Thursday, September 22, 2016

A BBO Robot plays a Moysian fit

Usually when you compete in BridgeBaseOnline's ACBL ROBOT tourneys, you get to play the hands your partner declares, except in a few tourneys where if the ROBOT hogs the hand he will zip through the play. Here, I had a clear and normal call of 3NT a) because I am not afraid of the diamond suit in Notrump b) and FOUR HEARTS has got to be a Moysian because partner would bid hearts first with five or more, even with longer clubs. Nevertheless, I had a mad moment of reasoning that my hand will play better in the Moysian because my cards are all working for suit play.

In notrump twelve tricks are available with the friendly finesses working, without breathing hard. In hearts, the machine chose to play off HA and HK and play clubs toward the then stiff HJ relying on a coup like position. When East ruffed high, a most curious road to 12 tricks was there. In the Moysian, the machine still ruffed a diamond to hand took happy spade finesses and ran clubs. For our pains we lost 0.6IMP

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Bro.Lucius watches the spots

I actually played the hand as described. After I analyzed the deal, I wrote up the following, with apologies to David Bird (Bro.Lucius)

Bro.Lucius was once again in a Robot BBO tourney, which he preferred sometimes to playing against the Abbot, "At least these machines do not have inflated egos". He also enjoyed these tourneys where defensive or competitive bidding was rarer than at the usual pairs game. It appealed to the hog inside him.

Finding himself with three Aces opposite a passed hand, he opened a club, and found his rebid of one notrump raised to two. Applying the Monastery's version of the Kaplan point count for notrump, and adding two points for his declarer play, Bro. Lucius had no hesitation in going on to the thin 23HCP game.

The lead of DK was a pleasant surprise but Lucius paused to take stock. After a while, he won with the Ace, and prepared for tightening the endposition, and avoided starting on a black suit by ducking a round of hearts. Righy Robot (RR) won and played a spade. This was ducked as LR (Lefty Robot) won King, and exited with a spade. Declarer won in Dummy, tested Diamonds playing the Queen, discarding a heart as LR did likewise. After another pause, Bro. Lucius played the diamond Jack and pitched a club after East followed and paused for a long time when LR threw a club. When he advanced the CQ, Bro.Lucuis noted with interest the appearance of the SEVEN from RR. LR won and his club discard seemed to have given away the contract, for Bro.Lucius's clubs were good

A voice behind him made Brother Lucius jump two feet into the air "I can understand if novices waste their times playing against machines that do not understand the game, but I expect better from my senior monks: thundered the Abbot. "Even a novice with 10 green points would not throw a club"

"Actually, Abbot" said Bro. Lucius, regaining his composure from the Abbot's unannounced entry into the alcove where he kept his old overheated Dell laptop and somewhat spotty wireless router, "It doesnt matter. If he keeps the long club, he is squeezed in a hearts or a card of exit. if he throws a spade instead, as you seem to suggest he could the hand plays itself. I cash HA watching RR play the King, And I cash CA and RR's CJ clarifies the situation. It is a classic two loser squeeze. Nor could LR have held both spade exit and a long club for he has the sole heart guard or i make the ninth with the HT After cashing my aces one after another, and watching discards, I exit with a heart leaving LR on play. He has to lead away from his Nine Five into my Club Ten Six tenace."

Lucius's last words were answered with a gust of wind from the cassock of a fleeing harrumphing Abbot

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Joe Grue's 3NT ; play on 87xx toward Qx in hand

The above sublimely played hand made a great impression on me. This was early this year on Vugraph, with Joe Grue at the helm in a 3NT against world-class players Greco and Hampson. He made a early "flexible" play of a heart from 87xx toward his Qx, Second hand needed to play the A or J an unblocking move from AJ9, hardly clear at that early stage. An inexorable surrendering of the ninth trick to declarer followed an unlikely endplay. Card magic!

A decent grand slam, which not everyone reached.

Yes, it is neither neccesary nor professional to jump to a grand, but it was a decent one. We won a lot of IMPs.

A communication blocking holding of declarer

In the ending made a mistake of exiting with a Heart. I actually make the contract in the ending if I exit with a club and hope for righty to have H:QT C:AJ tight or C:KJ tight, not C:AT or C:KT. They can only disentangle three tricks and have to give me a game going trick. By exiting heart, I am giving up any chance of making a trick.

A stopper for No-Trump is strictly for the birds - Part I

I understood that my heart stopper did not exist and partner was certainly not obliged to hold one either, but it did seem that we had an awful lot of tricks on top but almost surely not eleven in suit contract, so I put my money where my mouth was, so to speak. Yes they could just have taken 4 hearts owing to the break (somewhat indicated on the bidding), but they didnt even do that, +660 and a happy Notrump hog

I couldn't make up this stuff.

If there are any non-adults, content warning about unsuitable "bidding". My 3NT was not even a respectable gambling 3NT with all those outside controls. Why not 5D and be done with it? Meanwhile, the Robot looked learnedly at his convention sheet and "inferred" that I had somewhere upward of 25 HCP. He ventured 6NT

Down cane the dummy, and I see that we have a slight problem. They have also found the HK lead. Is it time to lower the white flag? No, when you bid like me or have partners like mine, a stoic disposition and a poker face come with the territory. I dont know if my exaggerated Thank You partner had any impact on the Robots, But RHO unaccountably failed to overtake to guarantee a set, and produced a most curious deuce. Now West, a learned robot had heard of the Bath coup. So he/she/it switched. That is all she wrote

An unusual maneuver in an ending, missed

Use 'Next' to advance to the six card ending, where we can afford to lose one trick. The heart discard by Righty has been ominous. I took the simplest route to cross to dummy to pull the last trump and went down, when Righty ruffed and he had the spade ace coming

Although it requires placing the spade J in addition to the spade Ace(which is marked on the bidding and early play) spade Ace, there is a cute way to thread the needle in the six card ending. Do you see it? Leave me a comment if you do

Yes, perhaps I was unlucky that the "weak 2D" overcaller had a side suit of length 4, but in this game you make your own luck.

Welcome to Ramesh's BRIDGE BLOG

In these pages, I comment on hands from Bridge Base Online ACBL tourneys. I play in these with a variety of partners with different degrees of skill. I might present a hand or two from my collection of bridge books, every now and then. I am more interested in play and defense than in complex bidding systems, but I do follow the cut and thrust of Vanderbilt and World Championship Vugraph and try to keep abreast of expert practice in the obstructive and constructive bidding system department. I may also feature, newspaper-style, famous hands from important matches that I saw on Vugraph.

NOTE: For JUNE, I am experimenting with adding BBO's Handviewers, which make bridge movies embedded. Just
scroll down beyond the few sampled book covers and you arrive at the blogs that play themselves with the NEXT button. THANKS, BBO!!

About Me

My photo
Bridge expert for 20 years. I started blogging about bridge only in 2009. Chess follower. Problem fan. Studied hundreds of composition themes in two-movers, fairy chess, the former from the Good Companion era to the modern style of virtual play. Big collector of chess and bridge rare books. My two game blogs bridge blog, and my chess problem themes blog chess expo

My alter ego, The Hideous Hog

My alter ego, The Hideous Hog