Spring NABC Robot Individual
Yauheni Siutsau of Loveland OH is the winner of the spring 2023 NABC Robot Individual. Siutsau, a Platinum Life Master, previously won the summer 2021 Robot Individual. He improved every session, scoring 65.04%, 68.40% and 71.48% for a combined score of 69.42% – barely edging out second-place Eric Robinson of Park City UT who scored 69.36%. In third place was Andrea Boldrini of Roma Italy with 68.80%.
“I guess I was lucky with my draw of boards,” said Siutsau, “because I defended only 10 times out of 72.
“I tried to play normal bridge with few adjustments such as opening 1NT more often and not using Michaels. Most of hands were routine; I had a lot of good scores due to simple overtricks, but I had several exciting boards too.
“My partner opened 1♦ and I responded 1♠ with:
♠A K J 10 x x ♥x x ♦K x ♣A Q x.
Partner raised to 2♠. Slam is possible if we have a heart control, so I bid 3♥ as a help-suit try. Partner jumped to 4♠. We can be off the A–K if opener has a hand like:
♠Q x x x ♥Q J x ♦A J x x ♣K x,
but we can stop safely in 5♠, so I bid 4NT, Blackwood. Partner responded 5NT (two keycards and some void). It looks like opener is 4=4=5=0 or 4=3=6=0 with two red aces. I can hope for 13 tricks even opposite:
♠x x x x ♥A x x ♦A x x x x x ♣—,
so, I bid 7♠.”
Partner’s hand was:
♠ 8 6 5 3 ♥ A K 7 5 ♦ A J 10 9 3 ♣ —.
7♠ was worth 98.3%
“Thanks to BBO and the ACBL for hosting the event.”
First in Flight B was Felix Schwartz of Rockaway Park NY. His combined score was 66.27%, thanks to a monster 72.35% second session – third overall. “I have been playing online bridge for the last 15 years, mostly with robots,” said Schwartz. “Before that, I played in clubs and different tournaments in Ukraine and in the U.S.
“Playing with robots is completely different from playing with humans: I upgrade my hand by 1–2 points depending on distribution; I try to give as little information as possible during bidding and play; I open notrump with some unusual distribution.”
First in Flight C was Richard Rizza of North Bellmore NY with a combined score of 63.83%.
“When I checked the results, I was extremely satisfied with my 29th-place finish overall,” said Rizza. “It wasn’t until later, when I clicked on my BBO name, that I realized I had won Flight C.
“Even though playing with robots can be dicey, especially when defending, I find that the advantages much outweigh the disadvantages. In a “best hand” tournament, like the NABC Robot Individual, defending doesn’t happen often, so this minimizes the main disadvantage of playing with the robots. The advantages include playing whenever I want to, for as little or as long as I want to, playing at my pace, (not having to wait on my partner or opponent to make a bid or play a card) and having fewer bidding misunderstandings due to the mouse-over feature that explains how the robots have interpreted or will interpret a specific bid.”