Wednesday, December 23, 2009

More Adventures in Slam bidding

Last night, my partner at the local club picked up:
AKQ, AKx, Qx, AKQxx.

Playing a standard system, what's your plan on how to bid this monster? After partner makes a negative response, denying any A or K or 2 queens? How about after partner makes a semi-positive response showing 1 king?

Suppose you open 2C, partner makes a negative 2H, and you bid 3C, you would expect partner to bid 3M with a 5 card suit but would you expect partner to bid 3NT with any other balanced hand or bid 3D as sort of "I don't have a major to bid"? Is 3C even forcing? My instinct would be to bid 3NT over partner's initial response. And most of the time that will probably work well. This is why the strong artificial 2C opening is one of the worst bids in bridge. You're up to 3C and you have no idea if you have a fit or if this is a partscore, game, or slam hand. I think responder has to bid again over 3C and 3M should promise 5, 3D is sort of a last train bid, and 3NT should imply some length, but not strength in diamonds.

How about if the 2H response showed 1 control (1 king)? I still think 3C is the best rebid by opener. Now, you're almost surely going to slam, and this leaves the most options open for which strain. 2NT shuts out the club suit.

At the table, I held:
JT9xx, Jxxx, x, JTx.

Now, how do you get to the cold slam in spades?
At my table, I responded 2H, showing 1 control (I forgot what system we were playing) and from there it was easy because partner was able to play me for 5 spades and the king of diamonds.

But if I correctly make a negative response, how can opener raise spades and ask if I have shortness in diamonds? If the auction started: 2C-2D(no A or K); 3C-3S, what is 4H? A cue for spades? A second suit? Is it forcing? If it is forcing, 4H, followed by 5S would get the message across that I want to be in slam if you have 2nd round diamond control.

Anyway, this would be a fairly easy hand in most precision systems. In the system I use most, the auction would look something like: 1C-1D-1H-1S-2C-2S-3S-4D-6S. 1C 16+. 1D 0-7. 1H 20+. 1S 0-4. 2C I don't care, we're still going to game. 2S 5 card suit. 3S raise, still some slam interest. 4D cuebid (can't be an A or K so must be a singleton).

1 comment:

  1. Yes, playing our Stone Age bidding system over 2C I would probably bid 2C-2D-3NT and partner would transfer to spades and leave us there.

    I wonder if opponents might compete in diamonds, and if that might actually help the weak hand's evaluation.