123456789012345678901234567890
It's the final Mentor-Mentee Game of 2019 and the first at the new location of the Vancouver Bridge Centre, and from what I hear it will be at full capacity!  My preparation for the event involves me playing the 22 boards you played against three world championship computers and trying to emerge unscathed.  Let's see how that goes...

This website contains all 22 deals, as well as comments on them by Bruce McIntyre.  Before playing the deals, I had JACK, the computer program from Holland that usually wins the computer bridge world championships, play them with four fairly strong computer players at each of fifty virtual tables!  The results from that tournament are saved in a file, which I feed to another little program that I wrote, which creates a template file for me to write comments.  This template file also tips me off as to which Mentee seat (South or West) to sit in, basing it on the more interesting hand, usually the declaring side but occasionally the defender.  This means that I'll be playing West on some deals and South on others, and thus the comments will not all be from one perspective.  (To see which hand I played, look at the auction headers or the compass positions in the deal diagram: either South or West will have a gray background.)  When I play the deals, I compare the score that I and my computer partner make against the two computer opponents, hoping to impress you but often explaining my errors or wondering what got into my computer partner's I/O ports!

All 50 tables plus my table are playing Standard American Yellow Card, a good starting point on the way to 2/1, the system that dominates tournament bridge in North America.  Without getting into the endless different bells and whistles that players choose for their 2/1 systems, I will occasionally make a comment on how a plain vanilla 2/1 auction might differ from SAYC.  As well, I edited JACK's version of SAYC to include a number of conventions that many players play: 2NT after RHO's takeout double to promise limit-raise support for partner's suit, inverted minor suit raises, light third seat openers, weak jump shift responses, Texas transfers, Roman Keycard Blackwood, support and responsive doubles, reverse Drury, New Minor Forcing, and Sandwich 1NT overcalls.  All of these should have documentation on Wikipedia if unfamiliar to you.

To help you see what the computer players did, we show the complete deal and the auction I had.  I explain most unusual bids in the comments.  Beside the sample auction is the list of computer results, in order of frequency (with mine in blue).  You can see how each result fared in the computer tournament by looking at the NS% column (you'll have to figure out EW% for yourself...).  This is NOT a prediction of how well a result will score in the real game: that's almost unpredictable!  On the right hand side of a wide screen, but down below if your screen is not wide enough, are my comments on the deal.  Scroll down to see them all, plus the stats on the deal at the bottom.  Below that are two more frequency lists.  The first is a list of "six-packs": the first six calls in the auction and who made them (ignoring passes) from which you can see how auctions begin and develop at the fifty different computer tables.  The second counts the most common opening lead cards.  On some deals where both sides might become declarer, this list will include cards from different hands, but on deals where the same hand is usually declarer, this will show which cards were chosen by the artificial intelligence the most often.

The buttons along the top of the screen allow you to jump from board to board easily instead of scrolling along forever.  You can view the hands in the order you played them (sometimes this helps to jog your memory of the afternoon, try it!) or view the interesting ones you starred on your scoresheet to take a good look at later.

As always, what you see will depend a little bit on your browser and screen size.  I have designed this to fit nicely on an iPad-sized screen and used specifically-selected fonts available to iOS, but I've specified similar ones when this page loads on other platforms.

The computer opponents are set a little bit tougher this time, and as always they never forget a card, so I will have my work cut out for me to finish with a decent score against machines that don't make as many errors as I do and know their systems perfectly...
 
123456789012345678901234567890
123456789012345678901234567890
Board North None vul
North dealer
1 QT87
9752
West 8 East
A954 KQ43 J62
6 Q3
KQJ543 South 9762
52 K3 T876
November 16, 2019 AKJT84 Matchpoint Pairs
AT
AJ9
123456789012345678901234567890
A Sample Auction: What The Computers Did:
West North East South Result NS EW Freq. NS%
- Pass Pass 2♣ 6♥s= 980 32 69
3♦ Dble Pass 3♥ 4♥s+2 480 14 17
Pass 4♥ Pass 4NT 5♥s+1 480 3 17
Pass 5♣ Pass 5♥ 4♥s+3 510 1 36
end 5♥s+1 480 1 17

We start with an interesting decision: is the South hand worth a strong and artifical 2♣ opener or is 1♥ enough?  I resolve these issues with the guidance I learned in the classic book Five Weeks To Winning Bridge, written by Alfred Sheinwold in 1959 and still available well into the 1980s.  Sheinwold's idea was that a 2♣ opener should always have at least as many Quick Tricks than probable losers.  The South hand has 4½ Quick Tricks (one-half in spades, two in hearts, one in each minor) and 4½ likely losers (1½ in spades, ½ in hearts, one in diamonds, and 1½ in clubs, although one might call it two losers in clubs.)  I decide to open 2♣ and partner doubles the 3♦ overcall.  JACK claims that this shows at least 8+ and both majors, so I bid a forcing 3♥ (4♥ would not be forcing).  JACK raises to game and I try Blackwood, but missing the ace of spades I decide to play 5♥.  Unlucky: JACK has perfect cards, the Q♠ and the KQ♣.  Even this might not be enough if West has a singleton spade to lead, but not this time: 6♥ is easy, and not getting there costs a bundle of matchpoints, as the computers, who have all opened 1♥, get there without a lot of trouble.  Oh well.

McBruce's Result: 5♥s+1, 480 to NS, MY SCORE: 17%.


Board #1  NorthSouth East  West 
Highcard Pts.:720310
Freakness:3416
Tricks Available In:
Notrump:111111
Spades:8822
Hearts:121211
Diamonds:6676
Clubs:111111

Six-Packs
(First 6 calls)

Opening
Leads

1♥s;3♦w;3♥n;4♣s;4♥n;4NTs x 35
1♥s;3♦w;3♥n;4♣s;4♥n;End x 14
1♥s;3♦w;3♥n;4♥s;End x 1

K♦ x 50

123456789012345678901234567890
Board North N-S vul
East dealer
2 JT8
KT
West QJ965 East
974 Q83 KQ52
J7654 Q832
732 South 4
J7 A63 T952
November 16, 2019 A9 Matchpoint Pairs
AKT8
AK64
123456789012345678901234567890
A Sample Auction: What The Computers Did:
West North East South Result NS EW Freq. NS%
- - Pass 2♣ 6NTn= 1440 40 61
Pass 2NT Pass 3♣ 6♦s= 1370 8 13
Pass 3♦ Pass 3♥ 3NTn+3 690 1 4
Pass 3♠ Pass 4♦ 5♦s+1 620 1 2
Pass 4NT Pass 5♦ 7♦n-1 100 1 0
Pass 6♦ Pass 7♦
end

This South hand has six Quick Tricks and five or maybe six likely losers (depending how optimistic you are about the fourth cards in suits headed by the ace-king), but being a balanced hand of 22 it is too strong to open 2NT and must be opened 2♣.  Partner bids 2NT, showing 8+, and it's hard to know how to proceed.  3NT feels like an underbid if partner has extras, so I try 3♣, a natural call, and partner responds 3♦, showing "a fivecard." (JACK is from the Netherlands, and "a fivecard" is its way to say "a five-card suit.")  Cuebids and ace-asking follows, and when partner settles in 6♦ I think extra action is required, either 6NT or 7♦.  True to form, I choose the wrong one, 7♦, which is almost certainly down one when East leads the K♠.  I win, run all five diamonds, forcing East into some difficult discards.  When one of these is a club, the clubs also run and East is under pressure again, needing to discard from ♠ Q ♥ Q82 on the final club, looking at ♠ 6 ♥ A9 in dummy.  Does declarer (North) have two hearts or three?  The computer guesses right and I am down one for a rough start.

McBruce's Result: 7♦n-1, 100 to EW, MY SCORE: 0%.  MY TOTAL SO FAR: 8.50%


Board #2  NorthSouth East  West 
Highcard Pts.:92272
Freakness:2132
Tricks Available In:
Notrump:121211
Spades:101022
Hearts:7766
Diamonds:121211
Clubs:111122

Six-Packs
(First 6 calls)

Opening
Leads

2♣s;2NTn;3NTs;4NTn;5♦s;5NTn x 21
2♣s;2NTn;3NTs;4NTn;5♦s;6NTn x 19
2♣s;2NTn;3NTs;4NTn;5♦s;6♦n x 8
2♣s;2NTn;3NTs;End x 1
2♣s;2NTn;4NTs;5♣n;5♦s;End x 1

K♠ x 41
7♠ x 9

123456789012345678901234567890
Board North E-W vul
South dealer
3 QJ
T7
West J542 East
AK T7432 T76542
KQJ643 A9
AQ86 South T3
8 983 AKJ
November 16, 2019 852 Matchpoint Pairs
K97
Q965
123456789012345678901234567890
A Sample Auction: What The Computers Did:
West North East South Result NS EW Freq. NS%
- - - Pass 6♥w+1 1460 26 50
2♣ Pass 2♦ Pass 6NTe+1 1470 9 12
2♥ Pass 2♠ Pass 6♥w= 1430 9 90
3♦ Pass 3♠ Pass 6♠e+1 1460 3 50
4♥ Pass 4NT Pass 4♠e+3 710 1 100
5♣ Pass 5♦ Pass 7♥w= 2210 1 1
5NT Pass 7♥ end 6NTe= 1440 1 80
7♥w= 2210 1 1

Another big hand!  This one has 4½ Quick Tricks (AQ is 1½ KQ is 1) and 3½ - 4 likely losers, so a 2♣ opener is clear.  Partner responds 2♦ (a waiting bid, JACK does not have the capability to play the '2♥ negative' treatment that many locals play), and I show hearts and diamonds while partner shows a hand with six spades and some strength.  I choose not to signoff in 4♠ and rebid hearts, and this leads to an ace-asking sequence in which I show four keycards, then show the Q♥ plus one king with a 5NT bid, and partner bids the grand.  (Modern technique is to use 5♥ to deny the trump queen, 5♠ to show it and the K♠, 5NT to show it but no king, and 6♣ or 6♦ to show the Q♥, no K♠, and the king of the suit bid.  JACK instead has a simpler version where 5♠ shows no king, 5NT shows one, and so on.)  The play is difficult after the club lead kills one of my entries to dummy.  I win the king and play a spade to the ace, and North plays the Q♠ after a short delay.  This is clearly NOT a singleton, so I cash the other spade and North drops the jack.  Spades are set to run but trumps cannot be pulled.  But there is one hope.  I cash the K♥ and lead a heart to the ace, seeing with approval North's ten.  I need North to hold only two trumps, so that I can cash one spade without having it ruffed.  I first cash the K♣, pitching a diamond, and then cash the T♠, which South follows to, and after I pitch a diamond North .... discards the 2♣.  Deep breath, but we need one more bit of luck: the diamond finesse.  It works and 7♥ makes for a near top.  On anything but a club lead it is easy to pull trumps, cash two spades, go over to dummy with the ace of clubs, and run the spades for thirteen tricks.  The club lead made it an adventure!

McBruce's Result: 7♥w=, 2210 to EW, MY SCORE: 99%.  MY TOTAL SO FAR: 38.67%  


Board #3  NorthSouth East  West 
Highcard Pts.:451219
Freakness:3046
Tricks Available In:
Notrump:001313
Spades:001313
Hearts:001313
Diamonds:111212
Clubs:4499

Six-Packs
(First 6 calls)

Opening
Leads

2♣w;2♦e;2♥w;2♠e;3♦w;3♠e x 50

3♣ x 36
5♣ x 14

123456789012345678901234567890
Board North Both vul
West dealer
4 AK874
43
West J42 East
T6 T83 QJ953
T962 KJ
AQ93 South T7
J42 2 KQ65
November 16, 2019 AQ875 Matchpoint Pairs
K865
A97
123456789012345678901234567890
A Sample Auction: What The Computers Did:
West North East South Result NS EW Freq. NS%
Pass Pass 1♠ 2♥ 2♥s-1 100 28 69
end 2♥s-2 200 21 20
2♥s= 110 1 99
2♥s= 110 1 99

What?  Only 13 points?  What's going on?  After three deals that start with a 2♣ call, I overcall a 1♠ opener with 2♥ and the auction ends.  Did I consider doubling?  I did, but five to the AQ is surely good enough to insist on my suit rather than risk partner responding in clubs with four only.  Dummy hits after the unanimous T♠ lead and I get to win and pitch a club loser right away, then finesse the Q♥.  East puts up the king so I win the ace.  Next job is to play ace and another club from hand, which puts East in with the Q♣.  Back comes the Q♠, ruffed and overruffed by West, who returns a trump to East's jack and my queen, putting me in so I have to start diamonds from hand, playing low to the jack.  The opponents eventually get only the club trick, two diamonds, and two ruffs for West, and I escape with eight tricks for a great score.  After two disasters in the first two boards, I am back above average!

McBruce's Result: 2♥s=, 110 to NS, MY SCORE: 99%.  MY TOTAL SO FAR: 53.75%


Board #4  NorthSouth East  West 
Highcard Pts.:813127
Freakness:2431
Tricks Available In:
Notrump:6677
Spades:6677
Hearts:7766
Diamonds:7766
Clubs:6677

Six-Packs
(First 6 calls)

Opening
Leads

1♠e;2♥s;End x 50

T♠ x 50

123456789012345678901234567890
Board North N-S vul
North dealer
5 QJT7
632
West T72 East
K3 T52 A542
KQ84 AJ97
K3 South 85
K9763 986 AJ8
November 16, 2019 T5 Matchpoint Pairs
AQJ964
Q4
123456789012345678901234567890
A Sample Auction: What The Computers Did:
West North East South Result NS EW Freq. NS%
- Pass 1♣ 2♦ 3NTw+3 490 39 38
2♥ Pass 4♥ end 5♣e= 400 6 88
3NTw-2 100 3 98
3NTw+2 460 1 80
3NTw= 400 1 88
4♥w+2 480 1 78

After partner opens 1♣ in second seat and RHO overcalls a pre-emptive 2♦, I have to make some forcing call with my 14-count.  A negative double with only two spades is out, so I choose to bid 2♥.  Does this promise five?  Perhaps.  My computer partner raises to 4♥ and if this shows extras we'll be in the slam zone, but when I see that JACK expects me to have five hearts, I decide to park at the four-level.  Is it a good decision?  Hard to say: partner has four hearts and six might be there.  The danger is in letting South in, who may have only QJTxxx for the 2♦ call, and can lead a diamond through my king.  So I win the opening lead in hand and pull trumps in three rounds ending in dummy.  This sets up an unusual play: the J♣ from dummy.  This unusual way of playing the suit may lose an unnecessary trick, but keeps South out.  South covers with the queen and I guess well, finessing the 8♣ on the second round.  A♠ and a spade ruff gets me back to hand to run the rest of the clubs for twelve tricks.  This is a poor score as the rigid computers are unable to find their heart fit and play a risky 3NT, depending on the location of the A♦.  I like 4♥ better, if it goes awry I'm still getting a plus score, but this is matchpoints and this attitude often costs.

McBruce's Result: 4♥w+2, 480 to EW, MY SCORE: 22%.  MY TOTAL SO FAR: 47.40%


Board #5  NorthSouth East  West 
Highcard Pts.:391414
Freakness:0413
Tricks Available In:
Notrump:111212
Spades:331010
Hearts:111212
Diamonds:5577
Clubs:111212

Six-Packs
(First 6 calls)

Opening
Leads

1♣e;2♦s;3NTw;End x 44
1♣e;2♦s;5♣w;End x 6

7♦ x 44
8♠ x 6

123456789012345678901234567890
Board North E-W vul
East dealer
6 9432
A83
West 654 East
Q76 KQT AJ8
QT9 J765
Q987 South KT
J54 KT5 A732
November 16, 2019 K42 Matchpoint Pairs
AJ32
986
123456789012345678901234567890
A Sample Auction: What The Computers Did:
West North East South Result NS EW Freq. NS%
- - 1♣ Pass 2♠n-1 50 21 59
1♦ Pass 1♥ end 1♥e= 80 13 23
1♥e-1 100 5 92
1NTw-1 100 4 92
1NTw= 90 2 7
1♥e+1 110 1 0
2♠n-2 100 1 3
2♠s-2 100 1 3
2♠s-1 50 1 59
1♠n= 80 1 82
1♥e= 80 1 23

The auction ends quickly, and I hate all my possibilities on opening lead against 1♥, but I manage to find a decent one, the 8♣.  We get two trumps, two clubs, the K♠ and the A♦, and there doesn't seem to be anything else.  The score is disappointing, but who on our side should come into the auction?  And is spades really where we want to be?  Making seven tricks in spades looks a lot harder than getting seven against one heart.  Sometimes you just get unlucky in matchpoints and have to take what you get.

McBruce's Result: 1♥e=, 80 to EW, MY SCORE: 23%.  MY TOTAL SO FAR: 43.33%


Board #6  NorthSouth East  West 
Highcard Pts.:911137
Freakness:0010
Tricks Available In:
Notrump:7766
Spades:7766
Hearts:6677
Diamonds:6677
Clubs:6677

Six-Packs
(First 6 calls)

Opening
Leads

1♣e;1♦w;1♥e;End x 19
1♣e;1♦w;1♥e;1♠n;1NTe;2♠s x 16
1♣e;1♦w;1♥e;1NTw;End x 6
1♣e;1♦w;1♥e;1♠n;2♠s;End x 4
1♣e;1♦w;1♥e;1♠n;1NTw;2♠s x 2
1♣e;1♦w;1♥e;1♠s;1NTe;2♠n x 1
1♣e;1♦w;1♥e;1♠s;2♠n;End x 1
1♣e;1♦w;1♥e;1♠n;End x 1

K♦ x 23
2♥ x 19
2♠ x 6
T♥ x 2

123456789012345678901234567890
Board North Both vul
South dealer
7 J52
AQ8
West K874 East
K976 AQ9 T843
T7 9632
965 South AT3
J743 AQ 62
November 16, 2019 KJ54 Matchpoint Pairs
QJ2
KT85
123456789012345678901234567890
A Sample Auction: What The Computers Did:
West North East South Result NS EW Freq. NS%
- - - 1NT 6NTs= 1440 38 63
Pass 2♠* Pass 3♥* 3NTs+3 690 6 18
Pass 3NT end 3NTs+3 690 1 18
5♦s= 600 2 5
5♦s+1 620 2 9
6NTs-1 100 1 2
6♣n-2 200 1 0

In my attempt to get JACK to be closer to SAYC, I added this strange convention: Minor Suit Asking.  From JACK I found that 2♠ asks the 1NT opener to describe his hand, and 3♣ promises five clubs, so that's out.  Apparently 3♥ is the correct bid, showing four clubs, but less than four diamonds.  (Watch for this interesting convention the next time you play club bridge in Europe)  With this information, partner chose ... 3NT, and a poor score was guaranteed.  Gee, JACK, I played your convention, made the right bid and still with 16 opposite a 15-17 1NT you bail?  Grrrrr....

McBruce's Result: 3NTs+3, 690 to NS, MY SCORE: 18%.  MY TOTAL SO FAR: 39.71%


Board #7  NorthSouth East  West 
Highcard Pts.:161644
Freakness:0111
Tricks Available In:
Notrump:111211
Spades:9944
Hearts:111211
Diamonds:111211
Clubs:111211

Six-Packs
(First 6 calls)

Opening
Leads

1NTs;2♠n;3♥s;3NTn;4NTs;5♥n x 28
1NTs;2♠n;3♥s;4NTn;5♦s;6NTn x 11
1NTs;2♠n;3♥s;3NTn;End x 6
1NTs;2♠n;3♥s;4NTn;5♦s;End x 4
1NTs;2♠n;3♥s;4NTn;5♦s;6♣n x 1

6♠ x 45
T♥ x 4
3♠ x 1

123456789012345678901234567890
Board North None vul
West dealer
8 T8
AQ764
West J4 East
AJ6 T964 KQ743
T98 J5
AT9862 South KQ3
A 952 J87
November 16, 2019 K32 Matchpoint Pairs
75
KQ532
123456789012345678901234567890
A Sample Auction: What The Computers Did:
West North East South Result NS EW Freq. NS%
1♦ 1♥ 1♠ 2♥ 4♠e+3 510 37 37
3♠ Pass 4♠ end 4♠e+2 480 10 85
4♠e= 420 3 98
4♠e+3 510 1 37

Partner's 1♠ response in competition shows five spades, since a negative double is available with four.  When South continues to 2♥, my hand is much stronger than its thirteen points: a singleton A♣, a long suit to potentially develop for extra tricks, and length in hearts that limits partner to two losers (since the opponents surely have at least eight between them for their bids).  Not quite enough to go straight to 4♠, but 2♠ risks missing a game.  3♠ gets partner to bid the game, and when South chooses to lead a club instead of a heart, this allows me to ruff a club for a thirteenth winner and a good score.  Very poor decision by the computer on opening lead: when both players bid hearts, leading from the Kxx has almost no chance to cost a trick; you need only find partner with the ace or the queen.

McBruce's Result: 4♠e+3, 510 to EW, MY SCORE: 63%.  MY TOTAL SO FAR: 42.63%.


Board #8  NorthSouth East  West 
Highcard Pts.:781213
Freakness:3225
Tricks Available In:
Notrump:1188
Spades:001111
Hearts:6655
Diamonds:111111
Clubs:8855

Six-Packs
(First 6 calls)

Opening
Leads

1♦w;1♥n;1♠e;2♥s;3♠w;4♠e x 50

K♣ x 50

123456789012345678901234567890
Board North E-W vul
North dealer
9 Q5432
K853
West K East
AT8 J72 K976
J9 A
JT984 South Q763
AK5 J T984
November 16, 2019 QT7642 Matchpoint Pairs
A52
Q63
123456789012345678901234567890
A Sample Auction: What The Computers Did:
West North East South Result NS EW Freq. NS%
- Pass Pass Pass 3♦w+3 170 22 24
1♦ Pass 1♠ Pass 3♦w+2 150 20 70
1NT Pass 3♦ end 4♦w+1 150 2 70
4♥s-1 50 2 97
4♦w+2 170 2 24
3♥s= 140 1 100
1NTe= 90 1 94
3♦w+2 150 1 70

I consider 3NT but hearts appear to be a potential weak spot, so I pass 3♦ and hope for the best.  I win the heart lead, cross to a club, and ruff a heart, then lead a trump from dummy.  South manages to duck and North wins and switches to a low spade.  This allows me to guess the spade position since North would not lead a low spade without an honour, and I make the rest except for the ace of trumps.  Bad score: many computer Souths appear to have gone up with the A♦ on the first round, swallowing partner's king!  Unlucky again!

McBruce's Result: 3♦w+2, 150 to EW, MY SCORE: 30%.  MY TOTAL SO FAR: 41.22%


Board #9  NorthSouth East  West 
Highcard Pts.:99913
Freakness:4532
Tricks Available In:
Notrump:5577
Spades:5588
Hearts:9944
Diamonds:221010
Clubs:4488

Six-Packs
(First 6 calls)

Opening
Leads

1♦w;1♠e;1NTw;3♦e;End x 42
1♦w;1♠n;1NTe;2♥s;3♥n;4♦e x 6
1♦w;1♠n;1NTe;2♥s;3♥n;End x 1
1♦w;1♠n;1NTe;End x 1

3♥ x 46
A♣ x 3
6♥ x 1

123456789012345678901234567890
Board North Both vul
East dealer
10 53
T3
West KQ76 East
Q984 AKT82 AKJT76
QJ84 A5
J42 South 9
J7 2 Q943
November 16, 2019 K9762 Matchpoint Pairs
AT853
65
123456789012345678901234567890
A Sample Auction: What The Computers Did:
West North East South Result NS EW Freq. NS%
- - 1♠ 2♠+ 4♠e-1 100 47 53
Pass 2NT* 3♠ Pass 3♠e= 140 3 3
4♠ Dble end 4♠s*e-1 200 1 100

My hand looks like just enough to try a Michaels cuebid, promising 5-5 in hearts and an unspecified minor.  Partner's 2NT asks that I reveal my second suit, but before I can, opener rebids 3♠.  When West raises to 4♠, partner decides to double.  Don't panic!  We have a trick, maybe two.  Partner is not counting on much more.  A routine defense nets us a diamond, two clubs, and a heart, getting the plus score, and it turns out to be a top!  Nice double, partner!

McBruce's Result: 4♠*e-1, 200 to NS, MY SCORE: 100%.  MY TOTAL SO FAR: 47.10%


Board #10  NorthSouth East  West 
Highcard Pts.:127147
Freakness:3661
Tricks Available In:
Notrump:6655
Spades:4499
Hearts:8844
Diamonds:101033
Clubs:8844

Six-Packs
(First 6 calls)

Opening
Leads

1♠e;2♠w;3♣n;4♠e;End x 47
1♠e;2♠w;3♣n;3♠e;End x 3

6♣ x 50

123456789012345678901234567890
Board North None vul
South dealer
11 K52
West Q764 East
AQJ84 AKQJT9 9763
983 AKQ72
T832 South 95
3 T 87
November 16, 2019 JT654 Matchpoint Pairs
AKJ
6542
123456789012345678901234567890
A Sample Auction: What The Computers Did:
West North East South Result NS EW Freq. NS%
- - - Pass 6♣n= 920 26 72
Pass 1♣ 1♥ 2♥+ 5♣n+1 420 15 22
Dble+ 3♦ Pass 4♣ 3NTs+1 430 4 41
Pass 4♥ Pass 4♠ 3NTs= 400 4 3
Pass 5♣ Pass 6♣ 6♣Xn= 1090 1 100
end 6♣n= 920 1 72

Partner opens 1♣ and as I am about to respond 1♥, RHO makes a 1♥ overcall.  I have a difficult call, but decide to support clubs with a 2♥ cuebid; LHO doubles to show heart support, and the battle lines are drawn.  Partner shows a diamond suit and I bid 4♣, and two cuebids later we are in 5♣, and it doesn't feel like enough.  Partner has first round control of hearts and I have support for his diamonds and a shortness in spades.  I continue on to 6♣ (aware that it could be an embarrassing move if his clubs are seven to the jack...) and slam rolls home.  Careful though: when you get a heart lead it is tempting to try and pitch that spade loser on the fourth diamond.  Pulling two trumps to make this safe may leave you insufficient trumps to get home.  Better to lead the T♠ and ensure two spade ruffs first.

McBruce's Result: 6♣n=, 920 to NS, MY SCORE: 72%.  MY TOTAL SO FAR: 49.36%.  Wild roller coaster ride so far, with tops and bottoms and few averages...let's see what the second half brings.


Board #11  NorthSouth East  West 
Highcard Pts.:15997
Freakness:7434
Tricks Available In:
Notrump:9933
Spades:5578
Hearts:6677
Diamonds:9933
Clubs:121211

Six-Packs
(First 6 calls)

Opening
Leads

1♣n;1♥e;2♥s;Dbl-w;3♥n;3NTs x 21
1♣n;1♥e;2♥s;Dbl-w;3♦n;5♣s x 16
1♣n;1♥e;2♥s;Dbl-w;3♦n;4NTs x 8
1♣n;1♥e;2♥s;Dbl-w;4♥n;4♠s x 5

A♥ x 42
9♥ x 8

123456789012345678901234567890
Board North N-S vul
West dealer
12 KQ832
Q3
West Q5 East
AT92 AJT754
A9765 KT
A863 South 7
QJ65 96 K843
November 16, 2019 J842 Matchpoint Pairs
KJT942
7
123456789012345678901234567890
A Sample Auction: What The Computers Did:
West North East South Result NS EW Freq. NS%
1♥ 1♠ 2♣ Pass 3NTe-1 50 18 31
3♣ Pass 3NT end 5♣e-1 50 13 31
3NTe-2 100 11 79
3NTe-2 100 1 79
5♣e-2 100 3 79
3NTe-3 150 1 96
5♥w-2 100 1 79
6♣Xe-2 300 1 98
6♣Xe-3 500 1 100
5♥w-1 50 1 31

Difficult hand.  I raise clubs and partner takes a shot at 3NT.  This seems a bit scary based on my distribution, but 5♣ is two more tricks and seems an even bigger long shot.  So I pass and 3NT is indeed difficult, especially after a diamond lead.  Down two I go for a poor score.

McBruce's Result: 3NTe-2, 100 to NS, MY SCORE: 21%.  MY TOTAL SO FAR: 47.00%


Board #12  NorthSouth East  West 
Highcard Pts.:1351111
Freakness:3666
Tricks Available In:
Notrump:5588
Spades:4499
Hearts:4499
Diamonds:7766
Clubs:331010

Six-Packs
(First 6 calls)

Opening
Leads

1♥w;1♠n;2♣e;2♦w;3NTe;End x 30
1♥w;1♠n;2♣e;2♦w;2♠e;5♣w x 13
1♥w;1♠n;2♣e;2♦w;2♥e;5♣w x 7

J♦ x 30
9♠ x 18
K♠ x 2

123456789012345678901234567890
Board North Both vul
North dealer
13 QT3
KJ
West KJT87 East
62 T52 AJ987
AT752 983
42 South Q96
J987 K54 Q4
November 16, 2019 Q64 Matchpoint Pairs
A53
AK63
123456789012345678901234567890
A Sample Auction: What The Computers Did:
West North East South Result NS EW Freq. NS%
- Pass Pass 1NT 3NTs+1 630 17 80
Pass 3NT end 3NTs-2 200 15 15
3NTs-2 200 1 15
3NTs= 600 11 52
3NTs-1 100 5 36
3NTs+2 660 2 99

A simple auction puts me in 3NT and the Q♦ is the key card; figuring out where it is will be crucial.  My big mistake is to try to sneak a spade trick before deciding how to tackle the diamonds.  I win the heart lead in dummy and play a spade to the king, which East ducks smoothly.  Now the diamond finesse loses to East, a heart to West's ace, and a spade through the QT seals my fate.  Dumb move; better would be to play diamonds first and find out how many tricks elsewhere would be needed.  Time to put the computer down and come back to this before I spiral down even further.

McBruce's Result: 3NTs-2, 200 to EW, MY SCORE: 15%.  MY TOTAL SO FAR: 44.54%


Board #13  NorthSouth East  West 
Highcard Pts.:101695
Freakness:2023
Tricks Available In:
Notrump:101033
Spades:8855
Hearts:7766
Diamonds:101033
Clubs:9944

Six-Packs
(First 6 calls)

Opening
Leads

1NTs;3NTn;End x 50

5♥ x 50

123456789012345678901234567890
Board North None vul
East dealer
14 QJT85
A974
West Q East
A A76 762
865 QJ
KJ64 South 987532
KJ843 K943 QT
November 16, 2019 KT32 Matchpoint Pairs
AT
952
123456789012345678901234567890
A Sample Auction: What The Computers Did:
West North East South Result NS EW Freq. NS%
- - Pass Pass 4♠n-1 50 28 27
1♣ 1♠ Pass 2♣ 4♠n= 420 19 81
Dble 4♠ end 3♠n= 140 3 58
4♠n= 420 1 81

Not the greatest opener ever, but I am in third seat.  Opponents quickly find their spade game and wrap it up.  I double the support-showing 2♣ cuebid for a club lead, but the layout is such that declarer cannot lose more than a spade and two clubs.  Even a heart lead is not enough: declarer wins in hand and plays a trump to my ace.  I lead a second heart but declarer wins and pulls trumps.  No heart ruff for us.  It's baffling how a majority of the computer declarers went down.  Maybe the first heart honour convinced the computer that it was a singleton and a second round finesse failed!

McBruce's Result: 4♠n=, 420 to NS, MY SCORE: 19%.  MY TOTAL SO FAR: 42.71%


Board #14  NorthSouth East  West 
Highcard Pts.:1310512
Freakness:4144
Tricks Available In:
Notrump:7733
Spades:101033
Hearts:101022
Diamonds:4499
Clubs:6677

Six-Packs
(First 6 calls)

Opening
Leads

1♣w;1♠n;2♣s;4♠n;End x 24
1♣w;1♠n;2♣s;3♥n;4♠s;End x 20
1♣w;1♠n;2♣s;2♥n;4♠s;End x 3
1♣w;1♠n;2♣s;3♥n;3♠s;End x 2
1♣w;1♠n;2♣s;2♥n;3♠s;End x 1

Q♣ x 50

123456789012345678901234567890
Board North N-S vul
South dealer
15 9753
AK942
West East
T6 T854 AK42
T765 J3
QJ42 South AK853
932 QJ8 Q6
November 16, 2019 Q8 Matchpoint Pairs
T976
AKJ7
123456789012345678901234567890
A Sample Auction: What The Computers Did:
West North East South Result NS EW Freq. NS%
- - - 1♦ 1NTs= 90 49 49
Pass 1♥ Pass 1NT 1NTs= 90 1 49
end 1NTs+1 120 1 100

Heh.  Sometimes this happens.  Like the eye of a hurricane, right in the middle of a wild set of boards there is one where everything seems obvious.  1♦ - 1♥ - 1NT is the uncontested auction everywhere, and the 1♦ opener dissuades West from leading a normal diamond, instead opting for a club, which gives me seven tricks: four clubs and three hearts.  If you chose to open the better-looking club suit instead of 1♦, you get to 1NT but go down one on a diamond lead!  The theory is that 1♦ is the better opener because if the opponents come into the auction you can rebid 2♣ and partner can prefer diamonds without going up a level.

McBruce's Result: 1NTs=, 90 to NS, MY SCORE: 49%.  MY TOTAL SO FAR: 43.13%


Board #15  NorthSouth East  West 
Highcard Pts.:713173
Freakness:6131
Tricks Available In:
Notrump:6666
Spades:8844
Hearts:9944
Diamonds:5588
Clubs:101033

Six-Packs
(First 6 calls)

Opening
Leads

1♦s;1♥n;1NTs;End x 50

9♣ x 50

123456789012345678901234567890
Board North E-W vul
West dealer
16 T9862
95
West AT8 East
3 KQ4 AQ54
AKJ2 T63
954 South J763
AT987 KJ7 63
November 16, 2019 Q874 Matchpoint Pairs
KQ2
J52
123456789012345678901234567890
A Sample Auction: What The Computers Did:
West North East South Result NS EW Freq. NS%
1♣ 1♠ 1NT 2♣ 2♠n= 110 30 49
Pass 2♠ Pass Pass 3♠n-1 50 8 11
3♣ end 3♣w-2 200 5 86
3♣w-3 300 3 96
3♠Xn-1 100 2 1
3♣w-4 400 1 100
2NTe-2 200 1 86
3♣w-2 200 1 86

I open, North overcalls, partner makes a free bid of 1NT, and South cuebids 2♣ to indicate spade support.  When North's 2♠ is passed around to me, I decide to try 3♣.  Partner's hand is a bit of a disappointment and I go two down, turning an average defending 2♠ into a near-bottom.  Sigh.

McBruce's Result: 3♣w-2, 200 to NS, MY SCORE: 14%.  MY TOTAL SO FAR: 41.31%


Board #16  NorthSouth East  West 
Highcard Pts.:912712
Freakness:2014
Tricks Available In:
Notrump:7766
Spades:8855
Hearts:5577
Diamonds:5577
Clubs:6677

Six-Packs
(First 6 calls)

Opening
Leads

1♣w;1♠n;1NTe;2♣s;2♠n;End x 30
1♣w;1♠n;1NTe;2♣s;3♣w;End x 9
1♣w;1♠n;1NTe;2♣s;3♣w;3♠s x 6
1♣w;1♠n;1NTe;2♣s;2♠n;2NTe x 4
1♣w;1♠n;1NTe;2♣s;2♠n;3♠s x 1

6♣ x 40
T♠ x 9
7♠ x 1

123456789012345678901234567890
Board North None vul
North dealer
17 K
K52
West AK9753 East
AJ9862 AQ9 T53
QT9864
J South Q
KJ8762 Q74 T43
November 16, 2019 AJ73 Matchpoint Pairs
T8642
5
123456789012345678901234567890
A Sample Auction: What The Computers Did:
West North East South Result NS EW Freq. NS%
- 1♦ Pass 1♥ 5♠Xe-3 500 23 36
2♦ Dble 2♠ 3♦ 6♦n= 920 16 75
4♠ 5♦ Pass Pass 5♦n+1 420 6 7
5♠ Dble end 6♦n+1 940 5 96
5♠sX-3 1 1 0

Another wild hand.  JACK seems to think that cuebidding diamonds shows 5-5 or better in the black suits, but cuebidding hearts is natural.  I guess in the Netherlands players psyche responses more often than they psyche openers!  With 6-6 and partner making a free bid in one of my suits, I am not giving up just because they outbid my 4♠ call.  It gets a bit scary in the play when they take two clubs, a club ruff, and the ace of diamonds, with a trump trick coming later.  But 6♦ is on (actually it can be beaten with a heart ruff at trick one, but no computer finds this lead) and down three is a good score!  Don't give up early when you have a decent 6-6 hand!

McBruce's Result: 5♠*-3, 500 to EW, MY SCORE: 65%.  MY TOTAL SO FAR: 42.71%


Board #17  NorthSouth East  West 
Highcard Pts.:197410
Freakness:54511
Tricks Available In:
Notrump:121211
Spades:5588
Hearts:9944
Diamonds:111211
Clubs:4488

Six-Packs
(First 6 calls)

Opening
Leads

1♦n;1♥s;2♦w;Dbl-n;2♠e;3♦s x 49
1♦n;1♥s;2♦w;Dbl-n;2♠e;5♦s x 1

5♠ x 27
5♣ x 23

123456789012345678901234567890
Board North N-S vul
East dealer
18 A7642
762
West J2 East
K85 Q97 QJT
Q98 KT43
K873 South Q9
A32 93 K654
November 16, 2019 AJ5 Matchpoint Pairs
AT654
JT8
123456789012345678901234567890
A Sample Auction: What The Computers Did:
West North East South Result NS EW Freq. NS%
- - Pass Pass Passed Out 50 51
1♦ Pass 1♥ Pass 2NTw+1 150 1 0
1NT Pass 2NT end

JACK does not like to open 12-counts in third seat, so I win all the matchpoints but it takes a little work.  After the spade lead, it appears I have two tricks in each black suit, one diamond, and three needed in hearts.  I lead the T♥ from dummy at trick two and South covers with the jack, which sets up three tricks in that suit.  A ninth comes in by accident at the end, as my ♦87 is fired into South's ♦T6 and a trick comes back.

McBruce's Result: 2NTw+1, 150 to EW, MY SCORE: 100%.  MY TOTAL SO FAR: 45.89%


Board #18  NorthSouth East  West 
Highcard Pts.:7101112
Freakness:2210
Tricks Available In:
Notrump:4499
Spades:6677
Hearts:4488
Diamonds:5577
Clubs:4499

Six-Packs
(First 6 calls)

Opening
Leads

Passout x 50

None! x 50

123456789012345678901234567890
Board North E-W vul
South dealer
19 KQT863
K83
West 3 East
75 QT8 J4
T62 AQJ954
AQ9864 South KJT2
AK A92 2
November 16, 2019 7 Matchpoint Pairs
75
J976543
123456789012345678901234567890
A Sample Auction: What The Computers Did:
West North East South Result NS EW Freq. NS%
- - - Pass 5♥e= 650 29 31
1♦ 2♠ 3♥ 3♠ 5♦w= 600 11 74
4♥ Pass Pass 4♠ 5♦w-1 100 3 93
Dble Pass 5♥ end 6♦w-1 100 3 93
6♦w= 1370 1 0
5♥e-1 100 1 93
6♥e-1 100 1 93
4♥e= 620 1 62
5♥e= 650 1 31

Partner's 3♥ bid cannot be a four-card suit; we have negative doubles to cover those hands.  With a known eight-card fit a raise to 4♥ is automatic, but over 4♠ it is not certain what my best move is.  Pass must be forcing, compelling partner to either bid on or double but not let them play 4♠ undoubled, but in this case I think double is clear.  Two small spades means two likely spade losers unless they have a ten-card fit, and if that was the case, South would surely bid 4♠ right away.  So I double but partner overrules and bids 5♥.  It hinges on the heart finesse and we get lucky for another good score.

McBruce's Result: 5♥e=, 650 to EW, MY SCORE: 69%.  MY TOTAL SO FAR: 47.11%


Board #19  NorthSouth East  West 
Highcard Pts.:1051213
Freakness:5764
Tricks Available In:
Notrump:0077
Spades:9944
Hearts:001111
Diamonds:001111
Clubs:9944

Six-Packs
(First 6 calls)

Opening
Leads

1♦w;2♠n;3♥e;3♠s;4♥w;4♠s x 49
1♦w;2♠n;3♥e;3♠s;4♥w;End x 1

A♠ x 32
K♠ x 18

123456789012345678901234567890
Board North Both vul
West dealer
20 9
K96532
West QJ863 East
AK72 T J4
AQ7 JT84
74 South KT9
KJ64 QT8653 A853
November 16, 2019 Matchpoint Pairs
A52
Q972
123456789012345678901234567890
A Sample Auction: What The Computers Did:
West North East South Result NS EW Freq. NS%
1NT Pass 2♣ Pass 3NTw= 600 21 42
2♠ Pass 3NT end 3NTw-2 200 11 88
3NTw+1 630 10 11
3NTw-1 100 6 70
3NTw-1 100 1 70
3NTw-4 400 1 100
3NTw+2 660 1 0

A simple Stayman auction and a not-so-simple 3NT.  North leads a small heart and I win the ten in dummy and finesse the J♣ successfully, but North's ten indicates that there is trouble ahead.  I continue clubs and discover I am limited to three tricks there, as well as two hearts, two spades, and a diamond.  My mistake was at trick one, winning in hand would allow me to lead the 7♥ later and finesse against the 9♥ for a ninth trick.  Oops!

McBruce's Result: 3NTw-1, 100 to NS, MY SCORE: 30%.  MY TOTAL SO FAR: 46.25%


Board #20  NorthSouth East  West 
Highcard Pts.:68917
Freakness:8711
Tricks Available In:
Notrump:3388
Spades:6677
Hearts:5577
Diamonds:7766
Clubs:4499

Six-Packs
(First 6 calls)

Opening
Leads

1NTw;2♣e;2♠w;3NTe;End x 50

5♥ x 50

123456789012345678901234567890
Board North N-S vul
North dealer
21 A9873
J
West AT96 East
K4 K86 Q2
T543 KQ92
J84 South KQ
AJ97 JT65 T5432
November 16, 2019 A876 Matchpoint Pairs
7532
Q
123456789012345678901234567890
A Sample Auction: What The Computers Did:
West North East South Result NS EW Freq. NS%
- 1♠ Dble 3♠ 3♠n= 140 44 53
4♥ 4♠ 5♥ Dble 4♠n-1 100 5 4
end 5♥Xw-3 500 1 99
5♥Xw-3 500 1 99

My 4♥ bid is a bit of a stretch, and Professor JACK, a function in the program to track bids and plays that the computer disagrees with, claims to expect more, after the opponents crank out enough tricks to generate a poor score for us.  But really, where are the extras in the East hand that warrant a shot at the five-level that I can take with a really good hand?  Just getting a takeout double of 1♠ is already minimum.  Beating 4♠ would have been a top, if only the computer could pass it.

McBruce's Result: 5♥*w-3, 500 to NS, MY SCORE: 1%.  MY TOTAL SO FAR: 44.10%


Board #21  NorthSouth East  West 
Highcard Pts.:127129
Freakness:4331
Tricks Available In:
Notrump:6666
Spades:9944
Hearts:5588
Diamonds:9944
Clubs:5588

Six-Packs
(First 6 calls)

Opening
Leads

1♠n;Dbl-e;3♠s;End x 44
1♠n;Dbl-e;3♠s;4♠n;End x 5
1♠n;Dbl-e;3♠s;4♥w;4♠s;5♥e x 1

K♥ x 49
A♠ x 1

123456789012345678901234567890
Board North E-W vul
East dealer
22 Q85
K74
West QT96 East
KJ96 AT9 42
AQ JT98632
5 South AJ72
KQ8654 AT73
November 16, 2019 5 Matchpoint Pairs
K843
J732
123456789012345678901234567890
A Sample Auction: What The Computers Did:
West North East South Result NS EW Freq. NS%
- - Pass Pass 2♥e+3 200 42 55
1♣ Pass 2♥* end 4♥e+1 650 6 5
2♥e+2 170 1 100
2♥e+3 200 1 55

2♥ is a weak jump shift, which is one of those bids that takes some openers a while before they learn to pass and hope for the best.  The AQ♥ looks great but there are a lot of losers to cover to make game.  But this time it makes, and there is even an eleventh trick available: win the diamond lead, ruff a diamond, and lead a club honour, forcing North to cover with the ace and get it ruffed.  Ruff a second diamond and play the other club honour, discarding your remaining diamond, leaving only the K♥ and the A♠ to lose.

McBruce's Result: 2♥e+3, 200 to EW, MY SCORE: 44%.  MY TOTAL SO FAR: 44.09%


Board #22  NorthSouth East  West 
Highcard Pts.:118615
Freakness:0396
Tricks Available In:
Notrump:8855
Spades:5555
Hearts:221010
Diamonds:7665
Clubs:6766

Six-Packs
(First 6 calls)

Opening
Leads

1♣w;2♥e;End x 43
1♣w;2♥e;3♥w;4♥e;End x 6

3♦ x 49

123456789012345678901234567890
Ouch!  The computer certainly exposes my mistakes with ruthless precision!  What a wild set.  (Yes, it was randomly dealt, by the computer, with one button press, no outside interference.)  Hope you had fun reading about my struggles, and even more fun during the game.  JACK really is a great program and you can try a demo on your PC, check out the site here.
 
123456789012345678901234567890