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Basic minorwood question

Poll: Basic minorwood question (16 member(s) have cast votes)

Is 4NT passable?

  1. Yes (12 votes [75.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 75.00%

  2. No (3 votes [18.75%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.75%

  3. Depends on scoring (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  4. Depends on auction (1 votes [6.25%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.25%

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#1 User is offline   manudude03 

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Posted 2016-September-27, 16:25

My partner and I had a bit of a disagreement on this that affected us badly on 2 boards tonight (we were playing MPs for what it's worth).

The auction that really prompted it was:

1D-2C
3S(i)-4C(ii)
4S(iii)-4NT
P

i. splinter
ii. minorwood
iii. 2 w/o Q

I felt 4NT was to play, while partner meant it as a king ask leading to playing 4N with 7C cold, and I wanted to know what the consensus was on this auction.
Wayne Somerville
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#2 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2016-September-27, 16:43

4nt is always to play (I suppose that it can be corrected to 5m with an exceptional hand, especially at imps).

5 can be the king ask.
As much as I like you guys, you really need to know that this is all complete nonsense --- Pilowsky
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#3 User is offline   wank 

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Posted 2016-September-27, 16:50

the consensus is don't play minorwood or other minority versions of blackwood without agreeing continuations.
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#4 User is offline   neilkaz 

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Posted 2016-September-27, 16:57

View Postwank, on 2016-September-27, 16:50, said:

the consensus is don't play minorwood or other minority versions of blackwood without agreeing continuations.

Yes, this! And, Yes, 4NT is to play which can be the best spot esp. at MP.
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#5 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2016-September-27, 18:57

IMO,
Without agreement
, you should assume continuations to be analogous to 4N (RKC).
e.g. here, 4N is a K ask. i.e. you commit to play game in the agreed minor, rather than 4N (but 6N is in the picture).
By agreement, you might play both 4N and 5 of the minor-fit to be sign-offs.

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#6 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2016-September-28, 03:19

View Postnige1, on 2016-September-27, 18:57, said:

IMO, without agreement, you should assume continuations to be analogous to 4N (RKC). e.g. here, 4N is a K ask.


It is not analogous though, is it when the keycard-asking bid was 5m.
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#7 User is offline   rhm 

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Posted 2016-September-28, 03:35

The are 2 major reasons why I think minorwood is a useful convention

1) It is asking for key cards at a low enough level
2) It allows 4NT to be a final contract if no major has been agreed. This is not only quite useful at matchpoints, only particularly needed at this form of scoring. Compared to kickback or Redwood the chances that either side can suggest 4NT is increased.

The way I like to play 4NT is not a sign-off but a suggestion to play. It is never forcing after minorwood. It is not the trump queen ask. (Which is the next side suit after a minorwood repsonse).
It makes it easy to bypass 3NT in many sequences in the knowledge you can always stop at 4NT. Stopping at 3NT when slam in a minor is cold is a very common occurrence.
4NT can be corrected to any level, though the implication that 2 key-cards might be missing has to be judged.
Partner can correct to the minor or still invite further, say with a control bid or 5NT (neither forcing either after 4NT).

Rainer Herrmann
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#8 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2016-September-28, 05:10

I guess it sounds like a cop-out but there are advantages to both methods. According to Kantar, 4NT here would be the king ask and not to play and that is probably what it should be without any additional agreement. However, if Minorwood is essentially your only way of investigating here then it really does make sense for 4NT to be to play. Particularly at MPs, the benefits of this are going to outweigh the extra space and options you get. On the other hand, Kickback users that use 4 as a slam try of sorts will often prefer the equivalent auction with 4 to be asking. In summary, it is fairly close and both options are quite playable. It is certainly not as clear-cut for it to be natural as many here appear to be suggesting.
(-: Zel :-)

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#9 User is offline   rhm 

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Posted 2016-September-28, 07:17

View PostZelandakh, on 2016-September-28, 05:10, said:

I guess it sounds like a cop-out but there are advantages to both methods. According to Kantar, 4NT here would be the king ask and not to play and that is probably what it should be without any additional agreement.
However, if Minorwood is essentially your only way of investigating here then it really does make sense for 4NT to be to play.

Not sure what you claim here.
Not every slam needs to be bid by a key-card ask. For example in the sequence given above 1-2-3 nobody forces you to continue with minorwood.
You can continue with a control bid in a side suit if you like.
Instead of claiming Minorwood to be the only way of investigation, I claim having no timely key card ask hampers sensible investigation too frequently. This is a far cry from claiming it is the sole tool for all slam investigations.

Assuming that a king ask is usually a try for a grand, I can not quite see why a valuable bid below game in the agreed minor should be wasted for that purpose.
In that sense the analogy to 5NT as king ask over major suit agreement is very different.
Surely bidding any side suit above game in the agreed minor after minorwood will make it abundantly clear that you have higher aspirations than a small slam in the minor.
Kantar notwithstanding, who needs 4NT as a king ask?

Rainer Herrmann
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#10 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2016-September-28, 07:58

View Postrhm, on 2016-September-28, 07:17, said:

Kantar notwithstanding, who needs 4NT as a king ask?

The first example from the relevant chapter (XII) might provide a clue:



He makes the specific point in the corresponding text that a SKA of 4NT does not need to be a try for a grand slam.

On the other point, where 4 in minorwood it makes subtle slam investigation with higher calls difficult, so these often require strong (serious) slam interest rather than being a mere slam try in the purest sense. Thus minorwood can rob a pair of such a possibility. That might not or might not be the case for you but if you play 4 as a slam try and 4 as the key card ask it is never an issue at all, which is essentially the reason I tend to recommend that approach for good intermediates as well as advanced players seeking something reasonably simple but still effective.
(-: Zel :-)

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#11 User is offline   rhm 

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Posted 2016-September-28, 08:47

View PostZelandakh, on 2016-September-28, 07:58, said:

The first example from the relevant chapter (XII) might provide a clue:



He makes the specific point in the corresponding text that a SKA of 4NT does not need to be a try for a grand slam.

Oh I know that Kantar's books about Blackwood are illustrated by lots of examples. I have them.
Conventions are trade offs and different trade offs are not zero sum games
It is not too difficult to give illustrations for the most silliest conventions.

This reminds me of the following:

Rubens in his book "Secrets of Winning Bridge" shows 2 balanced hands with a combined 35 HCP with absolutely no chance for 12 tricks.
Danny Kleinman was so impressed by Rubens example, he developed a convention he called "The yellow rose of Texas" to address this pair of hands.
(you can google the convention if you like)

Rainer Herrmann
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#12 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2016-September-29, 05:17

Given the agreements, and the lack of agreement on continuations, then I'd say 4NT is passable as you have no agreement.

But I can't see why anyone would want to play minorwood, 4m as an ace ask, while 4m+1 gives you all the room in the world. Then as Zel says, 4m depending on context can be a signoff or slam try, and if a slam try you can stop in 4NT, while 4m+1 is more serious, and 5m+1 is an obvious king ask that you cannot mistake.
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#13 User is offline   rhm 

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Posted 2016-September-30, 12:21

View PostfromageGB, on 2016-September-29, 05:17, said:

But I can't see why anyone would want to play minorwood, 4m as an ace ask, while 4m+1 gives you all the room in the world. Then as Zel says, 4m depending on context can be a signoff or slam try, and if a slam try you can stop in 4NT, while 4m+1 is more serious, and 5m+1 is an obvious king ask that you cannot mistake.

Maybe I can improve your eyesight a bit:
Apart from that 4m+1 is obviously 1 step higher, which reduces the possible sequences to any final contract by half, there are numerous bidding sequences where it is anything but clear what 4m+1 is.

To give you just one example:

1-2
3-3

Now you can tell me how opener is supposed to ask for keycards in diamonds. I have serious doubts that 4 should be interpreted as keycards for diamonds.
Jumping to 4m+1 as keycards interferes often with splinter, jumping to 4m when the suit has been bid before does not.

Rainer Herrmann
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#14 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2016-September-30, 13:14

Agreeing with rhm: Kickback is a great convention, and will obviously be at least as good as 4NT on most slam hands that want to keycard and aren't in spades.

However, it tends to gain one slam in 5 or 6 (and even then, frequently just in "it's safe to KB, where 4NT may not be"); and whenever there's a kickback misunderstanding, it costs double-digit IMPs. If you are absolutely sure that, throwing the break-evens out, you are going to win more often than you lose, go ahead and play it. But when world champions on vugraph have misunderstandings, I'm not absolutely sure.

4m, even though it has absolutely clear problems with "what happens next", doesn't misunderstand anywhere near as often; and even with a misunderstanding, unless partner passes, you're usually okay.
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#15 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2016-October-02, 00:34

View Postrhm, on 2016-September-30, 12:21, said:

To give you just one example:

1-2
3-3

One possible scheme:-

3 = slam try
3NT = spade cue
4 = club cue
4 = optional KCB for diamonds
4 = RKCB for hearts
4NT = 6KCB

You could of course use the direct 4 as RKCB for diamonds as 3 followed by 4 would cover the heart ask but using the OKCB method renders this pointless. It means potentially being 2 steps higher rather than 1 step higher but gives you a slam try in the minor. Your auction is good for illustrating the point I was making earlier though - how do you make a slam try in the minor here if 4 is Minorwood?
(-: Zel :-)

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#16 User is offline   chasetb 

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Posted 2016-October-02, 02:50

I answered that 'Yes', 4NT is passable. The way I play it, if partner shows 0/3 or 1/4 and you bid 4NT, it is TO PLAY unless partner has the higher of the two possibilities, in which case then then treat it as the Queen of Trump ask (Spiral Scan). If partner shows 2 (with or without the Queen), it is ALWAYS to play, as is 5m.

Therefore in your auction, your partner should have bid 5, since 5 was to play and 4NT sounds ostensibly natural, especially missing the Queen. A long time ago, in the NAP Flight C, I was able to reach 6 and make it because of our agreement above. In this case, partner had 2 and the Q. Had he been missing that Queen, I would have signed off in 4NT, knowing that at best it was on a Queen finesse and that we had enough HCP that 4NT should make. Finding those 28-30 HCP minor-suit slams will win you points, and possibly titles.

Also, I like the idea of Kickback for the Majors, Minorwood for the minors. You just have to discuss the options, like what is 4-4, 3-4, 1-2; 3-3, etc.
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#17 User is offline   johnworf1 

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Posted 2020-October-05, 17:20

Yes I agree...4NT is to play...especially MP's situation.
5 would be the king ask in my book.
That's how I have written it up on my website....
https://www.stellar-.../rkc-minorwood/

View Postmanudude03, on 2016-September-27, 16:25, said:

My partner and I had a bit of a disagreement on this that affected us badly on 2 boards tonight (we were playing MPs for what it's worth).

The auction that really prompted it was:

1D-2C
3S(i)-4C(ii)
4S(iii)-4NT
P

i. splinter
ii. minorwood
iii. 2 w/o Q

I felt 4NT was to play, while partner meant it as a king ask leading to playing 4N with 7C cold, and I wanted to know what the consensus was on this auction.

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