Details for Daily Bridge

Bridge By Phillip Alder
♠

♥
♦
♣

the robots made a surprising error

Dealer: South
Vulnerable: North-South
North
09-06-19
♠AQ6
♥9762
♦Q
♣ J 10 8 5 2
West
♠K74
♥ 10 3
♦9876432
♣9

East
♠ J 10
♥AJ4
♦ J 10 5
♣A7643

South
♠98532
♥KQ85
♦AK
♣KQ
South
1♠
4♠

West
Pass
Pass

North
2♠
Pass

East
Pass
Pass

Opening lead: ♣ 9
Jimmy Carr, an English comedian, said, “A surprising amount of
my jokes sound very implausible but
are true.”
As regular readers know, my
wife and I play against robots at
Bridge Base Online. Sometimes the
robots play so well that I wonder
if they are being permitted to peek
at their partner’s cards! But much
more often, the programmer seems
COPYRIGHT: 2019, UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE

to have forgotten to include a particular bidding or play technique in
the program. (To be honest, though,
the BBO robots work by simulation.
They generate deals that would have
been bid and played as has happened in the actual deal. They see
which action works best over the
sample and do that. This makes them
imaginative. For example, I have seen
several singleton leads against three
no-trump.)
Even so, the play at numerous
tables on this deal surprised me.
What should have happened in four
spades after West led the club nine?
Over two spades, South might
have rebid three hearts, which would
have gotten his side to a makeable
four hearts. He might also have tried
two no-trump with those strong
doubletons. That would have led to
three spades or four spades.
West leads what East knows is
a singleton. So, East wins the first
trick and gives his partner a ruff.
Also, anyone who has been around
the block two or three times knows
that East’s lead at trick two is a suitpreference signal, telling West where
East’s re-entry lies.
Every robot led back the club
four, low asking for a diamond shift!
Every human returned the club seven,
high asking for a heart back. Isn’t
that surprising?

Fri., 9/6

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