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Another online NABC, another proposed system to play with the GIBs

Disclaimer: the online NABC is for a bridge-like game where the cards are not randomly dealt, but a more par-contest like arrangement where the hands are rotated so the human player gets the most high card points. Since I do not intend to start a bridge-like game winners web site, I am posting here. 

I managed to break into the top ten of both the imp and the matchpoint daily game yesterday on BBO. I'm in better form playing and defending since playing about a day and a half against Michael Rosenberg and Zia Mahmood in the US team trials, but mostly it's about the bidding in my opinion. 

I built the "system" below to play in these tournaments, which is more a systematic psyching style since the robots on BBO play GIB 2/1. There's no risk of the psyche being read by the GIB because GIB is programmed to completely ignore who I am when interpreting my bid. I'm sad they started playing 1y-3x jump shifts as invitational this year. At least they are still playing 1x-2y jump shifts Soloway style. Last year's version of the system is here.

First to open:

10 HCP: this means all players have 10. Pass is often right. You can sometimes go plus with a weak 2 in a misfit. Pay a bit of attention to the colors and the seat because partner will sometimes raise you to 3 which may be worse than being in two. Not sure what the right count of spades is to try opening 1. Probably 5 with hearts as a second suit. 1 might not be bad. It doesn't come up very often obviously.

11-13- HCP: the main risk is getting too high. Going plus should be the goal. Open a 4-card major intending to pass the forcing NT if you don't have a five card major or if you do not have one, your longest suit intending to pass partner's response, even if it's in your doubleton major. You can occasionally get a good board by passing these out if you have short spades. Open a weak 2 sometimes with a five card suit, especially if partner is a passed hand. What's 13-? 4333 no A's T's or 9's. Most 13s are 13+s. Don't raise partner's 1M response in comp with 4 in that major if you can support double. With 44 Majors open 1--missing a 4-3 heart fit is a good thing and missing the 4-4 is likely better because that might leave you in 3 or 4. GIB's should consider playing 1st/2nd seat Drury now that it is allowed on the ACBL convention charts.

13-16-: Open 1NT. Most distributions work. 4441 5431 6m331 7m321 55mm(21). You will get a bad score if partner transfers you to your singleton and drops you there, but that doesn't happen as often as getting a good score in my opinion. Oh, and respond 2 to stayman if you have a major if you can handle a lead in your other major. That includes 44MM. Partner will smolen sometimes and other times you are far enough ahead in the play for the 4-4 major fit (if there even is one) to be not as good. You can even consider rejecting Jacoby transfers with 3 or even 4-card support. Here's a top from yesterday's MP game. Most 16s are 16-. The 2 point upgrade doesn't work quite as well with 16s as with 13s. 

16+ to 18-:  Open and jump in NT or raise NT to 2. If you have a solid minor add a couple of points to get to 2NT. 18s can consider jump shifting to a suit.

18+ to 20-: Open 2NT except for two suiters. It's rare that you should accept 2NT-4NT. If you have a solid minor, open 2. Again, 18s with two suits probably do better opening and jump shifting or reversing.

20+: Open 2.

Responding to partner's opener:

With most 13-16 hands, respond 3NT without mentioning 4-card majors. Even bad 5 card majors can be ignored, especially if you can handle a lead in the other major. Partner will almost never have the miracle 15-17 unbalanced hand and you are ahead in the play with the psychic.

10-12-: damage control. Pass the opening bid if you can, negative double or something

12+: You can risk getting to a 23 or 24 point game which will likely make at the expense of getting too high when partner has 10.

16+ or more: consider a Soloway jump shift if partner opened less than 1 and you have a one-suiter that you can show at the two level. This and jacoby 2NT and feature ask are your only reliable slam tools other than roman keycard and Gerber. This week I got to a making grand with less than 30 HCP and stayed in 5 with 32 HCP and a 10-card fit so despite being rudimentary, they work ok.

If partner opens 1NT, slam will often be right if you have 16-17. 4NT can work. 


Overcall 1NT with 13+ (a little more stringent than the opener, but not much). Run from most penalty doubles.

Partner counts high card points including adding points for shortness in your suit or the opponent's trump suit when doubling so feel free to run from partner's penalty double because he will double on your defensive tricks alone if you have shown strength.

If you open NT and they penalty double and partner redoubles showing weak with a 5-card minor, I passed out the redouble with good support for both minors and made it.

If you click the link for earlier system discussion you should get some other interesting ideas. Also in last year's article, you should be less aggressive at first in a 72-board tournament than a 12-board tournament. With six times as many boards, the variance of the mean percent on a board drops so that it's 1 over 6^.5 =~ 1/2.45 as much as in a 12 board tournament. That implies that you should try harder to trade variance for expectation (go for a safe score that's a bit better rather than taking a risk that might pay off a bit less than half the time). In the short tournament, you might win much more often by taking risks; e.g., taking lots of risks, sometimes you win and get .9 masterpoints and sometimes you get 0 vs. playing safe and coming in 6th every time for .16 masterpoints.

For GIB to become a serious AI great player, it needs to remember, like human players, who bids how. That would nullify GIB's helplessness at defending against systematic misbidding. And more to the point, GIB could take into account partner's declarer play so I could overbid by only half as much.

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