !C (Peuco, Blubayou, KenBerg, WackoJack)

Matchpoints  Neither side vulnerable

You, South, hold:
♠ Q 6
8
A K 2
♣ Q 10 8 6 5 4 2

SOUTH  WEST  NORTH  EAST
  ——     Pass     Pass     Pass
   ?

What call do you make?

In fourth seat at matchpoints, you do not want to open unless you think you will go plus.  So if you open, you either want to win the contract at a  level you can make or get the opponents to commit to a level that they will go down.  The strongest choices are to pass, showing concern that only having a doubleton spade that the hand may belong to the opponents, opening 3C, thinking the best way to keep the opponents out of the auction is to make the level daunting for two passed hands, or to open 1C to indicate confidence that the hand belongs to your side just because you were the only one willing to open.  Let's start passively.

Pass (90) BWP 43%; BWS 56%; IAC 67%.  This was the solvers top pick and was actually tied for the Panel's top pick. So why didn't this choice get the 100?  We will get into that later.  However, the question I will consider now is, why should the hand be passed out?  The answer is a combination of Pearson points (if HCPs + spades are greater than 14, then you should consider opening) and quality of the club suit.  With 13 Pearson points and  a Q10-seventh suit, for many, the hand does not quality for opening.  Marc Jacobus:  pass.  Only 13 Pearson Points.”  Leonard Helfgott also considers the heart suit:  “Too short in majors and too few Pearson Points to bid.”  Jcreech “Pass   Only 13 Casino points.  I would like to  bid and be sure that we will go plus, but I can't - who has the spades - not me.  Pass at least doesn't go negative.”  CCR3: “Pass, I just don't believe in giving opponents a chance to find their major fit.”  YleeXotee was trying to balance the desire to get to a making partial with concern about what the opponents might do, and finally selected “Pass … 1c is maybe the least appealing because ops could have a 4-4 fit in spades, and 3c will keep them out while giving us a chance at a partial. Except that its a marginal suit.”  Suit quality is the other consideration.  Several experts have specific ideas of what a 3 !C bid means, and this does not qualify.  Drew Casen says “Pass.  My idea of a fourth-seat three clubs is seven solid clubs, so partner can convert to three notrump easily.”  Frank Stewart:  “Pass.  Three clubs would suggest a different type of hand.  One club might work, but North would have opened a borderline hand in second seat if he had major-suit length.”  Hoki:  “Pass - a pure guess, but no guarantee at all that we can make nine tricks in clubs”  Masse24: “Pass. There will be bidders. Hope there are enough passers to make this score decently. The only other sane possibility would be 3 !C. The hero bid is 3 !C, which will score 100 or 50. But with Kleinman the director (he tend toward conservative), the "safe" Pass seems best.”

1 !C(50) BWP 14%; BWS 14%; IAC 0 votes.  The rationale for opening 1 !C is that the side rates to go plus but there is no hiding from the fact that if the opponents have the majors, it will be a competition for the contract.  Paul Ivaska can”... see no reason to abandon normal bidding.  We have a good chance to buy the contract if I peacefully open and rebid clubs.  Having adequate high-card strength, almost none in clubs, I don't fear that the opponents will arise from their slumbers to bid and make some large number of hearts or spades.”  Joel Wooldridge:  “I don't like passing the deal out.  It's either one club or three, and the suit is too weak for three.”  Kevin Bathurst:  “Three clubs would invite partner to bid three notrump with scattered values, but clubs don't figure to run in time.  So it's one club or pass.  With seven clubs, I can hope to outbid the opponents' major.”

3 !C (100) BWP 43%; BWS 28%; IAC 27%.  Not getting the suit-quality memo, the Panel made this selection co-equal as the top choice; it got the nod for the 100, though, because the 1 !C bidders effectively broke the tie toward action versus passivity.  Marty Bergen refers to it as “Reaching the right contract promptly.”  Robert Wolff calls it “A 'leave-me-alone' forth-seat preempt.”  WackoJack asks “Is the hand ours or not?  Partner on average will have 9-10HCP.  4432 ♠Kxxx, ♥AJxx, ♦Jxx, ♣Jx.  Here it looks like we can make 9 tricks in ♣s and opps can make 8 tricks in hearts.   OK go for it matchpoint part score 3C”  Peuco thinks “3C odds i will get some kind of C support starting wit stiff J “  And KenBerg says “call me stuppborn. I can't defend my 3C bid but I am doing it anyway.”  But perhaps Zia has the right idea:  “I prefer to use this as  mild invitation to three notrump, but I hope partner has forgotten.  If he bids three notrump, I'll bid four clubs.  Sorry, partner!”


Thus ends part 1.   The remainder will be revealed as time permits.  Until then, please enjoy.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2021, 03:54:40 PM by jcreech »
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

jcreech

  • Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 490
  • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 2021 JUNE MSC
« Reply #51 on: May 17, 2021, 05:42:54 PM »
June MSC SUMMARY (Part 2)– Danny Kleinman, Director

Problem D  (a) 2 then 4 ♣ [BWS: autosplinter] (BabsG, Yleexotee, Hoki, MarilynLi, Blubayou, Masse24)

Imps  Neither side vulnerable

You, South, hold:
♠ 7 6
Q J 10 9 6 3 2
A J 2
♣ A

SOUTH  WEST  NORTH  EAST 
  ——      ——     1 NT    Pass
   ?

Among these plans, which do you prefer?
(a) 2 then 4 ♣ [BWS: autosplinter];
(b) 4 then 4 NT [BWS: key-card-ask for hearts];
(c) 2 then 4 [BWS: slam-try].

This problem gets at the strategy taken with a potentially slam-going hand after partner has opened a strong NT.  The three strategies delineated are flawed, but no one proposed a better mousetrap.  Option A involved a splinter into a singleton ace suit; a general situation frowned upon for splintering.  Option B involved a four-level transfer, followed by RKC; this commits to the five-level, which may be risky without knowing more about opener's hand. And Option C is the old fashioned transfer at the two-level and raise to game.  YleeXotee spent some time analyzing why that option is not useful: “I have yet to see anyone show good criteria for how to proceed when you get that 2 level transfer and then a raise to 4. how do I know that I should accept or go forward towards slam. My hand is well defined with the 1nt bid, do I only go if I have ace or King in the other suits, do I go only if I have the max 17 pts, do I only go if I have more than 2 hearts, do I only go if I have an honor in hearts plus some of the previous criteria. that slam try seems like a real shot in the dark for the 1nt opener. What if I have two small spades, a couple of heart honors and the max, seems like I should go, but after asking for aces and finding that we have the Q and are only off 1 key card, slam is hopeless but I have already bid it.”

b 4 then 4 NT [BWS: key-card-ask for hearts] (70) BWP 21%; BWS 24%; IAC 20%.  This bidding plan is the most aggressive approach because you cannot stop short of the five-level.  WackoJack thinks “4♣ is not helpful to partner.  I choose b because that is the most uninformative for the opps.  If we are off ♠AK then still a chance ♠not led.”  Peuco “b. only way to get to slam and can still stop at game“  Marty Bergen's assessment is that “We have a play for slam opposite the right minimum.  As six hearts may hinge on the opening lead, there is no reason to give the opponents a chance to learn anything specific about our hands or theirs.”    Billy Eisenberg feels that this is “The wrong hand for telling the opponents what not to lead.”  Paul Ivaska believes “This holding is so strong that I will drive to slam unless we're off two keys.  I gave some thought to grand-slam possibilities, which aren't good; but if North shows three keys, I'll ask for specific kings and bid seven hearts if he shows the king of diamonds.”

a 2 then 4 ♣ [BWS: autosplinter] (100) BWP 39%; BWS 23%; IAC 40%.  The other two responses received the same number of votes from the Panel; the moderator claimed that the ties was broken based on Ted Williams was often known as the “Splendid Splinter.”  I suspect the reason was more that there is a way to probe gently after the splinter, but that the rebid in game leaves you with only blunt instruments to move forward.  Barnet Shenkin thinks all the choices are flawed:  “No key-car-ask with uncontrolled spades, so I'll follow with a five-diamond control-bid over partner's retreat to four hearts.”  Doesn't that still leave the problem of uncontrolled spades at the five-level?  Robb Gordon says “I hate to splinter with a singleton ace, but this offers the best chance for a reasonably intelligent auction.”  Kit Woolsey adds “While singleton ace isn't ideal for a splinter, here the splinter is the most-accurate description of the hand.  Fortunately, partner will have a Last-Train four diamonds available, so if he discourages with four hearts, he'll have a poor hand for slam, and we can stop there.”  Hoki thinks “(a) - arguably the most descriptive option”  Masse24 “My conservative nature tells me to transfer at the 2-level then bid 4 !H (mild slam-try). The reasons against doing otherwise are plain: 1) Splintering a stiff Ace is undesirable. How can partner properly assess the value of !C KQx? I know some do it, but I do not—unless my hand is strong enough to bid on. 2) Texas followed by RKC with two fast spade losers breaks a basic RKC rule. However, the “mild slam-try” approach with this hand seems far too timid. Which means the panel will choose one of the other choices.  I think this falls into the “better than a mild slam try” category.  Which means we should probably be safe at the five-level. Only a very unfortunate minimum holding by partner (off the three missing keycards) makes the five-level too high.  Texas then RKC could result in partner bidding 5 !H with the !H AK and off a !S control. Oops! Or partner bidding 5 !H with two Aces off the trump K and, small slam is very safe with even 13 tricks possible. So RKC off two quick losers is frowned on for a reason.  The splinter seems most flexible. If partner cooperates with 4 !D, I’m bidding 5 !D. If partner dislikes my splinter and bids 4 !H, I’m also bidding 5 !D. Hopefully this should highlight my lack of a !S control. But does it oversell my hand? Maybe.”  YleeXotee “A, I'm taking the middle road.”  BluBayou “Heaven help me--I'm going with Joe on problem D  ( the self-splinter option).  As we both seem to recall,  the mild slam-try  ALWAYS  gets left at game except when 1NT opener can super-accept.  We can hardly expect, nor need,  4 trumps plus a good hand with our 7-bagger, so showing a slammy hand with 1 club is what's left.”  People always seem to remember that it is bad to splinter with an singleton ace, but not much why it is bad.  The problem is values in the splinter suit are mentally discounted, when they shouldn't; a QJx being viewed as two losers in NT or KJ-tight having potentially no value.  For that reason, Zia's position strikes a chord:  “(a) But I'd rather splinter in spades, as the opening lead may be crucial, and I want to deter a spade lead.”

c 2 then 4 [BWS: slam-try] (90) BWP 39%; BWS 54%; IAC 40%.  Jcreech summarized his thoughts:  “I don't like splintering into a stiff A.  Definitely slammish, but I don't want to commit to the 5-level without a willing partner.  Transfer and then bid 4 !H might not be pushy enough; I don't like my other options yet and it is a move in the right direction ... partner knows I am slamish.  If I was interested in any suit below spades, I probably would have tried a different route, but if partner does not have a spade control, I have no further interest.”  KenBerg decided to “... go with c. There are a lot of ways to lose two ricks. I suppose we might well miss a laydown slam.”  CCR3 “C: I'm sticking with 2d. With three major suit top honors outstanding, bidding slam is risky unless partner has interest.”  Nick L'Ecuyer thinks there is “Enough strength to try for slam, and I don't want partner to downgrade the king of clubs.  The good slams are those that make, and I want partner to use judgment.  We might bid a slam off two top spades and make it if partner has: ♠ Qxx AKx KQxx ♣ Kxx, so why give the opponents any specific information?”  Leonard Helfgott says “I don't splinter with a stiff ace if I have any alternative.  I slightly prefer to invite slam than virtually to force to slam opposite two or three keys via a key-card-ask.”  Brian Platnick feels the hand is “Not strong enough to ask for keys.  Splintering with a singleton ace might cause partner to misevaluate.  That leaves only a general slam-try.” 

The moderator likes “... none of the plans offered.  (a) will induce North to devalue the king of clubs when it can provide a useful discard.  (b) may land us in a slam off two fast spade tricks opposite a hand as strong as:  ♠ QJ10 AK874 KQ ♣ KQJ (yes, we'd open two notrump with that hand).  (c) destroys the bidding space below game that we could otherwise use for control-bidding after anchoring hearts, but it's the least of the given evils, as it lets partner move toward slam with many appropriate hands.”


Problem E  3 !C (MarilynLi, CCR3, Jcreech, BabsG, WackoJack, Peuco)

Imps  North-South vulnerable

You, South, hold:
♠ J 9 5
A K Q 2
A 9 8 2
♣ J 3

SOUTH  WEST  NORTH  EAST
  ——      ——     1 ♣      Pass
  1        Pass     2 ♣      Pass
  2        Pass     2       Pass
  2 ♠     Double   Pass     Pass
   ?

What call do you make?

The choices receiving good scores were essentially between showing the club support, or giving partner a chance to do something intelligent with the more flexible redouble.  To tell the truth, I did not even consider redouble as an option because I was staring at Jxx, partner had essentially denied four spades when rebidding clubs, and I had recently been burned in a Burns 1st Law violation – you need to have more trump than the opponents.  So let's start there.

Rdbl (80) BWP 32%; BWS 19%; IAC 27%.  KenBerg “I decided on XX. I have some thoughts on that.  On the previous round, and that's the third round, I bid 2S. It seems to me that if I had four spades partner would have heard about it before the third round. So forget about me having four spades. So what is XX? "How about: I have this good hand, you, my partner, opened the bidding, so we should have something somewhere but I am not sure where, What are your thoughts, pard?" I am not really thinking of playing 2S XX. Partner could possibly decide to pass, but I am more thinking that with Qx in spades he might decide that, having failed to bid NT on the previous round, he has denied Ax or Kx and so this might be a good time to show Qx by bidding 2NT. At any rate, I think XX asks pard for any further thoughts he might have. Passing my XX would be a surprising further thought. I expect us to be playing in NT or hearts or clubs or, I suppose just possibly, diamonds. Partner could have a 1=3=4=5 shape and bid the way he has, since he might view his xxx in hearts as not being right for immediately raising 1H to 2H.”  Nice analysis, Ken, but why not think about 2 !S XX as the final contract.  Phillip Alder thinks “Might we go plus 840 or 1240 in a three-three fit?”  Kit Woolsey:  “West didn't overcall at favorable vulnerability, so his spades can't be too long and strong.  If partner sits, I'm betting we will make an overtrick.”  Billy Eisenberg:  “Redouble. Unusual, but clear to me.” 

3 !C (100) BWP 46%; BWS 39%; IAC 40%.  It is hard to envision game on a 3-3, so the top spot was for the bidders.  CCR3 bids “3c. Since partner implied having 6 clubs, I'm giving him a chance to pass or bid 3nt. I've bid my hand to the fullest. He could easily have values in spades.”  Leonard Helfgott said “Two spades created a virtual game-force, so showing a doubleton opposite partner's likely six-card suit is the best description.”  WackoJack  thinks “3  looks least bad”  Jcreech writes that “This is one of those auctions where it seems to get worse the more it goes on.  Partner advertised real clubs and I've shown my values, now I will show my doubleton club honor (hopefully he has six instead of the five I always have to rebid).”  Peuco thinks “3C gives pd the option of bidding 3S asking for half stopper”  Joel Wooldridge:  “Three clubs.  Forcing.  If partner bids three spades, I'll bid three notrump.  Over three diamonds or three hearts, I'll aim at four hearts.”  Frank Stewart wanted to bid clubs on the previous round:  “Three clubs.  I might have bid this last turn.  I'm not sure why I bid two spades.  Are we focused on three notrump when as little as:  ♠ AQx 10xx x ♣ AQ108xx opposite makes six clubs reasonable?”
 
It is not often that we get the back story of one of the problems, but this is one of those times.  The moderator held this hand 55 years ago and set the stage:  “Real life at the time was the rubber-bridge club that Bob Hamman called “The Office,” where he spent 40-hour weeks during the mid=1060's. … Bob and I were among those who came to the club weekday nights, cut for teams and played eight-board matches. … On the actual deal, I passed.  A redouble might have worked if partner judged to pass, but I didn't want to risk it at a 1966 dollar per imp.”  So why did you give a 30 to your actual action?  If 2 !S XX is such a great contract, it will outperform any other action (getting the game bonus) including those that lead to a game, and gains against the redoubler when partner runs.


Problem F  Double (Masse24, MarilynLi, BabsG)

Imps  Neither side vulnerable

You, South, hold:
♠ K 3
A J 10 6 4 2
A Q 6 3
♣ 7

SOUTH  WEST  NORTH  EAST
  1        2 *    Pass     3 ♣†
   ?
*spades and a minor
†pass-or-correct

What call do you make?

What is the sensible action here?  You have a sixth heart, you have a second suit (which may be LHO's as well), and the !S K looks to be badly placed.  If the opponent's fit is in clubs, then you probably want to be a bidder, but if it is diamonds, then maybe you want to defend.  Meanwhile, you don't know which minor until lefty lets you know, then it may be too late unless partner acts.

Dbl (100) BWP 43%; BWS 10%; IAC 20%.  Masse24 waffles, but settles in with “Double. First stab was Pass, then I changed to 3 !H. I want to show extras and bring partner into the conversation. However, I hate the location of my !S K. Considered 3 !H, but partner can still (although unlikely) chime in with something or even pass whatever comes round to him.”  He is not alone.  Paul Ivaska says “I don't want to pass, double is the most flexible and least dangerous way to reenter the auction.  The heart intermediates are very weak, three diamonds would usually deliver five, and double preserves the chance of a penalty.”  Barnet Shenkin sees penalty:  “Partner has spades.  I hope he has clubs or will pull my double.”  While Robb Gordon only sees takeout:  “Is double not takeout?  Am I forced to bid three diamonds and distort my shape?”

Other actions were less popular.  For example, 3 !D (50) BWP 14%; BWS 24%; IAC 13%, has a large proportion of the Panel agreeing that it shows equal length with the hearts.  Nonetheless, Bobby Wolff said “Three diamonds.  Aggressive, but I'll die with my boots on.”  And Marty Bergen says “I am unwilling to sell out.  I'd like to double three clubs for takeout, but as three clubs is artificial, a double would show clubs.  Though the hearts are two cards longer than the diamonds, being in doubt I choose the cheapest reasonable bid.  If viciously doubled, I'll reconsider.”  Also 3 !H (30) BWP 4%; BWS 24%; IAC 20%, was not pushed by other members of the Panel due to the weakness of the intermediates.  But Billy Eisenberg made the selection more because the diamonds were too short:  “A little light for a double, and three diamonds would be appropriate with a red five-five.”  Hoki “3 Hearts - an overbid but hard to pass”  CCR3 “3H. If West has long clubs along with spades, he can make 2 spades. There's always the chance my partner has diamonds with me.”

Pass (90) BWP 39%; BWS 42%; IAC 47%  The most popular choice for solvers, and only one vote shy of a tie for first among Panelists was Pass.    Jcreech “Pass   I may change my mind, but my hand has gotten worse, and it is far from certain that the undisclosed minor is clubs.  Partner was silent, if he has something, then let him keep the auction alive.”  Carl Hudecek agrees in part:  “Partner still has a turn.”  As does Joel Wooldridge, but for a different reason:  “An ill-placed doubleton king of spades dissuades me from further action.”  YleeXotee thinks partner is broke:  “Pass. there better be some Unusual v unusual expectations in BWS because I have those expectations therefore p has zippo.”  While Peuco chooses inaction because he can't decide which action:  “Pass If west has the S A the pass is clear if not, what to bid, H or D”  Phillip Alder passes because “It seems dangerous to bid, because the deal has the aura of a misfit.”  And if there were any doubts, Zia clarifies his pass:  “These auctions are land mines.  Suits figure to break painfully badly.”  To which the moderator adds his own “Yes indeed!”


Here ends the second installment.  The last two problems will be posted as soon as they are ready and include the infamous lead problem.  Until then, please enjoy.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2021, 04:02:35 PM by jcreech »
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

jcreech

  • Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 490
  • Karma: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 2021 JUNE MSC
« Reply #52 on: May 18, 2021, 03:27:18 PM »
June MSC SUMMARY (Part 3)– Danny Kleinman, Director


Problem G  Double (Msphola, Peuco, CCR3, Jcreech, VeeRee, Masse24)

Matchpoints  East-West vulnerable

You, South, hold:
♠ K 9 4
J 4 2
K 10 5
♣ K J 8 5

SOUTH  WEST  NORTH  EAST
  ——      ——      ——     1
  Pass     Pass    Double   2 ♣
Double    2        Pass    Pass
    ?

What call do you make?

What are some of the things we know about this hand?  We know that E-W have  eight or more hearts; that West does not have enough HCPs to respond; that partner is not sitting on a big hand; and that the double of clubs is a penalty double.  I did not know all of these things when I made my selection, or I would have chosen differently.  How do we know these things?  Would partner double with three or more hearts in the balancing seat?  Not likely unless the intent was to show a NT above the balancing NT.  That did not happen so the most North should have is two hearts, added to my three leaves eight for E-W.  North did not act over West's preference to two hearts, therefore cannot have a big hand.  And why is the double of two clubs penalty?  The double of a new suit implied by partner's bidding is penalty.  Partner made a takeout double of hearts, so clubs is presumably one of partner's suits, and South's double is penalty.  So now the auction is back to South.

Given all of the above givens, double should be virtually an automatic bid and a trump lead.  However, it is clear that not everyone either processes these givens the same or they do  not regard the double  as being so automatic.  The moderator has a speculative question:  “Was this problem submitted because at the table somebody took dubious action following a telltale huddle by his partner?  Perhaps any action now is dubious.”

Dbl (100) BWP 39%; BWS 52%;  IAC 40%.  Let's start with the “obvious.”  Irina Levitia and Marc Jacobus (separately):  “Double.  And lead a trump.”  Robert Wolff:  “Double.  But only at matchpoints, and not with a partner (like myself) who hates very close matchpoint doubles.  Of course, I'll lead a trump.”  CCR3: “Dble. West is broke. He passed the first round of bidding.”  Masse24: “Double. Leading the !H 2.”  Peuco :“X my Cs make more difficult for them to make 2H Waffling a bit because either the double of clubs was incorrect or unclear of all the “givens.”  Jcreech “Too much to pass.  Nowhere that looks good to compete.  I think this should be cooperative; let partner know we have values with no clear direction, and hope if he passes, it will be right.”  David Berkowitz:  “Double.  To me this is not pure penalty – at least that is what I plan to tell partner later.”  Feeling even less certain.  Leonard Helfgott:  “Double.  Sitting behind opener with clubs, I'll lead a trump and pray.  The vulnerability is right.”  Joel Wooldridge:  “Double.  Lead trumps and hope that dummy doesn't take too many tricks.”  The moderator adds his two cents with “If I could lead trumps, I too would double.  Alas, I could lead only one trump at a time, and I might not be able to lead a second trump until after East has ruffed two clubs in dummy.”  Being totally realistic, Paul Ivaska writes “Double.  Nervously, as the opponents have at least eight hearts, but I see no alternative except to pass, which would be very dangerous in a different way, because we may have out own plus to protect.  Of course, I will lead a trump to minimize ruffs in dummy.  It's matchpoints, so if they make it, it's not the disaster that it would be at imps.”   Or as Zia says even more succinctly:  “Double.  Iset a trap, but I fear I might end up the trappee not the trapper.  I hope my trump lead will prevent that.”  Among the panelists, this choice was tied for the top pick; double got the nod because action outnumbered inaction.

Pass (90) BWP 39%; BWS 33%; IAC 32%.  In a dead heat with double among the panelists, but losing out on the action/inaction tiebreaker is Pass.  Sensing something may be wrong and wanting to protect any semblance of plus position are the passers.  Frank Stewart recognizes the problem South created with the double of 2 !C:  “Pass.  The basic goal of North's double was to push the opponents higher – accomplished.  Still, I am uncertain what to do now.  Perhaps we shouldn't have doubled two clubs.  West was all but certain to take a preference.  North may have passed two hearts with a good hand, because he thinks I may be itching to double again.”  Robb Gordon finds it “Hard to pass, but I didn't promise another bid, and this might be our last chance to go plus.  The clubs aren't nearly good enough to “rebid,” nor can I bid a stopperless two notrump.  The hand is not strong enough for a cue-bid.  What's left?”  Billy Eisenberg:  “Pass. Hoping to beat it, rather than bidding and going minus.”  Hoki “Pass - maybe they got lucky (?), don't want to hang partner for balancing”  YleeXotee “Pass. I have to keep in mind that p could just have been balancing. I already redoubled XX showing I have points and allowing p to bid something. Since they chose not to, I'm letting it go.”  Kit Woolsey is pessimistic, “I don't expect to defeat two hearts, but I don't see where we can go plus on offense.”  Marty Bergen:  “Partner's pass over two hearts limited his hand, and even if he has full values, two hearts might be cold.  So unless we have a silly agreement that my double of two clubs created a force, I will go quietly.  Balanced hands defend.”

2 !S (60) BWP 18%; BWS 12%; IAC 27%.  If we do not defend, where do we turn?  It looks like spades is the answer, on a three-card suit, with a partner who may only have three as well.  If we were going to compete by bidding, there might have been a better way.  The moderator thinks “We trapped ourselves by doubling two clubs.  Sensing what was coming, we might have bid two diamonds last turn in preparation for bidding two spades now.”  That did not happen so …  Doub and Wildavsky argue that “Pass would be too wimpy, double two macho.  Two spades will often be our best spot, and down one when two hearts makes can show a nice profit.”  WackoJack says “With 11 I need to compete but as cheaply as possible”  Brian Platnick bids “Two spades.  With the ace of clubs instead of the king, I might double and lead a trump.  I can hope partner realizes that I may have only three spades.”  Barnet Shenkin sees this as a better alternative to gambling:  “Two spades.  I could double and lead a trump, shooting at a top or bottom.”  And Bart Bramley clearly sees the risk:  “Doubling would be too hungry.  Can't sell out, so I'll try one nudge.  The Reverse Moysian should play fine, as I can cash a lot of diamonds after drawing a couple of trumps.  Even the sub-Moysian (three-three) might fetch.”


Problem H  !S 8 (Masse24)

Imps  Neither side vulnerable

You, South, hold:
♠ 8
K Q 9 8
10 9 7
♣ A K 10 9 2

SOUTH  WEST  NORTH  EAST
  ——      ——     ——      1 ♠
Double   2 *      3        3 ♠
  Pass    Pass      Pass

*weak spade raise
What is your opening lead?

!S 8 (100) BWP 50%; BWS 19%; IAC 1 vote.  Fully half of the Panel led a trump, and many summed it up with one sentence. Kit Woolsey (similarly Billy Eisenberg, Leonard Helfgott, Marc Jacobus and Barnet Shenkin) “Spade eight.  All other suits being well-covered, it's clear to start trumps to cut down dummy's ruffs.”  The only expert qualms were based on whether a club ruff might be needed.  Bart Bramley thinks “With all of the side suits locked up, this must be best.  Too bad if we needed to get a club ruff.”  Eric Kokish agrees, “Likely to be wrong only if we had a club ruff coming, and we may need the tempo to deprive dummy of any ruffing tricks.”  And Robb Gordon sees the club ruff as a low probability:  “For a high club to be right, we need partner short and declarer with three-plus, against the odds.  Let declarer make tricks on his own.”  Masse24 puts his own spin on things: “My highest trump. I would lead my lowest trump, but I believe this one better expresses my dislike for lead problems!”  Todd has been nailing the lead problem for several months now, so methinks thou dost protest too much!!

!C A (80) BWP 32%; BWS 51%; IAC 80%.  The arguments for leading a top club are basically, its looks like a normal lead, it allows you to peek at dummy for little or not cost, it is flexible, and, did I mention, it looks like a normal lead.  Perhaps, that is why 80% of IAC solvers went with that selection, as did a third of the Panel.    Phillip Alder calls the lead “Unimaginative.”  While Doub and Wildavsky say that to “Not lead a high club would be masterminding.”  And Drew Casen writes “I am on lead with an ace-king combination, so I'll just take a peek at dummy and not try to be a genius.”  It strikes me that a top club is what you lead at the table, and a trump is what you lead when you have a month to think about all of the nuances of the problem.  CCR3 is concerned “C A looks like a trap. Looks too obvious. But......like Todd, I hate leads - at least dealing with MSC!”  Peuco says “Always lead what is obvious unless you like being scorned by partner”  YleeXotee plans “A !C followed by diamonds, but I'm taking my free peek at the cards.”  Kevin Bathurst:  “Club ace.  Even if we can't give partner a ruff, we may be able to switch in time to set up our tricks.  Knowing so little about the hands, I want to look at dummy first.”  Marty Bergen:  "Club ace.  Most flexible.”

!D 10 (50) BWP 14%; BWS 18%; IAC 13%.  The argument for a diamond lead is that after South made a takeout double, North freely bid diamonds, so there must be a reason.  The question is whether there is lead direction value involved.  David Berkowitz thinks so:  “Diamond ten.  Partner went out of his way to help me, so I oblige.  A trump lead is a close second choice despite the risk of blowing up partner's holding.”  Ron Smith believes in a diamond lead (though he choose the seven) because “A top-club lead doesn't rate to produce a ruff.  We need to tap declarer or set up winners.”  And Carl Hudecek is still bidding:  “I would have bid four diamonds.  I meekly lead partner's suit.”  The moderator points out nicely that “... the last thing we should want is for our partners meekly to refrain from bidding suits they eagerly want led.”  Partner did come in freely at the the three-level; perhaps, for those who did not lead a diamond, the question we should ask is, did we hurt our credibility with partner when we did not lead his suit?


That's all folks, for this month.  New submissions are due by midnight May 31 (Eastern time).  Hope to see what you have to say about the new problems.

« Last Edit: May 18, 2021, 04:05:17 PM by jcreech »
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

Masse24

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 564
  • Karma: +11/-4
    • View Profile
Re: 2021 JUNE MSC
« Reply #53 on: May 20, 2021, 06:02:52 PM »

Problem E  3 !C (MarilynLi, CCR3, Jcreech, BabsG, WackoJack, Peuco)

Imps  North-South vulnerable

You, South, hold:
♠ J 9 5
A K Q 2
A 9 8 2
♣ J 3

SOUTH  WEST  NORTH  EAST
  ——      ——     1 ♣      Pass
  1        Pass     2 ♣      Pass
  2        Pass     2       Pass
  2 ♠     Double   Pass     Pass
   ?

What call do you make?

 
It is not often that we get the back story of one of the problems, but this is one of those times.  The moderator held this hand 55 years ago and set the stage:  “Real life at the time was the rubber-bridge club that Bob Hamman called “The Office,” where he spent 40-hour weeks during the mid=1060's. … Bob and I were among those who came to the club weekday nights, cut for teams and played eight-board matches. … On the actual deal, I passed.  A redouble might have worked if partner judged to pass, but I didn't want to risk it at a 1966 dollar per imp.”  So why did you give a 30 to your actual action?  If 2 !S XX is such a great contract, it will outperform any other action (getting the game bonus) including those that lead to a game, and gains against the redoubler when partner runs.


Partner's hand--if anyone is interested--was:

!S Q8xx -- !H J -- !D xx -- !C A9xxxx
“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