Join Bridge Winners
My ACBL NABC Online Individual Journey - Day 2
(Page of 24)

Robot
J643
Q82
A763
A4
Robot
AQ1075
763
82
J93
Robot
K
J10954
J1095
1086
Sterman
982
AK
KQ4
KQ752
W
N
E
S
P
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
P
P
D
1
2 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
A
3
6
2
0
0
1
4
9
10
K
3
1
1
2
4
Q
K
2
1
2
J
K
A
2
0
1
3
3
8
9
Q
3
2
3
8
6
5
4
3
3
3
9
J
A
8
1
4
3
10 tricks claimed
N/S +170
7

I vowed to be a little less timid this time, pushing the envelope just a tad more.  I also hoped there would be fewer completely flat results this time.

Having said that, I usually value a hand with a 17-count and a five-card suit as too strong to open 1NT, but I let my three little spades and lack of spots in the club suit persuade me to just open 1NT.

The Ace-and-a-club lead was clearly from a doubleton, so I have to  figure out the best way to play the spade suit.  I considered a spade to the Ace, and at IMPs I likely would have played it that way.  But at matchpoints I decided to combine safety with overtrick-hunting by playing a spade to the Queen.

Oops.

Fortunately, the robot East decided not to give its partner a club ruff, returning a diamond instead. I pounced on the opportunity and took a second spade finesse, figuring the odds were West had the Jack.  So it proved, and I ended up with ten tricks and a 42% result to start things off.

The people who did upgrade their hands to a 2NT rebid got to game and made it.  And some people did make eleven (or more) tricks by dropping the King of spades.

Not a disaster, but not the best start to the second day.

Robot
KJ10
10
K87532
1032
Robot
Q653
Q864
J1096
6
Robot
A974
752
Q4
AQ95
Sterman
82
AKJ93
A
KJ874
W
N
E
S
1
1
P
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
2
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
2
6
A
4
2
0
1
A
2
J
3
2
0
2
Q
A
3
6
3
1
2
K
3
5
5
3
2
2
7
10
4
9
1
3
2
J
4
3
7
3
4
2
8
10
Q
Q
1
5
2
9
4
9
8
3
6
2
10 tricks claimed
N/S +620
8

I overcalled 1H and raised partner's semi-preemptive 3H to 4H.  The expected club lead was helpful.  The computer played one high spade, then shifted to the Queen of diamonds, which told me the King was on my left.  I cashed the King of clubs and ruffed a club, led the Jack of diamonds just in case but ruffed it to ruff another club, West forcing my Queen by ruffing with the Ten.  I ruffed another diamond, drew trump, cashed my good club, then gave up the last trick.

+620 was, somewhat surprisingly, 86%.  Looking at the traveller, a few people didn't bid game, but the common result was down one.  Most declarers did not handle their trump well, either drawing too many or not winning the first heart with the Queen.

Robot
Q97
KJ4
K84
8732
Robot
10
1086
A10962
K1064
Robot
AK8543
Q2
53
QJ5
Sterman
J62
A9753
QJ7
A9
W
N
E
S
1
P
2
2
P
3
P
P
P
D
3
3 East
NS: 0 EW: 0
2
9
10
A
2
0
1
K
6
7
6
2
0
2
8
J
Q
2
0
0
3
4
10
Q
3
2
0
4
5
5
2
6
2
0
5
2
A
K
8
3
1
5
Q
K
A
3
1
2
5
4
5
9
7
3
3
5
A
8
10
J
3
4
5
J
4
10
5
3
5
5
7
8
9
3
2
5
6
4
7
3
6
2
5
7
Q
9
J
K
1
6
7
E/W -200
13

I opened 1H but couldn't compete beyond that, especially when the robot opps bid freely to 3S.

I could have engineered a club ruff for myself but was more worried about the computer ruffing losers in dummy, so I led a trump.  No worries; the computer made the mistake of attacking hearts, not clubs.  It was easy to duck the first heart and win the second, killing the dummy.  The computer could only score its remaining trump and I collected +200.  I thought this would be good, but it was only 58%.

The humans that bid 3H over 2S pushed the robots to 4S and collected nice scores there, even undoubled.  Bidding 3H seems wild even by robot individual standards, but it worked very nicely on this hand.  And yes, I see that 4H is cold.

Robot
AK8
762
974
KJ32
Robot
6
K10983
A1063
1054
Robot
J953
J5
J82
A876
Sterman
Q10742
AQ4
KQ5
Q9
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
P
P
D
4
2 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
6
3
2
0
0
1
2
8
J
A
3
1
1
4
8
3
5
1
2
1
4
7
9
J
0
2
2
7
9
5
4
1
3
2
5
A
Q
2
2
3
3
8
Q
3
10
3
4
3
7
A
10
9
1
5
3
10 tricks claimed
N/S +170
8

I opened 1NT and got transferred to 2H.  West led the King of spades, placing it with the Ace as well.  I won the trump shift, ruffed a spade, and led a club, trying to set up a club ruff.  The robots persisted in clubs, and then, strangely, when I played a second club, East was too afraid to duck the Ace.  Having no more trumps, it could no longer prevent me from ruffing a club, so it led one itself.  I ruffed another spade, and when the Ace fell I claimed, afterwards disappointed the diamonds behaved anyway.

+170 was 88%.  The traveller indicated that lots of people made only nine tricks by drawing trump rather than trying to get a club ruff.

Robot
10753
872
J109753
Robot
K98
KQJ4
10975
A4
Robot
J4
A953
QJ82
Q86
Sterman
AQ62
106
AK643
K2
W
N
E
S
 
1
P
1
P
1N
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
5
P
P
P
D
5
5 North
NS: 0 EW: 0
J
2
3
K
1
1
0
5
8
A
7
3
2
0
3
2
7
J
2
2
1
4
A
5
8
3
3
1
6
8
K
A
2
3
2
3
10
7
Q
1
4
2
11 tricks claimed
N/S +600
6

Another frustrating bidding sequence.  I think the computer has a clear 3NT bid over 3D.  I couldn't bid it myself with only Tx of hearts and 6D still a distinct possibility.  I considered cuebidding over 4D, but mousing over 4S showed the robot would take that as natural and to play, so I simply bid 5D.

This hand looked easy, which should have been a warning.  I won the spade lead in dummy and led a diamond to the Ace.  The 4-0 trump break made realize the folly of my trick-one play; dummy's entries were tenuous.  Nervously I knocked out one of East's diamond honors, setting up a finessing position against the other.

When East returned a second, smaller spade I had a terrible dilemma.  Clearly I can cross to the Ace of clubs and draw trump, but then what do I do with my spade loser?  If I lead a heart and the robots are smart enough to duck ones, I can't get to dummy's heart winners.  I can lead a heart now, of course, but then West might win and give its partner a spade ruff and now I'm down two.  So the choice is lead a heart now and hope East has the Ace, or draw trump and lead a heart, hoping the robots play the Ace on either the first or third round of the suit.

I stared at the position for a long time, then fearfully clicked on the King of hearts.  Thankfully, East showed up with the Ace.  When it returned a heart I claimed.  (If East ruffs the Jack of hearts, I overruff, draw the last trump, and still have a trump in dummy to ruff a spade loser.)

I got only 48% for this effort.  The humans who threw caution to the wind and raised 1NT to 3NT made lots of tricks.  Raising to 3NT was the kind of bid I would have made last year.  Maybe I need to dial up the wildness one more notch.

Robot
AQJ
K752
10765
64
Robot
864
A9832
J9532
Robot
10973
Q10984
QJ4
8
Sterman
K52
AJ63
K
AKQ107
W
N
E
S
 
P
1
P
1
P
2
P
3
P
4N
P
5
P
6
P
P
P
D
6
6 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
5
2
J
K
3
1
0
3
2
2
4
1
2
0
3
Q
7
6
3
3
0
6
5
3
8
1
4
0
8
4
10
10
3
5
0
A
4
5
8
3
6
0
12 tricks claimed
N/S +920
6

I decided not to open 2NT with my below-average 20-count and opened 1C.  The robot's 3C over my reverse showed good values, so I keycarded myself to 6C.

Dummy was a little different than I imagined.  I played along crossruff lines, and when diamonds broke 4-3 I tested clubs.  When they broke 2-1 I claimed, bing able to ruff one more heart in the dummy and pitch two spade losers on the diamonds.  I was pleased the AS was offside and hoped for a big score, and was slightly disappointed with only 72%.  Many, many people bid this slam, and many, many people played it correctly.  I still got a tie for top.

Robot
Q93
Q4
1065
QJ983
Robot
AJ76
6
AJ9874
104
Robot
8
J10985
K2
AK652
Sterman
K10542
AK732
Q3
7
W
N
E
S
1
P
4
P
4
P
P
P
D
7
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
Q
4
6
7
0
0
1
J
10
K
2
3
1
1
A
4
6
5
3
2
1
2
Q
6
J
1
3
1
A
8
4
9
1
4
1
7
2
K
3
3
5
1
Q
5
4
K
2
5
2
2
3
6
7
1
6
2
A
9
3
10
1
7
2
J
5
7
9
1
8
2
9
10
K
8
1
9
2
J
8
5
Q
0
9
3
3
8
A
10
3
10
3
N/S +620
13

Standard bidding sequence, standard play, diamond finesse is off and spades break 3-1, so took ten tricks.  60%.  Three people took the spade finesse, looking for matchpoints I suppose, and it paid off.  Some people got too high and went down.

A slightly uninteresting hand except for the matchpoint junkies who went against the field and got rewarded.

Robot
10986
4
AQ75
QJ32
Robot
QJ5
Q5
432
K10975
Robot
43
K10987
K108
A64
Sterman
AK72
AJ632
J96
8
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
1
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
P
P
D
8
2 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
10
Q
4
2
1
1
0
Q
K
A
4
3
2
0
J
3
5
8
3
3
0
7
6
J
3
1
4
0
5
4
K
9
3
5
0
A
8
2
8
3
6
0
8
J
K
A
2
6
1
9
2
7
5
2
6
2
10
3
5
7
2
6
3
7
6
2
3
2
6
4
6
6
Q
9
0
6
5
Q
4
10
9
0
6
6
A
10
K
J
0
6
7
N/S -100
13

Another fairly standard sequnce.  When I saw the dummy I thought I was either making it or down one depending on how the hearts broke.  The actual heart break lowered my trick-taking expectations.  Reallly nothing I could do, and in the end I was down two, -100.

76%, believe it or not.  The humans who passed 1NT found that their robot partners bid 2H over the reopening double, which East was glad to double for penalties.  The prize, though, goes to the human who opened 1S.  It was East-West who ended up in hearts, at the three level no less, which the human gleefully doubled for a cold top.

Robot
Q74
Q1076
J105
865
Robot
3
K
KQ8742
109732
Robot
K10
A9842
963
KQJ
Sterman
AJ98652
J53
A
A4
W
N
E
S
P
1
4
P
P
P
D
9
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
5
2
J
A
3
1
0
A
5
2
3
3
2
0
3
6
K
A
2
2
1
10
J
Q
3
0
2
2
Q
4
9
5
0
2
3
7
7
8
J
3
3
3
A
7
3
K
3
4
3
9
4
7
6
3
5
3
8
8
9
4
3
6
3
6
6
10
9
3
7
3
5
J
8
2
3
8
3
2
10
Q
K
3
9
3
4
10
K
Q
2
9
4
N/S -50
13

I've had good success blasting to 4S with hands like these.  The robots never double, and I usually catch a break on defense.  On this occasion, my robot partner turned up with eight points, but in the wrong places.  In vain did I unblock the diamonds and try for a heart ruff, but the robots were quick to take the trump off the board.  They did set up my Jack of hearts for me, and when trumps came home for one loser i was down only one, which was above-average, 52%.

Lots of people bid 4S and played it a little worse than I did.  Those who overcalled only 1S and competed to 2S were passed out there, scoring well.

Robot
97543
10876
4
Q63
Robot
1086
J94
Q9763
J5
Robot
AQJ
AKQ532
10852
Sterman
K2
AKJ
AK1098742
W
N
E
S
1
X
P
2
2
6
P
P
P
D
10
6 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
4
3
2
A
3
1
0
A
6
5
3
3
2
0
K
3
J
10
3
3
0
K
3
6
8
3
4
0
J
Q
7
5
0
4
1
7
9
Q
2
3
5
1
10
6
9
2
3
6
1
9
7
Q
5
3
7
1
8
5
6
Q
3
8
1
7
4
4
K
3
9
1
K
9
8
A
2
9
2
J
2
10
10
2
9
3
A
4
8
J
3
10
3
N/S -200
13

A terrible hand for me.  Not the 6C bid; that's actually a decent contract to be in on the N/S cards.  No, once the clubs broke 3-0, I can easily play for down one when East injudiciously pitched a diamond.  I instead hope for a miracle misdefense and tried to run diamonds.  The computer managed not to blow two tricks and instead I found myself down two.  I knew better; surely lots of people would bid 6C with my hand, so there's matchpoints to be had for going down one.  Indeed, 6C down one was 44%; my down two netted me only 26%.

One person actually made 6C.  According to the traveller, his human played one high club and, upon getting the bad news, played a *low* club.  West won and *returned a club*.  Combined with East's diamond discards, this allowed the human to make it.  Clearly the anti-percentage line, but man, what dividends it paid.  Credit, too, must be given to the South that overcalled only 4C.  The auction went pass-pass-double.  The human redoubled, passed out.  and made ten tricks for +920 the hard way.

Robot
109
63
AJ72
KQJ107
Robot
AJ
1095
KQ954
952
Robot
K8653
J87
86
A83
Sterman
Q742
AKQ42
103
64
W
N
E
S
1
2
2
3
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
11
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
2
8
6
0
0
1
10
J
K
2
2
0
2
A
4
7
5
2
0
3
3
2
Q
9
3
1
3
A
6
5
7
3
2
3
K
3
9
8
3
3
3
Q
9
10
J
3
4
3
3
7
K
8
1
5
3
A
6
4
2
1
6
3
4
6
10
J
0
6
4
J
5
5
4
3
7
4
Q
10
9
3
3
8
4
7
A
Q
8
2
8
5
N/S -100
13

You want wild?  I'll give you wild.  When the opponents competed aggressively, I competed as well, bidding 3H freely.  Alas, that propelled my robot partner to bid 4H.  I also misplayed it, neglecting to either try to engineer a spade ruff or running the Ten of diamonds.  Down two was 6%.  Karma came down hard on me for criticizing the terrible play of other declarers above.  Glass houses and all that.  Simply passing over 3C gets me to 3H, which I would theoretically make for 92%.  Interestingly, passing in first seat leads to a passout, worth 66%.

Robot
AJ1084
K75
A6
Q72
Robot
KQ95
AJ94
J42
108
Robot
7
108632
1053
9653
Sterman
632
Q
KQ987
AKJ4
W
N
E
S
1
P
P
2
X
2NT
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
12
3NT North
NS: 0 EW: 0
7
2
A
5
0
0
1
8
9
2
3
1
1
1
2
5
K
A
0
1
2
K
A
6
Q
1
2
2
J
3
7
6
1
3
2
11 tricks claimed
N/S +660
5

Lacking hearts, I balanced with 2D.  When partner freely bid 2NT I quickly raised to 3NT.

The seven of spades lead was encouraging; I now had three spade tricks if I used entries to dummy to lead towards the KQ9.  The robot West decided to test me by winning the first spade and immediately returning a second low spade.  I blinked, then clicked on the Nine, which held.

Easy after that.  I knocked out the Ace of diamonds and soon claimed eleven tricks, which was worth a nice 88%.  3NT was the popular contract, but most didn't make eleven tricks, and a few went down. The Souths who bid 3C over partner's 2NT and then passed the robot's 3NT bid found that they had discouraged East from leading a spade, and the heart lead allowed the robots to establish a trick there.  Others failed the blink test of playing the Nine of spades at trick two.

Robot
A874
98732
J65
3
Robot
KJ5
A
K10972
8542
Robot
1093
Q65
A
KQJ1097
Sterman
Q62
KJ104
Q843
A6
W
N
E
S
P
1
X
1
3
P
P
P
D
13
3 North
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
A
3
2
3
1
0
4
2
A
5
1
2
0
2
A
3
5
2
2
1
Q
6
8
4
2
2
2
J
Q
8
5
3
3
2
K
9
8
6
3
4
2
8
6
7
3
3
5
2
4
J
K
7
1
6
2
5
10
Q
A
0
6
3
4
J
9
2
1
7
3
10 tricks claimed
N/S +130
10

I have had good luck making balanced takeout doubled over one of a minor openings.  Partner jumped to 3D, which I was happy to pass.

I won the club lead with the Ace.  I crossed to the Ace of hearts to lead a diamond, judging East more likely to hold the Ace singleton or doubleton.  The robot did in fact play the Ace on the first round, cashed a high club on which East showed out, then led the Jack of clubs.

Decision time.  Do I ruff with the Eight, playing the East for AJ or AJx?  I deemed this unlikely and ruffed high.  I cashed the King of hearts to get the last club out of the way, then led another diamond.  West played small.  Decision time the second.   Play East for the stiff Ace or AJ doubleton?  Vacant Spaces - a theory I'm not a big fan of but use when there's no other choice - says that West has the Jack of diamonds.  I thought for a bit more, then took the finesse.  I actually pumped my first when East showed out, something I'd never do playing against humans.  I soon had ten tricks. 

+130 was worth no less than 98%.  Lots of people in 3D, but only one other human made the same guesses I did.  No one bid game, but two people did bid slam.

Robot
Q109
J74
942
KJ104
Robot
KJ
Q952
QJ65
932
Robot
8754
A103
K3
Q875
Sterman
A632
K86
A1087
A6
W
N
E
S
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
2NT
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
14
3NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0
4
2
A
6
2
0
1
5
6
10
2
0
0
2
J
5
3
K
3
1
2
2
10
K
5
1
2
2
Q
K
A
2
3
3
2
8
4
J
3
1
4
2
5
10
10
9
3
5
2
7
7
6
7
3
6
2
A
4
3
8
3
7
2
8
J
Q
8
1
8
2
9
7
3
K
1
9
2
J
4
A
Q
3
10
2
6
9
9
Q
0
10
3
N/S +430
13

I routinely raise myself to 3NT whenever I really have a 15-17 1NT opener. The robot East took its partner's heart lead with the Ace to return a club.  I ducked, and West won to continue hearts.  Pleased with all this, I eschewed the spade finesse to get to the dummy to take diamond hooks.  When this worked, I ran my winners hoping a squeeze or pseudo-squeeze would emerge, but the robots held on to their spades and I made ten tricks.  +430 was 90%.  This had little to do with my play and more to do with only four people bidding game.

Robot
10
A987652
653
A8
Robot
J965
Q
Q2
KQ10653
Robot
KQ87
J
J1098
J942
Sterman
A432
K1043
AK74
7
W
N
E
S
1NT
2
X
P
2
P
3NT
P
4
P
P
P
D
15
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
A
Q
J
3
0
0
1
8
9
Q
4
2
0
2
9
7
A
3
0
0
3
9
J
K
10
2
0
4
4
K
8
10
1
1
4
5
8
A
10
3
2
4
8 tricks claimed
N/S -200
6

"Improved Standard" 1NT led to a 2C single-suited overcall, which my partner doubled for Stayman.  I bid 2H, silencing West, and then bid 4S over 3NT.

Lots of heart honors fell at trick one.  When the robot continued hearts, I found no losers to discard in dummy so ruffed with the Nine of spades, which East overruffed with the Queen. A club to the Ace and another heart was ruffed and overruffed.  I still had a trump to lose; down two, which I was grateful to get 39.6% for.

Those who opened 1D saw West overcall 3H and partner make a negative double.  If they bid 3S, they went down only one for 77.1%.  If they passed the double, they collected +300 or +500 for great scores.

Not a good hand for the "Improved Standard" 1NT.

Robot
64
A10965
104
AJ73
Robot
AK10
7
9872
K10865
Robot
J873
KQ832
A53
2
Sterman
Q952
J4
KQJ6
Q94
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
P
P
D
16
2 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
A
7
3
4
0
0
1
10
2
A
Q
2
0
2
K
J
6
10
1
1
2
K
3
2
4
1
2
2
A
7
5
6
1
3
2
7
3
K
4
3
4
2
Q
7
5
8
3
5
2
J
3
8
5
3
6
2
6
5
9
8
1
7
2
6
2
Q
A
0
7
3
10
8
Q
9
3
8
3
4
J
K
J
2
8
4
2
9
9
10
0
8
5
N/S +110
13

I tried an offbeat 1S fourth-seat opener, unsure of what adventures would occur if the auction went 1D - P  - 1H  - P -1S/NT; I often find my robot partner gets us too high on such starts.  The robot bid a Drury 2C and I was quick to sign off in 2S.  West cashed the Ace of hearts, then shifted to a diamond to  East's Ace.  East continued hearts. I was happy to ruff, cash the AK of spades, cross to a high diamond, and play the Queen of spades.  East still had the master trump, so I ran diamonds, East refusing to ruff.  I exited with a club, knowing West was marked with the Ace since East had already shown up with Ten points (West would never lead the Ace of hearts from AQ).  I could not be denied my last trump; making two, for +110.  This was a complete top, 100%.

Those humans who opened 1D saw a 1H overcall which led to the robots finding and making 4H, which has to be maddening considering they could have passed it out.  Those who did pass it out got 74%.

Robot
974
7643
A872
K7
Robot
QJ863
5
K93
A432
Robot
A105
J98
QJ106
965
Sterman
K2
AKQ102
54
QJ108
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1
P
2
P
2NT
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
17
3NT North
NS: 0 EW: 0
Q
4
A
3
0
0
1
2
9
10
5
2
0
2
A
2
4
3
2
0
3
6
K
8
K
1
1
3
Q
5
8
9
1
2
3
J
10
2
7
1
3
3
8
8
10
7
1
4
3
6
5
J
6
1
5
3
5
9
A
4
3
6
3
K
3
2
J
3
7
3
10 tricks claimed
N/S +430
10

Again, in times past I would have opened 1NT with the South hand, but instead opened something else.  Again, I ended up in the same 3NT I would have if I had opened 1NT, and I maybe would have even been favored with a heart lead.

Played from the other side, I got a diamond lead to the Ace, and then another diamond, which I ducked.  East then played the Ace of spades before continuing with a third diamond.

I was at a crossroads here.  Where should I get my tricks?  I've lost three already so I want to take all ten of the remainder if I can.  If I can bank on the club finesse, I can take one diamond, three clubs, three hearts, and three spade.  Or I can play for someone to hold Jxx of hearts and take one diamond, five hearts, three spades, and the Ace of clubs.  Or I can play West to have the Jack of hearts and take the finesse for one diamond, four hearts, three spades, and the Ace of clubs, with either the spades or hearts producing a tenth trick as they surely will do.

I eventually decided on a combo shot:  I can test first for three-three spades, then decide on the best play.  Putting this into play, I discarded the blocking King of spades from dummy under my King of diamonds, then tested the spades.  They broke, so I ran the spades.  The robot defenders pitched lots of hearts on the run of the spades, so I felt good my hearts would run.  So it proved, and I scored +630.

As you can see, *any* line works.  I have never seen a layout where you have so many choices on how to play the hand *and they all work*.  So it's not surprising that I only scored 60%.  Somebody played a 5-2 spade fit and made eleven tricks easily  on the three-three spade break, and one person made twelve tricks by opening 1NT and getting a heart lead into the AKQTx.  When the human knocked out the Ace of spades, the robot blindly continued a heart.

Last-year Richard would have have a similar result. 

Robot
Q83
J843
KJ98
A10
Robot
J64
K7
Q76
K9873
Robot
1097
10965
A52
J65
Sterman
AK52
AQ2
1043
Q42
W
N
E
S
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
2NT
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
18
3NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0
3
7
9
Q
3
1
0
2
10
K
5
1
2
0
7
6
4
A
0
2
1
8
K
10
2
1
3
1
3
J
Q
9
3
4
1
2
Q
4
7
0
4
2
4
6
6
A
3
5
2
5
3
J
10
1
6
2
9
2
3
8
1
7
2
8
5
4
8
1
8
2
6
9
A
J
3
9
2
K
K
7
5
3
10
2
10
J
Q
A
2
10
3
N/S +630
13

As I said, whenever I actually have full values for my 1NT bid I raise 2NT to 3NT.  I did that despite the 4333 shape.  The robot led a heart.

There is something important I learned about the robots from the last individual:  If you have a choice between winning a trick with the two high honors concealed in your hand, what you play will determine whether the robots continue the suit or not.  If you do not want the robot to continue the suit, win with the higher honor.  If you do want them to continue the suit, win with the lower honor.  I'm not certain what logic the robots are using but I've seen this proven time and time again.

On this hand, I didn't want the robots to find a diamond shift.  So I won the first trick with the Queen of hearts, the lowest of my two high honors.  I successfully guessed the club suit, but in a way that left the suit blocked.  As expected, West continued with a heart.  I unblocked the clubs, then considered the problem of how to get to dummy.  I could either bang down the AK of spades and hope the Queen drops, or lead low towards the Jack.  I opted to do the latter, hoping the robots were still mesmerized by the heart suit.  They were; West hopped with the Queen of spades and led a third heart.   I could now cash out for ten tricks and +630 for a complete top.

I eagerly scanned the traveller, hoping for vindication about my honor suit play.  I found none at all.  Turns out my good result had nothing to do with what heart honors I played and everything to do with the fact that I won the first heart in my hand and attacked clubs by playing low towards the King.  This combined with the Queen of spades onside and the robots' heart fixation meant I had more tricks available than most other people.  Indeed, if I had stopped in 2NT and made the same ten tricks, I would have scored a three-way tie for top.  I only gained two matchpoints by bidding game.

Robot
K753
AQ65
6
10943
Robot
AQ1094
32
A105
J85
Robot
6
J97
QJ9832
A76
Sterman
J82
K1084
K74
KQ2
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
P
P
D
19
1 North
NS: 0 EW: 0
Q
K
6
5
3
1
0
8
3
4
6
3
2
0
J
7
9
2
3
3
0
2
5
10
6
1
4
0
A
7
4
K
1
5
0
5
A
Q
4
2
5
1
7
2
9
J
1
6
1
2
9
10
Q
0
6
2
3
8
3
K
3
7
2
8
5
3
J
2
7
3
9
4
6
10
1
8
3
10 tricks claimed
N/S +170
11

With my flat twelve count, I opened 1C and passed partner's 1S, thinking game unlikely.  Nope; turns out partner has an eleven-count with a five-card suit, and the cards lie in a friendly manner, so it's possible 3NT would make.  I was in spades, so I won the Queen of diamonds lead in dummy, drew trumps, and set up my club tricks.  When I was put back in with another club, I led a heart.  When East didn't fly with the Ace, I decide West had it, and covered the Nine with the Ten.  West had no more diamonds, so exited a club.  I knew both red Jacks were with East and the Ace of hearts was with West, so I decided to exit with a low heart from dummy.  West obligingly ducked, endplaying East into leading a diamond into my tenace.  Making four, for +170 and 56%.

The traveller shows the sad story I played for my meekness. Only a few people found 3NT, but plenty subsided in 2NT and made ten tricks with similar defensive assistance.

Passing with minimal balanced hands like that has usually been a winning move for me, but not today.

Robot
K985
10653
A97
Q5
Robot
AQ64
Q42
10865
K6
Robot
73
987
J43
A8743
Sterman
J102
AKJ
KQ2
J1092
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
20
3NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0
3
2
7
A
3
1
0
J
K
A
3
1
2
0
5
3
K
A
0
2
1
6
4
9
J
3
3
1
9
5
6
A
2
3
2
8
K
10
Q
3
4
2
2
Q
K
8
1
5
2
4
7
10
5
3
6
2
J
7
6
7
3
7
2
10
9
8
4
3
8
2
2
9
Q
3
1
9
2
10
4
Q
5
3
10
2
2
8
6
J
2
10
3
N/S +630
13

Another textbook 3NT bidding sequence.  The heart lead gave nothing away, dangit.  I led the Jack of spades, covered and won with the Ace.  I then went after diamonds, a low diamond to the King losing to the Ace.  West persisted in hearts, and I decide to try a fourth suit:  clubs.  I ran the Nine of clubs, which lost to the Ace.  A third heart deprived me of my last stopper in that suit.

I have four tricks in and four to cash.  I need to decide what the best play for the ninth was.  Fortunately I had plenty of entries to my hand, so I decided the best way was to unblock the King of clubs, cross to the Ten of spades, then knock out the Queen of clubs.  They can win and cash a heart, but I'll have the rest.

Putting this into action, I led a club and was surprised and pleased when the Queen of clubs dropped.  With ten tricks in I went for eleven by trying to squeeze West in spades and diamonds.  This actually worked if I read it correctly; I had put West in a sort of Vice squeeze, setting up a finessing position in diamonds against East.  I didn't read it, and actually was sorta hoping the spades had started 3-3, so in the end I only made ten tricks.  Too bad; I got 84%, but a complete top was available if I'd made five.

The traveller shows that everyone was in 3NT.  The number of tricks take ranged from seven to ten.  Not surprising given the number of ways the hand could be played.

Robot
J107
AQ86
743
Q83
Robot
KQ853
107
AKJ
962
Robot
96
K9543
108652
5
Sterman
A42
J2
Q9
AKJ1074
W
N
E
S
1
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
21
4 North
NS: 0 EW: 0
5
A
8
2
3
1
0
2
10
K
6
1
2
0
3
9
A
7
3
3
0
4
J
Q
2
1
4
0
9
3
K
3
3
5
0
4
Q
6
5
0
5
1
A
7
5
2
0
5
2
4
J
10
Q
3
6
2
11 tricks claimed
N/S +650
8

Over parnter's 1S I bid 2C, then raised the robot's 2S rebid to 3S, hoping it could cuebid a red suit.  When it signed off in 4S, I reluctantly passed.

The club lead could easily have been from a doubleton.  With thirteen tricks a possibility, I decided against running three diamonds to pitch a heart and then try to ruff a heart in dummy.  I won the Ace, pulled trumps, and tried another club.  Nope, 3-1.  I won and, with nothing better, led a third club.  West won, cashed the Ace of hearts and then.... shifted to diamonds.  Of course it couldn't see North's AKJ of diamonds and probably thought it needed to try and set up East's hypothetical King of diamonds.  I won the diamond shift in dummy and claimed eleven tricks.  This was 88%.

I didn't think I did anything unusual or clever, so was surprised this wasn't more widely duplicated.  The reason was very baffling.  Those declarers who drew trumps by first playing the Ace then the King and Queen saw East discard a low heart on the third spade.  When West got in with a club, it led Ace and another heart.  Those declarers who, like me, played a high spade in hand then a low spade to dummy's Ace and another spade back saw East discard a diamond.  For whatever reason, this convinced the West robot to cash the Ace of hearts and then shift to a diamond.

I cannot find an explanation of why the order of spades played would affect what East chose to discard, nor can I determine how East's discard affects West's decision on what to play after cashing the Ace of hearts.  I would love to dig into the simulations the robot went through in each situation.  I will say that if I had been on the losing end of this - if I'd scored 40% instead of 88% - I would be smoldering with frustration right now.

Robot
984
AK54
987
AJ3
Robot
KQ73
873
Q52
K75
Robot
AJ5
J102
10643
942
Sterman
1062
Q96
AKJ
Q1086
W
N
E
S
P
1
1
X
2
P
P
X
P
2
P
P
P
D
22
2 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
3
2
6
0
0
1
8
2
10
K
3
1
1
2
4
Q
5
1
2
1
5
3
J
9
3
3
1
6
9
K
A
2
3
2
J
10
8
3
2
3
3
J
9
4
7
2
3
4
10
Q
A
8
0
3
5
7
Q
6
A
3
4
5
6
3
K
4
1
5
5
5
2
10
J
0
5
6
5
7
9
8
1
6
6
7
4
Q
A
0
6
7
N/S -100
13

I opened 1C, then passed when the robots competed to 2H.  My robot partner doubled me back in, and I glumly considered my choices.   I didn't see how we could take six tricks on defense.  Bidding 2NT on a flimsy (at best) stopper didn't appeal either.  And if I bid 3C, I might catch partner with only two clubs - it's happened before.  Reluctantly I took the only remaining option:  Bidding 2S and playing the 4-3 fit.

There really wasn't anything I could do.  I had to lose three hearts, and I had to lose two spades.  And I can't see a way to avoid losing two clubs.  In the end I was down two, -100, for a dismal 27.1%.

I had lots of company in 2S, but most people went down only one.  I couldn't see how, so went to the travellers.  Turns out that if after a spade to the Queen holds I then decide to start attacking clubs, West will win and cash the Ace of hearts, setting up my Queen.  I don't see how that can be a winning play; maybe the robot was panicked about clubs running.  After being the beneficiary of such randomness on the last board I can't really complain.

Also, if I pass, East opens 1C and West bids 1NT, and this goes down.  The two humans who did that scored 93.8%.  The human who, instead of bidding 2S with three small spades, instead bid 2NT, got raised to 3NT.  Looking at the play record shows robot defense at its absolute worse; the robots set up the Queen of hearts, fly the Ace of clubs on the first round of the suit, and pitch enough spades that declarer can set up their spade suit and, incredibly, emerge with nine tricks.  I can only hope to get more robot defense like that.

Robot
QJ975
J753
854
9
Robot
10
A6
QJ962
AK1062
Robot
AK84
842
10
87543
Sterman
632
KQ109
AK73
QJ
W
N
E
S
 
1N
P
2
P
3
P
3
P
4N
P
5
P
6
P
P
P
D
23
6 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
9
2
3
Q
3
1
0
13 tricks claimed
N/S +1390
1

I opened a by-the-book 1NT.  I bid 3D over the robots MSS, and my ears perked up when it showed a stiff spade.  Well, I have the perfect hand in that context.  I checked on controls and then bid 6D.  When West didn't lead a spade I claimed thirteen tricks.  A many-way tie for top at 70.8%.  Those humans that opened 1D instead of 1NT still got to 6D, but then East led a spade, holding them to twelve tricks and what must be a disappointing 31% score.

Robot
Q96
8763
K3
AJ53
Robot
K875
10
AQ865
K74
Robot
J3
Q9
J9742
Q986
Sterman
A1042
AKJ542
10
102
W
N
E
S
 
P
1
P
1
P
1
P
2
P
2N
P
3
P
4
P
4
P
5
P
6
P
P
P
D
24
6 North
NS: 0 EW: 0
Q
A
3
10
3
1
0
2
9
K
3
1
2
0
5
J
A
6
3
3
0
K
6
4
9
3
4
0
J
8
7
2
3
5
0
5
7
7
9
1
6
0
A
7
10
3
1
7
0
5
J
4
K
3
8
0
2
Q
K
4
0
8
1
A
8
8
2
1
9
1
6
9
10
3
3
10
1
4
5
8
6
3
11
1
10
J
Q
Q
2
11
2
N/S -50
13

 I ended on a down note, and one of the most embarrassing hands I've ever played.  I got too aggressive with my shapely twelve count and put us in 6S.  The opening lead was the Queen of hearts, which looked like shortness.  I drew two rounds of trumps ending in the dummy, then cashed two hearts pitching clubs.  So far so good; the person with long hearts also had the long spade. 

I ruffed the hearts good, then played Ace of diamonds and ruffed a diamond, the King falling from West.  I played a good heart, and West ruffed while I pitched the King of clubs.  The robot exited with a club which I ruffed with dummy's last trump.

Here's where I made the most inexplicable play imaginable.  Instead of cashing the Queen of diamonds and pitching the club loser in my hand, I instead led a *low* diamond, ruffing it in my hand.  This of course left me with a club loser.  I went from making 6S and a complete top to down one and 20.8%.

I can't explain what went wrong in my head.  My only thought is that I didn't notice the fall of the King of diamonds and didn't realize the Queen was good.  Perhaps understandable at the end of a long session of boards.  But man, it is mortifying and frustrating to see that I lost 80% of a board by not playing the Queen of diamonds.  Even if I didn't notice the King of diamonds drop, my only line of play is to hope the King of diamonds fell without my noticing and to play the Queen of diamonds.  A low diamond just doesn't make sense.  What the heck was I thinking?

Argh.

I finished at 64.01%, good enough for 76th overall for the day.  I have a combined 61.8% which places me 106th overall for the first two days out of 1958 entries.  I climbed over 100 spots up the leaderboard.  I'm a full 8.58% behind the leader, so I'll need a super-monster game tomorrow with no more mental lapses on slam hands.  That's unlikely, but hope springs eternal.

5 Comments
Getting Comments... loading...
.

Bottom Home Top