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Grand Slam?

#1 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2018-October-05, 01:49



Pairs (club duplicate) - please comment if you might bid differently at other forms of scoring.

On the above auction, the 2 was forcing to game (you don't play inverted minor suit raises with this partner). You have so far found out that partner has at least five clubs headed by the AKQ and four spades headed by the king.

Counting tricks you can picture five+ clubs, three red cards, Ace / king of spades, two spade ruffs, giving a certain twelve tricks. If partner holds a six-card club suit you will take six club tricks, bringing your total to 13. Partner is very likely to hold a six-card suit and if she doesn't she might have help elsewhere (e.g. the queen of diamonds).

Do you bid seven?
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#2 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2018-October-05, 03:55

In a sense this is remarkably similar to a hand from the World Bridge Series Mixed Teams quarter-final yesterday between FERM and LU DONG. On board 4 (https://www.bridgeba...ch.php?id=59211) Ferm and Brink had the same start to the auction and then they had a misunderstanding over the meaning of 2 over fourth-suit forcing. Ferm thought it showed 5-5 or 5-6, Brink thought it was the default action when you do not have a clear bid.

It is the same issue here. If you think that 2 would show 5-5 or 5-6, then you are guessing. If, like Brink (and I) would think, it is the default action, then 3 almost always shows six and bidding the grand is an excellent proposition.

Partner needs the queen of diamonds or queen of spades to make a grand slam, or subsidiary cards that would make it on a finesse. It would be nice to bid 5NT to show we have all the controls and ask for extras, since on this auction it makes no sense for it to ask for kings. However, making up rules in the middle of the auction is never great, so I would not play partner for perfect cards and just settle for the small slam.
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#3 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2018-October-05, 04:29

5N easy whatever it means, it's never passable, I would play 3 as the default bid unless I opened all 5-5/7 hands 1, also depends if I play 3 as "5th suit forcing" over 2.
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#4 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2018-October-05, 04:53

View Postpaulg, on 2018-October-05, 03:55, said:

In a sense this is remarkably similar to a hand from the World Bridge Series Mixed Teams quarter-final yesterday between FERM and LU DONG. On board 4 (https://www.bridgeba...ch.php?id=59211) Ferm and Brink had the same start to the auction and then they had a misunderstanding over the meaning of 2 over fourth-suit forcing. Ferm thought it showed 5-5 or 5-6, Brink thought it was the default action when you do not have a clear bid.


Thanks Paul. That is a really interesting link. Yes, I think that it all comes down to your response structure over 4th Suit Forcing - will partner bid 2 or 3 with KXXX XX XX AKQXX? It seems to me that there are (at least) three possible approaches:
(1) Agree to play the cheapest suit as a default bid.
(2) Agree that bidding a major always shows extra length and bid the cheapest minor as the default (but on this particular auction that would mean that 2 promises a five-card suit implying 6-5 shape, since we would open 1 with 5-5 in the black suits).
(3) No default bid. This means that in some situations you don't have a bid available without telling a lie and you have to judge which is the better lie to tell in any given auction. I'm not sure what this should lead to on this auction - maybe 2 since 6-5 is an unlikely shape? Maybe 3 since a five-card suit headed by AKQ is worth emphasising?

I tried to address this issue in a previous thread (Responding to 4th Suit Forcing) but the thread was inconclusive and the discussion with partner was inconclusive - leaving us with my third option.
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#5 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2018-October-05, 04:57

View PostCyberyeti, on 2018-October-05, 04:29, said:

5N easy whatever it means, it's never passable, I would play 3 as the default bid unless I opened all 5-5/7 hands 1, also depends if I play 3 as "5th suit forcing" over 2.


5NT will tell you that partner has the K and not the K, which you know. You are of course committed to 7 by then since 6NT looks to be a trick short.

Do you have an agreement with partner about what is the default bid? How is it defined?
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#6 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2018-October-05, 05:07

My general philosophy is that there is always a lot to be said for making the cheapest bid in an auction when you don't know what to do, as it leaves the most room for partner to do something sensible.

So in my partnerships this manifests itself as meaning the the lowest bid suit (by the responder to fourth-suit forcing) is the 'bucket' bid.

I find it surprising, given how much everyone invests in fourth-suit forcing, how little agreement there is about continuations. I suspect that UI is subconsciously given and used at most club games to alleviate this problem.
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#7 User is offline   The_Badger 

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Posted 2018-October-05, 05:08

What would have 4 meant after 3? When I used to play regularly that signified a double control in the suit bid and setting trumps in the last suit bid after 4th suit forcing, with extras. However, other players may interpret it differently.
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#8 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2018-October-05, 05:16

View PostThe_Badger, on 2018-October-05, 05:08, said:

What would have 4 meant after 3? When I used to play regularly that signified a double control in the suit bid and setting trumps in the last suit bid after 4th suit forcing, with extras. However, other players may interpret it differently.


This may be a good treatment, but we don't have that agreement and I guess that means it is natural (although I cannot imagine bidding it as natural).
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#9 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2018-October-05, 05:21

View PostTramticket, on 2018-October-05, 04:57, said:

5NT will tell you that partner has the K and not the K, which you know. You are of course committed to 7 by then since 6NT looks to be a trick short.

Do you have an agreement with partner about what is the default bid? How is it defined?


Opener returns to his first suit as default.

No 5N won't, it says "tell me something I don't know" which will be Q or Q which would make 7 reasonable.
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#10 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2018-October-05, 05:25

View Postpaulg, on 2018-October-05, 05:07, said:

My general philosophy is that there is always a lot to be said for making the cheapest bid in an auction when you don't know what to do, as it leaves the most room for partner to do something sensible.


there is a lot to be said for this philosophy :)

View Postpaulg, on 2018-October-05, 05:07, said:

So in my partnerships this manifests itself as meaning the the lowest bid suit (by the responder to fourth-suit forcing) is the 'bucket' bid.


Also sensible. BUT: isn't one of the frequent primary objectives in 4th suit forcing to uncover a major-suit fit?

View Postpaulg, on 2018-October-05, 05:07, said:

I find it surprising, given how much everyone invests in fourth-suit forcing, how little agreement there is about continuations. I suspect that UI is subconsciously given and used at most club games to alleviate this problem.


You are certainly correct that there seems to be little agreement about continuations. Everyone I talk to seems to have their pet ideas - often incompatible with their partner's ideas! I don't doubt that UI is the result.
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Posted 2018-October-05, 05:29

View PostCyberyeti, on 2018-October-05, 05:21, said:

Opener returns to his first suit as default.


That is at least clear. Does this apply also if the first suit is a major?

View PostCyberyeti, on 2018-October-05, 05:21, said:

No 5N won't, it says "tell me something I don't know" which will be Q or Q which would make 7 reasonable.


A good treatment.
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#12 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2018-October-05, 05:36

View PostTramticket, on 2018-October-05, 05:29, said:

That is at least clear. Does this apply also if the first suit is a major?


Yes, bear in mind our 4SF at the 2 level is not GF, we prefer agreements that are clear like this even if they're not necessarily 100% best as long as they're not terrible, because they save brainspace.

Also the auction would not go as above for us at all for 2 reasons.

a) we'd start with an inverted 2
b) the ace ask would be 4 so we'd have more space for jiggery pokery after.
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#13 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2018-October-05, 06:55

View PostTramticket, on 2018-October-05, 05:25, said:

View Postpaulg, on 2018-October-05, 05:07, said:

So in my partnerships this manifests itself as meaning the the lowest bid suit (by the responder to fourth-suit forcing) is the 'bucket' bid.

Also sensible. BUT: isn't one of the frequent primary objectives in 4th suit forcing to uncover a major-suit fit?

The primary objective is to find the best place to play and this will often mean the best major-suit fit. However you'll often be guessing whatever method you play and I think a simple rule is easier than the smallest lie philosophy.

The type of problem you posed in another thread, 1-2-2-3!, where you have little space or time to make a decision, will always test partnership agreements.

I'd bid 3, sometimes with 5422 or 5431 and no stop, and if partner continues with 3NT I would see this as showing doubt about three no trump being the right contract. So I would pull if I actually held five hearts.

I feel that those who choose the smallest lie by bidding 3!s with these hands needs to pull three no trump with six spades, but this is a more precarious solution since partner could have just been looking for the fifth heart and not six spades.

In auctions where there is more space, you can hope to survive whatever you do.

I guess it is fortunate that these auctions come up far less frequently than you might imagine!


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#14 User is offline   gszes 

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Posted 2018-October-05, 08:51

since it is impossible for opener to have a red suit king (they bid 4s over 4c) bidding 5n clearly asks partner for something besides the AKQ clubs and spade king. The only rational card that opener can have that might FOR SURE make a difference is he spade Q so it is safe to bid 5n to ask for it. Yes the dia Q would help but the heart Q would not and there is no way for opener to know which would be useful so they must concentrate on KNOWN useful cards. I would be wiling to play a grand opposite KQxx (xxx) (xxx) AKQxx so 5n stands out. I would also be willing to play a grand opposite Kxxx (xxx) (xxx) AKQxxxx BUT I have no way to know about 6th club for sure without a more sophisticated system. NOTE: IF the 4s bid denied 2nd round control of either red suit (no shortness) opener is limited to 5 clubs.
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#15 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2018-October-05, 09:01

View Postgszes, on 2018-October-05, 08:51, said:

since it is impossible for opener to have a red suit king (they bid 4s over 4c) bidding 5n clearly asks partner for something besides the AKQ clubs and spade king. The only rational card that opener can have that might FOR SURE make a difference is he spade Q so it is safe to bid 5n to ask for it.

It is impossible to disagree with this, but such bids are always a lot clearer to the person making them than the player on the receiving end. This particular case should be at one end of the spectrum ... :)

View Postgszes, on 2018-October-05, 08:51, said:

NOTE: IF the 4s bid denied 2nd round control of either red suit (no shortness) opener is limited to 5 clubs.

A good observation but many would be reticent of showing shortness in diamonds (partner's suit).
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#16 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2018-October-05, 09:14

View Postpaulg, on 2018-October-05, 03:55, said:

In a sense this is remarkably similar to a hand from the World Bridge Series Mixed Teams quarter-final yesterday between FERM and LU DONG. On board 4 (https://www.bridgeba...ch.php?id=59211) Ferm and Brink had the same start to the auction and then they had a misunderstanding over the meaning of 2 over fourth-suit forcing. Ferm thought it showed 5-5 or 5-6, Brink thought it was the default action when you do not have a clear bid.

It seems that they were not on ferm ground ...
I prefer to give the lawmakers credit for stating things for a reason. - barmar
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#17 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2018-October-05, 09:21

I would not be bidding grand, and will be quite happy if I make an overtrick in 6C. Opposite partner's minimum hand, K432 32 32 AKQ32, which seems wholly consistent with his bidding, grand is exactly 1% double dummy over a simulation of 1000 deals. There will be quite a bit of work to do ruffing two spades as it is.
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#18 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2018-October-05, 10:19

View Postpaulg, on 2018-October-05, 05:07, said:

I find it surprising, given how much everyone invests in fourth-suit forcing, how little agreement there is about continuations. I suspect that UI is subconsciously given and used at most club games to alleviate this problem.


Personally I don't invest that much in fourth-suit forcing, as we usually play short club openings and also exploit XYZ.
But I've never had any disagreement about fsf continuations and have always managed playing what seem to be standard indications, which sometimes just say "natural" and sometimes are more explicit, but I don't recall reading about a "default response" in either suit of opener.
I was taught that the first priority is to raise responder's first suit with 3+cards, or if not possible to bid NT with a stopper in the fourth-suit; if not then rebid whichever of own suits is rebiddable, or "raise" the fourth-suit with 4-card or no other option. Obviously there will be occasions when it seems opportune to tell small lies about suit length or stopper quality, but no more so than in normal bidding.
So for me, Brink had a clear bid of 3. West here should bid 2NT with a hearts stopper, or rebid one of his suits if possible, otherwise 3 with no bid - clearly impossible as a real bid so no UI needed to convey desperation B-)
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#19 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2018-October-05, 13:03

View Postpescetom, on 2018-October-05, 10:19, said:

So for me, Brink had a clear bid of 3. West here should bid 2NT with a hearts stopper, or rebid one of his suits if possible, otherwise 3 with no bid - clearly impossible as a real bid so no UI needed to convey desperation B-)

I suspect most people would bid 3 with Brink's hand, but he's a lot better player than me so I assume that there is a good reason why he didn't.
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#20 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2018-October-05, 13:53

In the typical club duplicate bidding a minor grand slam when one cannot count at least 13 tricks off the top is assured of leading to a top board.....for the bidding pair or their opponents.

In most club duplicates, the typical pair is terrified of the minor suits, and scuttles into 3N on any possible justification.

Thus, if one is unsure, on the auction, as to whether 3C showed a 6 card suit, one should not bid the grand.

I remember playing a club game where we had a beautiful auction to 7C, which was a claimer at about trick 2. We played it the last round, and when we looked at the scores, nobody else had even bid the small slam. That's not uncommon in most club duplicates where players have 'learned' to avoid minors.
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