Saturday, February 12, 2011

The bot who forgot

I enjoy playing with the robots, but you have to be willing to accept some frustration.

Today my robot partner opened 1 and right-hand bot overcalled 1. I had a self-sufficient spade suit, a partial club fit and a good hand. I bid 4NT which turned out to be a bad idea. Partner bot bid 5. I bid 6 while noticing that I wouldn't get to play the contract -- the stupid bot had bid my suit. Apparently the bot thought that was a grand slam try and retreated to 7. Yes, we were off an ace, but the hand on lead didn't take it and we scored up 1440!

Last Thursday, we had a snow storm and the office was closed. Time to go online! I played bridge with the robots (and some poker, too) then signed up for an Individual Tournament with humans. If you think the robots are frustrating, the human players on BBO will drive you insane.

On one hand I opened 1NT with a flat 15-count. Partner bid 4NT and I passed. The dummy had 19 high-card points and a five-card suit -- seven was cold.

That was bad enough, but then I looked in the chat box and saw: "Don't you play Blackwood?" Ouch. At least when I play with the robots, I don't have to listen to any BS.

This morning, playing with the robots, I saw something new. The East bot was declarer in a 3 contract. Here was the position with four tricks to play (rotated to make the declarer bot South):

K 8 5
A 4 3 Q 10 7 2
--- ---
Q ---
--- ---
J 9 6

Declarer led a spade from his hand, put in the 8 and it held the trick! My partner (holding Q 10 7 4) forgot to win the trick!

Robots sometimes make crazy bids or plays, but I've never seen one fail to take a trick at a point where the deal was basically an open book. I couldn't make up stuff like this -- I'm just sayin'.

What's the craziest bid or play you've seen a bot make?


  1. I fear Josie and I have been contagious. I saw we'd sent the white down your way.

    But, the day off balanced things. So, I won't apologize.

  2. Mojo,

    The bot knew you had the SA and deduced that your side got 2 more tricks whether it won or ducked. A stylish play, I think.

  3. @Jonathan: Thanks for the comment.

    The next play was a low spade from dummy and North (partner bot) put in the 10 (not low, not the Queen) to the jack and my ace. Unfortunately, we took one spade trick.