Author Topic: 2021 July MSC  (Read 10158 times)

wackojack

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Re: 2021 July MSC
« Reply #30 on: May 31, 2021, 09:08:16 PM »
On B I am having 2nd thoughts on my pass. 

I have 9 and give East most likely 4.  That makes 27 between partner and west.  19 -8 at one extreme and 12-15 at the other.  We can almost rule out partner having 15 as would overcall 1NT on most hands.  If partner has 14 then barring a spade fit we would want to be playing in 1NT and not defending 1 !D.  At the other extreme if partner has 8, then we have only 17 points between us and playing in a vulnerable 1NT would be disastrous and defending 1 !D looks best.  Midway between these 2 extremes is where partner has 11 and we have 20 points each.  It is then anybody's guess as to who we want to be declarer. 

I suppose East could have fewer than 4 points in which case the odds tilt slightly towards bidding.  So next the problem of what to bid.
Double?  On the chance of a 4-4 spade fit.  As said before, if partner bids 1 !H, I bid 1 !S and a balanced partner with a diamond stop would bid 1NT and all would be well provided partner had about 12 points or more.
1 !S?  Partner with 3 spades and 12 points might be tempted to raise to 2 !S, but in reality should suspect that I only have 4 because I didnt overcall initially.
1NT?  Can we rely on partner having a double stop in diamonds Can we rely on partner having a good 11?  No we cannot but we can give it about a 50% chance. 

Even going through this analysis I still cannot make up my mind.   I think double just shades it.  So I now go for double.   

wackojack

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Re: 2021 July MSC
« Reply #31 on: May 31, 2021, 09:16:39 PM »
SOLUTIONS FOR:
Jack Goody
Guildford
England

PROBLEM A: 2 Spades
PROBLEM B: Double
PROBLEM C: 3 Diamonds
PROBLEM D: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM E: 3 Spades
PROBLEM F: 3 Diamonds
PROBLEM G: 5 Diamonds
PROBLEM H: Pass | Diamond 3

kenberg

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Re: 2021 July MSC
« Reply #32 on: May 31, 2021, 09:50:07 PM »
SOLVER: Kenneth Berg
        320 Quail Dr
        Sykesville MD 21784
        U.S.A.

Your Solutions for the July 2021 Contest
-------------------
PROBLEM A: 2 Spades
PROBLEM B: Pass
PROBLEM C: 3 Diamonds
PROBLEM D: 2 Spades
PROBLEM E: 4 Clubs
PROBLEM F: 3 Notrump
PROBLEM G: 5 Diamonds
PROBLEM H: Pass | Diamond 3
Ken

DickHy

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Re: 2021 July MSC
« Reply #33 on: May 31, 2021, 10:51:13 PM »
SOLUTIONS FOR:
Richard Harvey
Netley Abbey
Southampton SO31 5EL
U.K.

PROBLEM A: 3 Hearts
PROBLEM B: Double
PROBLEM C: 2 Notrump
PROBLEM D: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM E: 3 Spades
PROBLEM F: 3 Notrump
PROBLEM G: 6 Hearts
PROBLEM H: Pass | Diamond 3

ccr3

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Re: 2021 July MSC
« Reply #34 on: May 31, 2021, 11:35:51 PM »
A: 2S
B: Double
C: 2NT
D: 3C
E: 3S
F: 3NT
G: 5D
H: Pass, 3D

Veeree

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Re: 2021 July MSC
« Reply #35 on: June 01, 2021, 01:12:00 AM »
PROBLEM A: 2 Spades
PROBLEM B: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM C: Pass
PROBLEM D: 2 Spades
PROBLEM E: 3 Spades
PROBLEM F: 3 Notrump
PROBLEM G: 5 Hearts
PROBLEM H: Pass | Diamond 3

jcreech

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Re: 2021 July MSC
« Reply #36 on: June 01, 2021, 01:22:36 AM »
Ok - I am now in.  This does not bode well; I've made two changes and changes for me tend to cost in the scoring.

SOLUTIONS FOR:
James Creech
5107 Sewells Pointe Dr.
Fredericksburg VA 22407
U.S.A.

PROBLEM A: 2 Spades
PROBLEM B: Pass
PROBLEM C: 3 Diamonds
PROBLEM D: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM E: 3 Spades
PROBLEM F: 3 Diamonds
PROBLEM G: 5 Diamonds
PROBLEM H: Pass | Diamond 3

Problem B:  I liked Jack's analysis of the relative HCPs, but decided he left out thought about the distribution.  Where are the majors?  I think opener is looking at a 4-4-3-2 18-19 point hand and partner has length in the diamond suit.  A double allows the opponents to escape.  They may be able to make 3 !D on pure power, but I am betting that at 100 per trick, we will do better than the partscore we are at best able to make.  If we can make more than a partscore, most times we will set enough to recover that as well.

Problem D:  I have always thought in terms of the lead direction, but not about what do I do after the lead comes to me.  I like the extra length of the clubs, so if partner passes, that is not a problem, but with partner leading through the doubler, it makes sense to ask for a lead of the broken suit, then I can exit with the solid spade holding if it makes sense after seeing dummy, or even if it doesn't make sense, it will do in a pinch.
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

MarilynLi

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Re: 2021 July MSC
« Reply #37 on: June 01, 2021, 08:18:29 AM »
PROBLEM A: 2 Spades
PROBLEM B: Double
PROBLEM C: Pass
PROBLEM D: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM E: 3 Spades
PROBLEM F: 3 Notrump
PROBLEM G: 6 Hearts
PROBLEM H: Pass | Diamond 3

jcreech

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Re: 2021 July MSC
« Reply #38 on: June 01, 2021, 02:55:05 PM »
July Results

JCreech won this month with 720 and also made the Bridge World Honor Roll! 

Close behind and also making the honor roll was WackoJack, second with 710.  Just missing the honor roll was Masse24, third with 700.  Congratulations to all!

NAMEBW-SCORERANKMPs
JCreech     720   1   30
WackoJack     710   2   25
Masse24     700   3   10
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Also participating were BabsG, Blubayou, CCR3, DickHy, DrAculea, KenBerg, MarilynLi, Msphola, Peuco, VeeRee, Yleexotee.
.
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

bAbsG

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Re: 2021 July MSC
« Reply #39 on: June 01, 2021, 04:53:53 PM »
Advice - getting a zero on one hand will totally put the set into a tailspin.  Alas.

WELL DONE JIM, JACK AND TODD!!!

Masse24

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Re: 2021 July MSC
« Reply #40 on: June 01, 2021, 06:00:10 PM »
Yes, Babs! Zero is a four-letter word!  >:(

Painful when you contrast it with all those pretty 100's! OWW!

Basically a good month for me, but I missed the boat on "G." I understand the 5 !D choice, and contemplated it, so simply chose incorrectly. I'll be interested to hear the thinking on "G." I thought it was the second most difficult problem this month.

Problem "C," only Babs and Vlad got the 2 !S rebid. I was very confident about my 3 !D, so the panel discussion should be enlightening. Hopefully something to incorporate into my own thinking.

And "H" well . . . a huge majority chose to trust partner. But it should still be an interesting read when the panel blurbs become available.  ;)
“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

jcreech

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Re: 2021 July MSC
« Reply #41 on: June 01, 2021, 06:30:41 PM »
I was surprised by the difference between the top score and many of the 2nd choices.  If we had not just seen Danny Kleinman as moderator, I would have thought it was him (albeit a slightly generous version).  Tough scoring set.
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

jcreech

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Re: 2021 July MSC
« Reply #42 on: June 12, 2021, 07:08:45 PM »
July MSC SUMMARY (Part 1)– David Berkowitz, Director


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

Matchpoints  Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ A J 8
 K
 A 10 9
♣ A 8 6 5 4 2

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

What call do you make?


Overwhelmingly, the panelists and solvers fell into one of two camps.  One camp was viewed as an overbid, while the other was viewed as an underbid.  No choice fit into that just right category.  So what is the problem?  It is primarily that singleton HK.  Do you discount it except as a singleton, and discount the spade holding as well because it is very likely a 4-3 fit?  Or do you pretend it is worth its full value and keep other options, outside of spades, alive as well?

  (70) Bridge World Panel (BWP) 26%; Bridge World Solvers (BWS) 17%; IAC Solvers (IAC) 14%.  A distant second place went to the 3 !H cue-bid, the overbid, with a vote total that would be a much closer second for many other problems, but not this one.  BluBayou thinks "This is a memory-test from problem G last December?  There we had the hearts (Axxxxx) and opening side had the clubs; there we had 14 working, here we have 13 working plus their lone king.  The cue bid won big in December and it will again this month (But I would gladly trade December's  diamond jack for this month's stiff king in their suit --  a completely worthless card on offense, I must admit.) ... I am cuebidding for the contest's 100.  The ugly truth is I am in spade game already whether partner rebids spades, diamonds notrump  or [impossibly] clubs.  Don't tell the BW this."  Don't tell Jock, but it matters who owns the heart suit and who owns the clubs.  Committing to a 9 or 10 trick game is different from committing to a 9 to 11 trick game.  DickHy went to system notes when making his decision:  "According to BWS: Among advancer's actions when responder raises opener: a double is not for penalty (for takeout or showing general values, depending on level).   If N’s double was for takeout, EW have a 10/11 card fit and one of them would have bid 3H (or some punchier bid than 2H).  Therefore, N must have three (maybe four hearts) and “general values”.  For a passed hand these had better be in the 8-10 HCP range or there’s going to be shouting in the bar afterwards.  Holding the heart king, should I simply bid 3N?  Suppose I bid 3H asking for a heart stop (does 3H have this meaning in BWS?) and partner has JTx or Qxx, will he bid 3N? Still, 3H gives more options "  Billy Eisenberg bids 3 !H "Hoping to convey doubt.  A delayed three notrump would be optional."  While Sue Picus thinks the hand is "Perhaps strong enough ... to look higher.  If partner bids three spades, I will bid four. If North bids four clubs or four diamonds, I'll raise.  If partner bids three notrump, I'll pass."  Echoed by Gary Cohler:  "Extra values but no idea what strain to play, so involve partner."  Or as Sami Kehela puts it "The mantra of the new millenium is 'When in doubt, cue-bid.'" and wonders "Is this a bridge deal or one from pinochle?"

2 ♠  (100)  BWP 63%; BWS 59%; IAC 83%.  So what are the arguments for 2 !S?  The double is responsive, so at best we are assured of a 7-card fit (we may have better, but from our perspective a 4-3 is our starting point).  Looking at 18 HCPs, an opener on my right and a responder on my left, how much can be left for partner to have for the responsive double?  All this speaks to being cautious because someone is overstating their values. Bart Bramley argues for 2 !S:  "A nice hand, but with no assured eight-card fit, I'm going low.  Spades should play well.  Partner was probably getting his oar in with 4-3-4-2 or 4=4=4=1 and some values.  I will double three hearts, despite the possibility of dog-walking."  Masse24 thinks "This one is difficult, I think. My gut tells me 2 !S, which I may change to. (changed.)  This is an underbid. But 3 !H is an overbid. I can see several possible answers to this one."  JCreech is "... not afraid of the Moysian when taking the tap in the short hand.  For the negative double partner should definitely have at least four spades when the opponents have hearts."  For some, the !H K clearly should be discounted.  Eric Rodwell:  "The opponents could be blowing us out if the king of hearts is a good notrump asset.  As it is, I make the same bid I would make if my heart were an x."  KenBerg thinks 2 !S "Maybe an underbid, but the HK is not a trick."  And Harry Steiner "Decided to discount heart king as an offensive asset.  I like prospects in a spade partial and will be well-placed should the auction continue - accept a game-invitation or double three hearts.  Partner has shown at least four cards in each of spades and diamonds and about 8-11 HCP, but possibly fewer HCP with more shape."  I think the actual upper range is closer to 8 or 9, but WackoJack is clearly on the same page with Harry:  "If partner has something like ♠AQxx, xxx, KQxx, ♣xx and decided to pass, she will now make a game try." I will end this discussion with two diametrically opposite views:  Zia picked 2 !S despite the problem being  "Impossibly complicated; too difficult to do anything but guess. I hope the choice of strain will make up for the possible missed game elsewhere."  While Peuco goes for the Al Roth "What's the problem" position:  "2S not much to it"



Problem B  1 !S (BabsG, Yleexotee, Masse24).

Matchpoints  East-West vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ K J 9 6
 A 10
 4 3
♣ J 10 9 4 2

SOUTH  WEST  NORTH EAST
 Pass     1       Pass     Pass
   ?

What call do you make?

Balancing is an art as much as it is a science.  I find balancing actions later in the auction easier to weigh the merits of action versus inaction.  The benefits of balancing on this auction include that partner cannot over-value your holding because you are limited as a passed hand.  Nonetheless, should you balance or not? 

WackoJack gave this considerable thought:  "I have 9 and give East most likely 4.  That makes 27 between partner and west.  19 -8 at one extreme and 12-15 at the other.  We can almost rule out partner having 15 as would overcall 1NT on most hands.  If partner has 14 then barring a spade fit we would want to be playing in 1NT and not defending 1 !D.  At the other extreme if partner has 8, then we have only 17 points between us and playing in a vulnerable 1NT would be disastrous and defending 1 !D looks best.  Midway between these 2 extremes is where partner has 11 and we have 20 points each.  It is then anybody's guess as to who we want to be declarer. 

"I suppose East could have fewer than 4 points in which case the odds tilt slightly towards bidding.  So next the problem of what to bid.  Double?  On the chance of a 4-4 spade fit.  As said before, if partner bids 1 !H, I bid 1 !S and a balanced partner with a diamond stop would bid 1NT and all would be well provided partner had about 12 points or more.  1 !S?  Partner with 3 spades and 12 points might be tempted to raise to 2 !S, but in reality should suspect that I only have 4 because I didnt overcall initially.  1NT?  Can we rely on partner having a double stop in diamonds Can we rely on partner having a good 11?  No we cannot but we can give it about a 50% chance."

"Even going through this analysis I still cannot make up my mind."

Pass  (60)  BWP 19%; BWS 27%; IAC 14%.  Building from the discussion above, JCreech "... liked Jack's analysis of the relative HCPs, but decided he left out thought about the distribution.  Where are the majors?  I think opener is looking at a 4-4-3-2 18-19 point hand and partner has length in the diamond suit.  A double allows the opponents to escape.  They may be able to make 3 !D on pure power, but I am betting that at 100 per trick, we will do better than the partscore we are at best able to make.  If we can make more than a partscore, most times we will set enough to recover that as well."  Michael Rosenberg expounds "A basic matchpoint rule of mine is that if one of a minor is passed to me, and the opponents are vulnerable, I pass if that is in any way reasonable.  Clearly true here."  John Carruthers thinks "If partner has a trap pass, we'll take our penalty in 100's.  If I acted, what would I do?  Whatever I did, what if it continued two hearts - pass - four hearts?  South has poor defense against six hearts."  KenBerg settles for "Let well enough alone"  While Sami Kehela wants to "Pass out of fear - not of the opponents, but of my partner."


1 ♠  (100)  BWP 56%; BWS 36%; IAC 21%  Kerri and Steve Sanborn think "One spade is okay for people who already denied five."  But how many preempt in spade on five-baggers?  Apparently a plurality of the Panel do not subscribe to that sort of rigid thinking.  Some are reluctant:  Sue Picus:  "One spade.  I don't love it, but it is the least of evils.  Selling out at pairs, hoping for the smallest minus, rarely works."  Billy Eisenberg:  "One spade.  The best of bad choices."  Phillip Alder:  "One spade.  At imps I might pass, but someone once said that bridge is a bidder's game."  Others think the bid has advantages:  Bart Bramley:  "Partner didn't act, so he is light or has too many diamonds or has too few spades.  Pass could be the winner, especially with a partner would would double with a 4-3-3-3 12-count (as I would) - but North or the master Solvers' Club probably isn't one of them.  If not passing on spade is obvious."  Steve Garner says "I've never had particularly good luck passing out one-bids, and partner often passes over one of a minor with a weak notrump.  Secretly, I confess my admiration for those who double, but I'm too chicken for that."  Masse24 considers the stifling effect of the bid  "It occurs to me that 1 !S is a good way to preclude partner from a silly jump in hearts. This is the only suit I can bid on the one level."  And Kit Woolsey considers that "Passing would be taking too big a position, and it's impossible to double with only a doubleton heart.  One spade leaves open playing in one notrump, likely to be partner's bi if he doesn't have three spades."


Double  (50)  BWP 14%; BWS 23%; IAC 50%  The IAC is firmly in the double camp.  Peuco's plan is "X maybe p is loaded on Ds. if not i bid Spades after Hearts"  Adam Grossack fleshes out this plan:  "I like the added possibility of defending against one diamond doubled.  If partner bids two hearts, I will convert to two spades.  Being a passed hand makes this easier."  BluBayou  thinks "9 working is plenty to protect with.  I think I will take advantage of our passed-hand status and try to double-and-bid in spades.  But 2 clubs and one spade are still in the running.  ( I thought the balancing 1NT with xx in their suit went extinct before I was 25,when Queen Elizabeth was coronated!) ... then run from hearts to spades when the time comes."  While WackoJack eventually concludes "I think double just shades it.  So I now go for double."  Similarly, DickHy says "Balancing seems right.  N and W have 28 HCP between them.  N could well be 12-14 with three or four diamonds (pretty much like W), but probably hasn’t got five hearts.  That raises hopes for a spade fit.  Balancing with a 2C bid is likely to lose the spades if they’re there.  When N bids 1H over my x I can bid 1S; p will know I have only four spades and because I’m a passed hand won’t get overly excited.  My hand is close to a 1N balancing bid (10/11 by a passed hand and not necessarily promising a stopper over a minor suit opening), and I wonder if that will get some votes."  Alan Sontag feels that double is "The most flexible choice.  I'm not a fan of bidding one spade."  And Bruce Rogoff feels "Passed-hand status make this a easy choice, as correcting hearts to spades should show this hand-type (with five spades, I'd bid the suit now)."


Problem C  2 !S (DrAculea, BabsG)

Imps  Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:
♠ 10 5
 Q J 8 2
 Q 9 6 3
♣ K J 9

SOUTH  WEST  NORTH  EAST
  Pass     Pass     1 ♠     Pass
  1 NT    Pass      2      Pass
   ?

What call do you make?

According to the moderator, David Berkowitz, this problem is based on the question "Opposite a passed partner, does two diamonds show at least four?"  I think this turned out to be too simplistic, because the Panelists seemed to have a lot more on their radar than just the number of diamonds promised.

2 ♠  (100) BWP 52%; BWS 34%; IAC 14%.  A slight majority of Panelists went with 2 !S.  But does 2 !D guarantee four or more diamonds?  Steve Garner citing his own poll says no.  "All the Boca Raton experts I consulted assure me that North may be 5-3-3-2, so raising diamonds is out.  I predict the vote tally for two spades will echo an American electoral landslide not seen since 1964 (when it was roughly 90-10)."  Eric Kokish argument goes "Not enough for two notrump; not a great hand for diamonds.  We need a third bid from North to have a biddable game, so this is a practical hedge - no cheap hedge-clipper humor, please."  BluBayou "I see no reason to avoid the spade preference just because pard is more likely to have a diamond suit than were I not a passed hand (She IS ALLOWED to pass with a minimal 5=3=3=2). So I keep it open in case we can wander into 3NT. Speaking of wandering into 3NT, my wife favors giving this very stoppery 9-count a promotion  and rebidding 2NT,  as if it were 10-11, yet we are together on not going to the 3-level --in DIAMONDS.  2NT is henceforth on my radar (needs a 50-deal simulation!)
                                                         
Pass  (70)  BWP 30%; BWS 21%; IAC 14%.  Although YleeXotee ultimately went a different direction, his initial thoughts make the argument for Pass eloquently:  "I have an unsavory collection of Queens and Jacks, and partner is not showing much else either. Lets try the possible 8 card diamond fit rather than the 7 card spades. When ops come in with their 2h, we have 2s to fall back to. But also pass never scores well, so there's that."  Larry Cohen agrees:  "No need to stretch not vulnerable game is a long way off.  Partner could be light or have only four spades, e.g.: ♠ AQJx  xx  K10xxx ♣ xx.  With more in partner's suits, I'd keep the bidding alive with two spades."  Chip Martel:  "Sound North hands like: ♠ AQxxx  Kxx  AKxx ♣ x, yield only an okay play for a nonvulnerable game.  Three diamonds or two notrump would often get us too high, and two spades risks a minus in the wrong partscore.  Vulnerable, it would be risky to pass."  Carl Hudecek knows what to expect, but still passes:  "The trend these days is to 'correct' with a low doubleton, an incorrect approach.  This hand is too cheesy to act more aggressively."


(60) BWP 15%; BWS 26%; 43%.  A plurality of IAC was certain enough to raise the diamonds.  Masse24 thinks "Partner’s range is wide. My range is limited to a 6-9 or so (or bad 10). Pass seems timid. 2NT is a slight overbid, though the lead coming up to my heart and club honors is desirable. If partner has the values to go on, since he has already denied four hearts, a 3 !H bid on the tails of my 3 !D would ask me to bid 3NT with the proper club honors."   WackoJack laments "Since we are not playing Gazzilli I have to raise to 3♦.  This is much better than 2♠ because it will encourage partner to bid on with 16."  Peuco simply argues that "i have seen game with this kind of holding"  Kit Woolsey also raises the diamonds:  "Near the top of my range, so too strong to pass.  Partner will have at least four diamonds opposite a passed hand." 


2 NT (50) BWP 1 panelist; BWS 18%; 29%.  Only Phillip Alder, from the Panel, went with 2NT.  "I like the ten and three nines."  But for IAC, 2NT was the second choice.  BluBayou thinks,  "First, but not crucially, there are hands partner may have that cannot pass semi-forcing 1NT yet do NOT have four of them...AKxxx, xxx,  AKx,  xx  for example,  and for my pairs  you can throw in a spade or diamond jack.  But our original thought to give the 6-9 preff to his major is history.   There is the theory that opener ALWAYS passes this "unless he forgot to jump-shift",  so  we are sticking with the overbid of...  2NT"  2NT was frequently mentioned as a choice, but the failing was almost universally that the hand was not strong enough, sometimes specifically short by about a queen.
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

jcreech

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Re: 2021 July MSC
« Reply #43 on: June 14, 2021, 01:14:33 AM »
July MSC SUMMARY (Part 2)– David Berkowitz, Director


Problem D  3 !C (100)  (Blubayou, CCR3, Peuco, Masse24, Jcreech, MarilynLi, WackoJack, DickHy, Yleexotee)

Imps  Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ K Q J 3
9
J 6 4
♣ K J 10 7 3

SOUTH  WEST  NORTH  EAST
  ——     ——       2     Double
   ?*

*BWS: new-suit bid forcing, lead-directional, presumably with a fit
What call do you make?

It used to be that whenever the problem presented information about what a potential bid would mean, you would simply ignore that choice and look for some other solution.  In the past year or so, the information seems to coincide with the panel's thinking in some fashion.  This problem follows that theme, but with a twist - there are two potential lead directing bids that could be made, as well as the potential direct raise.  Not only that, but the moderator, David Berkowitz, views having a choice of lead directors as setting the defense up for failure.  "What a conundrum!  If we bid spades, partner might fear leading a club.  If we bid clubs, partner might fear leading a spade.  If we raise diamonds, partner might start the defense with a catastrophic lead."

3   (70) BWP 11%; BWS 13%; IAC 1 solver.  Starting with the road less traveled, let's take a quick look at the direct raise.  Bruce Rogoff thinks it is "Tough to judge East-West's prospects in four hearts, so I'll just raise the level.  Three clubs might work when we need a club lead or can find a worthwhile save, but I'd hate to discourage North from leading a stiff spade."  While Adam Grossack is satisfied with the raise because "It can be effective to take up space."

2 ♠  (80)  BWP 22%; BWS 44%; IAC 21%.  The Bridge World Solvers took the hint, but were enamored with the solid spade holding; 2 !S became their plurality choice.  KenBerg also made this his choice and said "I suppose that we will be defending a heart contract, I suppose I want a spade lead" Robert Wolff argues that "Getting the suit led against hearts is more important than trying to preempt."  Phillip Alder makes the bid but worries in the aftermath:  "You led the witness, but perhaps I should be consuming more bidding space."  Michael Rosenberg makes the bid, though he thinks the bid means something else:  Two of a major should be natural and nonforcing, not fit-showing and lead-directional - and then three clubs would be clear.  I suppose one tries to take advantage of the fact that inferior methods might work better here."

3 ♣ (100)  BWP 44%; BWS 32%; IAC 71%.  The Panel selected 3 !C with a plurality while IAC agreed with a strong majority.  JCreech says "I have always thought in terms of the lead direction, but not about what do I do after the lead comes to me.  I like the extra length of the clubs, so if partner passes, that is not a problem, but with partner leading through the doubler, it makes sense to ask for a lead of the broken suit, then I can exit with the solid spade holding if it makes sense after seeing dummy, or even if it doesn't make sense, it will do in a pinch."  Similarly, Kerri and Steve Sanborn argue that 3 !C is "Using up space and directing an early lead through the club queen before South gets endplayed."  And Kit Woolsey:  "The suit I may need partner to lead.  I can lead spades myself."  Continuing the thought, Masse24  writes "Follow the MSC hint. This feels safer than 2 !S. The spades are not going anywhere, and I want the lead to come into my !C KJT tenace."  And DickHy:  "We don’t open a weak 2 with an outside three- or four- card major, so EW have a nine-card heart fit.  I can lead my spades safely, so if I want to direct the lead, 3C is the choice."


Problem E  3 !S  (VeeRee, MsPhola, DickHy, Yleexotee, Blubayou, CCR3, Peuco, Masse24, Jcreech, MarilynLi, WackoJack, BabsG)

Imps  Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:
♠ Q 7 6 5 3
♥ Q 5
♦ 7
♣ A J 9 4 3

SOUTH  WEST  NORTH  EAST
 ——      ——      1 ♣       3
 ?

What call do you make?

This problem involves how do you value a decent 5-5 with a fit for the partner's minor.  Do you raise?  Do you bid your other suit hoping for the double fit?  Do you make a negative double, counting on partner to understand equal-level conversion if they bid hearts and you convert to spades? Or do you just raise, and give up on a better contract?

3 ♠  (100) BWP 67%; BWS 56%; IAC 86%.  The moderator wrote "One thing we can agree on here:  With a nice hand and short diamonds, we must act.  How to act is pretty obvious to most:"  Indeed, a majority of voters all selected 3 !S as their choice.  Phillip Alder states the obvious:  "If we belong in spades, someone must bid the suit.  I'd prefer a better suit and more strength, but the club fit makes me feel optimistic."  Adam Grossack is so optimistic that he prematurely declares that "With a double fit, I'll overbid, hoping to find the right game if there is one."  JCreech says "I am giving this bad boy a full upgrade.  I have five spades and five clubs with partner.  If partner cannot support spades, we can revert to clubs."  Some are more cautious.  John Carruthers bids "Three spades.  And hope that partner does not raise on what turns out to be an inappropriate spade holding.  I'd not object to a four clubs, but I'm an unbridled optimist."  Masse24:  "Trying to find a spade fit. We always have clubs to fall back on. Shows 5+ spades and is a GF. We have the length, but is that hand a GF? Maybe with the 30 point deck—and spectacular club support—it is? Aggressive—often a winning choice in the MSC.  I could also see double here, which would be the "slow roll" approach."  There are those who are less certain, but regard bidding better than the alternative.  For example, WackoJack bids 3 !S because "With this hand, passing is riskier than bidding."  Similarly, Robert Wolff:  "Must take a risk either by bidding or (a bigger risk) by passing."  Bart Bramley: "Risky, but anything else would be riskier."  Then you have the rose-colored glasses perspective:  Peuco - "3S what else" or BluBayou's "What's the problem? -- Famous last words indeed!"  Nonetheless, as Bruce Rogoff describes his reasons for bidding 3 !S, "If I needed to make the final bid and knew that partner had an opening bid with three-plus spades, four clubs, and little wasted in diamonds, I'd try four spades.  Well, isn't that about what he rates to have?  The spade suit is poor, but the big club fit sways me to overbid."


Double  (70)  BWP 26%; BWS 30%; IAC 1 solver  However, there was a strong Panelist contingent lobbying for double.  Michael Rosenberg doubled with conversion of hearts to spades in mind, arguing "I will have a chance to stop in three spades facing (say): ♠ Kxx ♥ Axxx ♦ Jxx ♣ KQx.  Passing is out with shortness in the opponent's suit and values.  I will raise three spades to four."  Similarly, Kit Woolsey writes:  "I can pull three (or four) hearts to spades, showing the black suits.  An immediate three spades might induce a raise on honor-doubleton, which would not be good."  Kerri and Steve Sanborn have a different plan:  "Maybe we will play in four clubs after partner's three hearts.  Maybe we can make 3NT.  We hope that our teammates are also annoying their table opponents."  Nonetheless, there are serious concerns built into the double.  Larry Cohen:  "The real question is what I do if partner bids three notrump; I'm prepared for anything else."  And Chip Martel thinks that double "Gives us a chance to reach a partscore or spades.  I hope it is not a route to three-diamonds doubled."

4 ♣  (40)  BWP 1 panelist; BWS 6%; IAC 1 solver  Of course there is always the obvious club raise.  KenBerg  thinks "We can probably make 4C"  While the argument is more fully developed with Danny Kleinman:  "Four clubs.  The main feature of the hand, and most likely suit in which to play.  Wrong to introduce a skinny spade five-bagger now, as partner may raise with marginal support, but spades need not be lost forever.  For example, if partner cue-bids four diamonds, he should read four spades as a contract suggestion."  To which the moderator wrote "Trust me Danny; if you bid four clubs, you can kiss spades good-bye."  In my opinion, the only route to four spades after four clubs is to make an insufficient bid, and then correct to 4 !S; partner would be barred from bidding after that, but then you are bidding the spade game blindly, and if done on purpose, illegally.
 

Problem F  3 !D  (DrAculea, Masse24, Jcreech, WackoJack)

Matchpoints  North-South vulnerable
You, South, hold:
♠ A K J
♥ A K Q 5 3
♦ J 8 4 2
♣ 4

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

What call do you make?

This time you have a very nice hand, have opened, the opponents overcalled and partner has made a negative double.  At best, you have a 4-3 fit for partner's major, your major is headed by the AKQ, but you also hold four of the opponent's suit, though it is only headed by the J8.  And let's not forget that you are vulnerable while they are not.

Pass  (70) BWP 26%; BWS 13%; IAC no solvers.  Despite no takers among the IAC, let's start with the hungry call, pass for penalty.   Chip Martel makes the argument succinctly:  Chance for a good penalty and no clear route to game."  Gary Cohler also passes, thinking it is "Risky, but could be a big winner.  We might take a lot of tricks and might have no game.  I hope that partner doesn't have five or six spades and a heart fit.  The hand has a lot of defense, and bidding the right strain and level requires too much guesswork."  While Eric Rodwell believes "If we have an eight-card fit or can make three notrump, this could be bad, but declarer hasn't held the penalty to 500 yet.  People love five-card overcalls at this vulnerability, and two diamonds doubled could be bloody."

3   (100)  BWP 41%; BWS 32%; IAC 29%.  The Panel plurality went to the nebulous cue-bid. Steve Garner describes the situation well:  "Some will pass, but if we are on for game, plus 800 will be difficult to achieve.  My plan is to bid three notrump over three hearts, four spades over three spades, pass three notrump, or bid four hearts over four clubs.  A cue-bid in this type of competitive auction should show a strong flexible hand."  WackoJack agrees:  "This is really tough:  3?  This bid is NOT necessarily asking for a stop it is saying 'Please tell me more?'  However, if partner bids 4♣, it pretty certainly means that partner does not have a ♦ stop and so we bid 4♠.  This is ok if we think it will play better in 4♠ than 3NT.  OK give partner ♠Q10xx, xx, 10x, ♣AKQxx and 4♠ gives us a better score than 3N.  Remember this is MP scoring."  As does JCreech:  "I have a really good hand, and am willing to bid 3NT with my Jxxx stopper, but partner is unlimited, so I am interested in where he might be headed."  More realistically, Bart Bramley writes:  "Gameforce.  Maybe I will be able to guess better after hearing from partner.  I'll bid three notrump over three hearts (implying doubt), raise three spades, or bid four spades over the dreaded four clubs."  Recognizing that the cue-bid only solves the problem for this round, John Carruthers says "I can hardly do less, although I rate to have an equally difficult problem at each of my next turns to bid."  I conclude this section with Billy Eisenberg's pithy answer:  "Three diamonds.  Very awkward hand."

3 NT  (80)  BWP 26%; BWS 35%; IAC 57%.  There were two camps for those bidding 3NT:  those that thought the hand was too strong to not take strong action (though it is hard to imagine a stronger action than the cue-bid) and those afraid of the 4 !C response to a double.  In the first camp, Harry Steiner thinks "The penalty from two diamonds doubled will not compensate for game.  It's unlikely that RHO will be able to gain the lead for a diamond through.  If hearts don't run, maybe partner's spades will see me through."  Larry Cohen writes "I fear that our esteemed director will call this a 'truck-driver' bid, but  I don't know that three diamonds first would make things better or easier."    The flip side is the fear that partner will bid past 3NT when it is the last makeable game.  Bruce Rogoff thinks that "With no raise or redouble from East, this is a strong favorite.  Passing won't score well enough at these colors, nor can I afford to investigate a five-three spade fit via three diamonds, as partner might thereby be forced to bif pas three notrump with only four spades and club length."  Peuco:  "3NT do not want to hear 4C if i cuebid 3D"  And BluBayou wants to win the post-morteum:  "If our cue bid of 3 Diamonds receives a 4 Club response,  who gets the blame?"  The dichotomy is not entirely accurate - there was also Hamman's law brought up by Masse24, who went a different direction in the end:  "... I do worry that the "Hamman's Rule" 3NT is now or never. Partner has something like !S QTxx !H xx !D xx !C HHxxx. Actually, I think either 3 !D or 3NT will score okay. I flip-flopped on this. My explanation for 3NT was a pithy: TGBH. This is usually enough ..."  YleeXotee  "we seem to have game going points, but clubs are a mystery. might be ok in moysian. I have the stopper in diamonds, so asking for a stopper seems a recipe for the disaster of passing 3nt when that's our best spot."  However, KenBerg "... was surprised to see I am not the only daffy duck choosing this."

This is the end of Part 2.  Part 3 will be published as soon as I have it ready.  Cheers!
« Last Edit: June 14, 2021, 02:33:56 AM by jcreech »
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

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Re: 2021 July MSC
« Reply #44 on: June 15, 2021, 06:15:26 PM »
July MSC SUMMARY (Part 3)– David Berkowitz, Director


The moderator views "Problems like G and H are match-swingers.  Dig in all you want in one-notrump contracts, but you will need to get those right an awful lot to overcome six-level mishaps."

Problem G  5 !D  (WackoJack, CCR3, Peuco, Jcreech, KenBerg, BabsG)

Imps  Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:
♠ 8 3
 K J 6 2
 A K 10 8 6 5
♣ 7

SOUTH  WEST  NORTH  EAST
 ——      ——      3       4 *
  ?

*spades and a minor
What call do you make?

Problem G involves high-level decisions.  The moderator asks a series of questions:  "Will this be a five-level decision?  A six- or seven-level guess?  How can we best prepare for what is to come?"

  (100) BWP 78%; BWS 60%; IAC 43%.  A very large segment of the Panel showed their best suit, and joined by a clear majority of the BW solvers and a plurality of the IAC solvers.  WackoJack says "5  This tells partner that I have some top diamonds with my support.  So, if the opponents bid to 5♠ or 6♣, then she is in the best position to judge whether to make a forcing pass, bid on to 6 or double."  I see one problem with this analysis.  Only one side is typically preempting, so that side is virtually incapable of making a forcing pass, but partner will be better placed to make those other decisions.  Eric Rodwell is thinking along the same lines:  "Five diamonds.  Seems right for now.  This should be forcing, likely for the lead with a heart fit.  If East-West bid five spades, I will have another problem, but with a double fit partner can bid."  JCreech says, "May as well put in my lead director on the way to 5 !H.  My calculation is that we will be down 1 in 5 !H.  I do not want to make it too easy for the opponents to be in slam, if that is right, make 5 !S if that is right, or be certain of doubling if that is right."  And Peuco tags in"5D follow Jim, maybe they stay out of slam"  Similarly, Michael Rosenberg writes "Five diamonds.  I don't expect to make at the five-level, but I want to bid over five spades, and I want a diamond lead.  Then, if partner bids over five spades, that should be good."  Kerri and Steve Sanborn express the only concern:  "We intend to save over LHO's five spades, so this makes sure we get the lead if the bidding reaches six spades before it gets back to us.  If it's our deal for five hearts, and partner passes - ouch!  Pass and save might work, or maybe five hearts would buy the contract."  Personally, I don't think 5 !H making is much of a concern; the opponents will bid over 5 !H where they may not over 5 !DKenBerg chimes in:  "Well, I'm not passing and so? I only claim 5D is not crazy. Possibly it is right."  Not only is it possibly right, Zia thinks "It seems automatic.  Hope the opponents don't bid six clubs."

  (50) BWP 11%; BWS 23%; IAC 14%.  I was surprised that the straightforward raise was not more popular.  Maybe not with the Panel, but with the solvers.  Chip Martel has the best reason to make this bid:  "Bidding diamonds might clue West to the opponents big double fit.  I hope to buy the contract or guess what to do over five spades."  While Ron Gerard has a master plan:  "Five hearts.  Then six diamonds over five spades.  A diamond lead isn't necessary against five spades unless we have the first three tricks there, but since I won't sell, that lead won't matter.  Sure we could go plus against the worst four-heart bid ever, but who would play for that?"  Danny Kleiman has a completely different perspective:  "Nothing fancy, lest I make it easy for the opponents to find a profitable save.  If we have a double fit in the reds, they have a doulbe fit in the blacks and can outbid our hearts with their spades."  At this point the moderator calls a time out:  "Wait a second!  Who is saving against whom?"

  (40)  BWP 1 panelist; BWS 6%; IAC 29%.  IAC, though, was willing to apply maximum pressure.  Masse24  jump raises:  "Make 'em guess high. Not brave enough for 7 !H. Tempted to pass and hope they miss slam. I totally get 5 !D, but the space-consuming jump to 6 !H, while keeping partner out of the loop, certainly creates more problems for the opps.  DickHy:  "We’re not vulnerable so partner may well just hold AQ in hearts.  One opponent with a heart void and the other with a diamond singleton looks entirely possible - say E is 5215 – so they have a slam.  Will 5H really change the price of fish? 6H looks better.  If W then bids 6S, we can sacrifice in 7H.  If W was eyeing a minor suit slam (3046), well … let him squirm a bit."  Adam Grossack:  "There is a tradeoff between lead-direction and helping the opponents evaluate.  I don't want LHO to know which minor his partner has, and he will have a tough decision.  I'll hope that partner finds the right lead over six spades."
 

Problem H  Pass |  3  (DickHy, Yleexotee, Blubayou, CCR3, VeeRee, Peuco, Masse24, Jcreech, KenBerg, BabsG, MarilynLi, WackoJack)

Imps  East-West vulnerable
You, South, hold:
♠ 6 5
 10 7 2
 Q 9 7 3
♣ A K 10 9

SOUTH  WEST  NORTH  EAST
 ——      ——      3 ♣      Pass
 5 ♣     Double    Pass     5 
 Pass     6        Double Pass
  ?

What call do you make? If you pass, what do you lead?

Your partner has made a Lightner double.  Does the double suggest defense beyond ruffing a void?  Do you trust partner in the assessment that the contract is likely to go down or do you pull to 7 !C?  And if you pass, which suit should be regarded as the unusual lead requested?

However, before hitting the problem in earnest, it is time for the "Methinks thou dost protest too much" Award!,  which goes to Masse24.  Despite persistent claims to disliking lead problems, he has taken the top score the past four months (including this one).  This time marks a special occasion.  Despite having the opportunity to turn this month's problem into a pure bidding exercise, he not only accepted the lead problem, but nailed it as well.  His answer:  "Pass | !D 3. Holding fast to my "dislike" of lead problems. This (formerly 7 !C) is today's choice. Tomorrow might be different. I'm preparing my apology to partner. [Added] Today is tomorrow. I can't do it. I can't find a convincing reason to pull partner's double."  True disdain would have found a convincing reason - five Panelists did, so learn to be more selective in your lead complaints.

7 ♣  (50)  BWP 19%; BWS 13%; IAC 1 solver.  Let's start with those who found reason to avoid the lead problem.  BluBayou gave long, serious thought to bidding on:  "If partner really has 0 diamonds and (max) 2 hearts,  then he  must have 8-9 clubs,   or else be 4-2-0-7, up with which we shall not put,  yet not up to opening four at green vulnerability.   So our seven sacrifice will be 500 if he scores his hypothetical spade top, and 800 if his spades are queen high or worse.  If I recall,  the player who can make a Lightner double does so  and doesn't worry where the OTHER trick is coming from.  If running to 7C is wrong,  I sure hope our teamies somehow are playing any of their 3 slams  from the other direction and bringing it home, because..........  -- 7 Clubs – "  Sue Picus points out that "Even if partner were to ruff the diamond lead, we wouldn't have set the contract yet."  Eric Kokish "... would have led a diamond, but the nine-seven of diamonds might have been worth a trick regardless.  As we will too often not have a club trick, I'm bidding one for the road.  If North doubled with the ace-queen of spades, I'll be deeply disturbed."  Ron Gerard raises the question of which side suit to lead.  many have been presuming a diamond as the long side suit, but that may be wrong.  "Are we sure that partner has an ace and a void?  Rather than place partner with a four-card spade suit amidst a ratty preempt, I would bet that West has something like seven solid, four good, king-low, void.  So a spade should be clear if you pass.  But bet the mortgage on it? Nah."  Similarly, Chip Martel thinks "Partner is probably void of diamonds, but possibly void of spades.  Even if we make the right lead, the contract might nonetheless make, so I will save and hope not to be giving up a possible plus 500."

Pass |  3  (100) BWP 63%; BWS 61%; IAC 86%.  Partner has doubled, you have passed, and there are two un-bid/un-shown suits.  Is is easier to believe that the opponents have an undisclosed 9-card fit in diamonds or an undisclosed 11-card fit in spades.  Both the Panel and Solvers strongly agree it is more likely diamonds and lead accordingly.  Jeff Rubens says "It's hard to put together a 52-card layout, but partner has weak clubs, so maybe he has a major-suit high-card trick."  Steve Garner thinks "Partner has an ace and a diamond void.  Time to push all in on this one."  JCreech is "Putting my trust in partner.  He preempted and then doubled them in slam.  I will try to hit partner's void, and advertise that I have a top club.  I almost pulled to 7 !C so I would not have the lead problem."  KenBerg:  I guess pard has a void somewhere and it's not in spades (or clubs).  I hope pard knows what he is doing. Should I therefore feel 7C is a good sac? Nah. Pard doubled, pard expects me to pass and lead a D, I'll pass and lead a D."  Going for the win during the post-morteum, Peuco chooses to pass and lead the "D 3 my rule i i prefer to let the blame on p rather myself. If they make with the D lead, he gets redfaced. If i bid 7C and they were down my face would turn ultraviolet"  John Carruthers:  "In theory, I know more about partner's hand than he knows about mind, so I don't feel inclined to overrule him.  If he's ruffing anything, it's a diamond.  Could he have something like ♠ Axxx xx -- ♣ QJxxxxx?  Not in my book, but not everyone is on the same page.  More likely, he's ruffing a diamond and hoping I have a trick (since the opponents did not investigate a grand slam).  I hope not to disappoint him.  This could be a partnership-ending deal if South bids on and six hearts would have been defeated."  Kit Woolsey:  "If partner is doubling on ace-king of spades, they won't run away."  WackoJack:  This looks very unusual.  It is not possible for partner to be void in or ♠.  With a void in s this would give partner an impossible 5107 distribution.   With a void in ♠ this would give partner a 0157 distribution.  Possible I suppose.  So it could be that partner has opened 3♣ with a 6 card suit and an outside ace? Would it be possible for partner to have opened with a 0157 distribution?  It is unlikley that partner would gamble on the opps 2 clubs dividing 1-1. So, the question is which Ace?  If A then it is possible that on a ♠ lead the losing can be discarded.  If A♠ it is less likely that this can be discarded on winning s.  So lead the 3 and hope that ♣s do not split 3-0." And Zia gets the last word:  "The double says he is ruffing something, not promising to beat the contract.  I hope he has a plan; I can't resist going for the nuts."



That's all until next month's summary.  Good luck on the August set due midnight Eastern on June 30th.
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran