|The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)|
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Bridge World subscribers can submit answers too, and the highest scoring amateurs are listed in a page-long honor roll in each magazine. If a solver manages to score 800, he is added to the expert panel for one issue.
My high score in the MSC has been 750. When I read the January 2006 issue, I was surprised to find that I had gotten each of the first six answers correct. Could it be that the Master Solvers Club would have to accept my answers for one tarnished month? How many Home Star Runner references could I work into eight problems? But alas, I scored 70 and 80 on the last two problems.
Rereading the December issue I found that the MSC was in no danger anyway; panellists who score 800 will now receive valuable prizes (as in bridge books). Now that my hopes of joining the panel are completely crushed, there's nothing for me to do but blog my own MSC submissions.
A. KJ93 KQ7 J984 K7
Matchpoints, both vul:
1 Double 3 ?
FLOYD MCWILLIAMS: Double. A penalty pass is extremely improbable (and if it happens, spades were probably breaking 4-1). Partner will probably bid 4C, over which I will bid 4S, showing a flexible hand. 3N is appealing, but I have no aces and may need to lose the lead twice.
B. - QT952 AKQ87643 -
1 2 ?
Note for non-subscribers: This is not a typical MSC problem.
5N. If Al Roth were still on the panel he would abstain. This big blast should be Grand Slam Force, not pick a slam -- I wouldn't use up so much bidding space if I needed partner's input for strain.
C. Q75 AK86 KJ3 J96
1 Pass ?
(Note that 1N is semi-forcing, 2N is a strong raise, 3N is a semi-preemptive raise).
2. This is less of a distortion than 2 on jack-third. If partner raises hearts it's painless to return to spades.
D. T42 KQJ8 T A8543
Imps, N-S vul:
1 1 ?
a: Pass, then specify rebid after partner's reopening double
b: Double (showing 4 spades), then specify rebid after partner's 1 bid
d: 2 (forcing to 2)
c. Maximum for 1N, but 2 then 2N is an overbid with a misfit for partner's suit (not to mention that I may not get a chance to rebid 2N). Pass is absurd -- I don't want to defend on the one level with four trumps -- and double is not much better.
E. AK6 742 AQT9 KQ9
IMPs, N-S vul:
Pass Pass 1 Double
2 2 Pass ?
3. What else? I'm certainly not bidding a four-card suit at the three level, and I'm not raising spades when I can cuebid to suggest a strong hand with no direction.
F. J3 652 AT3 KT742
Imps, none vul.
Pass 3 Pass 4
Pass Pass 4 Double
Pass. Partner had a spade preempt and couldn't bid over 3; now he's saving.
1 Pass 3 Pass
4 Pass Pass 4
I still pass. First of all, I think partner has spades only; with spades and another suit he should have done something over 3 so he could get a second bid in. Secondly, even if partner does have a second suit to bid like this, there's no reason to believe that 5 would be much better than 4. (And finally, if we do go for a big number it will encourage partner to play with someone else.)
G. T7642 9 T AQ8653
Matchpoints, N-S vul.
1 Double ?
5. I talked myself out of 1. RHO appears to be very short in clubs, which increases the odds that he will have four spades.
H. AT9 T9862 7 Q864
IMPs, Opponents bid:
5 (two keycards, no Q) 5
7. RHO passed because he was off two keycards or the ace and queen of trumps. If partner has a side ace, I will get a ruff either immediately or when I win my ace of trumps. If not, we may get three trump tricks -- though I admit that my lead may scare declarer into playing me for the trump ace.
I've never gotten an 800, but I have scored a 720. Average somewhere in the low 600s.
By 7:16 AM, at