Author Topic: 2021 AUGUST MSC  (Read 6768 times)

MarilynLi

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Re: 2021 AUGUST MSC
« Reply #30 on: July 01, 2021, 07:56:17 AM »
PROBLEM A: 4 Diamonds
PROBLEM B: 3 Diamonds
PROBLEM C: Pass
PROBLEM D: (a1) | (b1)
PROBLEM E: 2 Clubs
PROBLEM F: 3 Diamonds
PROBLEM G: 2 Spades
PROBLEM H: Spade King

Masse24

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Re: 2021 AUGUST MSC
« Reply #31 on: July 01, 2021, 03:49:56 PM »
Based on the scores, this was the hardest month of the year so far.

Brutal stuff!
“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

kenberg

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Re: 2021 AUGUST MSC
« Reply #32 on: July 01, 2021, 04:54:00 PM »
I can be stubborn. I am leading the D T no matter how they score it!
Can't let experts push us around.
Ken

jcreech

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Re: 2021 AUGUST MSC
« Reply #33 on: July 01, 2021, 06:20:18 PM »
August Results

MarilynLi and KenBerg won this month with 690 and also made the Bridge World Honor Roll! 

Close behind and also making the honor roll was BluBauyou, third with 670.  Congratulations to all!

NAMEBW-SCORERANKMPs
KenBerg     690   1   30
MarilynLi     690   1   30
BluBayou     670   3   20
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Also participating were BabsG, CCR3, DickHy, DrAculea, Hoki, JCreech, Masse24, Msphola, Peuco, VeeRee, Yleexotee.
.
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Masse24

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Re: 2021 AUGUST MSC
« Reply #34 on: July 01, 2021, 09:22:59 PM »
I gotta say I was shocked at Problem "D" -- the preempt or not or open or pass problem. My goal is to learn, so reading the panel thoughts should be an eye-opener since I completely missed the boat on this one.

And I will add that I am disappointed in the namby-pamby spineless results on Problem "G." There were thirty-four answers. 34!

Upthread, I had mentioned how I liked 7 !C, but I was not brave enough to do it. However, I did find the 2 !H overcall. Surely some sort of gap exists in the tactical merits of those calls and the mainstream (solver favorite) Michaels, or one of the other 32 choices. One of those choices was a Sooper-Dooper-Pooper Michaels bid of 7 !S. It scored 40. I am pleased to admit that 7 !S did not occur to me.

Rubens (our director this month) failed to put on his big boy pants when doling out scores for this problem. His summary for Problem "G" should be as convincing as reading the ingredients on a box of cereal.

Okay . . . whew, I'm done whining.  ;)
« Last Edit: July 01, 2021, 09:42:34 PM by Masse24 »
“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

kenberg

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Re: 2021 AUGUST MSC
« Reply #35 on: July 02, 2021, 12:31:04 AM »
G:
I have (often) been known to just jump to a plausible contract. Of course that has its appeal here. So why not this time?

My thinking was that 7C should be ok if pard has the heart Q, in which case 7H should also be fine, or maybe partner has three small hearts and then 7H is also good, OR else partner has some clubs and short hearts. In this last case 7C should be fine. If none of these things are true then 6 might be high enough. Of course we will be getting some competition, true enough, but if it goes, for example, (1S)-2S-(4S)-Pass-(Pass) I think that now bidding 6C should give us a reasonable shot. Or maybe over 4S passed to me I should bid 5S. Partner will not have all that much trouble figuring I have clubs.

I think 13 tricks will need some luck. I suppose the main argument for the bast is that since I have two voids partner will never be able to tell when he should go on.

Back to A for a moment. My choice of 4D scored 100 and got the plurality of panel votes. But I am not sure that my reasoning would be accepted.


Both A and G should really include a what happens next in the scoring. I mentioned that after my 4D I intend to pass if partner now bids 4S.  Since bidding 4S directly over the 4C scores poorly, I am guessing maybe bidding 4D and then passing 4S would not score well either.

And passing the 4C did not score so badly, so I guess they don't think it is forcing. My logic was this: At the time of the 4C call all I have done is to open the bidding and make a support double. This sows an opener, perhaps a bare opener that so far has not found a guaranteed fit.  But I could have more. Support doubles come in a variety of strengths.  Partner has responded 1S on the first round. Up to  the time partner made is four club call he could have 6 count. Or a rgeat deal more. So, until the 4C call,  neither I nor partner have yet described even pproxinately the strength of our hand.  To me,this means 4C is forcing.
Sure, 4C might be the last makable contract. I do not subscribe to 4m always being forcing. But when neither hand has yet limited the strength I think 4C should be forcing. To put it another way, suppose partner has a strong hand with clubs.  If 4C is not forcing, what is he to do?


Well, we shall see.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2021, 12:35:25 AM by kenberg »
Ken

blubayou

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Re: 2021 AUGUST MSC
« Reply #36 on: July 02, 2021, 06:39:11 AM »
You found the answer yourself, Ken-- a page or two back:  "If I have a GF hand with long clubs and a 4 card major I should bid 2C over his 1 diamond opener." 
   I don't mind loosing 20 or 30  to those six that raised to club game [ and those four that made the "anti-cuebid"  of 4 hearts],  but loosing 50  to #*!@##  4 diamonds, which has to be   e.g:  Ajx, jxx, AQxxxxx, void or such is  <expletives deleted>!     :-X
    Onward to the other two mind-bogglers in the scoresheet :o
PROBLEM D;-->This is mind-boggling:  22 panelists saw the weak two with Kxxx spades on the side  as too impure, but a similar number climbed in over a 3C pre-empt,    flipping our IAC votes completely on their head!  The clearest case for "Brutal Stuff"  observation in the lot.
PROBLEM B;--> This is another astonishing showing by 1/3 or the panelists.  15 of them played lowball, recognizing that we have near the top of what we are GOING TO BE PLAYED FOR, but the other 11 assumed for no reason that partner was going to deliver seventeenish or more! (ie: forcing game ore in one case inviting game in that Jxxxx diamond suit.   That stuns me in itself,  but that ZERO  of this misguided crew went for the 500 (200) is unbelievable.   All the more so  since passing for +200 will often work even when pard has only the 13  he is showing.  I was a heartbeat from the leave-in  for a full 3 weeks, even assuming a 20/20 split of high cards.
     Finally, I sure hope that somebody in New York notices the runaway macro  that assigned '40' to dozens of nonsense "answers"  for PROBLEM G! Not that any of them will make a smidge of difference to anybody,  but still!
« Last Edit: July 05, 2021, 11:17:08 PM by blubayou »
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kenberg

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Re: 2021 AUGUST MSC
« Reply #37 on: July 10, 2021, 07:56:57 PM »
My Bridge World just came. We have company coming so I will be brief. On question A, there was some expression of uncertainty as to just what to make of partner's 4C. My explanation of 4D was " Partner could hold a variety of things, I'll see what he does next."

I would like to have been able to say "I fully understand the auction and so I bid 4D" but that was not the case.

I'll look over the responses in greater detail later.
Ken

jcreech

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Re: 2021 AUGUST MSC
« Reply #38 on: July 12, 2021, 01:21:25 PM »
August MSC SUMMARY (Part 1)– Jeff Rubens, Director


Problem A  4 !D  (KenBerg, MarilynLi, WackoJack, DrAculea, DickHy)

Matchpoints
Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ A 8 4
 10 8 4 3
 K Q J 8
♣ A 4

SOUTH  WEST  NORTH  EAST
  1        Pass     1 ♠       2 
Double*  3      4 ♣      Pass
   ?

*BWS: three spades
What call do you make?

The moderator, Jeff Rubens, presents the problem very well.  “The main point of this problem is that partners, even experts, sometimes disagree about the meaning of an unfamiliar sequences.  Here, some panelists are deciding whether or not to play in a partscore, while others are concerned with which slam-try to make.”  The problem is, what type of hand is partner showing when it has not been discussed in Bridge World Standard, and what should you do about it?

4 (100)  Bride World Panelists (BWP)  42%; Bridge World Solvers (BWS 46%; Intermediate-Advanced Club solvers (IAC) 38%.
Four diamonds was the plurality choice for Bridge World with more than 40% of the panelists and solvers agreeing that it was the best choice; for IAC it was a tie for the top choice.  But what the means depends on what 4 !C means.  Most feel that 4 !C is slammish.  Robert Wolff says “Partner is slam-conscious, and I hope that his holding three diamonds will not influence a diamond slam, but when I hold king-queen-jack, that misinformation might not be fatal.”  Joey Silver thinks he “Must make a forward-going move in the face of North's enthusiasm.”  JCreech nervously agrees (but not enough to make the bid):  “I suspect that partner is making a cue-bid in support of spades, but I don't feel secure enough at this point to cooperate and bid 4 !D.  If this were with my favorite partner, I would cooperate”  Jill Myers also does not sound certain:  “I'm not sure where we belong, but if partner has three diamonds and a stiff heart, game (or maybe even slam) in diamonds is a possibility.  Partner can still bid four spades.”  Zia puts in nicely for those who are in doubt:  If partner is slamming, the South hand is huge.  But if North is getting us involved in case the opponents bid four hearts, it's a different story.  Luckily, we don't need to know which just yet, just to bid what's in front of out noses.”  But then again, perhaps, as our moderator points out, we are just “... kicking the potential disaster down the road.”  So DickHy might have the right perspective on bidding 4 !D:  “Partner rates to be short in hearts and has not bid diamonds over 3 !H, so 4 !C must show 5125 or a Walsh-like 4126.  Partner is an unpassed hand, so I’m not comfortable with passing.  With Ax in clubs opposite a partner holding 4126, clubs may be preferable to spades.  Do I bid 4 !S to show Hxx (as opposed to xxx) or 4 !D to show the solid suit?  A 4 !S bid may carry the implication that I’m rejecting clubs (say I am 3451), 4 !D is more neutral.”

5♣  (80)  BWP 23%; BWS 12%; IAC 15%.
BluBayou gives this bid serious thought (eventually passing):  “If 6th chair had passed, then partner's THREE club rebid would be 'to play', HOPEFULLY showing 4-6 in the blacks.  I believe that is still his message though we should expect something like Kxxx, --,10xx, KQxxxx, or SLIGHTLY better (it cannot be a LOT better, or the first response would be 2 clubs, not the 4-card major).  This perfect minimum  will usually make 5 clubs but shall we reach for the 22-23 point game in a minor  or be content that we have found the right trump suit?”  Taking the leap, Bart Bramley writes:  “Partner's auction is consistent with four=six, good clubs, and under game-forcing values … With a great fitter, I'll take a shot at game.  The argument for four clubs as nonforcing is compelling.  With a spade slam-try, partner could have bid four hearts.”  Carl Hudecek agrees:  “Taking every player at his word, partner has heart shortage, probably a void, … and all my honors are working.”

4♥  (80)  BWP  15%; BWS 9%; IAC none.
If you think 4 !C is slammish, and you want to cooperate, then 4 !H is unambiguous cooperation, but does it deny a diamond control?  Michael Rosenberg opines:  “Follow-up understandings after a support double are pretty sparse.  I think four clubs ought to be a slam-try in spades, but I'm not 100-percent confident, and I can't think of any continuation where we could be confident from this point on.  Perhaps I should bid four diamonds – even a four-three fit might be best – but I'd be dreading a later four-notrump bid (would the agreed suit be diamonds or spades?)  Without the diamond jack, four hearts would clearly be safer than four diamonds....I guess this is an auction where Jeff Rubens' preferred default interpretation of 'natural and nonforcing where possible' would make things easier – or maybe not.”  David Berkowitz adds:  “Normally, I would treat a new-suit on the two- or three-level as nonforcing.  Looks as if this is a good hand for whatever North had in mind – unless that was playing in four clubs, in which case too bad.”

4♠  (20)  BWP none; BWS 23%; IAC 38%.
I do not usually dip this low into the poll results, but this was a tie for the first choice for the IAC solvers and nearly a quarter of the BW solvers were thinking similarly.  Personally, I do not like ambiguous bids at the four level; it is a recipe for disaster.  But it is telling that the Panel is out there groping with the only known fit being a 4(+)-3 fit in spades.  I am not anxious to pass and trust that partner has six clubs, or bid diamonds and have partner think that I have 5 or 6 diamonds, or hearts and throw the burden back on partner; that leaves spades – it may not be at the optimal level, or be our best fit, but it should score reasonably well by getting us to a reasonable strain.  There are no expert opinions, so we are left with IAC.  Masse24 thinks “Partner knows I have three spades, so I hate to waste a level by ostensibly telling the same story twice. This one really confuses me. I do not want to be left there, unless it is where we belong. 4 !H would be interesting, putting the onus on partner to better communicate his intentions. But if partner does have loftier intentions in a possible spade slam, I fear 4 !H could convey more strength (or possibly a non-existent control) that I do not have.”  While YleeXotee writes “I'm going with 4S. that 4c should show a strong hand, but I need a piece of information about BWS. is 1s the call with a GF hand, or would 2c be the call with a GF hand and then mention the major. without knowing that, I don't fully know pards hand. p better have good reason to pass up 3nt.”


Problem B  3 !D  (YleeXotee, CCR3, BluBayou, DrAculea, Masse24, KenBerg, MarilynLi)

Imps
East-West vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ J 10 5
 Q 10
 J 8 4 3 2
♣ A 9 4

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

What call do you make?

The first thing the moderator talked about was that “The pass received no votes and hardly any mentions.  It's not popular to pass a three-level negative double with only three cards in overcaller's suit.  It is very unpopular to pass three clubs doubled, because there is almost always a safe alternative (and often one that is likely to reach a good spot).  Here, that safe move is three diamonds, on average the call most likely to produce a plus score.”

3  (100)  BWP 54%; BWS 42%; IAC 54%. 
I think Hoki expresses the concern well:  “It's IMPs, so even in a long match I would not like facing team mates with a score of minus 670. 3 or 3 will do me since I don't believe in hanging partner for wishing to compete.”  Ira Chorush agrees:  “Would pass at matchpoints but can't bring back minus 670 at imps.  I would pass with the club ten instead of the nine.  For a more-aggressive bid, the quacks are really not so hot.”  However, most Panelists seem to be more concerned about understating their strength.  Ralph Katz calls it “An underbid, but we are not vulnerable, so let's try to go plus.  Against vulnerable opponents, partner, with short clubs, may have been protecting a possible penalty pass.”  Kamil and Sherman say “Stronger than we might be, but we want to leave room and have no great idea of strain, so we'll take the low road.  North may be able to continue, especially with 3=6=3=1.”

Pass  (30) BWP none; BWS 13%; IAC 23%. 
Although the Panel ran from the double, nearly a quarter of the IAC solvers did pass.  DickHy argues “Partner rates to be short in hearts and has not bid diamonds over 3 !H, so 4 !C must show 5125 or a Walsh-like 4126.  Partner is an unpassed hand, so I’m not comfortable with passing.  With Ax in clubs opposite a partner holding 4126, clubs may be preferable to spades.  Do I bid 4 !S to show Hxx (as opposed to xxx) or 4 !D to show the solid suit?  A 4 !S bid may carry the implication that I’m rejecting clubs (say I am 3451), 4 !D is more neutral.”  Similarly, JCreech thinks “Unless one of the red suits is producing five tricks, I find it hard to envision 3NT making.  However, there are lots of ways that 3 !C will be going down.  All we need is down two to beat game.  I may be buying the team dinner, but I think this is the best plus position. even with several quacks.” 

3NT  (60)  BWP 8%; BWS 11%; IAC one.
Of course there are those who optimistically bid game.  Phillip Alder says that “Partner should deduce that I do not have excellent clubs, because I would have passed.  Of course, he might just shrug his shoulders and hope for the best – as I have done.”  Oren Kreigel writes:  “Fifty a trick if I;;m down, and we might have nine runners.”  While YleeXotee was “leaning toward 3nt, though a wimpy 3D is possible.”

4♣  (60)  BWP 23% BWS 3%;  IAC  one.
And then a popular (with the Panelists) alternative is throw the decision back to partner.  Boye Brogeland says “With no way to invite game, I push with a choice of games.  If partner bids four diamonds, I might change my mind and pass.”  Billy Eisenberg is “Willing to play game or more partner's red suit.”  Or Zia's convincing argument:  “North may be just shapely, but punishing partner is still a popular sport, isn't it?”



Problem C  1 NT  (DrAcluea, Peuco, CCR3, Masse24, KenBerg, BabsG, BluBayou, YleeXotee, DickHy)

Matchpoints
North-South vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ A K 10 3
 Q 10 6 2
 7 4 2
♣ Q 5

SOUTH  WEST  NORTH  EAST
  ——      1       Pass    Pass
   ?

What call do you make?

Balancing decisions are a blend of logic, inferences, table feel and luck.  Unfortunately, in the MSC format, there is no table feel available, and the luck is limited to whether you are picking up the same inferences as the others looking at the same problem.  What inferences can be drawn about partner's hand?  If partner has spade length, the suit is either weak or the hand is weak.  If partner  has minor suit length, then the hand is not strong enough for a two-level overcall, and not enough length in both suits to use the unusual 2NT.  If partner has good general strength (11+), then the hand is too balanced for a double.  Where does logic take you now?

Pass  (70) BWP 23%; BWS 19%; IAC one.
The passers largely point to partner's lack of action over one heart and generally feel that either opener has a very strong hand, or that  defending hearts may be best.  For example, JCreech's initial thoughts were:  “Partner did not have anything worth overcalling or enough strength to make a takeout double.  Although it is possible  partner has a trap pass, it is highly unlikely staring at QTxx.  I will apologize if this turns out to be an offensive 5-0 and a defensive 4-4.”  Joey Silver passes “Since partner did not act over one heart (something he would likely have done with heart shortage), opener rates to be quite strong.  Entering the auction on a good defensive hand against hearts will probably do more harm than good.”  More generally, Ralph Katz concludes that “Nothing else occurred to me.”  And Oren Kriegel was more pessimistic “Exhibit A of why I lose at matchpoints.”

1 NT  (100)  BWP 62%; BWS 54%; IAC  69%
Most took the 1NT bait.  As KenBerg points out, “1NT Surely this is in the point count range, sort of minimal.”  And IAC was mostly making shrug comments like DickHy's “1N.  This looks straightforward (last words?)” and Peuco's “1NT what else”.  While others were thinking of bidding spades before settling in for the obvious:  Masse24 “While 1 !S is possible, these hearts spell 1NT.” or YleeXotee “I really thought about 1s, but 1nt seems more systemicly appropriate”  Members of the Panel used more words to say essentially the same thing.  Harry Steiner:  “Within range, if near a minimum.  A pessimistic pass would be too timid at matchpoints.  One spade and double have more-obvious flaws.”  Sami Kehela:  “Defending against a one-level contract is seldom profitable.  One spade would be misleading.”  Kit Woolsey:  “At lower end, but in range and notrump-oriented.  Clearly I can't pass; one spade and double are distorted.”  And Zia, always profound, “So automatic it's beyond words.  I predict one maverick.”

1 ♠  (50)  BWP 12%; BWS 26%; IAC  23%
So what is the flaw in bidding 1NT?  The spade suit, which may be the best spot on offense and is a solid lead director, may be lost.  Robert Wolff thinks “Pass could well keep the opponents from finding a better partial; but otherwise, getting the right lead, having the ranking suit, and outbidding the opponents may pay more.”  WackoJack calls it “A match point decision.  It looks like 1  !S is the safest.  East is more likely to have length in the minors than in spades.”  Michael Rosenberg bids “One spade.  Contrary to my usual style, but passing for )at best) 50 a trick seems worse.  One notrump could be good or bad, but it might already be too high and might also help East-West if they buy the contract.  At least I direct the lead, which can be very important at matchpoints, and the opponents might misjudge if partner raises to what would be a losing two-spade contract.”  Partially echoing, JCreech says “I fear that passing 1H will not reap a large enough penalty, I would prefer to bid 1NT, but the lead directing aspects of bidding spades has the dual purpose of pushing the contract higher and setting the defense.”


This concludes the first part.  I will get to the next segment as soon as possible.  In Problem A, Michael Rosenberg mentions the Rubens' preferred default interpretation of "natural and nonforcing where possible." If there is interest, I will post a brief description.
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

yleexotee

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Re: 2021 AUGUST MSC
« Reply #39 on: July 12, 2021, 11:24:20 PM »
Wow, I was ALL or Nothing on this one in terms of scoring. I'm 100 on 5 of them and practically zero on a couple others. D is a bit of shock for me, though I should realized when I commented that I'm going to do something the panel prob wont (but for some reason stick to it anyway!)

blubayou

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Re: 2021 AUGUST MSC
« Reply #40 on: July 14, 2021, 12:51:57 AM »
HII!...   I got my BW text today  Tuesday 7/13.....Nothing there that cannot be inferred from the award scores (that i noticed so soon ;>)--except this, concerning the LEAD problem...:   
   Both HIGH  ( !S Ace) and MIDDLE  ( !S King) AND low ( !S 5)  leaders)  on the panel  mentioned the tragedy of having the  !S 5 lead  go round to declarer's stiff Queen.  Kind-a ruined my day as I never considered this.   glad !S 5 lead got a 90  given this "what if"   since so many other  reasonable looking choices this month got under sixty!  (some of them WAY under 60  {  A3/B1 } on August # D--  poor  babies)....

......more whining after Creech gets to the...balance of the summary
« Last Edit: July 14, 2021, 06:28:31 PM by blubayou »
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jcreech

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Re: 2021 AUGUST MSC
« Reply #41 on: July 15, 2021, 11:02:32 AM »
August MSC SUMMARY (Part 2)– Jeff Rubens, Director

Problem D  a1 | b3 (Pass | 3) (none)

Imps
Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ K 9 7 4
A J 10 7 3 2
10 3 2
♣ —

(A) As dealer, what call do you make?
(a1) Pass; (a2) 1 ; (a3) 2 .

(B) If East dealt and opened three clubs, what call would you make?
(b1) Pass; (b2) Double;(b3) 3 ; (b4) 4 ♣ [BWS: majors.]

This problem has been particularly difficult for me to write, partly due to the nature of the problem, and partly due to the extreme disconnect between the expert community as expressed by this Panel and the IAC solvers.  Ultimately, I decided to treat this as two problems using the same hand.

(A) As dealer, what call do you make?
(a1) Pass
  BWP 73%; BWS 56%; IAC 46%.
Even though nearly half of the IAC solvers chose to pass initially, neither BluBayou (“Are they serious”) nor  KenBerg (who initially said “I suppose a3, but but but.” but there must have been enough buts to change his mind when push came to shove).  Nonetheless, the experts on the Panel had much to say directly about their passes.  Jill Meyers thinks “An initial pass will leave room to express the hand later; especially holding both majors.”  Ira Chorush agrees “I will have a better idea of what to do by listening and, I hope, learning.”  Zia says “Too many controls for even my weak two-bids.”  And Boye Brogeland argues that there is “Too much game potential in spades to open two hearts and a bit too weak for one heart.  By passing I hope I can get both major suits in later.”

(a2) 1   BWP 19%; BWS 18%; IAC one
Fleisher and Friesner think the hand is “Too promising for spades to open two hearts, and we don't want to pass.  Playing strength is good enough for a one-bid, and the defense isn't so bad.”  David Berkowitz says it “Looks like a normal opening bid, offensewise.”  And Joey Silver concludes “A decent six-card suit, three 2-1 points, and 7 losers is a one bid.”

(a3) 2   BWP 1%; BWS 24%; IAC 46%.
DickHy starts by closely examining system notes “BWS; A first- or second-position weak two-bid that includes three of this list of characteristics is unacceptable: five cards in the bid suit; seven cards in the bid suit; flimsy (definition adjusted to suit the vulnerability) six cards in the bid suit; side void; side four-card or longer suit. Otherwise, opener may use judgment.  This hand has only 2 from this list, so it’s down to my judgement – that’s ok then!?!”  The thought is that a four-card major side-suit does not prohibit a preempt is an increasingly popular treatment is one that appeals to IAC.  JCreech “On A, I dislike preempting with four in the other major, but that heart suit is too good not to bid, and I will not open one.”  Peuco “Top players open W2 with four of other major all the time. guess they know the game”  YleeXotee “In real life I think I would bid the weak open, so stuck with it.”  WackoJack “I don't like it with a 4 card spade suit, but it looks like the least of evils.”  Masse24 “I do not mind preempting with four card major.”  Phillip Alder, from the Panel, also agreed “Two hearts is certainly the modern style.  If we miss a good spade contract, I will apologize.”  To which the moderator pointed out, “Not on this panel!” as Alder was only joined by one other Panelist.


(B) If East dealt and opened three clubs, what call would you make?
(b1) Pass
BWP 15%; BWS 43%; IAC 85%
DickHy estimates that “If East opened 3 !C, partner and West have 24 HCP between them, a 20/20 hand perhaps. Passing feels poor with six hearts, but looks correct … even for methed-up MSC bidders?”  JCreech says “On B, I am sorely tempted to bid, but the hand is too weak to make a direct bid as much as I would like to.”  YleeXotee writes “... I pass after they open, maybe we'll defend in a major”  Danny Kleinman worries that “To intervene at the three-level with a hand I'd pass as dealer would destroy partnership confidence, even if this were an occasion on which it would have worked.”  Similarly, Harry Steiner says “Passing worries me, but the auction is not over; maybe partner can help.  The problem with direct action is that partner might bid one more than we can make in a suit or branch off into notrump.  It will benefit the partnership over the long run if North knows that I will not enter such auctions with a paltry 8 HCP.”

(b2) Double BWP one; BWS 10%; IAC none
Bart Bramley thinks “A photo with three hearts, four clubs would be too strange, and pass is unthinkable.  Acting is urgent; I have the shortness, and I may not get another chance.  The fourth spade tips the scale to doubling.  Regardless of my action, my problems may not be over.”  David Berkowitz says “I love to act with shortness, but I don't see an intervention surviving both LHO and partner.”  Phillip Alder justifies his bid: “Weak in high-card terms, but the club void persuaded me.”

(b3) 3   BWP 81%; BWS 44%; IAC 15%
Carl Hudecek thinks this bid “Describes the hand better than any other call, even though it puts us at risk of losing the spade suit.”  Michael Rosenberg “The void says act.  Even though it can be lighter over a preempt, there must be some limit for double-then-bid.  If I act, I want to bid the clearly-longest suit.  Four clubs would be too much of a violation for me.  By the way, I like to play that overcalling three of a minor with three of a major, then removing advancer's three notrump to four of opener's minor, shows six-four in the majors.”  Eric Kokish feels that it is “Too dangerous to pass and somewhat misdirected to double and bury at least one of those hearts.  Four clubs would be too presumptuous.”  Boye Brougeland argues that “Three hearts is more descriptive (less divergent from what partner would expect) than the alternatives.”  Roger Lee puts it simply “I must do something.”

a1 | b3  (100)
a2 | b3  (70)
a1 | b1  (60)
a3 | b3  (60)
a1 | b2  (60)
a2 | b1  (30)
a1 | b4  (10)
a3 | b1  (0)


At the end of the day, the Panel embraced a conservative view for first seat action, but a more aggressive view toward overcalling a preempt in the direct seat.  Nearly half of the IAC solvers were similarly inconsistent, but in the other direction – aggressive in first seat, while conservative following the preempt.  The scores were devastating for those solvers.  But the commentary makes it clear that a different Panel may have provided different results.

However, question setups like this one, make me feel like I am in a contract that needs both of two finesses to make.  If both work, I am elated, but when one or both fail, I feel the odds were against me.  In this case, it felt like two two-way finesses, so you have a guess both ways.  If you were inconsistent, you needed to be right on both.  But if you were consistent, you were not punished nearly so badly.

The moderator, Jeff Rubens, endorses the majority view on both decisions:  “Exactly so.  In (A), the hand doesn't match any bid, so South passes – it would be presumptuous (not to mention insulting to partner and teammates) to take a deep view in first position.”  To me, these are strong statements, and after having read the system notes (so kindly quoted by DickHy), it is clear that our moderator has not refreshed his memory.  This is not to say the judgment is not valid, but with less than the three conditions requiring a pass, it is a judgment call not an insult! 

He continues, “In (B), the considerations are dramatically different.  On average, North will have around three clubs, so South can't expect him to be able to act, even with substantial values.  The defensive bidder short in the preemptor's suit should enter the auction if it is reasonable, even though no particular intervention can safely touch all the bases – it may be that any base is okay, or that hearts is best; and one's 'bridge instincts' should advise that bidding three hearts, warts and all, is better than passing.”  Still some of the Panel's discussion indicate that taking direct action over 3 !C either violates partnership trust, or at least is on the edge of such violation.  It is easier if the partnership has understandings such as those described by Michael Rosenberg, where if the 3 !H overcall is pulled to 3NT, then 4 !C shows a 6-4 in the majors.  Without that sort of agreement, there is a risk of overstepping partnership expectations.


Problem E  2 !C (CCR3, Hoki. BluBayou, YleeXotee, WackoJack,MarilynLi, BabsG, KenBerg, JCreech, Masse24)
Imps
North-South vulnerable
You, South, hold:
♠ Q 7 3
A 10 9 7 2
A J
♣ A 10 4

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

What call do you make?

Ok, you have balanced, and now partner is bidding a new suit when there was an opportunity to overcall one turn sooner.  And let us not forget that you have a good hand with three-card support for partner's suit.  How strong do you value your hand and what do various bids mean?

2 ♠  (60)  BWP 27%; BWS 25%; IAC  none
The 2 !S bidders seem to have a mixed opinion about what the bid means; ranging from a hand that might have doubled to a hand that is closer to an ordinary overcall in the direct seat.  Ralph Katz  thinks it “Shows a good hand when partner could not overcall.”  Carl Hudecek says “North's failure to overcall induces me to take a low road, but the hand is too strong to take the lowest road.  Not enough for two clubs or three spades."  While Oren Kreigel believes he is “Possibly underbidding the high cards and overbidding the spade support, but one notrump with such a spade-suitable hand, and two clubs followed by two spades seem like too much.”

3 ♠  (60)  BWP 15%; BWS 8%; IAC none
The 3 !S bidders all seem to think that their initial action might have been pusillanimous.  Harry Steiner is ready to bid game, “Close between three spades and four spades.  All the values seem to be working.”  While Ira Chorush says “If partner were to bid two spades over my two clubs, I could not make myself pass.”  Jill Meyers, though, doesn't seem to see the cue-bid option: “Vulnerable at imps, I go high.  Partner has five spades or enough values to bid.  Having bid only one heart in reopening position, I must come to life.”

2 ♣  (100)  BWP 58%; BWS 37%; IAC 77%
Hoki (along with Michael Rosenberg and Zia) believe “... it's a clear double on the first round. No choice now but 2♣.”  JCreech expects “... partner to have 10 points or at least close to it, so I expect game somewhere.  The spade bid should also show at least tolerance for hearts, just as I hope my cue-bid will suggest a willingness to be in spades.  Maybe the cue-bid will get partner to clarify our direction.”  KenBerg thinks he has a “Pretty good hand for my 1H balance.“  YleeXotee bids “2c  and make pard decide something”  Masse24 says “If I had more than I do, I would double rather than overcall. I think this conveys a max for my overcall. Also, if partner had five spades wouldn’t he have overcalled in direct seat? I think partner might have four spades and no heart support. 4=1=4=4? Hopefully with 9 or 10 HCP. I dunno, I’m guessing, but this cuebid should get another descriptive bid out of him.”  WackoJack   believes “I have too much to raise to 2 !S, so I will cue to show 3 card spade support and a decent hand.”  Roger Lee writes “Partner probably has a decent hand with four spades but possibly a flawed hand for an overcall.”  Bart Bramley thinks “Partner has two main possible hand-types, which are quite different:  a five-card suit that was too weak to overcall (or in a hand too weak to overcall), and a four-card suit in a hand with a wider range.  I'll follow with a minimum spade bid.  When partner has only four spades, we may be able to wriggle into notrump later, or a Moysian fit could be best.  As usual, go slow when you don't know.”  Sami Kehela says “True, North passed on the first round, but this is a hand of quality.”  David Berkowitz is also not dissuaded:  “So he didn't overcall; so what?  Must try for game but will not go past two spades.”


Problem F 3 !D (DickHy, Masse24, YleeXotee, BluBayou, BabsG, Hoki, MarilynLi, JCreech, CCR3, WackoJack, KenBerg)
Imps
Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:
♠ A K J 6 5 2
K
Q 10 6
♣ A K 5

SOUTH  WEST  NORTH  EAST
  1 ♠      Pass      2      Pass
  2 ♠      Pass      3 ♣     Pass
  ?*

*4 NT natural by agreement

What call do you make?

3   (100) BWP 81%; BWS 54 54%; IAC 85%
Michael Rosenberg considers 3 !D is “Usually an expression of 'doubt' vs. other three-level bids.  The hand is much too strong for four notrump.  The only other bid I understand is three hearts.”  DickHy declares “We’re heading for a slam, but I know not where, so 3 !D looks a decent option. If my 2 !S does not necessarily show a 6c suit, I would like to bid 3 !S.  What will partner do over these bids holding 2524?  After 3 !S he will bid 4 !S even if he has diamond control because from his point of view clubs are uncontrolled – then I can’t make a move because diamonds may be uncontrolled.  That looks a mess.   After 3 !D won’t 2524 partner bid 3 !S in case I have six spades?   That leaves more room to found out about diamond control.”  JCreech feels “... stuck on direction.  Right now, I expect to be in slam unless we can determine that we are missing the AK in diamonds, but partner has not supported my spades and I would like to know whether partner has five hearts or five clubs or a concentration of values in diamonds.  The next bid may help.”  YleeXotee showed temptation as he wrote:  “3D, but should just take the hint and bid 4nt. the hint is always worth 80 or 90.”  Masse24 opines that “Although 2 !S did not promise six spades, I prefer 3 !D now because it leaves room. Partner can show me two spades (hopefully Qx if he does), a sixth heart, fifth club (unlikely), 3NT with a diamond honor. The 4NT “helpful hint” is a red herring as it would be an underbid by a Queen or King. I recall a hand a year or more ago (not this strong) where the major was bid three times to show six, so my not choosing 3 !S now may be a mistake.”  Kit Woolsey views it as "A temporizing bid to get information about partner's hand.”  While Oren Kriegel “... expect(s) to be in the driver's seat, so I'll keep things low and see if I can coax a description from partner.”

4 ♣  (40)  BWP 15%; BWS 16%; IAC none
Bart Bramley views “Clubs is the most likely strain for slam, even in a four-three fit, and this is the least-misdescriptive call.  Partner will often have five clubs, since he might have bid two notrump otherwise.  Over four diamonds, I'll ask for keys.”  Robert Wolff has similar thoughts:  “Too strong for four notrump.  We must seek the right strain, and this is my first awkward attempt.”  And Joey Silver says “Lacking the ace-king, partner must have club length (or possibly great hearts).  With controls in his suits, 19 HCP, and good spades, supporting clubs should facilitate slam bidding.”

3 ♠  (20)  BWP none; BWS 11%; IAC 15%
Peuco plows forward with a bid of 3 !S because “...2S does not promise 6.”


This is the second installment.  I apologize that it has taken me longer than usual, but I truly struggled with how to approach Problem D, while the way this set treated my selections deadened my motivation.  There are still two problems to come, and I will try to put them out more quickly.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2021, 11:56:08 AM by jcreech »
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

Masse24

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Re: 2021 AUGUST MSC
« Reply #42 on: July 15, 2021, 05:10:10 PM »
Thanks, Jim.

It's appreciated.
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blubayou

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Re: 2021 AUGUST MSC
« Reply #43 on: July 16, 2021, 01:35:34 AM »
I was a smug passer , on the infamous PROBLEM D,  (A).  BUT if someone had offered me a friendly bet that LESS THAN FIVE of these 26 guys would resist passing as dealer IN SOME LIVE SETTING, I would have given him 10-to-1 odds. .Phillip Alder agreed “Two hearts is certainly the modern style. If we miss a good spade contract, I will apologize.” We would have  won  his $5,   but not in the way  I anticipated  -- as only two  went for the weak two,  but FIVE decided  this is an 8-count ONE-bid!   I really don't believe this 19 passers vote in actual competition
  P.S.  It is becoming clear that our panel disregards the BWS "style" selections freely (see how they ignored the   poll decision  unearthed by DickH  and a dozen other poll decisions they don't believe in over the latest 18   months)
« Last Edit: July 16, 2021, 11:46:57 AM by blubayou »
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jcreech

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Re: 2021 AUGUST MSC
« Reply #44 on: July 16, 2021, 03:13:44 PM »
August MSC SUMMARY (Part 3)– Jeff Rubens, Director

Problem G  7 !C (none although mentioned as a possibility by Masse24 so name is shadowed as a form of nod)

Imps
Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:
♠ —
A K J 7 6 5 2

♣ A K Q J 10 5

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

What call do you make?


What a powerhouse!  The funny thing is, I usually see the right sort of bid more clearly than I did this time.  I was too focused on the longer broken heart suit, and not focused enough on the solid club holding.  As a consequence, I wanted to bring both suits into the picture.  However, Zia did not lose sight of what mattered:  “Those who don't know we belong in clubs are sadly lacking in vision.  (That's being diplomatic!)”

7 ♣  (100)  BWP 26%; BWS 10%; IAC none
Bart Bramley wrote that “In my (limited) experience with auctions of this type, the big blast is more likely than a slower approach to shut up the opponents.  I can't stop them from bidding seven spades, but this leap will make it harder for them to find diamonds.  Since clubs will play as well as or better than hearts opposite most holdings, there's no point in introducing hearts.  I can reconsider over seven diamonds.”  Similarly, Robert Wolff  says “My chief apprehension is a very good save by these worthy opponents.”  Most of IAC wondered about a grand slam, but none were willing to stake it all at their first turn.

6 ♣  (70)  BWP 12%; BWS 2%; IAC one
One in IAC went with 6 !C, but did not elucidate on the reasoning.  Among the Panelists, Oren Kriegel argued that “Clubs is probably as good or better than hearts, and blasting six clubs might pay off in an unexpected way... West leads his singleton heart against six clubs ...”  Carl Hudecek says “Clubs is the preferred strain at imps, since the deal will play well in clubs opposite a singleton heart.”  Harry Steiner walks the dog: “If we disregarded the opponents, bidding seven clubs would most likely be best.  But will a direct seven clubs goad East-West into action?  Bidding six while hoping to be pushed into seven has a lot of merit; it doesn't scream so loudly to the opponents to sacrifice, as direct seven-bid would.  If I need to settle for plus 94., that might not be so bad.”

6 ♥  (70) BWP one; BWS 7%; IAC 15%
WackoJack believes “There is no way to find out partner's heart holding so I will go for the most likely and bid 6 !H.”  Ira Chorush declares “Six hearts.  Science in action.  I will bid seven clubs over six spades and then hope I don't need to lead.”  In his typical stream of consciousness approach, BluBayou writes “Don't KNOW,  but I am going for one of the boring choices -- ... six hearts.  …  In life,  I would try to walk the       dog in some way, but none of such little adventures will gain a plurality for the big score.  Shame on me.”

2 ♥  (90)  BWP 23%; BWS 7%; IAC one
Masse24 says “I really like 2 !H. A lot! If I could be assured that “the auction won’t stop here” (I’m almost there), then I would do it. The goal of this hand is simple. Declare. Starting with a Michaels 2 !S only begins to draw the opps the roadmap necessary to sacrifice, in which case we defend.”  But Todd, what is the rest of your planned auction.  If you bid some number of clubs next, haven't you provided the same roadmap?  Let's see what the Panelists do:  Phillip Alder:  “Two hearts.  Then seven clubs.  Two hearts will not be passed out.”  Michael Rosenberg:  “Two hearts.  Then the minimum club bid other than five.  I'm more concerned with winning the auction than with strain perfection.”  Danny Kleinman:  “Two hearts.  If I can get by this round, I'll bid six clubs next turn – unless partner raises hearts, in which case I'll bid seven clubs.” 

2 ♠  (80)  BWP 26%; BWS 64%; IAC 62%
What surprised me more than anything was that the Panel did not embrace this choice of bids like the solvers did.  After all, John Swanson points out:  “Two spades.  The textbook call.”  Jill Meyers thinks “If I can get partner to show some support for one of my suits, I will bid a grand slam.”  Boye Brogeland wants to walk the dog:  “... I am hoping for a bidding sequence that sounds as  if we are pushed to the seven-level.  A dirct jump to seven over one spade may find the opponents trusting me and sacrificing.”  Eric Kokish says “I hate cue-bidding with six card in the unbid major, but I haven't developed that level of dislike for seven-card suits.  I have no strong feelings about the problem, so I choose the middle-of-the-road action and will bid til I'm tired, just like those who start differently.”  Nonetheless, Oren Kriegel speaks eloquently against 2 !S:  “I've never been worried about being dropped in a cue-bid before, but that seems to be a real danger here.  I will not risk declaring in two spades when I doubt that we'll find a grand with any confidence even if I survive the first round of the auction.  The advancers who pass two spades will need to put up with death glares, but at least they'll go plus.  A guy can dream.”  BluBayou anticipates Oren's thoughts “Tell me,       do BridgeWorld partners ever pass  our michael's cue? [. scarey thought!].”


Problem H  !S A  (YleeXotee, JCreech, DickHy)

Imps
North-South vulnerable
You, South, hold:
♠ A K 5
A Q 8
10 9 2
♣ 7 5 3 2

SOUTH  WEST  NORTH  EAST
  ——      ——     ——     1 ♣
  Pass      1 ♠      Pass    2 ♣
  Pass      2       Pass    2 NT
  Pass     3 NT    (All Pass)


What is your opening lead?

Personally, I rate the diamonds as the safe lead, the heart lead as attacking in the suit we are most likely to develop, and a spade lead as being our best chance to get partner in to lead a heart through declarer's holding.  However, the Panel virtually only saw one suit, spades, but were split among the three cards about which to lead.

10  (50)  BWP 7%; BWS 41%; IAC 31%
John Swanson makes the best argument for the diamond lead:  “It boils down to whether it is more likely that we can cash five quick major-suit tricks or build a diamond entry for partner.”  KenBerg has similar thoughts: “I suppose declarer has 8 tricks but he might not have 9. So we can develop a D.”  While WackoJack choice amounts to a shrug:  “10  !D I spose”  But even after the scores were posted, KenBerg was still pushing for his choice: “I can be stubborn. I am leading the D T no matter how they score it!  Can't let experts push us around.”

A  (30)  BWP none; BWS 5%; IAC  3
Although spurned by the Panel, I think the hearts have the greatest chance of being a suit to develop.  Those in IAC making a heart lead chose the ace.  Masse24 thinks “Declarer bid No Trump, so looking at the !H AQx, it's a fair bet declarer has the King, so this is safe. I want to see partner's attitude and also the dummy. This gives me a free look before I decide on my trick two action. “  Peuco, on the other hand is banking on a lucky layout: “H Ace may catch a stiff K” 

♠ A (100)  BWP 42%; BWS 14%; IAC 23%
Roger Lee discussed the thoughts that went into his spade lead.:  “The ace seems better than the king, because I may need to lead low at trick two, and I would be more likely to lead the ace from ace-jack-low-(low) than the king from king-jack-low-(low).  Leading the five seems to be an unnecessary Hail Mary.”  DickHy “East looks to be (2/1)3(2/3)6 or (2/1)4(2/3)5 and must hold the heart king.  They have crept somewhat to 3N perhaps relying on six club tricks) so partner may have a queen or even a king.  If partner’s honour is in clubs we’re dead.  In diamonds, a queen might be too slow or die if East is 1345 (and preferred no trumps to the diamond fit), but the king would win.  Then there’s the perfect partner who is clutching the spade queen.  Normally against no trumps, leading the ace forces partner to unblock or give count (both catastrophic here), but surely with an opponent having bid the suit, partner will revert to attitude if I lead the spade ace?  He knows I know that he has only one honour card, and it has to be in spades or diamonds to be useful, so an attitude card will tell me which.  Surely, professionals must adapt carding to particular circumstances, rather than following standard agreements by rote.  If partner gives negative attitude (or the spade queen is in dummy), I will switch to a diamond.”  Kit Woolsey says “Why can't we take three spades and two hearts off the top?  If the appearance of dummy indicates that I've missed, I can shift to whatever looks right.  I can't imagine any panelist not leading a spade honor.”  YleeXotee hope for a bit more “I had D10 at first, but decided to go more aggresive. hopefully the ops 1S bid was a lowbie 4 spades and this is the killer lead.”  JCreech “My heart is with the HQ, and am looking forward to seeing the scores and any discussion that might involve this lead.  I hate giving up the tempo, so I decided to hope for a layout like Joe is, and give up my dream that the !H Q is the killer.”

♠ 5  (90)  BWP 31%; BWS 8%; IAC one
Although Zia went with the !S A he concluded with “Admire the spade-five leaders.”  To which the moderator chimes in with a “Me too.”  Let's find out why.  IAC's BluBayou starts the discussion:  “Partner has a jack or two.  We need him in at trick one before the sky falls  (If he HAS a queen, maybe its in spades, eh?  Or in clubs which makes the whole operation futile unless he has that queen AND our magical jack.)   I REALLY dont want to credit our side with my 13 primo plus  3 more from partner, but this is an auction in which the bidding side just goes nuts, frequently,  with their 23 or 24”  My luck runs more like Eric Kokish's:  “Spade five.  I once played against a declarer who did not have the stiff queen.”  Danny Kleinman, like Jock, is “Playing partner fo the least he needs to beat three notrump:  the jack of spades.”  More realistic, Kamil and Sherman point out that “The simplest way to defeat the contract is to find partner with the spade queen (and declarer with the presumed heart king).  A low spade can win against dummy's queen-ten but might lose spectacularly in various ways.”

♠ K  (80)  BWP 19%;  BWS 20%; IAC 15%
The arguments for the !S K are similar to those for the ace.  Harry Steiner writes “Hold the lead, look at dummy.  If the spade queen remains hidden, play partner for that card for a heart through declarer's king.  Any other approach gives away tempo, and declarer might have nine cashing tricks in the minors.”  But as Roger pointed out, if dummy has the Q10, then a low spade switch is likely to be foiled.  Better is Bart Bramley's “Loss of tempo is unlikely to matter, since clubs appear ready to toll.  I hope to have a better idea how to continue after seeing dummy – any of my three-card suits could be right.”  Echoing my own thoughts (after I led the ace), Sami Kehela:  “Spade king.  Hoping to determine which heart I should lead after viewing the dummy.”  Nonetheless, I am certain this choice was punished due to Roger Lee's analysis, which in this context makes a lot of sense.


This concludes the last installment for this month.  Thank you for bearing with me.  I hope there were tidbits of insight, but meanwhile, there is the September MSC that is already out and waiting to torture your bridge thinking.  Good luck!
« Last Edit: July 16, 2021, 04:51:57 PM by jcreech »
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran