Author Topic: Sept 2021 MSC  (Read 1283 times)

kenberg

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Re: Sept 2021 MSC
« Reply #30 on: July 31, 2021, 07:03:16 PM »
There appears to be complete agreement on H that the lead should be the spade T. And I can't see any reason to disagree. I suppose there must be something wrong with leading the spade T, but it's a mystery to me. Yes, the dummy might come down with a four card spade holding that includes the 8, and maybe that will give away a trick, but I don't think I want to let that determine my lead. I am positive I would lead the T at the table, and I don't believe in reasoning that "Well, since it's a contest, the obvious choice cannot be the correct choice" I lead the T, and at the table or in a contest, if it is wrong then it is wrong. But I do it again the next time.

For F I at least see the problem, or so I think. 7 in one suit and 4 in the other is too big a disparity for me. I am just bidding 5C. Or so I think. I can have a cup of coffee before I commit myself. I am referring to committing myself to a choice, I realize there are other interpretations of the phrase.


A possible spade layout on H

                                    AJ82
               T976                               Q54
                                    K3


The lead goes T-J-Q-K and later the 3 is led toward the A8.

Could happen, but I am required to lead something, and I am leading the T





« Last Edit: July 31, 2021, 07:42:33 PM by kenberg »
Ken

kenberg

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Re: Sept 2021 MSC
« Reply #31 on: July 31, 2021, 07:53:56 PM »
SOLVER: Kenneth Berg
        320 Quail Dr
        Sykesville MD 21784
        U.S.A.

Your Solutions for the September 2021 Contest
-------------------
PROBLEM A: 4 Hearts
PROBLEM B: 2 Notrump
PROBLEM C: Double
PROBLEM D: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM E: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM F: 5 Clubs
PROBLEM G: 4 Spades
PROBLEM H: Spade 10
Ken

blubayou

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Re: Sept 2021 MSC
« Reply #32 on: July 31, 2021, 09:19:11 PM »
  I'm predicting Ken to break 700 again, but if he does'nt, then I sure won't either
By the way, did anyone else mull over defending  4S for weeks?  I sure did. ( on the 1=1=4=7 hand).
« Last Edit: July 31, 2021, 09:25:12 PM by blubayou »
often it is better to beg forgiveness, than ask permission

kenberg

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Re: Sept 2021 MSC
« Reply #33 on: July 31, 2021, 10:23:47 PM »
  I'm predicting Ken to break 700 again, but if he does'nt, then I sure won't either
By the way, did anyone else mull over defending  4S for weeks?  I sure did. ( on the 1=1=4=7 hand).


If the past predicts the future I suggest not placing a heavy bet on me cracking 700. As to 4S on G note that I also bid 5C on F. What can I say, I like 7 card suits. 
Ken

jcreech

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Re: Sept 2021 MSC
« Reply #34 on: August 24, 2021, 12:20:55 PM »
Excuse me!  What happened to the first two parts of the MSC summary?  There is entirely too much work involved formatting after typing in quotes and writing additional information for the posts to be removed without explanation.
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

Masse24

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Re: Sept 2021 MSC
« Reply #35 on: August 24, 2021, 12:48:43 PM »
Excuse me!  What happened to the first two parts of the MSC summary?  There is entirely too much work involved formatting after typing in quotes and writing additional information for the posts to be removed without explanation.

No kidding!  >:(

FYI --- October is gone too! It's as if the entire forum was somehow reverted to an earlier version. Can any admin with full rights confirm? Oliver?

Everything posted on any sub-forum after July 31 is gone.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2021, 09:01:16 PM by Masse24 »
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blubayou

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Re: Sept 2021 MSC
« Reply #36 on: August 25, 2021, 02:20:34 AM »
I do weep  for the destroyed hour of work  james--but if it cannot be undeleted, then at least there is comfort if you are in the right frame of mind,  that there were damn few nuggets to be mined  in the first five--the votes mostly told the same story that the comments just repeated.....Let's see if  G and H survive this covid-E virus,   and please let us see once again  the arcane thinking the panel  came up with on problem E?
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jcreech

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Re: Sept 2021 MSC
« Reply #37 on: August 25, 2021, 03:00:15 PM »
September MSC SUMMARY (Part 3)– Eric Kokish, Director

As I began this third section, I was reminded that there was a dearth of facinating insight coming from the first five problems.  Then I looked at the final two, and the final problem has the same potential troublesome aspect - for IAC, everyone selected the same answer.  I did take a bit of extra time, trying to find a few nuggets of wisdom from the Panel's selection, and that you will find it worthwhile to read.

Problem G  2 !H  (MarilynLi, Wackojack, YleeXotee, CCR3, Masse24, JCreech, Peuco)

Imps  Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ A K 10 9 7 5 2    6    Q 9 3   ♣ A 5

SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
  ——      ——       ——      1
   1 ♠      Pass       2 *     Pass
    ?
*BWS: nonforcing

What call do you make?

The big question for the Panel was, do you go it alone, go with partner, or get more information so you can choose the best path?  IAC did not consider one of those paths.

3    90   BWP 26%  BWS 3%  IAC 0 solvers
The splinter raise of diamonds was the path not taken by IAC.  What did the Panel see that IAC did not.  Most of those taking this path envisioned North as having great suit, the possibility of a slam, and the ability to show and play in spades if slam turns out to be a pipe dream.  Mike Lawrence feels the bid "Covers most bases if getting to a slam is in the cards."  Bart Bramley thinks "Let's give ourselves a fighting chance.  Yes, it will now be harder to reach four spades when that is best, but five diamonds will usually be just as good."  Pepsi says "I don't need much to make a slam.  Over three notrump, I will bid four spades."  And Zia is "Showing the shortage and fit.  A later four spades will (I hope) suggest my intense interest and my hand-type, though I might have too strong a hand."  Personally, the bid was never on my radar because it was missing a fourth trump.

4 ♠   60   BWP 26%  NWS 29%  IAC 31%
I thought this bid would be the solver favorite.  What's not to like?  You have the boss suit, partner is covering some of your losers, and you get to declare.  BluBayou is realistic about his trump holding:  "Oppos' silence doesn't mean partner is loaded-- it means he has several hearts.  We are on our own with this spade suit, perhaps too much on our own"  Also taking a mano a mano approach is Barry Rigal who said "Rigal comes in the door; subtlety goes out the window."  Others recognize the quality of the suit - Dan Gerstman:  "On the strength of the ten-nine of spades.  With ace-king-empty-seventh, I'd try two hearts."  Hoki: "I don’t expect pard to be void in spades when competing in a minor"  Jeff Rubens makes the same bid, but considers it more cautiously:  "A little pushy, but stray values in North's hand might add extra chances - e.g., the club queen's preventing East-West from establishing a club trick."

3 ♠   50   BWP 1 Panelist  BWS 22%  IAC 1 solver
One Panelist, choosing spades, stopped short of game.  Danny Kleinman felt that "Partner's diamond bid improves the hand substantially, almost (but not quite) enough to insist on game."  He was joined by one IAC solver and nearly a quarter of the BW solvers.

2 ♥   100   BWP 41%  BWS 38%  IAC 62%
As the 2 !H bid provides the flexible option, perhaps we should take a bit of time to discuss the auction more.  The moderator describes "Two diamonds is an offer to ply and suggests a long suit, longer than five, as South will need to pass with a misfit and an unexceptional overcall.  Taking out two diamonds is a forward-going move, keeping in mind that if intervenor held six spades or five-five, he could have started with a weak jump-overcall or a wide-range cue-bid.  Some advancers would risk two diamonds with king-ten-sixth of diamonds and a side king ... While two diamonds would be based on a better, albeit limited hand, advancer should be aware that overcaller will assume one of the weaker hands.  Partnerships could do worse than verify whether there is a meeting of the minds on this underdiscussed subject.  Hence, as Masse24 says, "Too early to commit to a strain or a level. This is the best way to get more information from partner. That spade suit is close to just bidding game, but not quite."  Billy Eisenberg echoes with "Let us involve partner, as slam in either of two strains is possible."  JCreech also sees possibilities: "The nebulous cue-bid seems best here - we could have game in either pointed suit, or even a diamond slam."  Though Peuco is more succinct: "... slam is quite possible, where?"  Andrew Robson is "Taking it slowly - aiming for six diamonds if I feel that partner's diamonds are strong; otherwise, four spades."  WackoJack's analysis is thoughtful: "2♦ is non-forcing which I don’t like.  Nevertheless it should not be a rescue and so partner is likely to have 2 card ♠ support. Lazy bid is 4♠.  Maybe 2♥ is better as a ♦ slam is a possibility."


 


Problem H  !S 10 or !S 9  (Masse24, JCreech, KenBerg, MarilynLi, BabsG, Wackojack, YleeXotee, BluBayou, MsPhola, CCR3, Hoki, VeeRee, Peuco)

Imps  Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ 10 9 7 6    6    Q J 5   ♣ A Q 8 6 2

SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
  ——      ——      ——      1 NT
  Pass      2 ♣      Pass      2
  Pass      4       (All Pass)
What is your opening lead?

Never at a loss for an opinion, BluBayou described this problem as "Undoubtedly the most boring lead problem in 2 years"  Nonetheless, for such a boring lead problem, the Panel did find six different card to place on the table, from three suits!

While the Panel fingered nearly half of the South cards, IAC was not nearly so uncertain what the lead should be;  without exception one card hit the table, and only one mentioned a deceptive equivalent.  So we are clearly a boring lot.

6   50   BWP 7%  BWS 6%  IAC no solvers
Although not often mentioned, I suspect that a trump lead was on the mind of many.  Jeff Meckstroth chose the heart, but followed with "Any of the four suits could be right."  This prompted the moderator to say "Meck's admission sound like the wisely-discarded maxim of yore:  'When in doubt, lead a trump.'"

Q/J   90   BWP 41%  BWS 27%  IAC no solvers
Several of the diamond leaders, however, seemed very certain of their selection.  Phillip Alder "Looks obvious to me.  What am I missing?"  Joey Silver:  "I can see no reason why I would not lead diamonds from this holding, with this hand, on this auction."  Others are trying to build a defensive trick quickly.  Danny Kleinman:  "Needs the least from partner, even the ten of diamonds can be enough.  The ten of spades looks slightly safer but less constructive."  Barry Rigal:  "More likely to cost a trick than the spade ten but also more likely to set up a diamond trick before one goes away."  And for those selecting the deceptive jack, the aim is to get declarer to misplace the red-suit honors.  Michael Becker:  "I'll create an accident when partner has the diamond king and declarer ducks dummy's ace, but this is very unlikely on the bidding.  Otherwise, if declarer's side holds the diamond ten, East may get the wrong impression of where the hearts and diamonds are."  Or more simply, Zia says "Scare him out of the winning heart play at least."

♠ 7   90   BWP 1 Panelist  BWS 2%  IAC no solvers
David Berkowitz thinks this to be "The safest lead, as the splits are poor."  The moderator continues:  "Perhaps Berk has identified all of the positions that would highlight the wisdom of leading the seven, but without his input we can't help but think that North is too likely to misread the layout when it matters."

♠ 10/   9   100   BWP 48%  BWS 61%  IAC 100%
The primary reason for a top spade lead is safety.  In the IAC, if the reason was not tied to boredom or popularity, it was based on safety.  WackoJack argued that a "♦ lead is more likely to give away a trick than 10♠"  Kit Woolsey  writes "The safest lead where the auction calls for a safe lead and trumps are not breaking evenly."  Andrew Robson:  Diamond queen seems too aggressive on what is likely to be a passive-defense deal, a feeling enhanced by holding only one trump.  If I don't give away a trick on the lead, I fancy our chances."  JCreech said "May as well pickle partner than myself.  Let declarer find out about the bad trump break on his own."  Some, though, find other reasons for leading spades.  Richard Colker thinks "With trumps seemingly breaking poorly for declarer, it could be necessary to cash our side-suit winners quickly. ... A spade could give North an early entry for a club shift but might set up pitches for declarer."  And Dan Gerstman gives a good reason for the spade over the diamond:  "Not the diamond queen, which might encourage partner to continue diamonds rather than shift to clubs when he gets in."


Parting shot:  Despite the damning with faint praise for this set of problems, I personally found this set to be one of the most difficult to answer.  Even with this last problem, one universally identified as boring, I was more in agreement with Meckstroth's anything could be right comment, than almost anything else, yet that element of the problem makes it more realistic, true to bridge at the table, than many complete sets of problems.   Most times, the problems are unique, seldom seen in practice, but this month's Problem H is seen all the time - oh the cards change as does the auction, but the opening leader is faced with trying to decide between an active or passive defense on the go with very little information from the auction.  And what makes it so hard is, that you have no idea of which will be the most successful direction to take until well into the hand; but, then, it is too late to have chosen differently.  In these problems, you are sitting in the same seat as 27 experts.  Sometimes they will have something pithy to say - learn from their insight; other times, they will be struggling, just as you are, and those are learning opportunities as well - just harder to grasp.
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

jcreech

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Re: Sept 2021 MSC
« Reply #38 on: August 25, 2021, 03:21:49 PM »
September MSC SUMMARY (Part 2)– Eric Kokish, Director



Problem D  3 !C (CCR3, JCreech, KenBerg)

Matchpoints  Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ Q J 6 5    K    10   ♣ K J 10 9 6 4 2
SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
——   1    Double   2 *
 ?         
*preemptive

What call do you make?

LHO has opened in one suit, partner doubled and RHO has preempted in a third suit.  Now you have 7-4 in the other two suits with 10 HCPs.  What do you emphasize?  Your major, your length, or something else?  Amongst the Panelists, the focus was on two responses, but for the solvers, there was much less concentration.   

3 ♣   100   BWP 41%  BWS 37%  IAC 23%
For those bidding length, there is an expectation that there will be a chance to show spades later.  Jeff Rubens is "Expecting to have another opportunity."  Joey Silver:  "With a dearth of red cards, I do not expect the villains to let me languish in three clubs, so I plan to show my spades later.  If there is no later, I will need to take comfort in the form of scoring.  Michael Becker believes that "To play in spades, I need partner with four and am not willing to go to the bank on that.  If North has four hearts and three diamonds, it might continue all pass, but then there's no guarantee of a better spot.  JCreech "I have length, an uncertain !H K, and partner may be 4-3 in the majors for the double.  Let's show competitiveness, and if the opponents continue to bid hearts, I will now show spades to show four, but with longer clubs."

3    80   BWP 29%  BWS 7%
In BWS, when there are two cue bids available, the more expensive tends to show more strength.  The Panelists, though, seem to think it guarantees spades.  Phillipe Cronier:  "Guarantees four spades."  Michael Lawrence:  "Should find spades opposite four.  Otherwise, we will finish in three notrump or five clubs."  Sami Kehela:  "The bridge bid is five clubs, but since this is matchpoints, I must try for spades."  However, some are just scrambling.  Phillip Alder say "Where are all the diamonds?  Could partner really have a big double?  Did East forget his agreement and make a fit-jump?  Should I go for the potentially-iffy spade fit or the much better club fit, despite its being matchpoints?  Too many questions."  Then again, George Jacobs doesn't want to see the auction die prematurely:  "I want to bid clubs then spades, but three clubs could end the auction.  After three heartsL over three spades, there will be an easy raise to game; over three notrump, pulling to four clubs is a safety play.  Five clubs can succeed opposite a minimum."

3    70   BWP 11%  BWS 14%  IAC 31%
The less expensive cue bid allows for the partnership to escape below game, but again the Panel has other ideas.  Zia:  "This allows partner to bid three hearts, after which I could bid four clubs and then four spades, to emphasize the black-suit imbalance."  Jeff Meckstroth: "Want to make sure that partner has four spades."  Harry Steiner:  "Willing to play in four spades if partnr can introduce the suit; otherwise in five clubs, which may or may not be too high."  In IAC, Hoki tries "3♦ – but at the table I’d probably bid an impulsive 5♣"  And WackoJack feels the hand is "Just a bit too strong to bid 2♠.  So lets try 3.  If partner has a min take-out double like:   ♠ Kxxx, Axxx, KQx, ♣xx and bids 3♠ I will pass."

4 ♣   70   BWP 1 Panelist  BWS 8%  IAC 1 solver
Perhaps 3 !C wasn't high enough.  Danny Kleiman bids "Four clubs.  What the hand is worth.  We may belong in four spadesmm and I intend to fid four spades if four of either red suit comes around to me.  Must first suggest clubs as a safe harbor."  Similarly, Masse24 says "Lots of clubs, so I show them. 3 !D also intrigues me, but I will shy away from it this time since it accomplishes little other than to force. By the way—WHERE ARE THE !D ? I think LHO has a mittful of !D. So while I think 3 !D now is the sexy choice, it wll be immediately swallowed up by some level of red suit rebid by the opps. However, 4 !C now followed by 4 !S (if room permits) over their 4 red should draw a good picture of my hand. If partner doubles 4 red, I leave it."

3 ♠   60   BWP 7%  BWS 7%  IAC 15%
Now for the spades.  Kit Woolsey thinks "The club suit must be left on the shelf, as our most-likely game is four spades."  BluBayou is a half-full sort of guy:  "No safety-net;  pard will come through with the goods and the  K may not be trash"  And Chris Willenken thinks "The two-heart bid increase the chance of partner's holding four spades, so at matchpoints I'll play in the major and go low (but no supper-low).  Two spades seems pointless because the opponents are so likely to compete to three diamonds.  I don't expect a lot of company for this unsophisticated value bid."
 




Problem E  3 !S  (Hoki, MarilynLi)

Matchpoints  Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ A J 10 8 6 5    —    6 4 3   ♣ K Q J 4

SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
——   ——   1    Pass
1 ♠   Pass   2    Pass
 ?         
What call do you make?

The moderator viewed this hand differently than I did.  "There is not a panelist among us who would not open the South hand in any position.  Yet, only three of 27 were willing to force to game when partner opened/  We have encountered several similar problems recently, with the panel consistently voting for a conservative approach."  While, for me, when staring at a misfit, it is best to either bail early, to not compound the up and coming disaster, or to show your flexibility by offering another place to play.  The question becomes, which way do you go.

The Panel reverted to spades.  Eighty-eight percent were split evenly between the invitational jump and the non-forcing simple rebid.

2 ♠   90   BWP 44%  BWS 38%  IAC 15%
Let's start with the group that initially saw promise, and now want to avoid disaster.  Jeff Rubens appears to have even considered passing:  "Rates to play at least as well as two hearts on average, and game in spades is a mild possibility."  Ditto for Billy Eisenberg, who writes "Too much hand to pass."  Masse24 decides to "Go low. Some will bid 3 !C to force game and elicit more information from partner. It is, after all, a hand we would all open in first seat."  Similarly, Michael Becker says "A hand that I would have opened became worse when partner opened one heart and even again when he rebid two hearts.  If North has wasted strength in hearts and short spades, we will usually have no play for game."  Drawing on the value of going plus, Pepsi says "In matchpoints, I like plus scores, so I much prefer to underbid in uncertain situations."  And Carl Hudecek is "Downgrading because of the heart void."

3 ♠   100   BWP 44%  BWS 23%  IAC 15%
Kit Woolsey goes for the invitational bid, remarking that it is "The value bid, and we probably belong in spades."  Similarly, Jeff Meckstroth writes "The hand is too strong for anything else."  While Hoki simply states "... it’s where my hand lives and if it’s a misfit this is high enough"  And Michael Lawrence thinks it is "The least-confusing bid I can offer.  For once, there are good spade spots - this problem usually comes with the likes of king-jack-eight-seven-four-three of spades.  I'll miss some games, even a slam if partner has clubs, but three clubs comes with warts."

3 ♣   70   BWP 11%  BWS 38%  IAC 69%
The optimists are still seeing an opening hand opposite an opening hand.  JCreech feels "I need to make a forcing bid, and what better than to show a concentration of values.  I think KQJx qualifies."  Aware of the warts, WackoJack still thinks the hand "Too strong to bid 2♠.  Try 3♣.  However, I dread 3♥ now."  Richard Colker thinks that "What the hand lacks in high cards it makes up in trick-taking potential.  Three clubs rates to function as a de facto transfer to three notrump; if we are doomed to go down, who better to play it than MHO (middle-hand opponent)?"  Phillip Alder  "... might settle for three spades, but only because it's matchpoints; even so, they pay a game bonus.  I will hope that partner's hand isn't (nearly) useless."  For the glass half-full group, BluBayou has the last word:  "apparent winners and the L.T.C. outvote the heart misfit.  Go for it!"

 


Problem F  4 NT  (MsPhola, CCR3, Peuco, Masse24, JCreech, MarilynLi, BabsG, YleeXotee)

Imps   Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ 8    A    Q J 10 2   ♣ A 10 8 6 5 3 2

SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
——   Pass   1    1 ♠
2 ♣*   4 ♠   Pass   Pass
 ?
*BWS: forcing to 2

What call do you make?

What are the inferences of this auction on you as the 2 !C bidder?  According to the moderator, "As two clubs created a force only to two hearts, North-South are under no duty to bid or to double.  The weaker that a free two clubs might be for a partnership, the less reason to have it create a high-level force.  What do we know about two clubs?  Only that South's hand is unsuitable for a preemptive three clubs; the line between a direct three clubs and two clubs intending to continue with a nonforcing three clubs can involve judgment or style ... If Nortth has enough strength to take further action but no clear direction, he must double to say so.  Think transferable values rather than penalty."

Double   80   BWP 33%  BWS 34%  IAC one solver
Since North-South are free to pass out 4 !S, North must pass unless holding significant extras; they are unable to make the claim that hand belongs to North-South.  Similarly, South must do something with the (near) maximum actually held.  One option is clearly a double, which caters to North actually holding a penalty double, but without the known partnership values to make the double.  Like Arthur Robinson, "I am anxious to see how the cerebral panel describes this hand."  Joey Silver thinks "A personal trip to the five-level would be too unilateral, not to mention too dangerous.  I am not sure if this double is pure penalty or shows two-way values, but I expect partner to figure it out (after all, he is a life master)."  Michael Becker also "Involves partner in the decision-making process.  East-West may make four spades or North may bid five hearts with seven, but the other scenarios - they go down or we make a minor-suit game - outweigh these worries."  Some do not expect a takeout.  Barry Rigal "will lead the heart ace and hope to beat it.  I don't expect partner to remove with a singleton spade, but it would be nice if he did."  Danny Kleinman says "I hate to double without a trump trick, but two-and-a-half honor tricks and no evidence of a fit add up to a double opposite partner's opening.  Partner might have a red two-suiter, but he might not, and it's too late to hunt for a diamond fit now."

4 NT   100   BWP 56%  BWS 26%  IAC 62%
Trusting that it is not too late are the four notrumpers.  Chris Willenken thinks "Double could score minus 590 when we mske five or six of a minor, opposite e.g., ♠ xx Qxxxx AKxx ♣ Kx.  Five clubs could be silly if partner has a singleton club."  JCreech says "I think this emphasizes the minors, and since I did not use a responsive double before, suggests that the clubs are at least 6."  Masse24 thinks it shows "Both minors, presumably showing primary clubs."  Harry Steiner believes that "Partner won't prefer diamonds with a tripleton.  We might not beat four spades doubled enough, if at all.  If we go minus, it could turn out to be a good save."  David Berkowitz argues that "The clubs are too shaky to rebid at the five-level.  Nothing to stop partner from having four or more diamonds."

5 ♣   70   BWP 11%  BWS 33%  IAC 31%
The length is what inspires some to rebid the clubs.  Hoki bids 5♣ because "... the suit disparity speaks against 4NT"  BluBayou thinks "If this has no play,  why didn't partner hit it (4 spades)?"  Similarly, Robert Wolff "Won't risk four notrump but could miss a big diamond fit.  However, since partner did not double four spades, I'll take my chances with clubs."  WackoJack "Lets assume that opps made a LAW bid of 4♠.  Then partner has a doubleton ♠.  Maybe 6♥ and say 3♦ and 2♣s.  I think that 5♣ looks better than double or 4NT."  The worst reason, in my book, was voiced by Sami Kehela:  "I refuse to eschew a potential seven-card trump suit twice in one month."


 
This concludes the second part of the review. I will get to the rest as I am able.  Thank you for your patience.
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

jcreech

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Re: Sept 2021 MSC
« Reply #39 on: August 25, 2021, 06:29:47 PM »
September MSC SUMMARY (Part 1)– Eric Kokish, Director

An overaggressive spam folder put me behind a week in getting this put together.  Thank you to Todd for following up; curses on him for not following up sooner - lol.

Problem A  4 !H  (BabsG, YleeXotee, BluBayou, MsPhola, CCR3, VeeRee, Masse24, JCreech, KenBerg, MarilynLi)

Imps  Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ A Q 10 2   ♥ A K Q J 3 2   ♦ 5 4 3   ♣ —
SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
1 ♥   Pass   1 ♠   Pass
4 ♣   Pass   4 ♦   Pass
 ?*         
*BWS: 4 ♥ = Last Train (shows heart control if South later raises the level uninvited)

What call do you make?

Amongst the Panel and among IAC, it was almost a foregone conclusion that this hand would end up in slam, the primary question was whether there would be an attempt to get to the grand, and if so, what was the best path to take.

4 ♥   100   Bridge World Panel (BWP) 41%  Bridge World Solver (BWS) 62%  Intermediate-Advanced Club (IAC) 77%
The normal message of 4 !H is that South is too good to give up on slam, but not willing or able to bid beyond game without cooperation from partner.  The hint, however, indicates that taking the last train and bidding again promises control of hearts, and this prompts most solvers into following this path.  JCreech says "I'm inclined to take the last train (and hint), and then follow-up with a club cue over 4 !S.  Partner has already said that the will is there, now we are exploring whether we are bidding 6 or 7."  Similarly, Masse24 "I want grand. If partner has the right hand, I can see a path via 4 !H. 5 !C at once to show the void could create later problems. Although I would like it to be EKCB in this auction, I do not believe that it is. The panel should clear this up for us. As mentioned elsewhere, I do not have the cue-bidding tools (via 5 !C now) to find the grand."  Likewise, BluBayou bids "4 Hearts  then show  void, then drive to slam even with no further co-operation "  The experts choosing 4 !H are largely intending to take another bid.  Janice Seamon Molson would "like five clubs to be Exclusion Blackwood.  Perhaps five clubs whould promise first-round heart control, but four hearts first should avoid any post-morten issues."  Bart Bramley thinks "Over a signoff, I will settle for a small slam, since king-fifth of spades and the diamond ace (what I need for a grand) is ruled out, and six should never be much worse than a finesse.  If North asks for key cards, I will sho the void and hope that partner knows what to do.  Over a five-levle bid, wemay face delicate guesses, but we rate to get them right."


6 ♣   100   BWP 19%  BWS  2%  IAC 0 solvers
Most of the panel that bid 6 !C felt certain that it was exclusion.  George Jacobs was particularly jubilant:  "after all these years of self-immolation (mis)using Exclusion Blackwood, the rarest of all treasures unfolds.  In my wildest dreams, I never imagines using Exclusion Blackwood at the six-level, but here it will be unambiguous.  All I need to know about are spade king and the diamonds ace, and he will tell me.  Oh joy!"  Some are less certain about the meaning of the bid, but are equally certain that partner will bid the grand with the right tickets.  Adrew Robson:  "Clearly worth a grand-slam try.  WIth King-fifth of spades and the diamond ace, North will bid seven, the ninth trump tipping the balance."  Kit Woolsey "Conveys my intent to drive to slam and shows the void.  If partner bids six diamonds, he will have the ace of diamonds and the king of spades."

6 ♠   90   BWP 1 Panelist BWS/IAC 0 solvers
Eric Kokish, the moderator, has "... a lot of resspect for this, especially because partnership trust is so important.  Six spades is not a gambling action; rather, it is sufficiently descriptive that North can be counted on to do the right thing when he holds the appropriate cards."  The sole vote, though, belongs to Danny Kleiman:  "Trusting partner to infer that king-fifth of spades and the ace of diamonds will justify bidding seven.  There are too many important features to hope to show them piecemeal."

5 ♣   80   BWP 22%  BWS 25%  IAC 15%
Personally, I think that unless 5 !C is Exclusion, it leaves too many questions unanswered for partner.  To me, Sami Kehela proivides the justification well with "In case he didn't hear me the first time."  WackoJack says "I don't believe the experts will treat BWS like a legal document.  I believe they will take it that if it looks like exclusion and could not be anything else but exclusion then it is exclusion. ...  can partner really have all useless points like  !S xxxx,  !Hxx,  !D QJx,  !CKxxx?  We would be really unlucky if he did.  So I vote for 5 !C exclusion.  If partner shows zero or 1 then we stop in 5 !S. If 2 then I bid 5NT and only bid the grand if partner shows the K !D."  More realistically, Richard Colker thinks "Difficult to find out everything needed for a grand, including whether four diamonds was based on the ace.  I'll show the void and hope that a later six hearts will show a source of tricks, letting partner focus on his trumps."  A bit torn, Hoki chooses "5♣, but can live with 4♥"

One bone of contention cleared up by the moderator is "In BWS, neither five clubs nor six clubs would be Exclusion Blackwood."  So Jack, and others are counting on a fortuitous coincidence

 

Problem B  2 NT (Peuco, JCreech, KenBerg, MarilynLi, BabsG, Wackojack, Hoki)

Imps  East-West vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ J 10 8   ♥ A K 9 5 3   ♦ A 10 5   ♣ A Q
SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
1 ♥   Pass   2 ♣*   Pass
 ?         
*BWS: game-force

What call do you make?

You have 18 HCPs and partner makes a game-forcing bid.  To me, this says we are going to explore slam (particularly since I am looking at first-round control in three suits), but first we need to decide strain.  You have a semi-balanced hand, which speaks to bidding NT, but the only cards to be led into, also happen to be partner's suit, so steering the contract into partner's hand could be very important.  And that is where the problem lies.

2 NT   100   BWP 48%  BWS 40%  IAC 53%
Giving up on getting partner to bid the NT, Phillip Alder bids "Two notrump.  Or two diamonds, but very often we won't know which side will be better to play from.  Four notrump next will show 18-19 HCP."  Similarly, Barry Rigal says "There are positional issue, but I plan to show 18-plus HCP any minute now (probably four notrump over three notrump).  Not two diamonds; the perfect is the enemy of the good." 
Peuco is also a fellow traveler: "i want to rebid 4NT over a 3NT bid by my pd. If after a 2H rebid he raises to 3H will he have 3 or 2 ? after the raise 4NT would be read as quantitative? i use the major rebid when i have a xx doubleton"  While
WackoJack says "For me 2NT tells the truth about the hand and 2♥ and 2♦ both tell porkies.  If we don’t bid 2NT what spade holding would partner have to (a) bid 2NT or (b) 2♠.  With ♠ Qxx or ♠Qx and balanced partner might avoid bidding no trumps unnecessarily.  With ♠Kx and balanced I assume partner will be bold and bid notrumps, but with this holding a no trump contract by South is just as good."  As Hoki says "... the problem comes next round"

2 ♥   80   BWP 22%  BWS 11%  IAC 1 solver
Working actively to right side this contract, BluBayou "I think I want to be dummy  for whatever we end up in (4NT, 6NT, 6C, ??? )  so  first guess is 2 Hearts now.  I can smell the spade lead through pard's doubleton ace as a good start for out opponents, so I really  would prefer  the spade attack[to come through my  JT8 up to pard's Ax(x)!"  Michael Lawrence is less descriptive, but agrees:  "Great potential, including a possible grand in clubs, hearts, or notrump.  Good time to listen.  Two notrump might wrongside the final contract."  And Phillippe Cronier adds, "We'll probably reach slam; if in notrump, it could be crucial to play from the North hand." 

3 ♣   70   BWP 11%  BWS 1%  IAC no solvers
If the slam is to be in clubs, how better to get there than to raise.  Joey Silver:  Unorthodox but sets upt the rest of the auction.  Partner won't insist on clubs without length, and if he rightsides three notrump, I will raise to four.  No continuation will cause a problem."  Carl Hudecek thinks the hand is "Too strong for two notrump.  The huge club honors must[i/] be shown early, allowing partner, with a long broken club suit better to judge the playing strength of his hand."

3 NT   60   BWP 7%  BWS 5% IAC no solvers
This is the value bid for the South hand's HCPs.  Jeff Meckstroth:  "Describes the strength and shape."  Danny Kleinman adds "Isn't this how Maurice Harrison +-Gray would bid playing with S.J. SImon using BWS?  If we can make a slam, we can still reach one.  Anything else risks painting a wrong picture."  The question is whether the hand revalues to more than 18 HCPs?

2 ♦   50   BWP 11%  BWS 40% IAC 38%
This was solver's second choice and their attempt to right-side the contract.  Dan Gerstman says it simply:  "Sure looks like a case where partner should play the notrump."  Masse24 argued "Conservation of space principle. 2NT with those nondescript spades is not a viable choice. Although 2 !H in BWS does not promise six, it does have the potential to waste a level. By staying below 2 !H, I allow partner to show delayed support at the two level, potentially saving an entire level of bidding."  And David Berkowitz: "Reject two notrump as wrongsided.  Wait to see what partner thinks."

 


Problem C  2 !H  (CCR3, Hoki, Masse24, MarilynLi, Wackojack)

Matchpoints  Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ K Q J 8 7   ♥ A K J 9 5   ♦ Q 9 2   ♣ —
SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
1 ♠   2 ♣   Pass   Pass
 ?         
What call do you make?

This hand has much greater potential playing strength than many with more HCPs.  Both long suits have three honors and at least one good spot card.  Essentially, with no fit, you could struggle to make two, but with a fit, you might easily make game, even if partner does not have much in the way of high cards.  Now factor in the possibility that partner could have a trap pass.  Is there any wonder that there are three distinct actions that were seriously considered.

Double   80   BWP 33%  BWS 33%  IAC 46%
Double is probably the most flexible call, since South has at least three-card support for all the unbids, but with a void, it also carries the most risk, so I think WackoJack is being a bit cavalier with his uncharacteristically short analysis:  "Obviously"  Sami Kehela expounds a bit more:  "I couldn't countenance partner's glare if I did otherwise."  JCreech was more cognizant of the risk:  "I think I'm a little too light to bid 3 !H (maybe one or two of the right HCPs), and 2 !H is not enough.  And while I am afraid of partner passing my double, it is not because I do not think the contract will go down, but that it won't go down enough.  Double seemed to me to be the least lie."  Michael Lawrence points out that "If partner passes, this is not automaticaally wrong. ... Not vulnerable East didn't raise, increasing the chance that partner has extra-strong clubs."  And Phillip Alder thinks about the time "Michel Perron made a void-based double in the 1992 World Team Olympiad and hit the jackpot."  Most of the doublers have a strategy similar to Pepsi:  "In this situation, if the hand is okay to double, I always double.  Over two diamonds, I will bid two hearts, over two spades, I will pass."  Finally, BluBayou "'Double" we can handle, IF there is more bidding. Might be a bottom if it goes "all pass" though.  IF not doubling, we must jump in hearts though, as  "2H" guarantees a trash opener in my book.  Hmmm."

2 ♥   100   BWP 48%  BWS 41%  IAC 38%
However, the plurality are not so quick to consider 2 !H a dumpster bid.  Hoki worries that "... double risks missing a 5-3 heart fit"  And while Masse24 "Hate(s) this. The hand is better than 2 !H, not good enough for 3 !H, and double with a void scares me."  He ultimately chose 2 !H as his bid.  Echos of his concern dot the Panel comments:  Billy Eisenberg:  "Unsuitable for a double, and in any case more descriptive to show five-five."  Chris Willenken: "Partner will pass a double quite liberally at matchpoints, so I fear an insufficient penalty or even a make."  Harry Steiner:  "The sages advise against doubling with a void when there is a sound alternative.  I'll underbid slightly to try to go plus; partner might act."

3 ♥   70   BWP 19%  BWS 24%  IAC 1 solver
If 2 !H is a slight underbid, what is 3 !H?  Obviously, a slight overbid, leaving no choice perfectly situated.  Richard Colker:  "Two clubs doubled could be our cash spot, but game is possible.  A double would risk a poor result after a penalty pass on a hand lacking a trump stack but with no attractive alternative.  Two hearts would be insufficiently progressive toward game."  George Jacobs:  "Not doubling without a club to lead through.  Partner could have three hearts or modest values with four; I am promising five hearts, but partner is welcome to try three notrump."  Joey Silver:  "Too much offense and not enough defense to double with a void.  Form of scoring notwithstanding, the hand is too strong no to bid three."
 

This is the end of the first part.  I will get to the rest as I am able.  Thank you for your patience and indulgence.
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

blubayou

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Re: Sept 2021 MSC
« Reply #40 on: August 26, 2021, 01:06:03 AM »
Kudos to the clever JCreech for composing on WordPerfect  or etc.  so we could reboot this thread without too much misery.  Now for the ranting over Problem F!:   I find it outrageous  that my North cannot throw in a warning double with stiff club or other defending orientation--just because his opener has no extras--  and so do a large minority of the panel.   IT IS WORTH an occasional minus 590 in rubber, matchpoints, IMPs, or 'chalk'  (?)  to help me to NOT BID ONWARD  with hands like this.  bobby wolff, myself  and several other BIDDERS do not buy this "transferrable values" baloney  either from north's set nor from souths when 4S passes around to us.   
   ONE hand out of 8  to get up on the soap-box doesnt make a good month for me --  but at least it is a Deusie!
often it is better to beg forgiveness, than ask permission

Masse24

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Re: Sept 2021 MSC
« Reply #41 on: August 26, 2021, 02:28:17 AM »
Thank you, Jim.
“Kindness is the only service that will stand the storm of life and not wash out. It will wear well and will be remembered long after the prism of politeness or the complexion of courtesy has faded away.” Abraham Lincoln