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
         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

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.