Archive for June, 2009

What went wrong here?

NORTH

s82
h1QJ9
d1A8743
c732

WEST

sAKQ10654
h175
d11096
cK

EAST

sJ73
h1 K86
d1J52
cQJ109

SOUTH

s9
h1A10432
d1KQ
cA8654

At both tables the auction began 1H by South, 4S by West. At our table this was passed out. At the other table, Reynolds doubled and Appleton bid 5H. This was doubled for -300, while we also went 2 down in 4S. Minus 9 IMPs.

Unlucky. Isn’t a takeout double on the South hand routine? And passing that on the North hand would be taking a doubledummy action. wouldn’t it? If anybody doesn’t have their bid it is West, and NS can’t be crimed for that. Still, if that’s what I think, I guess that means you all think something else! Opinions please.

Advertisements

June 30, 2009 at 12:21 pm 18 comments

Is GIB cheating?

While I was eating lunch today I intended to read an old article about four vs five card majors. To my surprise the old magazine – a 1999 IPBM – opened up at, ahem, something I’d written and completely forgotten about. It seemed so relevant to a lively debate we had a couple of months ago here that I thought it was worth reprinting. It goes like this….

Whenever a North American wishes to charge the Italian Blue Team with cheating this hand looms:

NORTH

sA107532
h1K4
d1KQ
cK43

WEST

sQ9
h1Q10875
d1J9542
c10

EAST

sJ84
h19
d1A10763
cA986

SOUTH

sK6
h1AJ632
d18
c QJ752

As many will recall, It was East on lead both times to 4S. Kaplan led the pedestrian heart, dummy having 2-over-1ed in that suit. Pabis-Ticci began with the ace of clubs. Why?

According to John Swanson, the latest American to come out with his suspicions regarding the Blue Team, pabis-Ticci was asked later ‘why this lead?’ He answered that it was because ‘Arthur Robinson had led the CA to defeat a partscore in an earlier session and he thought it would be nice to ‘hoist him by his own petard’. There you have it. The logic by which an eight times world champion resolves difficult lead decision.’

Swanson doesn’t like the logic. To him it is sufficient to assume that something nefarious is going on. I like Pabis-Ticci’s answer. It shows stle. It is as good a way as any to solve a dilemma. And it has the nice psychological advantage – if it works – of being , as happened in practice, extremely irritating to the opposition. Not, in any case, that his answer need be true…Is Pabis-Ticci supposed to give bridge lessons to his opposition?

Here the point is that Tim Bourke, noted Australian analyst, decided to give the lead problem to GIB. And, guess what? It chose the ace of clubs. Does that mean GIB is cheating?! Later Tim gave the problem to GIB a couple more times and it led (1) a heart and (2) a diamond. Does this mean GIB is random? Or that it is a difficult lead problem?

Finally Tim did a simulation of 120 hands where East is on lead to the auction at Pabis-Ticci’s table. His conclusions were:

(1) Major suit leads were unsuccessful.
(2) The ace of clubs and the ace of diamonds each worked seven times.
(3) There were three hands where either would work.

By the way, after Swanson’s autobiography, aka an anti-Italian diatribe, came out, I wrote an article which I submitted to Bridge World pointing out not only the absurdity of the logic of some of Swanson’s claims, such as on this hand – really, the idea that the Italians should have to teach the Americans how to play is preposterous – but also pointing out that once or twice he actually has his facts wrong. For example he gives an auction to a slam and then claims that the Italian opening lead to it was the result of cheating (what else?) whereas in fact the auction, if you look at the official record of the championship, was a different auction. The editor refused to publish the article. Unfortunately I no longer have it or I’d pop it up here as well.

June 28, 2009 at 12:52 pm 12 comments

Cayned by Cayne, the whole deal.

Sorry, everybody. I don’t know how regularly I’ll be updating here for the next month or so, but please keep checking!

The question posed in the last post was how to set about this 3NT:

NORTH

sQJ6
h1Q104
d1Q4
cQJ1075

WEST

sA72
h1K72
d1K1053
cA84

EAST

sK1085
h1 A963
d1J
cK962

SOUTH

s943
h1J85
d1A98762
c3

I won the club lead and the next when LHO split, spade to the ace, spade to the king, ducked a heart, LHO cleared clubs and now you need the DA onside, easy game. More or less anything works. I thought spades first might give you the possibility of not having to guess diamonds. Maybe that was wrong, I can see Ben’s point about leaving this suit to the opponents to start for you.

Yes, we really will have another hand tomorrow. Please come back!!!

June 26, 2009 at 9:28 am 2 comments

Cayned by Cayne

Good morning! Phil Markey and David Appleton, if you are reading this as soon as it’s posted, well, be grumpy morning risers by all means…you’ll have to pardon those of us who start the day happy.

We were indeed caned by Cayne on Sunday. But after 4 boards we were 18 up, courtesy of two game swings. This was the first.

Board 2
Dealer East
NS Vul

WEST

sA72
h1K72
d1K1053
cA84

EAST

sK1085
h1 A963
d1J
cK962

West….North….East….South
………………….1H…….Pass
2S…….Pass……3S……Pass
3NT

2S = 11-15 bal, less than 4 spades.
3S = bid 3NT.

Opening lead: Queen of clubs, RHO follows with the three. I won that in hand and couldn’t see anything better than a low club now and LHO split. Maybe you’d like to duck that? I didn’t, for better or for worse, so you are in dummy and what’s the plan now? RHO discards a diamond on the second club.

Maybe this isn’t the right sort of hand to give as a problem, but I don’t see much point giving experts hands that have answers….and if I can start the week with a bit of flattery, you all are experts reading this blog, aren’t you?

June 22, 2009 at 8:03 am 4 comments

One for Harry P. fans

I noticed this hand in an old article about the 2003 ANC.

Round 13 vs. WA: Board 12 2nd RR – Dealer W NS Vul
North: Simon Hinge
South: Cathy Chua
West: Henry Christie
East: Ron Cooper

NORTH

sAQ732
h16
d1A7642
c85

WEST

s85
h1J10987
d1105
cA1032

EAST

sK1094
h143
d1KQ83
c764

SOUTH

sJ6
h1 AKQ52
d1J9
cKQJ9

‘Sorry’, said Gold-Ebery when we came to score up this hand. They had let 3NT through when it should probably be defeated. No matter. At our table North opened 1S and rebid 3D, not aware that this was a high reverse. South bid to 6NT and East doubled. West led….

Has anybody out there tried to invoke ‘The Room of Requirement’? It will, apparently, be familiar to Harry Potter fans. It is a special room that you can only find when you are in really urgent need of something. For example, if you desperately needed to go to the toilet, you might come across a room filled with chamber pots. I needed a dummy. I thought hard about dummies. I closed my eyes. And lo, I entered a room full of baby pacifiers.

I have no intention of a blow-by-blow account of this hand. Suffice to say Henry got thrown in at the end to give me my ninth trick. -800. Could the curse of evil Lord Voldemort be happening again? I don’t have much idea of what happened in the rest of the match. I recall Ron looking more cheerful than I would have liked, but that’s about it. Still, it scored up alright and with a round to go VIC was actually locked in. It would take many, many, many frivolous appeals to keep us out of the final now…

I haven’t actually ever read a Harry Potter book, so I have no idea where my research came from….

See you on Monday.

June 19, 2009 at 3:09 pm 3 comments

At the two level continued.

Yesterday we posed this:

2H….2NT….X….XX

2H is a weak 2
2NT is natural, around 15-18
X is penalty

The question is, what is redouble?

Looking at the responses now posted, I’m surprised at how many people knew they had specific definitions. I think my partnership would have inferred from general principles a meaning, and in fact this would have meant penalties.

This bidding problem was given to me by Ben Thompson, so I thought I’d let him tell the story of what happened….

Bill and I kind of accidentally co-ordinated on something sensible.

I had xxx xx xxxx K10xx. It was week 1 of the Board a Match, so just like pairs, and we were Red vs Green. I figured if we were going minus doubled, we were screwed, and if we were going minus it didn’t really matter if was going to be 200 or 2000.

So I redoubled. I thought either they get scared and run, or Bill figures out logically that I’m scared and he runs. Either way, I’m unlikely to be worse off and I might be heaps better off.

The 2nd option is the niftier bit. Logically, there’s not much value in sending back 2NT for money. If 2NTX is making, you already have a highly excellent score. Sending it back might be the very last thing you want to do, because they may well be doubling based on fit (which was actually kinda sorta the case – he had Qxx heart and a good hand), which they may run to profitably if you scare them off. That’s true at pretty much all forms of scoring, but perhaps more at MPs than IMPs (at IMPs, +880/+1280 is only a few imps better than +690/+890 because you’re playing a +100 type hand).

Bill was looking at Kxx Ax AKJxx xxx and figured (a) I should be redoubling out of fear rather than greed and (b) 3D is much lower volume than 2NTXX. That’s a thing – we try to avoid playing for big stakes on small hands. So he bid 3D. They competed to 3H, made 170 and we survived the experience.

Tomorrow a hand that is strictly entertainment value only. Compulsory viewing for Harry Potter fans.

June 18, 2009 at 10:00 am 3 comments

At the two level.

I was given this auction recently:

2H….2NT….X….XX

2H is a weak 2
2NT is natural, around 15-18
X is penalty

The question is, what is redouble?

Does it have a systemic meaning for you? Or an obvious logical one?

June 17, 2009 at 9:38 am 15 comments

Older Posts


June 2009
M T W T F S S
« May   Jul »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.