Author Topic: 2021 NOVEMBER MSC  (Read 1448 times)

jcreech

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Re: 2021 NOVEMBER MSC
« Reply #45 on: October 02, 2021, 01:05:00 PM »
Todd,

If your bid means what you say it means, then I think it is brilliant.  If you had thrown that at me as my partner, I might very well have passed thinking you had 150 honors and then when I see your hand, say "OHHHH!!, that's what he meant.  I'll have to remember that."  But then that is why I don't bring undiscussed, esoteric bidding concepts up in the middle of an auction; I wait until afterward, and ask, how would you have taken ... Should we include it as part of our system?"   Nonetheless, it was a brave bid that did not come back to haunt you.  To which I respond - you were d**n lucky/congratulations.

BTW - Panelists can afford to be brave - most of their responses get into the magazine's article no matter how insane it might seem.  You, though, are struggling to hit the Honor Roll month after month; a zero can spoil a month faster than anything else can.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2021, 01:11:08 PM by jcreech »
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

yleexotee

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Re: 2021 NOVEMBER MSC
« Reply #46 on: October 05, 2021, 03:57:51 AM »
Ah yes, problem C. The bot and I both got 0 for our choice of 3NT. Ignoring that, and why should we not, I got 670 and the bot 620.  Let's call it out of 700.
I  joined you in that zero.  >:(

You know I'm going to score badly when there are multiple good 4m bids.

kenberg

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Re: 2021 NOVEMBER MSC
« Reply #47 on: October 05, 2021, 12:28:53 PM »
Ah yes, problem C. The bot and I both got 0 for our choice of 3NT. Ignoring that, and why should we not, I got 670 and the bot 620.  Let's call it out of 700.
I  joined you in that zero.  >:(

You know I'm going to score badly when there are multiple good 4m bids.

Always good to have company. Welcome traveler.
Ken

jcreech

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Re: 2021 NOVEMBER MSC
« Reply #48 on: October 10, 2021, 10:38:33 PM »
November MSC SUMMARY (Part 1)– Bart Bramley, Director

Problem A  2 NT (Masse24, JCreech, YleeXotee, CCR3, Peuco)

Imps  East-West vulnerable
You, South, hold:

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

SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
  ——      ——       1 ♣       Pass
  1 ♠      2        Double*   Pass
   ?         
*BWS: three spades

What call do you make?

There are three value bids, all with flaws.  You can choose to rebid spades, knowing it a Moysian fit, and downgrading your Q10-tight in hearts; in order to make game, the position you are taking indicates that partner will need to have enough strength to make one more try.  Is that unreasonable?  Not really, but you are also purposefully choosing a contract where you are taking the tap in the wrong hand; in a 4-3 fit, you want to be ruffing in the short hand, not the long one.  You can choose to raise partner's clubs.  Here, there is still the distinct possibility of hitting partner with only a three-card fit.  Is that likely?  I don't think so, because if partner is 3-4-3-3, they could have bid 1NT or passed (looking for a reopening double) instead of making the support double.  I think partner has a bit of shape, including at least a fourth club.  Again, you have downgraded a bit, counting on partner to make another move if game is in the cards.  The problem with both raises is that the range is still pretty wide and no way to help partner understand that your hand is closer to an invite than a simple compete.  The only pure invite is 2NT, but leaves you potentially wide-open in the opponent's suit - hearts.  The fourth option has a different flaw.  You can cue-bid, to ask for heart help, but then you overstate your values, and risk getting the partnership too high.

2 NT   100   Bridge world Panel (BWP) 39%   Bridge World solver (BWS) 27%  Intermdeiate-Advanced CLub solver (IAC) 42%
Providing a strong argument for 2 NT is JoAnna Stansby: "Two spades or three clubs would be a serious underbid.  If three notrump is our game, it needs to be played from my side."  Peuco says "... the only good invitation and Q10 is good for receiving a H lead.... except when it is bad"  Masse24 thinks 2NT is "The value bid. QT is a stopper if I squint a bit."  JCreech waffled more but also came around to the  invitational values:  "I just felt like 3 !C was not giving enough weight to the hand, so I will bid the full invitational 2NT and hope the !H QT helps if we end up in 3NT."  Roy Welland thinks it is "A little risky if the opponents can run hearts, but since there was no raise or redouble, I'll gamble on giving the best description."  BluBayou has similar concerns: "The worry that opp will run hearts on us , plus a setting trick or two-- has bothered me for 3 weeks.  But this is balanced by the possible ugliness of putting pard in three Clubs,  if he is indeed balanced.   With this excuse,  I do make the ONLY  inviting call  that exists-->"2NT".  Devil take the hindmost!"  And Eric Kokish and David Berkowitz both pointed to the lack of a heart raise as strengthening their decisions to bid 2NT.  Meanwhile, CCR3 treated the problem as a process of elimination: "I decided if I bid the spades the wrong hand is ruffing. I ruled out raising clubs because partner could have 3 clubs. Partner could have a heart card so:2nt."  And Joe Grue says "I;m too chicken to pass."

3 ♣   90   BWP 32%   BWS 51%  IAC 25%
For many, the argument for 3 !C is well-stated by Mark Feldman:  "Forward-going, not correctional.  With a weaker hand, one is compelled to rebid two spades."  One of my problems with the bid is, how does partner tell the difference?  Don Stack is "Tempted to take the low road with two spades, but we do have 11 HCP and we are playing imps, so I will make a game=try that can be passed."  Sami Kehela thinks this is "All I can do, since partner's range is indeterminate."  Phillip Alder points out that "If the heart queen is useless, this is what the hand is worth."  While Carl Hudecek is bidding defensively:  "At this vulnerability, I would not be surprised if East-West can make two hearts, so I'm not passing at imps."

2 ♠   80   BWP 29%   BWS 17%  IAC None
Pratap Rajadhyaksha states the rationale for 2 !S well:  "Going low with this 8.5-9 loser hand.  Three clubs may play better, but it's a level higher.  In this age of lighter opening bidsm it may not even be our deal despite the combined HCPs.  Partner will bid again with extra values."  Danny Kleinman takes CCR3's approach, but to a different conclusion:  "The clubs are too weak for three clubs, the hearts too short for two notrump, so the Moysian fit appears to be the least of evils.  As I view support doubles, they show three-card raises, not just three-card support, so I expect partner to have a hand that would have raised to two spades even without the two-heart overcall, not a flat hand with three-card support."  Finally, Justin Lall puts slightly different spin on 2 !S:  "I will go low nonvulnerable; if vulnerable, I would try two notrump.  Opening bids white against red are getting lighter these days, and there is a good chance that the red-against-white two-level has a good suit."

The moderator, Bart Bramley, feels that "Two notrump is unambiguously natural and invitational.  Two spades is unambiguously a signoff.  Three clubs means different things to different people."  The Panelists who bid 2 !S, obviously did not agree that the bid was a signoff, but they also recognized that partner would need extras to move again.  I think the same can be said for 3 !C; partner needs something extra to make another move.  Although the plurality says the hand is worth an invite, the majority says that it needs more than just the top of minimum bidding to bid on.



Problem B  4 !C  (Peuco, DickHy, BabsG)

Matchpoints  North-South vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ J 3    K Q 4    A 9 6 2   ♣ 10 6 4 3

SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
  ——       ——       1 ♠       Pass
  1 NT      Pass      3 ♣       Pass
   ?         
What call do you make?

So do ya feel lucky?  Either you make a move toward slam or you give up, or is there middle ground.  3NT is the give up call; it basically says your values are generally not working with partners, so let's see if we can make the nine-trick game.  So what are some of the other options?  3 !D is clearly forcing as a new suit, it can be considered a cue-bid in support of clubs, and does not bypass 3NT, but will partner take those inferences to heart?  In my more expert partnerships, we would because a new suit after a game-forcing bid showing a second suit tends to agree to the second suit, while a raise of the first suit below game is a stronger action in support for that suit.  Not everyone has those agreements, but after a forcing NT, it might be interpreted as showing a weak hand and a long suit.  Raises are not so clearly a forcing action.  3 !S, given the forcing NT, might be from weakness, particularly if early simple raise might be more constructive, but it might be temporizing.

3 NT   90   BWP 29%   BWS 55%  IAC 42%
3NT was a popular choice.  A majority of the BW solvers, a plurality of the IAC solvers, and nearly a third of the Panelists made this selection.  One bid reason is espoused by Billy Eisenberg:  "Can't afford to miss three notrump in matchpoints."  Don Stack is "Bidding what is right under my nose, stoppers in the red suits.  Could there be a better game or even slam? Certainly, but partner may make a further move with six-five or six-four."  Susan Panter agrees:  "Partner has made a strong bid, and I have stoppers in the other suits, so I will describe that and let partner determine where to go." Danny Kleinman thinks his "Strength is in the wrong places to seek a club slam."  Similarly, JCreech says "My values are in the wrong suits and I am square.  Bid the 3NT to discourage partner from pushing too high with a minimum jump shift."  Hoki bids "3NT, without a fit (3♣ might be a fragment) I'm not interested in slam, but if I had to make a second choice it would be 3♠, not 3♦"  Jeff Rubens feels there is "Not enough strength in partner's suits to suggest a high-level club contract." 

4 ♣   100   BWP 39%   BWS 12%  IAC 25%
The plurality for the Panelist's went to 4 !C. As Sartaj Hans put it so eloquently:  "Support with support.  Partner was aware of the scoring when he decided to introduce the suit."  The moderator took advantage of his bully pulpit to explain further:  "I have argued forever that after opener's jump-shift, responder should usually raise with four-card support, even without a high honor.  A corollary is that a jump-shift should be based on a real two-suiter."  Continuing the theme, Kit Woolsey says "I'm not going to let a little thing like matchpoint scoring talk me out of the correct call.  They still pay that slam bonus at matchpoints, even in a minor suit.  Partner knows the form of scoring."  Peuco "my computer program never supports the minor in this sequence and i am tired of losing slams"   Joanna Stansby feels that "Sailing past three notrump shows a positive hand.  Partner can offer four spades to play or make a slam move with real clubs."  Augie Boehm is also concerned that partner manufactured the jump-shift, but cooperates nonetheless:  "Very tough.  If partner is fabricating a jump-shift holding terrific spades, we'll find out right away.  Not a  bad hand for a club slam if it comes to that, especially if North has ace-low of hearts.  Three notrump seems like a sick matchpoint bid, although it could win."

3 ♠   80   BWP 25%   BWS 15%  IAC 1 solver
The moderator described 3 !S as "Hedging their bets:"  Roy Welland expresses this hedge perfectly:  "Not perfect, since I might have a good hand for clubs, but I'm unsure how much value to give my heart cards, so I'll wait a little and home for more info."  Masse24 tries the bid saying it is "Not necessarily promising a fit. I think 3 !D and 3NT will be the popular solver choices."  Mike Passell "... can't imagine any other bid."  Joe Grue "... almost always support partner with two-card support."  While David Berkowitz answers the naturally following question about clubs by saying "Clubs can come later.  It's against my religion to raise partner's second suit on four low."

3    60   BWP 7%   BWS 12%  IAC 25%
A significant portion of IAC tried 3 !D, but without comment.  One Panelist did weigh in.  Sami Kehela:  "Three diamonds.  Stalling for now.  (No Kokishian three spades for me.)"  Little did he know that Eric Kokish bid 4 !C, not 3 !S.



Problem C  3 !D  (MarilynLi)

Imps  Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ K 7    J 8 7 2    A 7 6 4   ♣ J 8 4

SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
  ——      ——       1 ♣       Pass
  1        Pass       1 ♠       Pass
  1 NT     Pass       3 ♣       Pass
   ?         
What call do you make?


The moderator describes this problem as "Partner's last call improved the hand dramatically, enough to put the partnership in the slam range.  Our problem is twofold:  First, how do we give partner the good news?  Second, how do we get partner to bid slam with the right hands, specifically, those with a heart control and sufficient coverage elsewhere?"

Although I agree, the hand has improved, I am less convinced of the power of partner's hand; after all, there was no immediate jump-shift to put me on notice.  The Panel clearly was with the moderator, as their majority cue-bid in diamonds, while the plurality of solvers made far less aggressive moves.  Perhaps, that is why I am still a solver!

3    100   BWP 57%   BWS 27%  IAC 1 solver
Let's start with the choice of the Panel.  Only one IAC solver joined them, but was not among those discussing her reason.  Mike Passell thinks "We could easily be cold for six clubs.  I plan to continue with four clubs over three notrump."  Steve Beatty says "Compared to Problem B, partner has promised less, but our HCPs are working much better, and at imps strain no longer matters.  This hand is marginally worth a slam-try, so I will raise clubs next.  This should warn partner about my lack of a heart control."  Pratap Rajadhyaksha is excited:  "Wow!  This hand just became gold.  I'll pull three notrump to four clubs (forcing) or  bid five clubs over anything else.  The hand is limited by the one-notrump bid, so if partner bids slam, it should be okay."  Barbara Haberman thinks "The perfect hand yields an easy club slam.  Bidding three notrump with jack-fourth opposite a singleton is no good.  Maybe a partner can decide what to do.  'Bridge is a partnership game.'"

3 NT   0   BWP None   BWS 33%  IAC 25%
The plurality choice of the BW solvers, and a large segment of the IAC solvers, was 3NT.  There were not Panelists making this selection, so we have none of their comments, but we do have have a few from IAC.  Hoki says "3NT, why not with a balanced minimum?"  And YleeXotee "wanted to pass, but that never scores well"  Well, Joe, this time they score the same.

4 ♣   90   BWP 14%   BWS 12%  IAC 42%
4 !C is the IAC plurality pick.  Kit Woolsey says the "First order of business is to set the trump suit."  CCR3 "We might have game in clubs but not enough strength to go directly. I'm afraid if we stayed in NT the opponents can defeat us with their run in hearts."  Pat doesn't seem to think of 4 !C as forcing; doesn't she understand the rule of the coyote?  Eric Kokish does:  "Forcing, as it is not desirable to invite an inviter.  One red suit or the other will too often be a problem in three notrump to keep that game in the picture.  With stronger diamonds, I could jump to four diamonds, which gives you an idea of how much I like this hand for clubs, thanks to that magnificent spade holding."  Roy Welland thinks that "We may need to sort out the heart-control situation, so since I'm not considering three notrump, this should ensure that we are able to avoid that possible accident (four clubs - four diamonds - four spades, denying a heart control)."  JCreech "... there was no immediate jump shift as there was in the previous problem.  I will raise, and if partner is interested in more, there will be a cue-bid."  DickHy says "I’m with Jock in his interpretation of BWS.  The idea that 4 !D is a control bid showing club support, as we didn’t support spades is cunning but will these MSC blighters who tend to ignore BWS when it suits them be as clever as Jock?  Where does that leave 3 !D?"

4    90   BWP 1 Panelist   BWS 2%  IAC 1 solver
Masse24 thinks "With a perfecto, we may have slam. This is how I tell partner my hearts are crap."  Although he did not identify it until later, Todd employed a Bluhmer.  The moderator explains:  "A Bluhmer is named after the late Lou Bluhm, is a bid suit in which partner is known to be short but which is not a viable strain, implying a perfect fitter with zero values in the bid suit and all working cards outside."  Three Panelists identified their bids as Bluhmers, but the moderator disagreed with two; the one he agreed with was Allen Graves:  "Four hearts.  A little light for this Bluhmer, but the scarcity is enticing."  Congratulations, Todd on selecting this bid (which probably would be passed by nearly all of IAC).

5 ♣   80   BWP 14%   BWS 19%  IAC 1 solver
Another form of give-up is 5 !C.  The moderator describes it as being "... more concerned about reaching the right game than a magical slam."  Peuco puts it well, "i do not think slam is on with this sequence so no waste of time"   Jeff Rubens says "Some minimum North hands make thjis better than a finesse, so inviting is not enough.  One red suit or the other will be a risk at three notrump; hard to evaluate the overall prospects."  Susan Panter thinks "Given the shaky heart holding, three notrump is too risky at imps."

4    70   BWP 1 Panelist   BWS 2  IAC 1 solver
The moderator identifies 4 !D as "... not a pure Bluhmer but should be understood correctly as a slam-try in clubs with the diamond ace."  The reason for this is that Phillip Alder selected the bid, writing "I believe partner can read this as a Bluhmer.  The hand is almost as good as it could be.  BluBayou has a more correct take on the bid: "THE RESEARCH THAT FAILED TO SOLVE PROBLEM B, ABOVE, HAS NOT BEEN IN VAIN! jumping to 4 diamonds is indeed 'a suit lower than opener's second suit"!  And the "agrees partner's 2nd suit" clause  is rendered impossible, as we bid 1NTover it last round,  so we MUST be loving clubs.  I choose to ignore the little detail that pard's 3rd-round jump to 3 Clubs  is not exactly a jump-shift."


This ends the first segment.  More to come as time permits.

P.S.  This is meant as an apology to Pat.  I mentioned above that she didn't understand the rule of the coyote, which is Joe saying you don't bid four of a minor to play.  I only made the reference to poke Joe a bit; how wrong can it be to make the bid Pat made if the result is a 90?  Joe's rule only applies to the extent that you allow it to affect your decisions.  Pat clearly makes good decisions and 4 of a minor is can be either forcing or non-forcing depending on the auction and on your agreements.  I am sorry if my comment was truly taken as criticism, but in Problem E, there are two Panelists that bid 4 of a minor, not intending the bid to be forcing, and I raise a similar point with them - and believe me when I say, they are highly unlikely to have ever heard of this rule.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2021, 01:08:31 AM by jcreech »
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

ccr3

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Re: 2021 NOVEMBER MSC
« Reply #49 on: October 13, 2021, 01:30:07 AM »
Thank you Jim. Apology accepted. And as always you cover the bidding, opinions and solutions well.
Good job.

jcreech

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Re: 2021 NOVEMBER MSC
« Reply #50 on: October 13, 2021, 03:38:56 AM »
Problem D  3 !D  (Msphola, CCR3, Peuco, BluBayou, YleeXotee, DickHy, MarilynLi, BabsG, KenBerg, JCreech)

Imps  Both sides vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ 5 4    A K Q J 7 5    Q J 9 6   ♣ A

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

What a wonderful hand and fit with partner.  Who would not want to start down the path to a slam?  The question is how do we show all of these features:  extra values, a solid suit, good four-card support for partner's 2/1 response, and a singleton ace. Where do you start?

3    100   BWP 43%   BWS 59%  IAC83%
The popular choice is support with support.  Nearly all of IAC, a solid majority of the BW solvers and a plurality of the Panel were on the same page.  Outside of IAC, no one was channeling Al Roth and his (in)famous "What's the problem.  BluBayou actually belts out the words: "the dreaded 'What's the Problem'"  While Peuco wants to avoid a jinx: "only out of respect for TBW i say almost non problem"  David Berkowitz points out the obvious:  "First rule of slam bidding: set trumps.  Our contract rates to be better rom partner's side.  Will bid six or seven diamonds depending on what partner shows in spades."  Similarly, JCreech "Let's show the support, then see if I can find out about a spade control later."  Barbara Haberman also wants to "Establish a fit so that when I ask for key cards, the king of diamonds will be included, even though we may end in hearts."  CCR3 did not seem as certain of slam as others:  "3D for now. Partner made a game force bid so I can take my time ... I'm raising the diamonds rather than showing 6 hearts. A diamond slam is possible"  Roy Welland had similar concerns:  "I hope to reach at least six diamonds, but in case we need to play in four hearts, I'll stay low for now."  Nonetheless, Allan Graves had a sensible plan built around the "Need to determine spade control and key cards.  Three diamonds - three notrump - four clubs should get the message across."  Before we move on, DickHy has a different concern in the auction: "BWS is not clear about whether 2 !D promises a 5c suit (as I’ve seen often on vugraph), but let’s agree diamonds now.  Excitement or deflation will be immediate, as partner will next show the state of his spades.  If partner bids 3 !S, my 4 !C gives him a chance to show second round spade control.  Alternatively, I think a 4 !D RKC bid here would leave space for a king ask, but not sure that BWS allows it."  And YleeXotee has his own unique problem:  "have to bid this to avoid 4 !C, but panels don't see it my way"

4    80   BWP 14%   BWS 4%  IAC None
Bidding 4 !D is one way to show immediate slam interest.  Danny Kleinman gets to the point:  "The most straight-forward way to flash the slam signal.  JoAnna Stansby argues that it "Sets trump, slammish, makes it easy to smoke out a spade control and then to ask for key cards.  Four clubs would be misdirected because partner may not want to cooperate when holding something like: ♠ Axx xx Axxxx ♣ KJx."  Justin Lall says "I want partner to control-bid spades so that I can ask for key cards for diamonds." 

4 ♣   80   BWP 14%   BWS 12%  IAC None
JoAnna's concerns about a club splinter are well-founded, particularly when the one is an ace.  Yet Billy Eisenberg bids it:  "Hard to imagine being off two spade tricks.  Let's look for the spade ace and diamond ace-king."  As does Zia:  "In real life, this depends on the opponents, partner, and the score (and my mood!).  Let's focus on spades.  If the experts weren't watching, I would admit that splintering or exclusion-asking in spades has its attractions, but that's not the type of bid expected from a senior citizen."

3 ♠   70   BWP 1 Panelist   BWS 0%  IAC None
Perhaps taking a hint from Zia, Kit Woolsey bids 3 !S, arguing that "The problem with four clubs is that it pinpoints a spade lead while not helping partner too much in the evaluation.  So I'll go the other way and pinpoint a club lead.  I plan to follow with a key-card-ask regardless."

3    60   BWP 14%   BWS 15%  IAC 17%
So far, no one has mentioned the solid hearts.  Ross Grabel thinks the "First priority is to show the solid heart suit.  Perhaps we can still find a way back to diamonds when partner holds the spade king."  Hoki agrees "3♥ to show a solid suit"  Meanwhile, Masse24 thinks the partnership is "Not necessarily playing this in hearts (though partner doesn’t know it yet). But this will force a spade control from partner . . . if he has one."  Robert Wolff says "We have an embarrassment of riches:  very good hand, very good fit, great controls, and a solid suit.  Letting partner know this is my idea of what comes first.  I hope North will bid three spades.  A big diamond raise would also do as well.  We are certainly thinking of a possible slam, including a grand, but that would be jumping the gun."  My problem is how will you ever convince partner you have diamonds with him if you are jumping around in your own suit.  The moderator describes all heart bids as "ostrich" bids.  "Yes, jump rebidding a solid major is normal, but this is not a normal situation.  Setting diamonds as trumps is the top priority for two reasons:  (1) To make the diamond king a key card and (2) To direct partner's attention to spade control as soon as possible."



Problem E  3 !H  (Hoki, BluBayou, BabsG, Masse24, JCreech, MarilynLi, Peuco)

Imps  Both sides vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ A   ♥ A Q 9 8 3    A 10 6 2   ♣ J 10 4

SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
  1 ♥       Pass      1 ♠        Pass
  2 ♦       Pass      3 ♦        Pass
   ?         
What call do you make?

 
This auction is so typical.  Three suits are introduced before you get agreement, and the darn suit is a minor.  No one has shown any extras, so is the auction dying here, or is there enough for another try.  with 15 HCPs, there is barely enough room to try for a 24/25 point vulnerable game at imps.  Is it worth the try?  And, if so, how do you make the try?

3 NT   90   BWP 36%   BWS 29%  IAC 33%
Some don't; they just bid the game.  YleeXotee "... wanted to pass but going for it"  Sartaj Hans says "From a practical point of view, no choice.  Cannot afford to miss a vulnerable game, so pass is out.  There is no sensible way to express doubt about club stoppers, as both three hearts and three spades would be natural."  Allan Graves chooses the bid because "I must bid; this seems least misdescriptive."  JoAnna Stansby concludes "Just do it."  Others a bit of self-talk to get to the same conclusion.  Justin Lall:  "Jack-ten-low is good enough; even opposite something like three low, three notrump will be right.  If partner has a doubleton club and the right honor structure, four hearts or five diamonds might be best, but there is no guarantee of reaching the right contract if I try three hearts.  My hearts are not that good; ace-queen-ten-nine-fifty would be much better for a five-two fit opposite, e.g., jack-low."  CCR3 dredges up recent history "Seems we had a hand like this recently. The winning bid was 3nt holding the J10x of the unbid suit. ... I'm still doubtful with 3nt with the two flaws." Although 3NT would have won the plurality vote many times, this time it tied for top with the Panel, but lost on the tie-break with the moderator.

3    100   BWP 36%   BWS 31%  IAC 58%
Receiving the top score was 3 !H, which keeps all three probable strains in play for the final contract.  Don Stack points out "A further move toward any of three games is indicated.  I hope partner will raise with king-low and an appropriate hand."  Augie Boehm says "Willing, if not overjoyed, to play in a five-two fit opposite a doubleton honor, and this leaves a path to notrump or diamonds."  Masse24's analysis is "Partner has more than a complete minimum, but less than GF values. It could be a simple obligatory raise of 8 or 9 HCP. This is due to the wide range of my 2 !D rebid which could be anywhere from 11 to about 17 or so. But partner could be just short of game values and have a limit raise. ... If only there was another call below 3NT to keep the auction alive. Hey . . . there is! 3 !H  It’s not forcing, so carries the danger of getting passed. But it keeps the auction alive in my grope for 3NT. And because I failed to jump-shift, partner knows my range is around 15-17."  while JCreech says "Right or wrong, I followed Todd's lead on this one."  Many just planned on partner bidding the 3NT.  David Berkowitz feels he "Must keep below three notrump."  Joe Grue says "I want to encourage partner to bid three notrump from that side."  Peuco "i can remember Blubayou`s comment in a past hand that p may have Ax in Cs"  And Hoki is "... absolutely stuck on this one, but I can't bring myself to bid 3NT with no sure club stopper"  While BluBayou is off on his own vision quest:  "True extras, but barely.  I hope they will consider this is a pretty-good heart suit, because."

4    70   BWP 14%   BWS 13%  IAC 1 solver
Panelists are not in agreement on whether 4 !D is forcing.  Kit Woolsey feels the hand is "Too strong no to drive to game.  Partner can try four hearts with king-low."  While others are content to risk violation of the rule of the coyote.  Susan Panter:  "Three notrump would be too risky.  This gives partner an opportunity to bid four hearts if appropriate."  Carl Hudecek:  "With partner not bidding two notrump earlier, we probably have a couple of club losers to go with issues in the red suits.  I do have only 15 HCP, so not jumping to five diamonds is not an impeachable offense."


Problem F  2 !H  (KenBerg, BluBayou)

Imps  Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ 3 2    A J 2    6 4 3   ♣ K J 10 6 3

SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
  ——       1        1          1 ♠
   ?*         
*BWS: double = clubs with heart tolerance

What call do you make?

Hints used to be something you generally stayed clear of; result traps that seemed to catch solvers, but largely sidestepped by the Panelists.  Either the hints have become more useful, or more dangerous.  Sometimes they lead to wonderful results; other times you might get stuck with a thorn as you follow the primrose lane.  This time, followers were stuck a bit, but not so much that you could not recover elsewhere in the eight problems.

The clue clearly indicates that you can show tolerance for partner's suit while also showing clubs.  The question becomes, how many trump qualify for a tolerance?  I thought it could show three if I raised partner at my next opportunity.  The Panel clearly felt that it showed fewer, and for them it was a question of making a heavy raise, or a light invitation.

2    100   BWP 43%   BWS 55%  IAC 17%
BluBayou describes the IAC voting well, as he focuses on the winning call:  "We have votes for Snapdragon double,  showing the clubs but not the hearts... for        Fit-jump, showing both suits but not the distribution.   With all this falling in love,  I expect someone will vote for the Cue-advance!  but I am here keeping the home-fires burning  with a boring single raise"  For the Panel, AJx is a fit, not tolerance.  Carl Hudecek:  "I have more than tolerance for hearts, so I raise - but only to two, since I dislike the spade holding."  Danny Kleinman:  "Ace-jack-deuce is better than tolerance, so I'll show support.  I'll show clubs over an opponent's two spades."  Susan Panter:  "Why complicate the bidding with goo support?  The hand is not quite strong enough  for an invitational raise."

2    90   BWP 32%   BWS 15%  IAC 17%
An invitational raise is also popular, just not as much as the simple raise.  For Joe Grue,  "6-9 us a big range to raise only to two hearts.  I wanna let partner know that I have a better raise."  Hoki thinks it is "... a 'normal' (haha - nothing's normal in these problems) limit raise"  Justin Lall says "This is more than heart tolerance; it is a fit.  I will take the higher road, as I don't force to the three-level and I like the good trumps and source of tricks."  Zia "Would like to show both features (clubs and hearts), but this good raise is a priority."  Sartaj Hans returns to an earlier theme:  "Support with support.  The auction can develop in many ways, and supporting partner is the first logical step.  The integrated honor location and a low doubleton more than make up for the lack of high cards for a cue-bid."

Double   70   BWP 14%   BWS 23%  IAC 58%
Most of IAC, though, took the bait.  And no one took the bait faster than I (JCreech) did:  "I can show both places my hand lives in a single bid.  I choose the HINT!  If there is any way we can bid a makeable heart game, it is by telling partner that I have clubs and a fit."  David Berkowitz claims that "No matter how many clubs partner vids, I will bid hearts.  This will provide North a chance to evaluate the fit."  DickHy think it "Looks as if West is going to bid 2 !S anyway, so a bid which describes my hand accurately looks best.  2 !H would cover all manner of hands.  The double gives a better picture."  Ross Grabel is somewhat convinced:  "I will have a chance to support hearts later (I hope) while showing clubs along the way.  Slightly too strong for two hearts."  Jeff Rubens' "... biggest concern is making sure that we don't miss out on a big double fit (so we won't stop bidding too soon)."  Perhaps the hint blinded many in IAC.  Masse24 felt "The helpful hint will make this a popular choice." While YleeXotee goes against his better instincts because it "... never pays not to take the hint that BWS gives us"  And CCR3 said "I like the BWS coaching..........."


This ends the second segment.  I will get to the last segment when time permits.  Until then, I hope you enjoy and find a few takeaways.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2021, 12:26:04 PM by jcreech »
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

jcreech

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Re: 2021 NOVEMBER MSC
« Reply #51 on: October 14, 2021, 12:14:07 PM »
November MSC SUMMARY (Part 3)– Bart Bramley, Director

Problem G  4 !C  (DickHy, KenBerg, BabsG, MarilynLi, MsPhola)

Matchpoints  Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ A 10 9 8 3    A K 7 4 2    6   ♣ 4 3

SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
  ——       1 ♣      Pass      3 ♣*
   ?         
*preemptive

What call do you make?

 
I think the point of this problem is that preempts work; they create problems for the opponents.  In this instance, you have a good, albeit not overly strong two-suited hand, and a partner who failed to bid over 1 !C.  So do you count on a passed hand to reopen, bid one of your suits or double (which gives the partnership a chance to get out at the three level) or cue-bid (which focuses on two suits, but forces the four level).

4 ♣   100   BWP 57%   BWS 48%  IAC 42%
The Panel was clearly populated with optimists; more than half cue-bid, as did a plurality of solvers (both BWS and IAC).  DickHy has a clear vision:  "Non-vulnerable East can have tram-tickets.  Encouragingly, partner did not overcall 1 !D (he still might have 5 of them but his points there are weak) or 2 !D.  So perhaps he has 5 or 6 cards in the major suits.  If I don’t show 55 major holdings, the Great Dealer will decide they are wasted on me."  The Panel is more mixed.  Zia says that "I used to be scared to do this without the values, but years have taught me that this is the winning move, and I have accepted the impurity of the action jwith my usual reluctance."  Augie Boehm is "Sacrificing level accuracy for strain.  The opponents won't always nail us - they don't know all their minor-suit winners are cashing."  Ross Grabel thinks that "While there is a chance of getting too high, I shoot to reach the best strain."  Allan Graves wants to "Find the better major and leave the last guess to the other side."  While Carl Hudecek may have been the least confident:  "If I show my distribution, must I later show my face or just my hand?"

Double   90   BWP 32%   BWS 30%  IAC 42%
A very strong second choice was double.  Mike Passell said "Scary, but partner didn't bid over one club.  I will gamble to reach the right major.  Four clubs seems too extreme."  Similarly, CCR3 "I think action is needed but I don't think the hand is strong enough to bid 4C. ... I have both majors. Hope partner names his best major."  Danny Kleinman thinks "The hand is not strong enough to force to game, but takeout doubles of weak jump-raises in a minor should be treated as majors."  JCreech is "... gonna double and hope that partner will bend over backwards to bid any reasonable major, and only bid diamonds if he forgot to overcall at the first opportunity."  Masse24 feels the hand is "Not enough for 4 !C. Too much to pass. Looks like the versatile double will have step in again. Partner will strain to bid a major."  Mark Feldman:  "One can't wait for classic shape in this situation.  Partner didn't bid over one club and is aware of the pressure I face, so he should not be leaping in diamonds."  Peuco: "i am a follower of Meckstroth: with good shape bid a lot, with poor stay out"  Don Stack points out the "Partner is not likely to jump to five diamonds afteer the pass of one club.  If North bids three diamonds, I will bid three hearts and hope that he knows that spades are in play."  And YleeXotee wonders "but then when p bids 3h or 3s, do I go on? I guess not"

3 /♠   60   NWP 2 Panelists   BWS 17%  IAC 1 solver
Jeff Rubens thinks "If partner has an unbalanced major-suit lengths, it will be better to play in hearts as the wrong suit than spades as the wrong suit (in case three of the wrong suit scores the same as four of the right suit or as four of the right suit doubled)."  Hoki, however, chooses to bid the suits in the ordinary order:  "3♠ (and 4 if it comes back to me); I fear the hand is not good enough to force to game via 4♣"


Problem H  !S A  (Hoki, CCR3, MsPhola, BluBayou, KenBerg, JCreech)

Matchpoints  Neither side vulnerable
You, South, hold:

♠ A 6 5 4 2    6    A Q 8 2   ♣ 7 5 4

SOUTH   WEST   NORTH   EAST
  ——      ——      ——       1
  1 ♠        2        2 ♠        4
  Pass      Pass     Pass
What is your opening lead?

The moderator describes the problem as "Another classic dilemma: Active or passive, with multiple possibilities for each."

♣ 4, 5, 7   90   BWP 39%   BWS 28%  IAC 25%
The passive lead of choice was a club spot.  JoAnna Stansby "Club four.  I don't see any need to attack."  Joe Grue "Club four.  I don't like leading stiff trumps.  That's my second choice."  Kit Woolsey "Club four.  There is nothing in the auction that indicates that a cashout is necessary, so I'll go for the most-passive lead."  Masse24 "!C 4. I hate lead problems!"  Barbara Haberman "Club seven.  To establish a club trick (or tricks, if the king of diamonds is wrong) before my ace and queen of diamonds are knocked out."  Augie Boehm "Club seven.  Worth misrepresenting the count to divert partner's attention from clubs to diamonds."  Zia "Club five.  Don't like the fast approach, except in romance."  YleeXotee "Club 5 (submitted this and forgot to check if there are MUD leads, so this is probably a screw up)"  By-the-way, BWS leads are third and low, so MUD is incorrect, but the moderator scored all of the spot leads the same.

♠ A   100   BWP 39%   BWS 57%  IAC 50%
The active leaders concentrated on the spade suit, with most selecting the ace.  Robert Wolff thinks that "Anything else would be an attempt to be brilliant with nowhere near enough evidence to do so."  Similarly, BluBayou feels "I need something juicy to work with  when trying a 'genius lead' and that hasn't happened!   SPADE ACE,  then see what passive thing is needed next,  or if some hail-mary  now seems called for."  Mike Passell points out that its "Matchpoins at its finest.  Last time I led a club, they made six."  JCreech considers it to be "Perhaps the least bad of many bad options.  I am not starting a diamond, I don't want to pickle anything partner has in the rounds.  At least partner has show spades, as have I, and since I don't have anything in the suit to protect, maybe it won't be bad, plus it gives me a chance to switch based on dummy and possibly partner's signal."  CCR3 "... decided to go with the S A because leading a club can finesse partner and gives the declarer a chance to pitch on a long dummy suit."  And Hoki considers the "♠A, (the) only easy problem in the set?"

♠ 2, 4, 5, 6   70   BWP 18%   BWS 9%  IAC 25%
None of the spot-card spades scored as well as the ace.  DickHy says "I’m with Jim – all other leads are going to kill partner or diamonds - so a spade it is.  Partner didn’t have a chance to cue, so I don’t know how good his hand is, just that he has three spades.  He might have the king, in which case the spade Ace will work.   But hold on ... a little voice has just whispered 'suit preference lead.'  Some months ago this came up in the MSC; underleading the ace in suit you have bid and partner has supported hoping that partner holds the king.  There, if memory serves, a suit preference card asked for a lead back into a heart AQx tenace.   How about I lead the spade 6? Of course if spades are 4-1 and partner does not have the spade king this might be expensive, but partner will still know to lead a diamond when he is in."  Danny Kleiman agrees:  "Spade six.  Alarm Clock with suit-preference.  Matchpoints, Shmatchpoints, I still want to beat contracts. Or is it Matchpoints, Matchshmoints, Marty?"  Roy Welland also leads the "Spade six.  Hope partner has a top honor and can read my suit-preference signal."  Allan Graves tries the "Spade four.  A good time for this kind of risk, as a diamond switch may be a knockout."  Justin Lall leads the deuce and counts on partner to read his mind:  "Hoping to put partner in for aa diamond through.  Other good things might happen, e.g., east is five-five in the rounds and we need to tap.  This lead can work very stupidly, but so could any lead." How Justin expected partner to read the deuce for a diamond back is beyond me unless he expects the dummy to be clearly calling for a diamond.   Peuco makes the same lead, but fewer expectations:  "S 2 maybe the S K is in dummy or in pd"

That's all for this month.  Good luck on next month's problem set.  And please give us an idea why you made your choices, whether preliminary or final.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2021, 12:28:51 PM by jcreech »
A stairway to nowhere is better than no stairway at all.  -Kehlog Albran

Masse24

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Re: 2021 NOVEMBER MSC
« Reply #52 on: October 14, 2021, 04:04:59 PM »
Thanks, 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