Playing against GIB: First segment of the 1998 Spingold Final


I recently bought GIB and I have to say that my expectations were not exactly fulfilled. Probably I had heard too much about it so I expected a lot. But since I'm a buff for real-life deals I instantly loved its extensive deal library and the ability to replay hands from recent high-level events. Not only is it fascinating, but it also is a substitute for the "Match" feature that figures in nearly all commercial bridge programs but is absent from GIB.

I replayed several matches this way and I saw that GIB is, well, unpredictable both as a partner and as opponent. What puzzled me more was his inclination to depart from system -the occasional "Jacoby" transfer over 1NT to a 4-card major was a striking case. Moreover, I felt his bidding was not adequately worked out. But, and here was the surprise, GIB also made frequent blunders in the play. Perhaps my machine is inadequate (a Celeron laptop, M466 with 64MB memory though) or the thinking time of the program ("60", the default value; if I set it much higher my patience is taxed too much, for even at a speed of 60 GIB is not fast like lightning).

I did not keep notes from these matches (and I was not able to save the match records in readable form, assuming there is a way to do this) but when the other day GIB did something particularly bizarre I decided to play a whole 16-board segment against it and record manually the calls. I randomly chose the 1998 Spingold Final -it was a lucky choice, for I had the hand records plus commentary from the ACBL site.

GIB didn't shine in this match; I am not particularly worried about atrocities induced by my playful bidding, like Board 12, but its defence left much to be desired in that match, also its competitive bidding which was very passive, almost somnolent at times. I can only give you my word that I never cheated during the play -I admit I took some lucky views- and that GIB's play and bidding was as recorded. Normally, this second reassurance would be superfluous, but GIB's actions are not reproducible with certainty; that is, if a call is marginal it may choose another in the replay. This I know from experience. But I also know from previous experience that many of its worst blunders are reproduced, so I guess that anyone who would care to replay these deals would reproduce many of the bizarre calls/plays below.

On the other hand, non-reproducibility is certainly a charming feature that sets GIB apart from other bridge programs (at least those that I know of; I haven't seen some of the allegedly better exhibits). Also his way of playing is definitely non-electronic; I mean for instance that it tosses low cards randomly (sometimes too randomly for its own good), its line of play is not straightforward and stolid as that of earlier programs, etc.

All in all, GIB is fun to play with/against. If anything, it can invent chucks far beyond the reach of humbler bridge-playing programs (like Simon's Futile Willie compared to the plain palookas). I don't doubt that it may play better than the competition (after all it has proved it twice) but I seriously doubt that it is possible for GIB to win a human championship in 2003.

But probably I am unduly harsh against GIB; after all this account is not meant to provide an authoritative evaluation of GIB's prowess, merely to give a honest account of a match I played and to entertain the reader; GIB's developers may also want to try and see why some of these glitches were produced. So, have fun with the records of my clash against GIB!

Nikos Sarantakos, 4 June 2000.








                         1998 SPINGOLD FINAL
                          Nickell vs Baze
                       Segment 1 : Boards 1-16
             
            Board 1 - Dealer North - None vul.

                     S  K
                     H  A Q J 5 3
                     D  Q 8 6 5
                     C  K J 9
        S  7 6 5 3                  S  Q 10 8 2
        H  K 10 8 4 2               H  6
        D  3                        D  A 10 7 4 2
        C  A 7 3                    C  8 4 2
                     S  A J 9 4
                     H  9 7
                     D  K J 9
                     C  Q 10 6 5


     Open Room
     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     Meckstroth   Baze         Rodwell      Whitman      
                  1H           Pass         1S           
     Pass         2D           Pass         2NT          
     Pass         3NT          Pass         Pass         
     Pass                                                

GIB and me had the same auction as in the open room, but
I play the hand one trick less well than Whitman, so
I only make nine. One IMP away -the GIBian side opened
first blood, as I believe reporters are wont to say.
 
=====================================================================
            Board 2 - Dealer East - NS vul.

                     S  K 8
                     H  K 5 3
                     D  Q 9 5 4 2
                     C  A 7 6
        S  J 6 4                    S  9 7 3 2
        H  9 7 4                    H  A J 10 2
        D  A J 7 6                  D 
        C  Q 9 8                    C  K 10 5 4 2
                     S  A Q 10 5
                     H  Q 8 6
                     D  K 10 8 3
                     C  J 3

     Open Room
     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     Meckstroth   Baze         Rodwell      Whitman      
                               Pass         1D           
     Pass         2NT          Pass         3NT          
     Pass         Pass         Pass                      

            Play
             1:  E  C4    CJ    CQ    C6    
             2:  W  C9    C7    C5    C3    
             3:  W  C8    CA    C10   H6    
             4:  N  D2    H2    DK    DA    
             5:  W  H4    H3    HA    H8    

            3NT by N, down 2, NS: -200


     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     GIB-LHO  GIB-pard     GIB-RHO	    Nikos       
			pass	    1D
     pass         2D (inv.)            dbl         pass
     2S             3D     	pass        3NT
     all pass

My 3NT call may be inconsistent but I was vul. and my illustrious
counterparts rated to be in game. A low heart was led. I win at
hand and play a diamond to the nine. Then a diamond to the king
and ace. Now GIB-West plays a heart, GIB-East cashes hearts
and then unaccountably shifts to the 2 of spades (despite
the fact that I had shed clubs from both hands on the fourth
heart!) Equally unaccountably, GIB-West puts the jack!!
Now I can untangle the spades and make four spades, three diamonds,
one heart, one club for nine tricks and a gain of 13 IMPs,
since both humans went down two.



 
---------------------------------------------------------------------
            No swing, Baze 0 - Nickell 0
            Nikos-GIB 13  - GIBx2 1
=====================================================================
            Board 3 - Dealer South - EW vul.

                     S  7
                     H  4 2
                     D  K Q 7 5
                     C  A K 9 8 5 3
        S  J 3 2                    S  Q 10 9 5 4
        H  A 9 8 6 5                H  K Q 3
        D  10 8 6 2                 D  J 9 3
        C  Q                        C  J 10
                     S  A K 8 6
                     H  J 10 7
                     D  A 4
                     C  7 6 4 2

     Open Room
     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     Meckstroth   Baze         Rodwell      Whitman      
                                                             1C           
     Pass         3S           Pass               3NT          
     Pass         Pass         Pass                      


            Play
             1:  W  H6    H2    HQ    H7    
             2:  E  HK    H10   H5    H4    
             3:  E  H3    HJ    HA    D5    
             4:  W  H9    S7    D9    S6    

            3NT by S, down 1, NS: -50

Again we copy the auction of the Open Room. (5C anyone?)
However, this seems to prompt GIB-West to lead a spade (!)
and I wind up with 12 tricks (West shed a diamond).
Since both expert declarers went down one, I gain  
11 IMPs -some experts! 
 ---------------------------------------------------------------------
            No swing, Baze 0 - Nickell 0

            Nikos-GIB 24 - GIBx2 1

=====================================================================
            Board 4 - Dealer West - Both vul.

                     S  Q 8
                     H  A 8
                     D  A 10 6
                     C  K 10 8 7 6 4
        S  5                        S  K 10 9 6 4 3
        H  J 10 7 4 2               H  Q 3
        D  K Q J 8 2                D  9 7 4 3
        C  Q 5                      C  9
                     S  A J 7 2
                     H  K 9 6 5
                     D  5
                     C  A J 3 2

     Open Room
     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     Meckstroth   Baze         Rodwell      Whitman      
     Pass         1C           1S           Dbl          
     2C           3C           3D           5C           
     Pass         Pass         Pass                      

            Play
             1:  E  D4    D5    DJ    DA    
             2:  N  C4    C9    CA    C5    
             3:  S  C2    CQ    CK    S4    

            5C by N, making 7, NS: 640

     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     GIB-LH      GIB-pard     GIB-RHO	    Nikos       
      pass	       1C	      	 pass!        1H
      pass        1NT          	pass         3NT
      all pass

I bid 3NT with some misgivings, because of the singleton.
Then again, they'll probably lead a heart, I say.
In any case 6C is excellent but neither us neither the
experts found it (look at the Closed Room, where the Poles
E-W stole the auction with 2H!) 
Why GIB-East didn't bid spades I can't tell, but he
led the 10S (if you don't bid'em lead'em?) and I had the
leisure of making 12 tricks. Because of the bad N-S score
in the Closed Room this gains us an undeserved 6 IMPs
-GIB seems to be cross-imping against both pairs and
dividing by 2 the result, although I haven't checked.


---------------------------------------------------------------------
     Closed Room
     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     Adam Z       Freeman      Cezary B     Nickell      
     2H           Pass         Pass         Pass         
    

            2H by W, down 2, NS: 200
  

---------------------------------------------------------------------
            10 imps to Baze, Baze 10 - Nickell 0
            Nikos-GIB 30 - GIBx2 1
=====================================================================
            Board 5 - Dealer North - NS vul.

                     S  2
                     H  K 10 2
                     D  A K 9 4 2
                     C  J 9 4 3
        S  K J 9 8 7 4              S  Q 5 3
        H  J 9                      H  A Q 8 7 6 3
        D                           D  Q J
        C  Q 10 7 6 5               C  A 2
                     S  A 10 6
                     H  5 4
                     D  10 8 7 6 5 3
                     C  K 8

     Open Room
     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     Meckstroth   Baze         Rodwell      Whitman      
                        1D           1H           2H           
     3S              4D           4S           Pass         
     Pass         Pass                                   

            Play
             1:  N  DK    DJ    D3    S7    
             2:  W  SJ    S2    S3    SA    
             3:  S  CK    C5    C4    CA    
             4:  E  S5    S6    SK    D2    
             5:  W  HJ    HK    HA    H4    
             6:  E  DQ    D5    S4    D4    
             7:  W  H9    H2    H3    H5    

            4S by W, making 6, NS: -480


     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     GIB-LHO  GIB-pard     GIB-RHO	    Nikos       
                           1D           1H           3D
     pass             pass         pass

According to GIB's system 3D would show more points,
but I like the bid. It had the effect of shutting out
E-W and so after the ace of clubs lead I made easily
10 tricks for 130, which gains 11,5 IMPs against the
easy 4S reached at both all-human tables (why NS didn't
go to 5D?)  


  
---------------------------------------------------------------------
            2 imps to Nickell, Baze 10 - Nickell 2
            Nikos-GIB 41,5 - GIBx2 1

=====================================================================
            Board 6 - Dealer East - EW vul.

                     S  K 5 4
                     H  K 7 6 5
                     D  Q 7 5 4 2
                     C  5
        S  10 6                     S  A Q 7 3
        H  Q 8 4                    H  A 10 9
        D  A K 8                    D  J 9
        C  A Q 9 8 4                C  J 10 7 6
                     S  J 9 8 2
                     H  J 3 2
                     D  10 6 3
                     C  K 3 2

     Open Room
     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     Meckstroth   Baze         Rodwell      Whitman      
                          	          1D           Pass         
     2C           Pass             2H           Pass         
     2S           Pass             2NT          Pass         
     3NT          Pass          Pass         Pass         

            Play
             1:  S  S2    S6    SK    SA    
             2:  E  CJ    CK    CA    C5    
             3:  W  C4    D7    C7    C3    
             4:  E  C6    C2    C8    D2    
             5:  W  CQ    S5    C10   D3    
             6:  W  H4    H5    H10   HJ    
             7:  S  SJ    S10   S4    S3    
             8:  S  S8    HQ    H6    SQ    
             9:  E  D9    D6    DK    D4    
            10:  W  C9    HK    H9          

            3NT by E, making 5, NS: -660


     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     GIB-LH     GIB-pard     GIB-RHO	    Nikos       
                       	            1C           pass
     2C (inv.)    pass         2H           pass
     5C           all pass

I don't care too much for West's rebid but in any case 
5C is almost as good as 3NT. However, GIB played the
hand peculiarly: he won the diamond lead in dummy,
eliminated diamonds, then ran the 6 of trumps, then
advanced the jack of trumps and when I didn't cover
he overtook with ace (!) and then exited with a third
trump. (Perhaps his simulation indicated that this
was the winning line??) 
In other words, GIB performed an excellent throw-in
but in so doing sacrificed a trick. I played a spade,
so GIB lost in the end a heart trick and made his
contract exactly. Minus 600 was worth 2,5 IMPs to us
against the higher-scoring notrumps of the humans.
 
---------------------------------------------------------------------
            1 imp to Baze, Baze 11 - Nickell 2

            Nikos-GIB 44 - GIBx2 1

=====================================================================
            Board 7 - Dealer South - Both vul.

                     S  K 10 2
                     H  A Q J 6
                     D  6 4
                     C  J 10 9 7
        S  8 3                      S  Q J 7 6 5
        H  K 7 2                    H  10 9
        D  A K Q 9 5 3              D  10 7
        C  5 4                      C  A Q 3 2
                     S  A 9 4
                     H  8 5 4 3
                     D  J 8 2
                     C  K 8 6

     Open Room
     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     Meckstroth   Baze         Rodwell      Whitman      
                                            Pass         
     1D           Dbl          1H           Dbl          
     2D           Pass         Pass         Pass         

            Play
             1:  N  CJ    CQ    CK    C4    
             2:  S  D2    DK    D4    D7    
             3:  W  S8    S2    SQ    SA    
             4:  S  C8    C5    C9    CA    
             5:  E  C2    C6    D3    C10   
             6:  W  DA    D6    D10   D8    
             7:  W  DQ    C7    S5    DJ    
             8:  W  S3    SK    S6    S4    

            2D by W, making 2, NS: -90

     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     GIB-LH    GIB-pard     GIB-RHO	    Nikos       
                                                               pass
     1D           1H!                    1S           3H
     dbl          all pass

GIB's system explains my 3H bid as "the Law: 9 trumps
-> 3 level" or something similar. This is as it
should be, provided overcaller respects the Law in
the first place. I admit I cursed when I saw North's
hand (I had to play it -actually dummy was South) 
but the lead was a most welcome one: the queen of spades!
The play went smoothly:

I win at North, and play a spade to the nine. Then 
a heart to the queen holds. There are various ruff threats
around, so I risk the ace of hearts and I see both
opponents furnishing. Now I play jack of clubs. East
goes up ace, plays diamond, and when the queen of
clubs turns up with East I have made my contract.
730 or so is worth 12,5 against the low scores of
the boring real match.

 
---------------------------------------------------------------------
            5 imps to Nickell, Baze 11 - Nickell 7
                 Nikos-GIB 56,5 - GIBx2 1
                 (but this can't go on, can it?)

=====================================================================
            Board 8 - Dealer West - None vul.

                     S  K 9 7
                     H  2
                     D  Q 9 6 5 3
                     C  A K J 6
        S  Q 8 2                    S  A J 6
        H  A Q J 5 4 3              H  7 6
        D  A                        D  J 8 7 4
        C  Q 7 5                    C  9 8 3 2
                     S  10 5 4 3
                     H  K 10 9 8
                     D  K 10 2
                     C  10 4

     Open Room
     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     Meckstroth   Baze         Rodwell      Whitman      
     1C           Pass         1D           Pass         
     1H           Pass         2C           Pass         
     2H           Pass         Pass         Pass         

            Play
             1:  N  CK    C3    C4    C5    
             2:  N  CA    C2    C10   C7    
             3:  N  C6    C8    H8    CQ    
             4:  S  S3    S8    SK    SA    
             5:  E  H6    H9    HQ    H2    
             6:  W  S2    S7    SJ    S4    
             7:  E  H7    H10   HJ          

            2H by W, making 4, NS: -170


     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     GIB-LH   GIB-pard     GIB-RHO	    Nikos       
     1H           dbl          1NT (?!)     pass
     3H           pass         pass         dbl (!)
     pass         4D (?!)      all pass

Thinking they are misfitted, I made a horrible double,
intended for penalties (isn't it penalty after that
auction?) Now, I had miscalculated obviously but
partner came to my rescue and took out my double.
Two wrongs do make a right sometimes, you see,  
and when we weren't doubled (perhaps GIB only doubles
the contracts that may make?) we weren't in too bad shape.

A heart was led and then West played a spade to
East's jack. A heart back to the queen and ruffed,
and I play a diamond to the 10 which fetches the ace.
West plays the ace of hearts, ruffed with the 9 and
over-ruffed with the jack. East cashes the spade
ace which is the setting trick but now I can cash
out for down one. Minus 100 even gains 2 undeserved 
IMPs against the -170s at the other tables.


 
---------------------------------------------------------------------
            No swing, Baze 11 - Nickell 7
            Nikos-GIB 58,5 - GIBx2 1
            (Are we playing the same boards?)

=====================================================================
            Board 9 - Dealer North - EW vul.

                     S  10
                     H  J 5 4
                     D  Q 7 5 4
                     C  K J 7 5 4
        S  K Q 8 6 3                S  J 9
        H  A 10 7                   H  K Q 9 6 3
        D  9 2                      D  K 10 8
        C  A 8 6                    C  9 3 2
                     S  A 7 5 4 2
                     H  8 2
                     D  A J 6 3
                     C  Q 10

     Open Room
     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     Meckstroth   Baze         Rodwell      Whitman      
                  Pass         Pass         1S           
     1NT          Pass         Pass         Pass         

            1NT by W, making 2, NS: -120
---------------------------------------------------------------------
     Closed Room
     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     Adam Z       Freeman      Cezary B     Nickell      
                  Pass         Pass         1S           
     Pass         1NT          Pass         2D           
     Pass         Pass         Pass                      

            Play
             1:  W  D2    D4    D10   DJ    
             2:  S  CQ    CA    C4    C9    
             3:  W  C8    CK    C2    C10   

            2D by S, making 3, NS: 110


Now we copied the auction of the Closed Room. Why Easts (both
human and GIBian) didn't reopen with 2H? Seeing all cards, it
seems quite a good spot, even if the defence takes a spade
ruff.

Now, the auction allegedly calls for a trump by West
(to protect his spade tricks) but in all due respect
to Zmudzinski I am not sure this holds equally
true when there is no long hand. In any case, GIB
leads a heart and I ruff the third round then play
on clubs and then I am forced (?) to forego the
finesse and play ace-jack of trumps. In any case
I make nine tricks, which is worth 6 IMPs.
 

---------------------------------------------------------------------
            6 imps to Nickell, Baze 11 - Nickell 13
            (Nikos-GIB 64,5 - GIBx2 1)
        
=====================================================================
            Board 10 - Dealer East - Both vul.

                     S  7 4
                     H  A K 4
                     D  K J 9 5 2
                     C  K 6 3
        S  K Q 10 6                 S  J 9 8
        H  Q 9 7 6 3                H  J 10 8 2
        D  8 6                      D  Q 10 3
        C  Q 8                      C  J 9 2
                     S  A 5 3 2
                     H  5
                     D  A 7 4
                     C  A 10 7 5 4

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------
     Closed Room
     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     Adam Z       Freeman      Cezary B     Nickell      
                               Pass         1C           
     Pass         1D           Pass         1S           
     Pass         2H           Pass         3D           
     Pass         3NT          Pass         Pass         
     Pass                                                

            Play
             1:  E  HJ    H5    H3    HK    
             2:  N  D5    D3    DA    D6    
             3:  S  D4    D8    DJ    DQ    
             4:  E  H2    D7    H9    HA    
             5:  N  DK    D10   C4    S10   
             6:  N  D9    H8    S2    S6    
             7:  N  D2    H10   S3    H7    
             8:  N  CK    C2    C5    C8    
             9:  N  C3    C9    CA    CQ    
            10:  S  C7    SQ    C6    CJ    

            3NT by N, making 4, NS: 630

Again we copy the Closed Room auction. 
A spade would be awkward, a heart as well but for some
reason GIB leads a club, ducked in dummy. East puts the
eight. In any case I clear clubs and concede a diamond
late in the day for 11 tricks. This is worth 1,5 IMP
which eliminates the annoying decimal.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
            1 imp to Nickell, Baze 11 - Nickell 14
            Nikosx2 66 - GIB 1 
=====================================================================
            Board 11 - Dealer South - None vul.

                     S  10 9 8 7 4 3 2
                     H  J 3
                     D  9 2
                     C  A 5
        S  K 6                      S  A 5
        H  9 8 7 2                  H  A K 10 6
        D  10 8 7                   D  A 5 3
        C  10 8 7 6                 C  K Q 4 3
                     S  Q J
                     H  Q 5 4
                     D  K Q J 6 4
                     C  J 9 2

     Open Room
     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     Meckstroth   Baze         Rodwell      Whitman      
                                                         Pass         
     Pass         2S           Dbl          3S           
     Pass         Pass         Dbl          Pass         
     4H           Pass         Pass         Pass         

 
            4H by W, down 1, NS: 50
---------------------------------------------------------------------
     Closed Room
     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     Adam Z       Freeman      Cezary B     Nickell      
                                                                 1D           
     Pass         1S           Dbl          Pass         
     2H           2S           3D           Pass         
     3H           3S           Pass         Pass         
     Pass                                                

            Play
             1:  E  HA    H4    H2    H3    
             2:  E  CK    C2    C6    CA    
             3:  N  C5                      

            3S by N, down 2, NS: -100

     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     GIB-LH   GIB-pard     GIB-RHO	    Nikos       
                                                             1D
     pass                    1S           dbl          2D
     2H                       2S           3H           3S
     all pass

I am not proud about my bids here, but at least they
didn't double us. The defence cashes all their top tricks,
down 2, -100, which means a loss of 2 IMPs.
I told you this could not go on!                  


---------------------------------------------------------------------
            4 imps to Baze, Baze 15 - Nickell 14
            Nikos-GIB 66 - GIBx2 3
            (despite the GIB rally, we are holding on) 

=====================================================================
            Board 12 - Dealer West - NS vul.

                     S  J 6 5 2
                     H  Q 6
                     D  A K 7
                     C  A 10 9 6
        S                           S  A K 10 9 7
        H  J 8 5 3                  H  K 9
        D  10 8 5 3                 D  9 4 2
        C  Q J 7 5 3                C  K 8 2
                     S  Q 8 4 3
                     H  A 10 7 4 2
                     D  Q J 6
                     C  4

     Open Room
     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     Meckstroth   Baze         Rodwell      Whitman      
     Pass         1C                1S                   Dbl          
     Pass         1NT              Pass             Pass         
     Pass                                                

            Play
             1:  E  SA    S3    D8    S5    
             2:  E  C2    C4    CJ    CA    
             3:  N  S6    S9    SQ    D3    
             4:  S  H2    H3    HQ    HK    
             5:  E  H9    H10   HJ    H6    
             6:  W  C3    C9    CK    H4    
             7:  E  SK    S4    C5    S2    

            1NT by N, making 1, NS: 90
 
Freeman scores 7 tricks also for a push.


Instead of reaching the pedestrian 1NT our auction was remarkable: 

     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     GIB-LH   GIB-pard     GIB-RHO	    Nikos       
     pass         1C 	          	1S           dbl
     pass         2S               	dbl          redbl!
     pass         3S!         	 dbl          redbl!!
     pass         pass!!!      	pass

I hate GIB's 2S cuebid (what's wrong with 1NT?) and
when West doubles I decide that two can play that
game, so I pass the buck to pard by redoubling.
The comedy continues when GIB makes a second cue, East
a second double and I can't resist a second redouble.     
Now pard passes -and we play 3S redbled!! Ok, what is
1000 or so points for a bit of fun?

But when the silly thing in East leads a diamond (who
was the captain who excluded players from his team
for failing to lead a trump when they held five?)
I see that pard had spades and now if East
holds three diamonds I must make
the contract! Win queen of diamonds, ace of clubs, club
ruff, diamond to North, club ruff, diamond to North,
club ruff -East discards. Now I have seven tricks and
I exit with the queen of spades and make one trump
plus a heart in the end. (In fact, it seems that after
a non-trump lead there is no defence, and even a low
trump lead is no good). 
So, I learned how much scores 3Sxx: it is 960 
which is worth 13 IMPs when compared with the pedestrian
90s of the experts.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
            No swing, Baze 15 - Nickell 14
                 Nikos-GIB 79 - GIBx2 3
                 (I seem to have opened some daylight)

=====================================================================
            Board 13 - Dealer North - Both vul.

                     S  K J 9 2
                     H  Q 7 5
                     D  K J 8 7
                     C  10 8
        S  A 4                      S  7
        H  K J 4 2                  H  A 10 9 6
        D  Q 6 5                    D  10 9 3 2
        C  J 9 5 4                  C  A K 6 2
                     S  Q 10 8 6 5 3
                     H  8 3
                     D  A 4
                     C  Q 7 3

     Open Room
     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     Meckstroth   Baze         Rodwell      Whitman      
                       Pass         1D           2S           
     Dbl               4S           Dbl          Pass         
     Pass         Pass                                   

 
            4SX by S, down 2, NS: -500

     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     GIB-LHO  GIB-pard     GIB-RHO	    Nikos       
                       pass         1D           2S
     dbl               3S           4H           pass
     pass          4S (?!)      pass         pass
     dbl             all pass

Ok, so my 2S was not a thing of beauty vulnerable, but while
I agree with GIB's 3S (as opposed to a direct 4S that would
probably have attracted a double) I was furious at his
later 4S -after all, he had some defence. So, I am headed
for 500 against nothing. However, West leads a club and
when East wins returns a diamond. Now, I don't believe that
East has the queen, so I go up ace, then finesse in
diamonds, so I am able to shed a heart and limit the damage
at 200, losing a mere 1 IMP.
   

---------------------------------------------------------------------
     Closed Room
     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     Adam Z       Freeman      Cezary B     Nickell      
                  Pass         1D           1S           
     Dbl          xx           2H           Pass         
     4H           Pass         Pass         Pass         

 
            4H by E, down 2, NS: 200
---------------------------------------------------------------------
 

---------------------------------------------------------------------
            12 imps to Nickell, Baze 15 - Nickell 26
             Nikos-GIB 79 - GIBx2 4
             
=====================================================================
            Board 14 - Dealer East - None vul.

                     S  A J 8 5
                     H  A
                     D  A K 10 9 4
                     C  K J 3
        S  Q 3                      S  K 10 9 6 4 2
        H  J 8 5 4 3                H  Q 10 6 2
        D  Q 8 6 5 3                D  2
        C  2                        C  8 5
                     S  7
                     H  K 9 7
                     D  J 7
                     C  A Q 10 9 7 6 4

     Open Room
     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     Meckstroth   Baze         Rodwell      Whitman      
                       	        2D           4C           
     Pass         7C           Pass         Pass         
     Pass                                                

            Play
             1:  W  SQ    SA    S2    S7    
             2:  N  CK    C5    C4    C2    

            7C by S, making 7, NS: 1440
---------------------------------------------------------------------
     Closed Room
     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     Adam Z       Freeman      Cezary B     Nickell      
                               2D           3C           
     Pass         4NT          Pass         5C           
     Pass         7C           Pass         Pass         
     Pass                                                

            Play
             1:  W  SQ    SA    S2    S7    
             2:  N  C3    C5    CQ    C2    

            7C by S, making 7, NS: 1440
 
     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     GIB-LH   GIB-pard     GIB-RHO	    Nikos       
                               		pass         1C
     pass         1D           	pass         2C
     pass         2S           	pass         3C
     pass         4NT          	pass         5D (1 A)
     pass         6C           	all pass

GIB was overdue for a big swing and he got it here; he certainly
worked hard for it. First of all, East passed so we had a free run.
Then, the silly thing opposite didn't bid the grand. However,
according to GIB's system after my 3C bid I had shown seven
clubs, less than three diamonds and 11 HCP -all of which makes
the grand a moral certainty. 
Anyway, 11 IMPs away.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
            No swing, Baze 15 - Nickell 26
            Nikos-GIB 79 - GIBx2 15

=====================================================================
            Board 15 - Dealer South - NS vul.

                     S  6 5 3 2
                     H  10 5
                     D  8 3
                     C  A Q 9 5 3
        S  K 9                      S  A
        H  A K J 9 6 4              H  8 7 3 2
        D  A 6 5                    D  10 9 7 4 2
        C  K 8                      C  7 6 2
                     S  Q J 10 8 7 4
                     H  Q
                     D  K Q J
                     C  J 10 4

     Open Room
     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     Meckstroth   Baze         Rodwell      Whitman      
                                            		1S           
     Dbl          3S           Pass         Pass         
     4H           Pass         Pass         Pass         
 
            4H by W, down 1, NS: 50
---------------------------------------------------------------------
     Closed Room
     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     Adam Z       Freeman      Cezary B     Nickell      
                                            		1S           
     Dbl          2NT          3H           4S           
     5H           Dbl          Pass         Pass         
     Pass                                                

 
            5HX by E, down 2, NS: 300
---------------------------------------------------------------------

     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     GIB-LH   GIB-pard     GIB-RHO	    Nikos       
                        		                    1S
     dbl          2S(!)        	3D           3S
     4H           4S           	pass         pass
     dbl          all pass

I resisted the temptation to open with a weak 2S, as
I might do sometimes at the table. And I would 
bid 3S in GIB's place and certainly not 4S over
4H. But perhaps it was my 3S bid that was wrong?

In any case 4H is not sure and we are headed for 200.
GIB leads hearts, I ruff the second and I advance
the queen of spades -and then it happens: West covers
and with a horrible crash the two trump honours fall
together! Now it is only fair that the club finesse
is on and I make the contract for a gain of 11 IMPs.
After all, I got my own back from the previous board.


---------------------------------------------------------------------
            6 imps to Nickell, Baze 15 - Nickell 32
            Nikosx2 90 - GIB 15

=====================================================================
            Board 16 - Dealer West - EW vul.

                     S  Q 10 9 3
                     H  Q 9 6 2
                     D  A 8 6 2
                     C  J
        S  7 5                      S  J 8 6 4 2
        H  A J 8 7 5                H  4 3
        D  K 7 5                    D  J 10
        C  K 10 7                   C  A 9 6 5
                     S  A K
                     H  K 10
                     D  Q 9 4 3
                     C  Q 8 4 3 2

     Open Room
     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     Meckstroth   Baze         Rodwell      Whitman      
     1H           Pass         1S           Pass         
     1NT          Pass         2D           Pass         
     2H           Pass         Pass         Pass         
          2H down 2
 ---------------------------------------------------------------------
     Closed Room
     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     Adam Z       Freeman      Cezary B     Nickell      
     1H           Pass         1S           Dbl          
     Pass         3D           Pass         Pass         
     Pass                                                

             3D by N, making 3, NS: 110
---------------------------------------------------------------------
 
     WEST         NORTH        EAST         SOUTH
     GIB-LH   GIB-pard     GIB-RHO	    Nikos       
     1H              pass         1S           pass (?)
     1NT            pass         2S           dbl (!?)
     all pass

Would you pass as South over 1H-1S? With so many values in
their suits I did. Then, over 2S I thought this was the
last board so I may as well have some fun and I doubled
with the premonition that pard would leave it in -which
he did, bless him. I led the ace of spades to have a look
at dummy and what I saw made me cash the king (to protect
pard's putative queen-to-three) and then the 10 of hearts.

I skip the gory details but GIB went down 2 so it was 500
for the good guy and 8 IMPs to end the set in a high note.


---------------------------------------------------------------------
            3 imps to Baze, Baze 18 - Nickell 32
=====================================================================

Final score: Nikos-GIB 98 - GIBx2 15
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2000 Nikos Sarantakos
sarant@village.uunet.lu
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