A brief Gryphon hand writeup Jim Plank Kevin's out of town this week, so I'll make this one brief. First, apropos of the wild hands last saturday, I thought I'd clue you into the way the boards are made. I have a program that generates random hands, using a standard random number generator, which I seed with the time of day when I run it (this is the number of seconds since Jan 1, 1970, so it is a big, rather random number). This is used to generate 36 hands, which I mail to Kevin. I do not look at them, since I often play in the game. Kevin makes the boards, and that's the end of it. So, for those of you who were suggesting that Kevin made up these boards deviously to thwart your best bidding judgement, no, not yet..... Just a note on ``computer hands,'' and randomness -- from what I have read, and certainly from what I have observed, truly random hands exhibit more ``wildness'' than you are use to -- more distributional hands with stiffs and voids. The reason that these seem out of place is that in order for you to truly randomize a deck of cards, you need to shuffle at least seven times, and how many people do that on a regular basis? Which leads me to one of the craziest hands that I've seen in a while -- the board 18 from last saturday's game. My apologies for the two pairs that didn't get to play this one. ---------------------------------- Board: 18 Dealer: E Vul: N-S S 7 H KQJT876542 D C 32 S 54 S QJ H H 9 D A6543 D KJT987 C AJT987 C K654 S AKT98632 H A3 D Q2 C Q I'm sure every table has its own story to tell about this hand. The par result should be 7 of a minor played by east/west, doubled, and down two (after two spade leads) for 300 points. N/S's best contract is six of either major, which is cold after any lead. Here are the scores from saturday's game: Plus scores for N/S: 1: +2210 -- Pat and Paul were pushed to 7H (as were a few others), and made it when east led a diamond. I would play a spade to the ace and ruff a spade high. Then it's all over. 1: +680 -- The E/W pairs kept their mouths shut and gave Pat and Vincent a good score for allowing them to play in their game. 2: +100 -- Some minor suit contract, either doubled and down one, or undoubled and down two. 1: +50 -- I know this one -- 7C by west (me), undoubled, and down one. And now the minus scores: 1: -100 -- 7H by north down one on a club lead. Brad told me the bidding on this one. He was north and bid 6H at some point, and Glenn, looking at the AH, figured if Brad could bid six off the ace of trumps, he could bid seven. Evidently E/W had not mentioned clubs, but either Gerry (Williams) or Jean (Mather) figured that Brad was void in diamonds, and led a club. 1: -200 -- I'm guessing that Basil and Jo Anne laid the wood to 7H and found the club lead. Nice work! 1: -1190 -- Brian Sims and Elaine Jerviss bid 6 of a minor, got doubled, got the AH lead and made seven. I wish I had gotten that lead! 1: -1630 -- Earlene Richardson and Jerry Vaughn bid 7 diamonds, got doubled, and then got the AH lead. Life can be so good! And here I was, happy to be chalking up -50..... Just for the fun of it, the average score was 2.22, and the standard deviation was 1027. I imagine it will be hard to top that. There were some fun bidding decisions with this one. First is whether or not east should open that ratty 10-count. It does fit the rule-of-20, so I'd do it, even with its flaws (the QJ doubleton of spades). What should south bid now? I think the choices are 1S and double -- south is way too strong to bid 4S. Certainly 1S will not be ending the auction, so that would be my choice. I'll be bidding 4s next. Now it's west's turn. As west, I put in a 2c bid, which is a bit of a lie on points, but since I know I can correct to diamonds, and since I'm wondering where the hearts are, I want to get my bid in early. Once I correct to diamonds, we can figure out whether we have a double fit. I think north will be at a loss now, and science goes out the window. 4H seems reasonable. Then it's up to everyone's judgement. The bidding started exactly this way at our table: E S W N 1D 1S 2C 4H 5C 5H P 6H P P 7C P P P I wasn't happy about bidding 7c, but since we were guaranteed to have a huge double-fit, I figured one of my aces was going away and that they likely had 12 tricks off the top. I was happy to go down one (spade lead, heart switch), and see that 6H was making. ---------------------------------- And apropos of the mini-lesson on notrump overcalls, board 7 was an interesting example: Board: 7 Dealer: S Vul: Both You are east, and the bidding has gone pass, pass, 1N: S AT732 H J84 D QJ62 C Q Overcalling with this hand, vulnerable, takes a bit of optimism. I would not do it had south not passed originally. However, if you are playing DONT (or ``plank''...), you can overcall 2D, and be assured of only being at the two level. I would not make a Cappelletti bid of 2S, since I certainly do not want to be playing 3d, vulnerable, on a 4-3 fit. At our table, partner bid 2d, showing diamonds and a major, and I passed with: S K5 H 9652 D A75 C A632 Again, I'm wondering whether we're missing a 4-4 heart fit, but I settled in 2d, which partner made for +90. All four hands: S Q84 H AKQ7 D K4 C J874 S K5 S AT732 H 9652 H J84 D A75 D QJ62 C A632 C Q S J96 H T3 D T983 C KT95 2D made because N/S worked on hearts instead of clubs, and partner made the nice play of discarding a spade on heart #4 so that she could retain trump control. Had the defense gone to work on clubs sooner, 2D would have gone down. 1N should make two, since declarer can establish the clubs before having to give up the extra two spade tricks. It will make three if west drops a heart on spade #3. The scores (N/S): 1: +580 -- 1n doubled, making three? 1: +200 -- E/W go down for a bad score 2: +150 -- 1n making three 1: +120 -- 1n making two 1: +100 -- E/W just go down a little 1: -90 -- 2D making 1: -100 -- 1n goes down, or perhaps 3n goes down While individual data points often do not mean much, chalk this one up as a data point to being able to compete over 1N with shapely hands at the two level.