Author Topic: 2021 OCTOBER MSC  (Read 1222 times)

Masse24

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Re: MISSING OCTOBER 2021 MSC
« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2021, 09:14:10 PM »


PROBLEM H: !H 6. Passive. As likely to find partner as the other choices. The book lead from four small is second highest. I’m slightly worried that the size of this might be misconstrued as being from strength. Would the panel agree and go with a slightly contrary !H 9?




FINAL CHOICES:

PROBLEM A: 2 Diamonds
PROBLEM B: 2 Notrump
PROBLEM C: Double
PROBLEM D: 6 Diamonds
PROBLEM E: Double
PROBLEM F: 3 Hearts
PROBLEM G: 3 Clubs
PROBLEM H: Spade 6 -------- CRAP! I misclicked and did not double-check my selections before submitting. OUCH!

I forgot to mention last month how much I hate lead problems.  :o  :'(  ;) The irony is not lost on me . . .
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jcreech

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Re: 2021 OCTOBER MSC
« Reply #31 on: September 20, 2021, 08:52:29 PM »
October MSC SUMMARY (Part 1)– Kit Woolsey, Director

This month, the IAC solver comments may be a bit thin.  Although we only lost two or three sets of comments with the crash of the September and October forums, I think others were a bit reluctant to put out their comments only to see them disappear into oblivion.  Please contribute again, but you might want to be cautious as well.  Save the text in a separate file, so all you lose is the formatting.  When it is a huge formatting task like this one, you might copy the formatted text into that file before saving.  Let us not be afraid, but  also, let us not continually recreate because **it happens.

Problem A  2 !D  (Masse24, JCreech, KenBerg, BabsG, MarilynLi, YleeXotee, CCR3)

Matchpoints  Both sides vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ A 10 8 6 5 2    6 2    Q J 10 4   ♣ A

SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
  ——      ——       1        Pass
  1 ♠       Pass       2 ♣       Pass
   ?*         
*BWS: 2 ♦ game-force

What call do you make?

 
This first problem might be based on the story of the three bears.  We can overbid, underbid, or try to find the middle ground.  We have been here before, and it seems like the bar keeps shifting.  Last month, we held two better suits, but a void in partner's suit; the panel tied between inviting or going low.  The high score was given to the invitational bid based on strength of the spades (AJT865).  The strong choice was third.  Based on last month, I would expect the invitational bid to lose a few votes to the low ball, but let's see what actually happened.

3 ♠   60   Bridge World Panel (BWP) 11%   Bridge World Solvers (BWS) 15% Intermediate-Advanced Club solvers (IAC) 15%
The invitational bid did, indeed, lose votes.  Those still pushing the choice, recognize the pitfalls.  Phillip Alder is of two minds, "Courageous or foolhardy, depending on partner's hand, but less so than two spades."  Mark Cohen summarizes the hand nicely:  "Wrong on suit quality, right on strength.  I won't force to game at matchpoints, and other bids are too conservative."  Daniel Korbel:  "I know, the suit quality sucks for this.  But I just can't bring myself to bid only two spades, and I really hate two notrump."  Nonetheless, WackoJack is "Going out on a limb here but this bid is more descriptive than the lazy 3 !D 4th suit ask."

2 NT   60   BWP 11%   BWS 20% IAC 23%
Personally, I felt the hand was too distributional for 2NT, but this was an alternative approach to an invite.  BluBayou takes us on a trip through memory lane:  "Last month, on the INFAMOUS problem E,  there was a 6-4 hand of 11 points  BETTER organized than these eleven.  HALF the panel rebid a lousy 2 spades with it,  and the votes for 4th suit forcing got a very generous 70 with only 3 voters. There is an avalanche of 4SF bids, by us this month and that can only mean that several of us mean to weasel out of the 'game force' supposedly created.  I give kudos to Peuco  for thinking of 2NT which I didn't  think of on my own,  and that will be my vote."  Robert Wolff wants "...to give partner a chance to help choose a game contract (most likely notrump or spades, but possibly hearts).  I will live with his pass, which has a 20-percent  likelihood of producing the best contract.  The ten of diamonds was the deciding factor in picking notrump."  John Carruthers thinks the hand is "Not quite strong enough for two diamonds and too strong for two of a major.  I want to invite game but the spades are not strong enough for three spades, not the hearts for three hearts.  When one has eliminated the impossible, ..."  Eric Kokish says, "One of the main hopes is that North has another bid and that it might be three of a major."

2 ♠   80   BWP 30%   BWS 16% IAC 1 solver
So did the Panel take the low road?  No, but not for the want of trying from these Panelists.  John Diamond thinks "Staying low has many ways to win."  Jeff Rubens elaborates:  "Go low on potential misfits.  With diamonds that are likely to be worth tricks if there is an entry, spades rates to play as well as hearts.  Two spades is more encouraging for game chances than two hearts."  At matchpoints, these panelists prefer to protect their plus position, and reserve more aggressive moves to imps.  Fred Stewart "Can't bear to force to game at matchpoints.  The low spades represent tricks, so I'll shoot for the maximum plus in a partial.  At imps, I'd bid two diamonds."  Zack Grossack:  "At imps, I'd need at least to invite game; here, the scoring isn't as conducive to bidding aggressively to game."  Bart Bramley:  "Trying to go plus.  Any more-aggressive move jeopardizes that.  Two diamonds at imps." 

2    100   BWP 48%   BWS 47%  IAC 54%
The top score, then, went to the unexpectedly aggressive 2 !D; garnering just less than half of the BW voters (both Panel and Solvers), and pushing above 50% among the IAC.  Brian Glubok considers this bid to be "Practically mandatory.  Then raise two notrump or move towards game in a major, probably four spades unless partner indicates extra heart length."  Masse24 thinks this is "The only way to explore game intelligently, so the overbid is justified."  Nik Demirev thinks "If we belong in  a partial, it will be hard to guess the right one.  It is more important to find the right strain, even at a higher level."  Carl Hudecek is "Following the probably-obsolete theory that an opening bid opposite an opening bid will produce game.  I will leave room for exploration."  Danny Kleiman thinks "This problem can serve as a commercial for the style in which responder's low-level fourth-suit rebid forces for only one round.  Too many experts abandoned it, not for technical reasons but for ease of use by clients."  And the last word goes to Zia:  "I reserve the right sneakily to pass in a forcing auction later.  In my style, partner normally would continue with two spades on a doubleton unless holding the likes of ace-queen-doubleton in the unbid suit."  KenBerg says "I think there are more ways for this to go right than to go wrong."  While JCreech goes with the least-lie theory:  "Feels like it is too much for matchpoints and a misfit, but 3 !S leaves no room to explore, 2 !H is too wimpy, 3 !H misstates the fit, 2NT misstates the shape, so what else am I left with?"




Problem B  3 !H  (None)

Imps  Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ 6 5 2    A 7   Q 9 8 5 4   ♣ K Q 9

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

 
It is not often that the IAC is shut out the highest-scoring pick, but it happened this time. The choice, this time, was largely between multiple ways to invite, or to go low.  By-and-large, this hand came down to which flavor of invitation do you take.

2 NT   80   BWP 26%   BWS 39% IAC 53%
IAC chose 2NT.  This option is flawed by the fact that both North and South essentially deny length in the suit, and you, as South are staring at three small.  But then as Jeff Meckstroth likes to say - who needs a stopper to bid NT.  Or as Masse24 says, "Yuck!"  Fred Stewart comes right to the point:  "Right on values.  Two hearts would be far too little."  John Diamond agrees:  "Right on values and shape.  No spade stopper, but partner could be 4=5=1=3."  True, John, partner could have been stuck with a reverse-shaped hand, but without the values to make the bid.  Susan Panter also says "The right strength, and raising hearts would be inappropriate."  If I were to make the bid, Daniel Korbel's reasoning strikes me best:  "Don't want to lie about an extra card in hearts or clubs.  I hope for a spade stopper or wriggling out of notrump."  While Danny Kleiman gives the best reason to not go another route:  "Two spades would be worse, as partner would expect a fourth club."

2 ♠   70   BWP 15%   BWS 10% IAC 38%
Most of the rest of IAC went with the impossible 2 !SWackoJack asks interesting questions:  "Is this a better bid than 2N?  Does 2 !S promise a stop, partial guard, or is it an ask in spades because you could have bid 2N with a stop?  I will go for that as the least of evils."  While, as Danny points out, partner would expect a fourth club, is the impossible spade really that bad of a bid?  You clearly have a concentration of values in the suit; nearly half of your 11 HCPs are bound in your KQx.  And unless partner has a highly distributional hand, the partnership is likely headed toward NT.  Carl Hudecek says "A club short of the definition, but it's the best lie."  JCreech feels "The impossible 2 !S, even with only three clubs, feels like the right bid.  If I am lucky, I get partner to bid the NT, if not, I will do so my next turn."  David Berkowitz will continue, "Then three hearts, hoping partner will read it."  And Howard Weinstein regards the sequence as "reasonably descriptive."  But the moderator is clearly in the camp that thinks 2 !S will show five or more clubs, and that is an image that can never be erased from partner's brain until dummy comes down.
 
3 ♥   100   BWP 41%   BWS 12%  IAC None
The Panel's plurality went with 3 !HZia is the most explicit in identifying this as a least-lie bid:  "I like to use this to show honor-low in hearts and a club fit.  Even though it shows three hearts in BWS, I will still bid it."  Steve Robinson argues that "With most of my strength in partner's suits, I will support.  I'm a strong believer in using a direct invitational raise with good three-card support; in that context, an indirect three hearts suggests a weaker hand."  A pair of Dallas Aces make the same bid, but with much different perspectives about it.  Bobby Wolff describes it as "Awkward, but better than a too-wimpy two hearts."  While Billy Eisenberg thinks the bid as being "Most practical."

2    60   BWP 15%   BWS 24%  IAC None
Now for the "wimps" as Bobby put it (and not an IAC solver to be found).  Nik Demirev puts it best:  "Heavy, but it is hard to imagine a good game unless partner bids.  A spade lead against notrump will come out very quickly.  Facing ♠ xxx    KQJxx    A   ♣ Axxx, we deserve to lose 6 imps."  Similarly, Karen McCallum thinks she is "Underbidding slightly, but it doesn't seem dangerous.  It's worrisome that the opponents aren't bidding spades suggesting that North has the wrong hand for game.  Partner can bid again with a bit extra, which he'll need to make four hearts or five clubs.  Maybe."  Aslo showing spade concern, Mark Cohen writes, Nonvulnerable, I'll be conservative.  Two notrump is the value bid, but I fear that the spade six won't stand up on the third round."  As does Zack Grossack, who contradicts himself from Problem A:  Okay, so I'll go low at imps, too.  (Here, because of the three tiny spades.)  Tempted to bid two spades, as I have good fitting cards opposite partner's known lengths."


Problem C  Double  (MsPhola, Hoki, YleeXotee, Masse24)

Imps  Both sides vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ A 9 3    10 3    A K   ♣ K J 7 5 3 2

SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
  ——       2       Double    3
 ?         
What call do you make?

With the Panel, this was one of the most devisive problems I've seen posed.  The plurality was only 30%, while the fourth choice still had 19%; the votes were 8-7-6-5 for the first four choices. To me, the bid what you think you can make is what makes sense to me.  The next question is how many losers do you think are in the heart suit?

5 ♣   80   BWP 22%   BWS 41% IAC 54%
To some, there was concern about the hearts, and so they only bid to 5 !CBart Bramley says "I believe the opponents, so there's too great a chance that we're off the first two hearts.  Besides slam might be terrible even if partner has a heart control, e.g.: ♠ Kxxx    Ax    Jxxx   ♣ AQx.  The problem would be just as hard if East has passed."  JCreech did "... not feel comfortable with the double, noticed there was a lot of support for 5 !C as the choice, it made sense as the best description.  After all, I do have enough HCPs to jump and enough clubs that I can survive partner having less than ideal takeout shape.  With the right hand, maybe partner will take a shot at slam, but I am never going to know scientifically."  Similarly, Danny Kleiman exclaims:  "Thank heaven for the Lawyers of Total Tricks and the High Priests and Priestesses who preach, 'Always bid to the level of fit!' else I might read partner for a singleton heart and bid six, crediting him with the missing ace, king and queens in the other three suits."  KenBerg believes "It should make. Pard might, probably won't but he might, be bidding 6C."  And WackoJack says, "A responsive double is out for me as partner is likely to bid a number of  !D s and that gets you nowhere.  So I just bid what I think we can make if partner has a normal take-out double."

6 ♣   90   BWP 26%   BWS 3%  IAC None
The moderator says "While I have endorsed the philosophy that leaping to slam is always wrong, there doesn't seem to be any sensible way to handle this hand.  No club bid is forcing, so we can't set trumps.  Even if we could enlist partner's help, how would he know what to do?  The right 9-count, ♠ Kxxx   ♥ x   ♦ Qxxx   ♣ Axxx, makes slam great, while the wrong 17-count, ♠ KQJx    Qx    QJxx   ♣ AQx puts it down off the top."  Zia agrees:  "I see no way to invite slam in clubs.  Double then clubs would suggest diamonds.  Partner will never accept a slam invitation if (unlikely) he has a low doubleton heart - and they haven't led the suit yet."  Daniel Korbel thinks, "Too much hand not to take a chance on the heart situation, and I don't knw how to explore for seven."  Brian Glubok:  "A sound gamble.  If seven is cold, we will almost certainly languish at the six-level, but ..."  Sami Kehela adds that "Needs must when the devil drives."  And Jeff Rubens identifies it as a "High percentage guess."

4    70   BWP 19%   BWS 14%  IAC None
What about a cue-bid?  Mark Cohen tries "Four hearts.  Then clubs, probably six. as partner won't be able to cooperative missing all these controls.  Maybe six clubs directly?" Robert Wolff bids "Four hearts.  Then five clubs and let partner guess - an attempted cure-all, which we all know is dealing with the impossible."  Zack Grossack does the same adding that "Partner may not continue even with a stiff heart, but it's the best I can do."  While John Carruthers follows suit, but recognizes the pitfall:  "I'll pull four spades to five clubs and hope that North does not think I have diamonds as well and will bid again if he has a heart control in a hand too strong or too flexible for a spade overcall."  The two-suit interpretation is why Eric Kokish and Steve Robinson opted for 5 !C, and Karen McCallum bid 5 !C because she thought the cue and pull "... should suggest heart control."  These differences of opinion can cause a lot of trouble if partner's are not on the same page.

Double   100   BWP 30%   BWS 34%  IAC 31%
The moderator, Kit Woolsey, has clear disdain for the plurality choice, the flexible double.  When John Diamond doubled hoping to "... see if partner can bid three notrump."  Kit asks "Will you pass when there may be a laydown slam?"  When David Berkowitz said "Never know when partner will pass."  Kit replied, "If partner has something like ♠ KQxx   ♥ Ax   ♦ Jxx   ♣ Axxx, he probably will pass, and the penalty won't compensate for slam."  But these were cries in the wind.  Fred Stewart considers the call "Most practical.  If a club were a diamond, it would be perfect."  Susan Panter thinks it "A flexible approach.  Five clubs would be too unilateral."  Masse24 thinks it is "Too strong for 5 !C. So start off with double then (likely) introduce clubs later." 

The moderator concludes that "Careful slam exploration is usually better than bashing - provided that the information from the exploration will improved the chance of reaching the right contract.  However, sometimes the hand and auction are such that exploration won't help.  This is one of those times."


And this concludes the first part.  Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 as I get the time to pull them together.  Until then, enjoy what is offered.
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

blubayou

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Re: 2021 OCTOBER MSC
« Reply #32 on: September 21, 2021, 01:32:03 AM »
On revisiting these first three,  it is small wonder  there was less commenting than usual -- discounting the disappointment of the comment H-Bomb  of several weeks ago.    These three  simply set us up for the bridge gods to say "NO--That is WRONG"    no matter what we vote   --the exception being the contract-placing 5C on problem B  (earning an 80) .  And we all knew we were screwed, unless our forte'  is guessing the panel's mind when thy too, knew there was no right answer.
   One ray of sunshine so far  -- ZIA validated my hunch  that some panelists  would use the convenient fourth-suit-forcing-to-game  "2!D"  on problem A,  and THEN BAIL OUT BELOW GAME if the next round came up snake-eyes.   ...In the Bronze Age,  4thSGF when the bid was 2 of a minor was sharply debated,  -- and the Old Guard lost the battle --to my sorrow.  Problem A is their revenge, may they rest in peace.

« Last Edit: September 22, 2021, 01:34:21 AM by blubayou »
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jcreech

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Re: 2021 OCTOBER MSC
« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2021, 02:02:28 PM »
October MSC SUMMARY (Part 2)– Kit Woolsey, Director

Problem D  6 !D  (CCR3, WackoJack, YleeXotee, MarilynLi, JCreech, Masse24)

Matchpoints  Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ A    A 10 3    A K Q 6 5 4   ♣ 7 6 2

SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
  1        2 ♣       Double     4 ♣
   ?*         
*BWS: double = cooperative-takeout

What call do you make?

Deja vu?  One opponent bids at the two-level, partner doubles, and the other opponent raises - if this is all you know, then the two problems seem very much alike.  But there are substantial differences.  This time you have shown at least opening values, partner's double is a negative double not a takeout double, the opponent's two-level bid is a simple overcall, not a weak two, the responding opponent is preempting, not the first opponent to bid; in other words, there is not much similarity between the two deals, until you start reading the Panelist discussion.

One the previous problem, the moderator argued that there was no good way to explore sensibly the contract level, though the strain was essentially decided.  On this hand, the moderator points out that there are three suits still in play (you as South have shown one, and North has implied two), so "... we can't as confidently choose the strain."  He also points out that it takes very little from partner to make slam and the grand should not be ruled out when there may be sensible ways to obtain needed information.  Let's see what the Panelists have to say.

6    100   BWP 37%   BWS 31%  IAC 46%
Of course, the approach most distained by the moderator happens to be the plurality choice by both Panelists and solvers.  Robert Wolff is succinct:  "Slam-try;" the tried and true make the bid and try to make it.  For the second hand in a row, Jeff Rubens makes the bid and calls it a "High-percentage guess."  Personally, I think this comment is more accurate than when he made it on the previous problem.  Similarly, Billy Eisenberg calls it "A good risk."  Brian Glubok has the minimum worked out:  "Partner figures to have at most one club, at least three diamonds, and at least the equivalent of two major-suit kings in values."  While WackoJack brings the LAW into his considerations:  "If opps bid according to the LAW, then partner has a void in clubs.  I am not going to stake bidding the grand on this though.  Just a modest 6 !D."  Masse24's analysis is "Partner is short in clubs. I’m unsure how to find the information required to bid grand, so I’ll settle for this. It should have play opposite almost any of partner’s expected holdings."  The problem is, does partner have more; after all, North is still unlimited if holding 4-4 in the majors.  Fred Stewart has his finger on the other problem:  "Five diamonds would be too wimpy, and I can't figure out how to bring partner into the loop."  In sum, the bashers in this instance lack the imagination to bring partner to the party.  And include me among those without enough imagination as JCreech writes: "Again, no good choices.  I'd like to bid 3 !C, but the director would be called.  Partner has to have something for a two-level negative double, and the bidding has me convinced of club shortness too.  Maybe it is time to apply pressure."  And YleeXotee bids 6 !D, but with a caveat that he would bid differently at the table:  "MSC this, but I hope my pards would take my 4D as forcing, leaving us more room to check it out"

Double   80   BWP 26%   BWS 20% IAC 15%
If blasting isn't right, then surely double is the right way to start.  Let's check out some of the plans.  David Berkowitz:  "Double.  Shows a good hand, with five diamonds next (even over four hearts)."  Eric Kokish:  "Double.  Will convert four hearts or four spades to five diamonds without feeling that I've been too conservative." Susan Panter:  "Double.  If partner bids four hearts, then five notrump, saying 'pick a red-suit slam.'"  Howard Weinstein: "Double.  Then six diamonds immediately if I held the diamond jack.  (If partner has, say, six-five in the majors, he may be able to correct a delayed six diamonds, or he may bid seven with diamond support and a club void.)"  BluBayou:  "T/O double WILL NOT land us in a 4-3 heart fit, but I will have to drop 4H in game;  5D looses or ties that major game bid  but really stands a chance of catching a raise."  Bart Bramley:  "Double.  Why trust the bad guys to have at least nine clubs when I can trust partner not to pass with a singleton or void?  If partner surprises me with a five-level bid, I can bid six diamonds or contemplate a grand (or a heart contract)."  Somehow, this feels like flailing.

5    60   BWP 7%   BWS 26% IAC 23%
A lot of solvers tried just bidding game.  KenBerg writes, "I think that the hand we have to worry about is partner holding five or six spades but without the strength to bid 2S over 2C. He shouldn't have many clubs, so hopefully he has some diamonds, so 5D should come in but I am far from confident of 12 tricks."  Mark Cohen thinks it is "A guess.  I'll take the most-likely plus score.  If partner has five hearts, I don't know how to find that fit intelligently."  Danny Kleinman is "Expecting a loser in a red suit and a club loser, but hoping partner will judge to bid slam if he has any pleasant surprises."  The moderator feels this "... is pretty pessimistic.  Partner needs as little as king-queen in a major and his expected singleton club to make slam pretty good."

5 ♣   70   BWP 19%   BWS 4% IAC 1 solver
So that leaves us with a cue-bid, the one bid that cannot be passed.  Rozanne and Bill Pollack argue that "Believing the opponents is a dangerous game, but can RHO really have only three clubs?  Over five of any suit, we'll bid six diamonds."  Sami Kehela bids "Five clubs.  Hoping that partner will appreciate that this shows fourth-round control."  Larry Robbins says "I will probably play in diamonds.  I don't want to reach a Moysian heart fit, and it is likely that partner has three diamonds (with at most one club).  If North bids five hearts, I will bid six hearts.  If partner's hearts are, say, king-jack-fifth, the finesse rates to win.  If North holds:  ♠ KQxxx    Qxxxx    xxx   ♣ --, rebidding diamonds would be best."  This is a hand where the moderator has clear opinions.  His is, that the cue-bid is correct with his own set of follow-ups.  "If partner bids five hearts, six of either red suit might be right.  South doesn't know North's shape or heart strength, but North does, so the correct continuation is five notrump.  Spades aren't in the picture, so partner will almost certainly do the right thing.  With a club void, he might try six clubs, and South can gamble seven.  Sometimes one can bring partner into the loop."



Problem E  Double  (BabsG, KenBerg, WackoJack, Masse24, JCreech, DickHy, MsPhola, CCR3, Peuco)

Matchpoints  East-West vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ A K 10 8    A K 5    A J 7 5 3   ♣ 5

SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
  ——      ——       ——       2 ♠
   ?*         
*BWS: lebensohl applies

What call do you make?

Holding this South hand at this vulnerability, my first thought would be to stand on the chair and double as loud as I could muster.  But with a calmer head in control how should this hand be described?   (And if you were voting in IAC, the second choice, 4 !D cue-bid, was deep in the scores with only one panelist and no published commentary - I guess the clue that it should be a poor choice was that Todd did not even consider it until I trotted it out as my pick.)

Pass   90   BWP 41%   BWS 21%  IAC None
One thought is to pass.  Some do not want to risk the sure plus.  Fred Stewart asks "Why risk two notrump when pass guarantees a plus that might be a huge plus if partner has anything to say?"  John Diamond, though is not counting on huge:  "Will work well unless partner is strong enough for us to make game but his hand is too weak for action."  Eric Kokish says "I hate to trap, but I dislike three notrump and double enough to risk it."  Billy Eisenberg is just "Happy on this vulnerability."

Double   100   BWP 48%   BWS 55%  IAC 69%
The shape is entirely wrong, but you do have a lot of points to justify a double, and that is where we find a plurality of the Panel and a majority of the solvers on this hand.  Our pessimist is Arthur Robinson:  "Double.  If I bid three notrump, it will go down when six diamonds makes."  Sami Kehela  finds it "Tempting to try to match our possible game bonus by collecting 100s, but what if we have a slam."  Masse24 thinks the hand "Too strong for 2NT. The difficult decision will come when partner bids 2NT."  Most, though, are not only anticipating Todd's decision point, but actually counting on the lebensohl response of 2NT.  KenBerg: "Yes, Leb applies. And so I suppose pard will bid 2NT so I think the answer has to include what I do after 2NT. X and then 3D over 2NT sounds right."  WackoJack:  "If partner next Lebs, I will eschew the 3 !C transfer and bid 3NT."  Phillip Alder:  "Then over partner's two notrump, three notrump."  Zach Grossack:  "A mood-dependent problem.  I might pass and go for blood, but two spades might pass out, so today I plan to bid three notrump over two notrump."  Karen McCallum is reasoning differently:  "Then three notrump, to suggest doubt, or at least interest in other strains.  Usually, the doubt is about the opponent's suit, so this is unlikely to work, but I don't see anything better.  Partner, with long hearts, will get excited about his hand."



Problem F  Double  (MsPhola)

Imps  North-South vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ K 3    A K J 6 4    —   ♣ A Q 6 5 4 2

SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
  ——      Pass      Pass      3
   ?         
What call do you make?

Partner is a passed hand,  RHO has preempted in your void, and you have a strong two-suited hand that is not easy to describe in this auction; what do you do?

3    60   BWP 7%   BWS 25% IAC 38%
The plurality of IAC solvers and a substantial percentage of BW solvers thought that overcalling 3 !H was the right action.  BluBayou thinks "High Rollers  that like the  cuebid-and-correct-spades-to-clubs route:  did we consider unusual 4NT as a clearer way? Or do I have the clarity thing backward?   Anyway I am going for a measly.... 3 Hearts"  John Diamond thought the bid was the "Most flexible."  More realistically, David Berkowitz made the bid, then begged "Please, somebody bid.  I don't care who."  The moderator agrees with David that "... three hearts will probably be okay if somebody - anybody - bids something.  But if the auction continues all pass, which will happen often, the contract could be terrible."

4 ♣   70   BWP 11%   BWS 15% IAC 23%
Also drawing support (more from the Panel, but less from the solvers) was 4 !CRobert Wolff calls it "A big underbid, but the other possibilities are worse."  Danny Kleinman wants to bid 4NT as a two-suit takeout, but sees too many flaws (partner might take as natural, partner's preference get us too high, and the spade king may need protecting) to bid.  Instead, "I'll trust West to raise diamonds, letting me bid hearts."  The moderator rates "This looks even scarier than three hearts.  Not only does it diminish the potential of the 10-trick game, it makes it much less likely that anyone will bid."  And Masse24 sounds scared as he writes (emphasis his) "I still don’t know what to do here. The heart suit is not long enough or strong enough to introduce it at the 4 level. Double could result in partner bidding 4 !S."

Double   100   BWP 41%   BWS 37% IAC 1 Solver
That pretty much leaves the takeout double.  With so much distribution, including a void in their suit and only Kx in one of the majors, doubling should cause some trepidation; either partner may pass for penalty or go leaping about in spades before you have a chance to show any of your 6-5, much less the 17 HCPs.  Fred Stewart says, "Hate doubling without spades, but all the other choices are worse."  Billy Eisenberg thinks "Only a four-spade advance will make me uncomfortable."  With a bit of deeper thought, Rozanne and Bill Pollack write:  "Lefty might bounce, and we want to describe the hand in one action. ... Double, planning to correct spades to clubs, seems okay, even at the six-level."  And similarly, Mark Cohen:  "Double.  The clubs over spades, cue-bid over hearts or clubs."  Best, though, are the following strategies.  Steve Robinson:  "Double followed by four hearts should show five hearts and another place to play, in this case clubs."  And Susan Panter:  "Too strong for three hearts.  A four-heart bid over partner's expected three spades will guarantee club support."  And with the moderator's blessing:  "Doubling a one-bid and following with a new-suit bid shows a strong hand of several possible types, but that luxury isn't available in the limited space over a preempt.  With a one-suiter, intervenor must bid the long suit at an appropriate level.  Thus, North won't play South for six hearts and will pull with a singleton (and sometimes with a doubleton).  He may bid four spades with five, forcing South to guess, but at least all suits will be in play."


This ends part two of three.  Kit Woolsey, as moderator, has had strong opinions in these hands, and they are very thoughtful, so I have given him a wider berth than I have with other moderators.  I hope you have found them to add interest.  One more segment to go when I have the time.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2021, 11:49:52 AM by jcreech »
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

jcreech

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Re: 2021 OCTOBER MSC
« Reply #34 on: September 24, 2021, 01:52:27 AM »
October MSC SUMMARY (Part 3)– Kit Woolsey, Director

Problem G  3 !C  (Peuco, MarilynLi. BabsG, Masse24, YleeXotee, BluBayou, MsPhola, CCR3)

Imps  Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ J 4    A K 3    8 6 3   ♣ A K Q 9 2

SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
  ——      ——       1 ♠       Pass
  2 ♣*     Pass      2        Pass
   ?         
*BWS: game-force

What call do you make?

The moderator regards this hand and auction as being very straightforward, and even creates a string of if/then logic statements to reach his conclusion.  I agree with the series of logical statements, but I feel that at the end, you are left with having to choose which lie to tell; that it is not so nearly clear cut.

For Kit Woolsey, the list is as follows:  "Do you have four-card heart support?  If so, bid three hearts.  Otherwise, do you have three-card spade support?  If so, bid two spades.  Otherwise, do you have an adequate diamond stopper?  If so, bid two notrump.  Otherwise, do you have six-plus clubs?  If so, bid three clubs.  Otherwise, bid three diamonds."

Personally, I revise the last condition to ask whether there is a partial diamond stopper; if so, bid three diamonds.  Otherwise, make the least-lie bid, and there are arguments for most of the possibilities.

2 ♠   70   11%   6%  None
Let's start with my own choice, 2 !S.  You did not raise directly, so you do not have four, but a raise at this point could have two or three.  Nik Demirev says that "A preference to two of a major on a doubleton should be standard - I've done this for 20 years."  I have too, but usually it is following a forcing NT, which carries its own warning about continuations.  John Diamond thinks that "If we end up not being able to avoid a five-two spade game when three notrump is superior, we should still be okay."  And Billy Eisenberg is still hopeful that "We may still reach hearts or notrump."  JCreech writes "We are in a game force - presumably, I have already shown clubs, maybe a false preference for spades is the right next move, then when I bid hearts, partner will know I am likely to be 2-3 in the majors and concerned about diamonds for NT.  But then again, maybe I should just bid the NT confidently like Meckstroth; who needs a stopper?"

3 ♣   100   41%   50%  62%
Similarly, 3 !C should show six or more clubs, but the quality of the suit may be a source of tricks and worth showing again.  At least, a plurality of the Panel and a majority of the solvers thought so; making 3 !C the top score.  BluBayou thinks "Three Clubs will catch the notrump call from partner as surely as an 'asking' 3 Diamonds.  There are no outright 'punts' after2/1 GF. "  Bart Bramley:  "Overstates the club length but allows easy continuations over most actions by partner.  Two spades or three hearts could lock us into the wrong strain.  Three diamonds is too high for a punt and it should be natural, unwilling to bid notrump."  Masse24 agrees "Although 3 !D here should be a punt, 3 !C better conveys the strength of my club suit."  Steve Robinson thinks it "Lacks the requirements for anything lower.  I would bid two notrump with three low diamonds only if the clubs were weak."  Carl Hudecek:  "Let's see if partner has a diamond stopper, or a five-card heart suit."  Danny Kleinman says that a "Lack of a sixth club doesn't bother me with a suit this strong.  Old fashioned bidders would need to bid three diamonds.  Ugh."  Howard Weinstein:  "Three diamonds seems to be the default call, but partner's three-notrump continuation might be on anything.  The clubs are strong enough for three clubs, over which three notrump will deliver a diamond stopper (else partner could grope with three diamonds)."  The one thing missing for the moderator is the jack:  "If South held the jack of clubs, I would agree that the suit looked like six. ... If slam is in the air, an unexpected club loser may be critical."

3    90   37%   33% 23%
So what does get the moderator's seal of approval?  If you read the beginning of this section, you already know.  WackoJack feels "'Tell me more partner'  looks right this time."  Fred Stewart says "Hate to gobble up so much room, but two notrump without a diamond stopper would be misguided; three diamonds merely denies a diamond stopper."  Larry Robbins describes the bid as "A common type of grope; any other bid would be unilateral.  Over three of a major, I will control-bid four clubs.  Over three notrump, I will raise to four."  Susan Panter:  "Lets partner show a sixth spade, a fifth heart, or a diamond stopper."  John Carruthers:  "Unsuitable for a call in any other strain."



Problem H  !H 6, 4 or 3  (BluBayou, MsPhola, YleeXotee, CCR3, Peuco, KenBerg, MarilynLi, WackoJack)

Imps  Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ 6 4    9 6 4 3    K Q 10 5   ♣ K Q 5

SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
  ——       1 ♠        Pass     1 NT*
  Pass      2         Pass      2 ♠
  Pass      2 NT      Pass     3 NT
  Pass      Pass      Pass
*semiforcing

What is your opening lead?

This is a potentially dangerous time to be on lead.  The auction included an invitation and acceptance, so declarer may not have an easy route to nine tricks.  If that is the case, then the opening lead may be decisive, one way or the other.

K, Q   80   BWP 26%   BWS 22% IAC 31%
The opening leader's longest and strongest suit could be right.  JCreech writes:  "Active or passive defense?  I choose active this time.  What is the opponent's response with two clubs and three diamonds?  I just hope that the jack is not in dummy, but if it is, they were going to finesse anyway."  Steve Robinson writes "Partner has four spades, so I want to make a relatively safe but aggressive lead.  A club might hit declarer's long suit, and a heart does not rate to accomplish anything.  Dummy might have only three diamonds."  Daniel Korbel thinks there is "No good reason not to lead what is a reasonably safe and may strike gold (or, if not best, provide a second chance)."  Bart Bramley say it "Will set up at least one trick, two or three on a good day.  Other leads are more speculative, both actively and passively."  Billy Eisenberg takes the tricky path by leading the queen, but still attacks with a high diamond:  "Nervous, but hopeful."

♣ K, Q   80   BWP 26%   BWS 21%  IAC None
Others view the similar strength, though not length, of the club suit as providing the right path.  Susan Panter views a high club as "Safer than a diamond into a likely four-card suit."  Karen McCallum thinks "LHO has real diamonds; attacking there will help declarer.  Rates to be no future in hearts ... I'm hoping East has a three-card club holding, and I'm trying to find partner's five-card suit."  Fred Stewart tries the "Club queen.  A heart might be right, but a club needs less from partner."

6, 4, 3   100   BWP 44%   BWS 46%  IAC 62%
The plurality choice of the Bridge World Panel and solvers, as well as the majority choice of IAC was a small heart.  BluBayou leads a heart and issues a "WARNING:  Dummy has a diamond SUIT, since his sequence shows the same strength tha just raising 1 Notrump to two would show."  KenBerg says "Whatever heart we have agreed to lead from such a holding."  Brian Glubok leads the "Heart four.  Club king could give away too much.  Diamond is very dangerous too.  There is a fair chance we can develop a length winner in hearts or even the nine as a fourth-round winner over declarer's lower spot."  Jeff Rubens plays the "Heart three.  Trying to induce declarer to put up dummy's honor from a doubleton."  David Berkowitz goes with the "Heart six.  Suits not splitting great for declarer, so not a heroic club lead."  Eric Kokish chooses the "Heart six.  The cards may well be laying poorly for declarer, so if we don't get too busy we may get everything that's coming to us.  A minor-suit lead could help declarer with a tempo or by blowing a key trick or three."  WackoJack "Tempted to lead K !D but decide to go passive"  Masse24 (before he misclicked on the !S 6) wants to be "Passive. As likely to find partner as the other choices. The book lead from four small is second highest. I’m slightly worried that the size of this might be misconstrued as being from strength. Would the panel agree and go with a slightly contrary !H 9?"  Danny Kleinman answers Todd's question about the "Heart six.  Staying passive against a tenetively-bid contract by leading second-highest from length and weakness."

The moderator concludes:  "It is important to understand how one part of a hand can suggest whether or not to make an aggressive lead in a different suit.  If South's clubs were ace-low-low, that would make a diamond lead more attractive - one could picture taking three diamonds, one club, and one spade if partner has the jack of diamonds; after a different lead, declarer could knock out the ace of clubs to make the contract.  If West's diamonds were ace-low-low-low, that would make the club lead more attractive, since one could picture declarer's having nine winners once the ace of diamonds was knocked out.  In contrast, with the actual South hand, the slow minor-suit values suggest a passive heart lead."


This is it for this month.  Please participate by commenting on your choices for next month.  Good luck for those who do participate.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2021, 01:26:04 PM by jcreech »
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran