Join Bridge Winners
My NABC Online Practice Tourney Day 2 - "Up The Middle"
(Page of 14)

For Sunday I decided to play as standard as possible, sticking to the robot's system whenever possible.

I... did not have a good night. Some of these hands just drove me bonkers, and I made some uncharacteristic mistakes. I'll have to make sure at the real tourney I'm well-rested and focused.

Robot
J9874
AJ84
43
A7
Robot
106
Q732
KQ109
863
Robot
KQ53
5
J652
K1042
Sterman
A2
K1096
A87
QJ95
W
N
E
S
P
P
1NT
2
P
3
P
P
P
D
1
3 East
NS: 0 EW: 0
Q
7
3
K
2
0
1
5
6
A
3
0
0
2
4
7
3
9
2
0
3
4
5
A
8
0
0
4
8
2
5
10
2
0
5
2
9
9
6
0
0
6
J
Q
Q
K
2
0
7
10
J
3
10
3
1
7
A
4
9
2
3
2
7
8
4
K
6
0
2
8
8
10
K
A
3
3
8
7
J
Q
J
0
3
9
7
6
5
2
0
3
10
E/W +170
13

Even playing "up the middle", I upgraded this to a 1NT because of the KT9 and QJ9 combinations. The robot opponents quickly bid to 3S, which I had to pass. I did not find the Ace-and-a-spade lead which would have held the robot to nine tricks. Giving up -170 was worth all of 7.8%.

What's frustrating about this hand is that the robot considers the West hand good enough to overcall a strong 1NT with 2D showing the majors, but it does not consider it good enough to bid over a 1C opening. Most folks who opened 1C got to play 2H, and even if they went down one, it was way better than -140 or -170.

I've so often been the beneficiary of odd robot decisions that I shouldn't complain when a similar decision gives me a bottom. I shouldn't, but I still am. What an infuriating result.

Robot
K74
J10854
KQ854
Robot
63
K972
AK82
1063
Robot
QJ95
A3
Q7653
72
Sterman
A1082
Q6
J1094
AJ9
W
N
E
S
P
1
2NT
3
P
3
P
P
P
D
2
3 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
3
7
A
3
1
0
4
8
A
7
1
2
0
2
3
Q
4
3
3
0
9
Q
6
2
0
3
1
5
10
5
J
2
3
2
Q
9
4
K
1
4
2
3
J
A
7
3
5
2
2
K
6
5
0
5
3
J
7
A
6
2
5
4
6
10
8
2
3
6
4
8
10
9
9
2
6
5
3
J
5
8
3
7
5
10
4
K
Q
2
7
6
N/S -200
13

With my minimum I opened 1D and signed off in 3D over the robot's limit raise. I got a friendly club lead and decided to start with one round of diamonds first. I got the bad news. I led a heart to the Queen, which held and decided to set up my club trick and allow the computer to score one of its natural trump tricks by ruffing my winner. Surprisingly it exited with the Queen of trump.

Here's where I made my first real blunder of the night. When I led a spade, instead of ruffing it I misclicked and discarded a heart. Now the robot could exit with a diamond, trapping me in my hand with a spade loser. I was down two, -200.  31.7%, but could have been 60% if I'd gone down only one.

I hate when I make mechanical errors.

Robot
94
KQ8
KJ52
10873
Robot
KQJ8753
J10974
A
Robot
A
532
109864
QJ94
Sterman
1062
A6
Q73
AK652
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
1NT
P
4
P
P
P
D
3
4 North
NS: 0 EW: 0
10
3
5
A
1
1
0
K
A
2
4
2
1
1
6
7
J
Q
1
2
1
5
2
10
9
3
3
1
A
8
4
9
3
4
1
K
10
7
4
3
5
1
2
7
J
Q
1
6
1
3
5
6
8
3
7
1
5
3
8
J
1
8
1
9
3
A
K
3
9
1
6
2
10
4
3
10
1
6
Q
J
9
0
10
2
K
7
8
Q
1
11
2
N/S +450
13

This auction was fairly prosaic and ended with the robot in 4S.  Eleven tricks are easy by discarding two hearts on the AK of clubs, conceding a heart, and ruffing a heart in the dummy.  I instead set up my fifth club for a third heart discard.  No matter; all roads lead to eleven tricks.

A few people held themselves to four and some people didn't bid game, so I ended up with 60.6%.

Robot
KJ
87
QJ972
Q1053
Robot
Q875
AQ942
J982
Robot
1043
KJ1053
653
A7
Sterman
A962
6
AK1084
K64
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
1
P
1
P
1
P
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
4
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
Q
5
3
4
1
1
0
7
3
2
J
0
1
1
K
8
4
A
3
2
1
A
7
2
6
3
3
1
K
2
4
5
3
4
1
6
8
Q
K
2
4
2
J
4
7
A
1
5
2
2
A
6
5
2
5
3
10
6
3
9
3
6
3
K
10
8
7
3
7
3
8
9
Q
5
1
8
3
J
3
9
Q
3
9
3
10
J
9
10
2
9
4
N/S -100
13

Playing "wild" I would have opened 1NT, but today I opened 1D. A pretty standard auction got us to 4S.

I got the Queen of diamonds lead. After much thought I decided to ruff it. I led the Seven of spades and passed it, losing to the Jack. The computer returned the King of spades to prevent a crossruff. I had another long think before testing diamonds. Nothing good happened. Finally I sighed and took the heart finesse as my best chance of making the contract. Nope; the computer won and returned a heart to my Ace. Resigned to down at least one, I led a club towards my King, and the robot nicely hopped up Ace and played another heart which I ruff. I cashed the King of clubs, ruffed a diamond high on the board, then led a club, scoring my Nine of spades en passant.

I was rather pleased that going down one was worth no less than 87.2%. Seems like everyone was in game and most people went down multiple tricks. "Wild" or "Standard" had nothing to do with the final contract; this was all guessing the play well.

Robot
A65
K2
K9863
Q65
Robot
J107
J108643
QJ4
10
Robot
94
A975
75
AK742
Sterman
KQ832
Q
A102
J983
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
2
P
P
3
P
3
3
P
P
P
D
5
3 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
5
7
9
Q
3
1
0
3
Q
10
4
0
1
1
A
10
4
2
0
1
2
6
J
9
3
1
2
2
3
7
Q
K
0
2
3
6
4
K
8
2
2
4
5
2
K
4
0
2
5
6
J
7
10
1
3
5
Q
5
A
3
3
4
5
9
5
6
A
2
4
6
7
J
9
8
3
5
6
K
2
10
2
3
6
6
8
8
J
A
3
7
6
N/S -200
13

I opened 1S and passed the robot's 2S raise. West balanced 3D, which I would have been happy to defend, but then East bid 3H. My stiff heart made me very afraid they had stumbled into their nine-card or longer fit, so I decided to protect myself with a 3S bid.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. The sight of dummy sickened me. I had a cold top in my hands and I once again turned it into a horrible result. The computer found the fine lead of a low trump, and I could do nothing to prevent myself from going down two. The 30.2% I got felt better than I deserved.

I need to get into the habit of mousing over the computer's bids all the time before making a decision. If I'd seen that 3H only promised four hearts, I would have been much more likely to let it be.

Robot
K843
J
A864
QJ65
Robot
J10965
103
KQ75
A2
Robot
7
A9872
J3
K10843
Sterman
AQ2
KQ654
1092
97
W
N
E
S
P
1
X
1
2
P
P
P
D
6
2 East
NS: 0 EW: 0
7
5
A
8
1
1
0
2
10
9
6
2
1
1
7
2
K
5
0
1
2
J
3
2
Q
3
2
2
A
3
6
4
2
2
3
A
4
4
10
2
2
4
7
5
6
7
2
2
5
9
K
Q
5
0
2
6
A
K
3
2
0
2
7
8
9
3
Q
2
2
8
8
6
8
J
2
2
9
J
9
J
Q
0
2
10
4
10
K
10
2
2
11
E/W +150
13

I decided to open my 11-HCP hand with 1H. West doubled, partner bid 1S (only promising four spades), and East bid 2C. I could double to show three-card support (and playing "wild" I would have), but given my minimum hand and the known 4-1 or 4-2 spade break, I decided to pass, as did everyone else.

I made the bad lead of the King of hearts. This actually set up declarer's heart suit and it ended up making no less than eleven tricks. -150 was 12.8%. If I'd held the computer to ten tricks, that still would have been only 19%.

I've been over this and over this, and I can't think of what I could have done better. The support double happens to work well on this hand - according to the traveler, the robot defenders will gleefully set up multiple tricks for declarer - but I still think, playing "standard", my hand is too weak for a support double, especially since the robot could have had only four spades.

The other alternative would have been to pass to begin with. Those who passed it out got 62.8%. But it's a seven-loser hand with working Queens and a five-card major; I think I open this hand every time at matchpoints.

Another frustrating hand for playing "standard".

Robot
873
Q865
2
A10943
Robot
95
1032
KQ106
7652
Robot
AJ1064
A7
AJ8543
Sterman
KQ2
KJ94
97
KQJ8
W
N
E
S
1NT
P
P
2
P
P
P
D
7
2 East
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
A
2
7
0
0
1
2
Q
A
7
2
0
2
4
9
3
6
0
0
3
8
2
A
4
2
0
4
8
Q
5
10
3
1
4
Q
3
5
4
2
1
5
J
K
6
K
3
2
5
2
8
5
6
0
2
6
4
7
A
8
2
2
7
J
9
7
9
2
2
8
5
J
9
10
2
2
9
3
J
10
6
2
2
10
10
K
Q
3
2
2
11
E/W +200
13

I opened a textbook 1NT, saw two passes and a 2S balance passed out.

The King of clubs was the obvious lead. The computer quickly set about crossruffing. I mistakenly ruffed high twice, giving the robot the chance to set up its diamonds. It ended up with eleven tricks for -200. I had lots of company with this misdefense, fortunately, and scored 48%. If I'd simply refrained from ruffing in front of dummy at any time I would have held the robot to ten tricks and scored 88%.

This wasn't a good night for me in many, many respects.

Robot
Q87653
962
J10
A5
Robot
K94
J7
Q765
K632
Robot
10
AQ105
A98432
Q9
Sterman
AJ2
K843
K
J10874
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
X
1
2
2
3
3
P
P
P
D
8
3 East
NS: 0 EW: 0
J
5
K
9
1
1
0
J
Q
K
2
3
2
0
3
6
7
A
2
2
1
10
J
Q
K
1
3
1
6
Q
4
A
0
3
2
J
7
A
K
2
3
3
3
7
10
6
0
3
4
3
4
4
2
2
3
5
8
8
5
Q
1
4
5
2
2
10
6
2
4
6
9
A
7
5
2
4
7
10
4
9
3
2
4
8
5
8
8
9
3
5
8
E/W -50
13

Even playing "standard" I think my hand is worth a takeout double. Partner surprised me by freely bidding clubs, so I raised it. When my robot partner couldn't bid on over 3D, I felt I couldn't either playing "standard".

I made another defensive error by failing to rise with the Ace of spades to give my partner a heart ruff. No matter; East couldn't unblock hearts before drawing North's trumps, and every time North was in it tapped East, and in the end my Eight of hearts was the setting trick.

This was worth 65%. Lots of people got to 4C or 3C and misguessed the play to go down one or more, and some people allowed 3D to make.

I wonder if I would have made 4C if I'd been playing "wild". I think I would have; the people who bid and made 4C played it exactly the way I would have played it if I'd been given the defense they got. Your only hope is that the clubs are 2-2. That would have been 94%.

Robot
85
A9
K10973
A653
Robot
Q764
Q106532
Q109
Robot
AJ
J874
8542
842
Sterman
K10932
K
AQJ6
KJ7
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
2
P
P
P
D
9
2 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
A
9
2
7
0
0
1
5
10
4
K
3
1
1
2
8
Q
A
2
1
2
7
K
A
2
0
1
3
6
Q
8
J
1
2
3
3
J
9
9
3
3
3
K
5
4
J
3
4
3
10 tricks claimed
N/S +170
7

So, here's a question: Is a 17-HCP hand with a stiff King worth inviting game opposite a partner who could have bid 2C to show 10 or more points in support of spades but didn't? I agonized over this one. Playing "wild" I'd surely just jump to 4S. Bidding 3D as a help suit game try is certainly reasonable playing "standard". But given that partner could have three small spades and a balanced six count, and also given that my KH could be completely worthless, I decided to go low.

Wrong again, dangit. When spades broke 2-2 and no club ruff was forthcoming, I made ten tricks. This was 35.7%.

4S is a somewhat lucky contract but it's one you'd usually want to be in looking at the combined hands. Maybe not at least inviting was too pessimistic.

Robot
5
J854
J1032
Q843
Robot
73
AKQ62
964
K75
Robot
AQJ964
1073
K7
106
Sterman
K1082
9
AQ85
AJ92
W
N
E
S
2
P
P
X
P
P
P
D
10
2X East
NS: 0 EW: 0
9
8
Q
3
1
1
0
3
A
2
5
2
1
1
Q
K
2
7
3
2
1
A
3
5
6
3
3
1
9
4
K
10
1
4
1
K
10
2
4
1
5
1
A
7
J
5
1
6
1
6
7
Q
3
3
7
1
A
10
9
K
3
8
1
5
J
4
6
2
8
2
J
8
Q
6
2
8
3
9
10
8
2
3
9
3
8
J
7
4
2
9
4
E/W -1100
13

Nothing much to this hand. I passed the robot's 2S bid and hoped partner would balance. Partner did, and I happily passed. Really not much to the play, and 2S was down four for +1100. This result was duplicated many times, but I still got 86.7%.

Robot
109
J963
Q8
QJ963
Robot
QJ753
K42
A73
42
Robot
A6
107
K96542
A107
Sterman
K842
AQ85
J10
K85
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
11
4 North
NS: 0 EW: 0
10
A
3
2
3
1
0
2
10
J
A
2
1
1
7
5
6
K
1
2
1
3
6
K
9
3
3
1
J
8
3
K
2
3
2
6
10
Q
A
1
4
2
7
9
4
3
3
5
2
Q
J
4
2
3
6
2
8
9
5
5
1
7
2
2
7
K
9
3
8
2
5
J
4
10
0
8
3
6
7
A
8
1
9
3
Q
4
8
Q
1
10
3
N/S +420
13

This was a pretty standard auction, although it's far from automatic for me to accept the robot's invite. I let the JT of diamonds persuade me.

Nothing to the play. When the hearts didn't break I was forced to rely on the Ace of clubs being onside, which it was. Making 4S was worth 85.7%, a little to my surprise. Turns out lots of people didn't accept the game try.

Robot
10973
KJ9863
Q
KQ
Robot
Q65
1042
6542
432
Robot
J84
AQ5
KJ10
J1097
Sterman
AK2
7
A9873
A865
W
N
E
S
1
P
1NT
X
P
2
2
3
3
P
4
X
P
P
P
D
12
4X West
NS: 0 EW: 0
5
4
K
3
3
1
0
A
7
6
8
3
2
0
2
10
Q
J
1
3
0
2
J
A
Q
3
4
0
A
Q
2
7
3
5
0
5
K
4
9
0
5
1
3
4
Q
7
2
5
2
K
3
9
4
2
5
3
J
6
K
3
0
5
4
9
2
A
7
2
5
5
5
8
J
10
0
5
6
8
6
10
9
0
5
7
6
5
10
8
0
5
8
E/W -300
13

Again I made a takeout double with only three spades, but I thought the hand worth it. Once again the robot bid my five-card suit, so I raised it. Somehow, these bids compelled the robots to bid 4H. Looking at all the defense in my hand, I risked a double.

The computer led a spade and we cashed three rounds, and I got my other two Aces, and we set it two for +300. This was 92.7%. Lots of people defended 4H but only a few doubled.

The good results on the last three boards lifted me to 53.70%, which was good enough for 452nd place out of 1,320. I wonder why far fewer people played today.

Final thoughts on the next page.

I'm not certain what to take away from these results. I shot myself in the foot a number of times today which makes analysis a little difficult.

Quite a few of my good results on both days had nothing to do with the style of my bidding. Likewise, quite a few of my bad results also had little connection with whether I was bidding "wild" or not.

There are at least two and probably three boards today that would have been tops if I'd been playing a more wide-open style. Yesterday, there were three and perhaps four boards where playing "normal" would have gotten me a much better result. However, yesterday I got some good boards playing "wild" while today I didn't feel like playing "normal" gained me an advantage. This is a little marred by how many mistakes I made today.

You can also argue that playing a "wild" style leads to careless play, and that you may take the "wild" style to extremes. Still, I made far more mistakes today playing "normal" than I did yesterday playing "wild".

Nothing like definitive analysis to help shape discussion.

My personal observation is this: the style you play has less to do with the result than avoiding basic mistakes and losing focus. I left many, many matchpoints on the table both days. I think it doesn't matter what style you play as long as you just avoid egregious errors.

For me, I think I'm going to stick with my "wild" style; I certainly get less frustrated with my robot partner this way. I can do well if I just remember not to be dumb.

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