BBO robots are bad in a way that humans generally are not.
If a human player has a choice of irrelevant spot cards, he
tends to play the lowest. Someone, once upon a time, decided
that it would be far trickier for robots to play their highest
irrelevant spot card, because humans might not remember if
their cards are high or not. This sometimes works, but more
often it produces ludicrous results.
Playing a BBO star challenge, I become declarer on a
The opening lead is the K-2-4-6.
The robots do not normally signal, but here they tend to give
standard count. Sometimes. Maybe half the time? In any case,
LHRO shifts to the 8, low, queen, and I win.
I now have ten tops, assuming clubs come home. I can always
create 11 by ruffing a spade. As long as trumps are 3-2, which
seems likely (LHRO might shift to a stiff trump, but RHRO would
not put up the queen), I have 11 tops, so I'm going to play for
12. I draw a second round of trumps, and both follow. It's now
safe to play a third round. RHRO pitches the 7. I cash
the K, and RHRO contributes the 9. On the Q, LHRO
plays the 10, so it is safe to overtake. Clubs turn out to be
2-4, and this ending eventuates:
If LHRO has both the KQ and the expected A, he's in
trouble. I cash the last club, pitching a diamond, and LHRO pitches
a spade. There are four spades and four diamonds left, so I cash
the A and ruff a spade. LHRO had all the cards, so my hand
is now good.
In the ending, LHRO had no good option.
I would not have managed this without the helpful play of the
"irrelevant" 9 on the first round of clubs.
Copyright © 2020 Jeff Goldsmith