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Let the games begin. December 2, 2019

2019 Championship at the ACBL’s NABC, San Francisco

2019 Entries Results (including semifinal and final matches scorecards, play records, and .pbn play files)

More deals … Photos

2018 Championship results  23-Year History

Day by day happenings, along with some interesting deals

Day 6, December 7, Final:

From left to right: Hans Leber, developer of semifinalist Q-Plus Bridge; Yu Peng of Synrey Bridge; Gérard Joyez, accepting the Gold medal for Micro Bridge, Tomio Uchida developer; Zhihui Shi receiving Silver medal to Synrey Bridge; and Yves Costel, developer of semifinalist Wbridge5

Micro Bridge takes the gold medal, defeating Synrey Bridge 120-35. For the past five years, 2014-2018, Micro Bridge lost its semifinal or final match. A big win this year and in a big fashion, defeating Synrey Bridge by 85 IMPs! See all the final KO play Results including hand records, scorecards, play records, and .pbn play files.

Day 5, December 6
Semifinals – Synrey Bridge defeated Q-Plus Bridge 170.90-133
Micro Bridge defeated Wbridge5 182-140

Day 1 – Day 4, December 2 – 5, Round Robin. Final standing (VPs): Entries
1 Synrey Bridge 90.67
2 Wbridge5 85.07
3 Micro Bridge 81.53
4 Q-Plus Bridge 74.51
5 RoboBridge 33.87
6 TCS BridgeBot 32.75
w/d Meadowlark Bridge, 13.60 w/d in sixth round vs TCS (12 VPs)

December 2, Round 1:
Micro Bridge beat Wbridge5 97-79, 13.46-6.54 VPs;
Synrey Bridge beat Meadowlark Bridge 169-25, 20-0 VPs;
Q-Plus Bridge beat TCS BridgeBot 143-43, 20-0 VPs.

December 3, Rounds 2:
Micro Bridge beat TCSBridgeBot 106-61, 17.01-2.99 VPs;
Q-Plus Bridge beat Meadowlark Bridge 162-37, 20-0 VPs;
Wbridge5 beat RoboBridge 125-63, 18.53-1.47 VPs.

December 3, Round 3:
Micro Bridge beat Meadowlark Bridge 112-51, 18.45-1.55 VPs;
Synrey Bridge beat Q-Plus Bridge 75-60, 12.95-7.05 VPs;
TCS BridgeBot beat RoboBridge 89-56, 15.63-4.37 VPs.

December 4, Round 4:
Micro Bridge beat Synrey Bridge 70-47, 14.24-5.76 VPs;
Wbridge5 beat TCS BridgeBot 142-45, 20-0 VPs;
Meadowlark Bridge beat RoboBridge 78-68, 12.05-7.95 VPs.

December 4, Round 5:
Wbridge5 beat Meadowlark Bridge 215-30, 20-0 VPs;
Synrey Bridge beat RoboBridge 90-68, 14.09-5.91 VPs;
Q-Plus Bridge beat Micro Bridge 91-29, 18.53-1.47 VPs.

December 5, Round 6:
Synrey Bridge beat Wbridge5 132-20, 20-0 VPs;
RoboBridge beat Q-Plus Bridge 64-59, 11.07-8.93 VPs;
TCS BridgeBot vs Meadowlark Bridge, Meadowlark w/d.

December 5, Round 7:
Synrey Bridge beat TCS BridgeBot 121-67, 17.87-2.13 VPs;
Micro Bridge beat RoboBridge 81-37, 16.90-3.10 VPs;
Wbridge5 beat Q-Plus Bridge 120-23, 20-0 VPs.

With a 20-0 VP win by Synrey Bridge against Wbridge5, Synrey took over the top spot in the round robin with 90.67VPs. Wbridge5 was second (85.07), followed by Micro Bridge (81.53) and Q-Plus Bridge (74.51). The semifinals are tomorrow, December 6, pitting Synrey Bridge (+5.9 carryover) against Q-Plus Bridge and Wbridge5 (0 carryover) against Micro Bridge.

Some deals follow, and others can be found here. Also photos. For the most part discussions will focus on the four robots that made it to the semifinal KOs, namely, Micro Bridge, Synrey Bridge, Wbridge5 and Q-Plus Bridge.

The law of total tricks was accurate on board 2 of the first round robin match. With 12 diamonds in the N-S hands and 9 spades in the E-W hands, 10 tricks can be made by each side (double-dummy). E-W will likely make 11 tricks in spades as a heart lead is unlikely and 11 tricks will be made in a diamond contract if the heart ace is led.

Board 2
Dlr: E
Vul: N-S
.
.
North
♠ A4
8
AKJ98732
♣ J4
 
West
♠ QJ7653
K743
5
♣ Q5
 East
♠ K82
AJ62

♣ KT9632
 South
♠ T9
QT95
QT64
♣ A87
 
West
Q-Plus Bridge

1♠
2
3
Dbl
North
TCS BridgeBot

2
Pass
5
All Pass
East
Q-Plus Bridge
1♣
Dbl1
2♠
Pass
South
TCS BridgeBot
Pass
3
Pass
Pass
TCS BridgeBot

1♠
3♠
Dbl
Q-Plus Bridge

2
5
All Pass
TCS BridgeBot
1♣
Pass
Pass
Q-Plus Bridge
Pass
3
Pass
1 support double
Opening lead ♠2

In the Q-Plus Bridge vs. TCS BridgeBot match, N-S played in 5x at both tables. Against TCS BridgeBot, Q-Plus Bridge led a low spade. Declarer won the spade ace, and returned a heart. West won the king and safely exited with the club five to dummy’s ace. When in with a high heart, E-W cashed their high spade and club for down 1, +200 for Q-Plus Bridge.

At the other table, against Q-Plus Bridge’s 5x, East led the ill-judged A, as a spade was clearly marked from the bidding as the most-likely best lead, and the contract could no longer be defeated even with a spade shift at trick two, as declarer will play West for one heart honor, winning the spade ace, cross to a trump in dummy and lead either the heart queen or ten, either ruffing if covered by West or pitching a spade if not. If the queen is led and covered, declarer ruffs and goes back to dummy and leads the heart ten and pitches a loser, and the heart nine covers the other loser. If the ten is led at trick three, declarer pitches a loser, then takes a ruffing finesse against West’s king, and pitches the other loser on the good heart. At the table a heart was erroneously returned at trick two. Declarer went up with the queen, but the missguess did not matter as a trump to dummy and the lead of the heart ten, pitching a spade set up the heart nine for the club pitch, +750 and 14 IMPs to Q-Plus Bridge.

West
Micro Bridge

1♠
4♠
North
Wbridge5

Dbl
All Pass
East
Micro Bridge
1♣
Rdbl1
South
Wbridge5
Pass
2
Wbridge5

1♠
3♠
Dbl
Micro Bridge

2
5
All Pass
Wbridge5
1♣
Dbl1
Pass
Micro Bridge
Pass
3
Pass
1 support double

In the Micro Bridge vs. Wbridge5 match, Wbridge5 North’s Dbl rather than bidding diamonds was ill conceived resulting in allowing Micro Bridge to play in 4♠, making five on the diamond ace lead. Against Micro Bridge’s 5x, East led the spade two, won by declarer’s ace. A heart return and Wbridge5 East won the ace and erroneously returned a low heart. Declarer played the ten and ruffed West’s queen, making 11 tricks with the club going away on the heart queen. Without East cashing its spade trick, declarer will make 11 tricks whether playing a low heart or the queen. 15 IMPs to Micro Bridge.

West
Synrey Bridge

1♠
3♠
North
Meadowlark

2
5
East
Synrey Bridge
1♣
Dbl1
Dbl
South
Meadowlark
Pass
2
All Pass
Meadowlark

1♠
4
All Pass
Synrey Bridge

2
5
Meadowlark
1♣
2
Pass
Synrey Bridge
Pass
Pass
6
1 support double

In the Synrey Bridge vs Meadowlark Bridge match, Meadowlark reached 5x after South raised diamonds. At the other table Synrey Bridge South erroneously did not raise diamonds at its first turn, then bid 6 over North’s 5. Against Meadowlark, Synrey Bridge East led the spade two, won by declarer’s ace. Declarer played two rounds of trump, ending on the board and led a small heart. West rose with the king, which would be best if declarer had a stiff jack, and returned a spade to East’s king. East erroneously tried to cash the heart ace, allowing the contract to be made. North was known to have eight diamonds, at least one heart, two spades, and assuming at least one club, East could not do worse by leading the club king, in case declarer had two hearts and the stiff club queen. In 6, Meadowlark led the heart ace, and jack, +1370 to Synrey.

In human play, one deal may be an anomaly, as human mistakes are unavoidable, and their player rating will depend on the frequency of errors as well as their brilliances. Less than expert humans may not be consistent in their play, that is, they may not always make the same plays in similar situations. That is much less the case for the best players, as generally they are consistent in their decision making and make few mistakes.

In robot play the best bots are not overall expert, but can demonstrate expert play in many situations. The bots’ inconsistencies and mistakes are either due to analyzing a not-best sampling in a simulation, or a software thinking limitation. Let’s look at the play on this board, keeping in mind that Wbridge5, Micro Bridge, Synrey Bridge and Q-Plus Bridge have demonstrated good play in the past, and best in the order shown. Q-Plus Bridge bid correctly to 5 at one table, and defended correctly against 5x at the other table. Good marks for Q-Plus Bridge. TCS BridgeBot correctly bid to 5 at one table, but made a bad lead against 5x at the other table. Micro Bridge bid best at both tables, and was not confronted with defense against a 5 contract. Wbridge5 did not bid well at one table, and did not defend well against 5x at the other, as mentioned above. This is not indicative of the high level of Wbridge5’s past overall play. Synrey Bridge did not defend well against Meadowlark Bridge’s 5x, and did not bid well in reaching 6 at the other table. Again, this is not indicative of the level of Synrey Bridge’s past overall play. Meadowlark Bridge bid well in reaching 5 and did not double 6 at the other table and defended poorly.

Board 10 of the first round robin also followed the law.

Board 10
Dlr: E
Vul: Both
.
.
North
♠ AJT2
4
KJ6
♣ 86532
 
West
♠ K9876
AJ732
982
♣ –
 East
♠ 543
KQT85

♣ jt974
 South
♠ Q
96
AQT7543
♣ AKQ
 

With 10 diamonds in the N-S hands and 10 hearts in the E-W hands, there are a collective 21 double-dummy tricks available. Micro Bridge did well against Wbridge5, reaching and making 6 at one table when West led the heart ace, not find the heart ace underlead seeking a club ruff, and going down one in 5x at the other. 15 IMPs to Micro Bridge.

Q-Plus Bridge slipped at both tables, allowing 5x to make at one table on the lead of a high club, with declarer ruffing three clubs in dummy, pulling trump, and endplaying North in spades when South previously discarded the spade queen, and going down at 6 at the other table when, after ruffing a heart in dummy, tried disastrously to enter the South hand with a club before pulling trump…ruffed and down one, 13 IMPs away.

Synrey Bridge made 6 at one table, making the winning play of ducking the opening spade lead to the queen, relying on West’s spade overcall to indicate holding the king. One heart then went on the spade ace, avoiding conceding a heart to ruff the second heart, which would result in a club ruff and down one. Making a heart contract at the other table, and 19 IMPs to Synrey Bridge.

If these two deals are an indication, Micro Bridge will have a chance to win for the first time after so many high finishes.

Two deals from the semifinals saw 6♣ deals swing back and forth.

From the 1st quarter, in one match 5♣ making six by Q-Plus Bridge and 6♣ down one by Synrey Bridge, 10 IMPs to Q-Plus Bridge. In the other match, 6♣ making by Wbridge5 and 3NT making four by Micro Bridge, 10 IMPs to Wbridge5.

Board 15
Dlr: E
Vul: N-S
.
.
North
♠ 92
85
KT87543
♣ K3
 
West
♠ AJT
AQ6432
J
♣ Q92
 East
♠ K872
T
AQ2
♣ AJ765
 South
♠ Q654
KJ97
QT64
♣ T84
 

WestNorthEastSouth
Synrey BridgeQ-Plus BridgeSynrey BridgeQ-Plus Bridge

1
2
3
4♣
4♠
5♠1

Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass

2♣
2♠
3NT
4
4NT
6♣
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
All Pass
Q-Plus BridgeSynrey BridgeQ-Plus BridgeSynrey Bridge

1
2
3
4♣
4
5♣

Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
All Pass

2♣
2♠
3NT
4
4♠
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
1 2 key cards plus trump queen

The percentage contract is 3NT, but 6♣ has a reasonable play.  Q-Plus Bridge in 5♣, won the trump lead to the king and ace, followed by club to the jack and then to the queen.  The heart finesse was taken and Q-Plus Bridge proceeded to set up the heart suit making 6. Synrey Bridge in 6♣, won the diamond lead in hand and tried to set up the heart suit without taking the first round finesse, down one for -50 and 10 IMPs to Q-Plus Bridge.

WestNorthEastSouth
Micro BridgeWbridge5Micro BridgeWbridge5

1
2

Pass
Pass

1♠
3NT
Pass
Pass
All Pass
Wbridge5Micro BridgeWbridge5Micro Bridge

1
2
5♣

Pass
Pass
Pass

2♣
2♠
6♣
Pass
Pass
Pass
All Pass

Micro Bridge rested comfortably in 3NT, making 4, while Wbridge5 bid aggressively to slam.  The diamond lead was won by East’s ace, followed by the queen and a diamond ruff. A club to the jack and ace and a trump exit.  With a heart return declarer still has good chances, but South’s spade return made it easy, making 6, and 10 IMPs to Wbridge5.

From the 2nd quarter, in one match 6♣ making six by Synrey Bridge with 3NT making 4 by Q-Plus Bridge, and 12 IMPs back to Synrey Bridge. In the other match, 6♣ making by Micro Bridge with Wbridge5 in 5♣ making 6, and 12 IMPs to Micro Bridge.

Board 7
Dlr: S
Vul: Both
.
.
North
♠ 8
T2
KQJT97
♣ AK83
 
West
♠ A52
J95
5432
♣ T94
 East
♠ KJT762
K63
86
♣ J6
 South
♠ Q94
AQ874
A
♣ Q752
 

WestNorthEastSouth
Synrey BridgeQ-Plus BridgeSynrey BridgeSynrey Bridge

Pass
Pass
All Pass

2
3♣

Pass
Pass
1
2
3NT
Q-Plus BridgeSynrey BridgeQ-Plus BridgeSynrey Bridge

Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
All Pass

2
4♣
4♠
51

Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
1
3♣
4
4NT
6♣
1 2 key cards w/o trump queen

6♣ is an excellent contract, only needing a 3-2 trump break. Q-Plus Bridge rested in the terrible 3NT contract making 5, after a spade lead from A52, but East won the king and returned low to the 9 and ace! Synrey Bridge easily reached 6♣ for +1370 and 12 IMPs.

WestNorthEastSouth
Micro BridgeWbridge5Micro BridgeWbridge5

Pass
Pass
All Pass

2
3♣

Pass
Pass
1
2
5♣
Wbridge5Micro BridgeWbridge5Micro Bridge

Pass
Pass
Pass

2
4NT
6♣

2♠
Pass
All Pass
1
3♣
5♠1

1 2 key cards plus trump queen

Micro Bridge picked up 12 IMPs reaching 6♣, making 6 while Wbridge5 rested in 5♣, making 7.

Some deals from the final KO follow, showing the fine play by Micro Bridge.

Board 15
Dlr: S
Vul: N-S
.
.
North
♠ AT
T9852
874
♣ K64
 
West
♠ K843
4
AKQ2
♣ A832
 East
♠ Q952
AKQ
JT653
♣ J
 South
♠ J76
J763
9
♣ QT975
 
WestNorthEastSouth
Micro BridgeSynrey BridgeMicro BridgeSynrey Bridge

1
3♠

Pass
Pass

1♠
6
Pass
Pass
All Pass
Synrey BridgeMicro BridgeSynrey BridgeMicro Bridge

1
3♠
4NT
6♠

Pass
Pass
Pass
All Pass

1♠
4♣
5♣1
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
1 1 or 4 key cards

At both tables the 4-4 spade fit was found. Micro Bridge made the better slam decision, playing in 6, the nine-card solid suit, while Synrey Bridge played in 6♠, the inferior eight-card king fourth opposite Q forth suit. 6 made on the spade ace lead, but was cold on any lead, while 6♠ went down on the diamond ruff. 14 IMPs to Micro Bridge.

Micro Bridge’s well-judged aggressive bidding on board 28 led to a 12 IMP swing.

Board 28
West Deals
N-S Vul

North
♠ J 8 4 2
A 10 6
A 7 6 5
♣ A 2
West
♠ —
3 2
Q 10 9 8 2
♣ K Q J 9 6 4
East
♠ K Q 6 3
K 9
J 4 3
♣ 10 7 5 3
South
♠ A 10 9 7 5
Q J 8 7 5 4
K
♣ 8
WestNorthEastSouth
Synrey BridgeMicro BridgeSynrey BridgeMicro Bridge
Pass
2NT3
All Pass
1NT1
34
Pass
Pass
22
4♠
Micro BridgeSynrey BridgeMicro BridgeSynrey Bridge
3♣Pass4♣All Pass 
112-14, 2 transfer, 3 minors, 4 4 spades-max

Synrey Bridge West’s 2NT showing the minors did not stop Micro Bridge from its 4♠ contract, making 5 for +650. Waiting for its second turn to describe its hand lost the preemptive value of a 3♣ opening. At the other table, at favorable vulnerability, Micro Bridge West did open 3♣, and with partner raising to 4♣ kept Synrey Bridge out of the auction. Down one, with four losers, for -100, and 12 IMPs to Micro Bridge.

Four boards later Micro Bridge bid a 50+% slam that went down one, and an 11 IMP loss.

Board 32
West Deals
E-W Vul

North
♠ A Q 10 6
8 5
A K J 8
♣ A Q 9
West
♠ 9 8 5
7 4
10 7 6 3
♣ 8 7 5 3
East
♠ K 4 3
A 9
Q 9 5 2
♣ K J 6 4
South
♠ J 7 2
K Q J 10 6 3 2
4
♣ 10 2

WestNorthEastSouth
Synrey BridgeMicro BridgeSynrey BridgeMicro Bridge
Pass
Pass
Pass
1
4NT
6 
Pass
Pass
Dbl
4
5♣1
All Pass
Micro BridgeSynrey BridgeMicro BridgeSynrey Bridge
Pass
Pass
All Pass
2NT2
3
Pass
Pass
33
4
1 1 or 4 key cards, 2 20-21, 3 transfer

At the second table, against North’s 4, East was endplayed if it didn’t lead ace and another heart. The opening diamond lead went to North’s jack. After knocking out the heart ace, declarer found a spade club squeeze against East for +480. At the first table, Micro Bridge opened 1 as 2NT is 21-22 hcps. North judged that the slam was at worse on a finesse and bid 6, doubled by East. Unfortunately East was not on lead, and declarer eventually lost to the spade king for down one, -100 and 11 IMPs to Synrey Bridge.

More deals … Photos

23-Year History