# BBO Discussion Forums: ATB new partnership missed nearly 100% slam - BBO Discussion Forums

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## ATB new partnership missed nearly 100% slam

### Poll: ATB new partnership missed nearly 100% slam (23 member(s) have cast votes)

#### What should have happened differently

1. S should have bid 5!D over 4H (0 votes [0.00%])

Percentage of vote: 0.00%

2. S should have cued 5!C over 4S (5 votes [21.74%] - View)

Percentage of vote: 21.74%

Percentage of vote: 4.35%

4. N should have driven to slam over P's 5D (0 votes [0.00%])

Percentage of vote: 0.00%

5. No blame - both acted reasonably throughout (3 votes [13.04%] - View)

Percentage of vote: 13.04%

6. Other (14 votes [60.87%] - View)

Percentage of vote: 60.87%

Vote Guests cannot vote

### #21heart76

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Posted 2019-January-03, 04:52

The splinter is GF, you need an agreement for interference after GF bids.
I think there are several "standard" methods.
One general rule I have is that sacrifices shall not be left in undoubled.
Pass = lack A in their suit. Forcing.
X = A in their suit. Can be left in depending on the overall evaluation at the actual bid level.
4 in the given auction = cue for both A and A/K in .
4NT = rkcb
5 = give up

4 from N is probably showing the void and a sort of last train for slam, where he seems to have got that S has 0-1 .
Difficult for S not to cooperate at this point, especially since N is still unlimited.
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### #22nekthen

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Posted 2019-January-03, 06:01

P_Marlowe, on 2019-January-03, 02:27, said:

Hi,

if North only needs a heart shortage, he knows, that South has one, the opponents have told him,
that they have at least a 9 card fit.

North may fear that EW
have 5422 opposite 3433
While a 9 card fit is likely, I would not bet the farm on it. I think S has not appreciated the value of his club holding given the very likely secondary club support from partner. I bid 4N just in case partner can show me 3 aces as a grand then seems very good. Though I doubt p can have the A, maybe he intends to bid 6 if I cannot do anything better than bid 5
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### #23cherdano

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Posted 2019-January-03, 06:27

I think it's worth explaining what is wrong with all of the following replies:

TylerE, on 2019-January-02, 09:49, said:

Not sure there's really any blame to assign here. Hard to find Q anywhere on the auction and that's a two trick difference. Whatever N is hoping for, S has basically the worst possible hand.

Tramticket, on 2019-January-02, 11:59, said:

South has only 8 working points. Difficult for him to do more.

P_Marlowe, on 2019-January-03, 02:27, said:

Hi,

if North only needs a heart shortage, he knowes, that South has one, the opponents have told him,
that they have at least a 9 card fit.
5C by South would show the Ace of clubs / first round control, at least this is my take on standard,
so South does not have a 5C bid.
... I would not have bid 4NT as South, I guess this showes, that am a chicken in the slam zone, but
given the knowledge of the heart shortage, North could have bid 6C himself, it would have taken similar
courage as the 4NT bid.

It's really wrong to think of the South hand as "8 working point". First of all, it's important to visualise partner's hand. He certainly has 5+diamonds, almost certainly a spade void, and the fact that he did not double 4 suggests he does not have heart wastage. Given that we just need the two minor suit aces for slam to be excellent (no matter whether partner is 0256 or 0355 or 0265 etc.), and that partner made two slam tries, we have to cooperate! In fact, 6 is undoubtedly a better bid than 5.

But, you say, we have 4 hcp wasted, and only 8 working hcp? Well, let's look at this from partner's point of view. Say he is - xxx Axxxx Axxxx. He needs quite a lot from us! He needs us to have shortness (very likely, but not certain - maybe East is operating with a double fit and a strong preference for a heart lead), K, K, and Q. He also needs us to have a 5th diamond, or the Q. We have all of those things! We have three out of the three working cards partner is hoping for!

There is, indeed, a way to find out about the Q - South can look at his hand! Partner has a spade void, he doesn't have too many hearts, we have 5 diamonds (making it unlikely that he has more than 6 diamonds) - he is almost certain to have at least four clubs. KQ in partner's side suit isn't just 5 hcp, it's two working cards. And when we may have to take ruffs in both hands, that extra trump is golden.
We could be KQx Ax KJxx xxxx (also 8 working hcp!), and partner, with - xx AQxxxx Axxx, will be very lucky to make 5. (Now, I am stretching my point here a little, as this hand should double 4 if we are in a forcing pass, but still - many hands with, say, Qxxx in clubs and 3154 may make a forcing pass. And it's a first time partnership - with a good partner, uncertainty about forcing pass is more likely than partner making two slam tries without a suitable hand.)
Obviously we have a recall bias in favour of the assholes. -helene_t
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### #24Tramticket

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Posted 2019-January-03, 08:52

Cherdano, I take on board and accept much of what you are arguing.

I am still struggling a bit though: North makes a splinter bid and you look at you hand to see a minimum opening in an ace-less hand with the worst possible holding KJT in the splinter suit. I agree that, once East bids hearts, the opponents seem to have a double fit in the majors and we are likely to have a double fit in the minors. But slam still looks a long way off and it is difficult to see that South can co-operate at this stage. [Side question: since we are in a game-forcing auction, is a 5 bid weaker than a pass?].

North now makes a second try with 4. At this stage, North also knows that we have a double fit in the minors and that I have a heart shortage and we have no wastage there. North also knows that we have first-round control in three suits and second-round control in the fourth suit. North knows that we have at least a ten-card diamond fit and knows that (even if there is wastage in spades), most of our points must be in the minors.

What more is North looking for and how much worse could our hand be? I guess that it is possible to construct KJT4 K 7542 KQT4?
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### #25mdgraham

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Posted 2019-January-03, 11:06

I seem to remember North's diamonds being AJ10954 or something like that.

My partner bid 3 over the Michaels cue of 2. This worked well, as South could bid 5C easily over East's 4. Now 5, and we possibly got fortunate when East tried 5. N could now evaluate S as being short in hearts, so she bid 6. They didn't save.
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### #26P_Marlowe

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Posted 2019-January-03, 12:25

cherdano, on 2019-January-03, 02:31, said:

It's certainly not standard. Indeed, why would anyone play an agreement that doesn't allow South to cooperate with a slam try, and that doesn't allow South to show useful values in partner's likely side suit? Even the most religious first-round control bidder should show some flexibility here.

I think it makes a lot of sense to play 5C as some kind of Last Train, in major suit auctions, if there is only one cue bid possible, before bypassing
game, this is quite common, and you can certainly apply and extend this agreement to minor suit auctions.
With kind regards
Uwe Gebhardt (P_Marlowe)
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### #27neilkaz

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Posted 2019-January-03, 12:52

I can see why South doesn't like his hand opposite N's splinter and cue, but if he decides he's will to try slam opposite 2 aces, then 4NT on the way to 5 is indicated.
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### #28miamijd

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Posted 2019-January-03, 15:45

22 HCP slams generally aren't easy to reach. I think you can get to this one with some logic, but it's not a lock.

After 4S, what does South know?

1. North is interested in slam (else he would have bid 5D)
2. North has either a stiff As or else a void spade
3. North has good diamonds (South could just have Kxxx, and North just said he had slam intentions)

So no spade losers, one heart loser, no diamond losers. We need to find out if North has the club Ace, but unfortunately, there is no good way to do that. If you bid 5C, partner is likely to bid 5D, because he'll think you're looking for a heart control. And key-card won't tell us which black Ace partner has.

But do you really think North would go slamming if he were totally blank in clubs and had a stiff As and/or heart values instead? I kinda doubt it, don't you? So I think North has a spade void, AQd and Ac, in which case 6D ought to be gin.

That would be my call over 4S.

Cheers,
Mike
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Posted 2019-January-03, 17:32

Cyberyeti, on 2019-January-02, 18:20, said:

My remark was connected to bidding 4N and getting a 2 ace response, which he doesn't get with that.

and why is 5C not an option over 4H?
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### #30croquetfan

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Posted 2019-January-03, 20:55

South should probably bid the 6D but north cued spades. He needs to let partner know about the CA rather than cue spades again.
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### #31Jinksy

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Posted 2019-January-05, 20:20

FWIW I posted south as a single-hand problem on bridgewinners, and 70% of the votes were for S signing off immediately in 5!D, including Phil Clayton's, the strongest player I know of to have voted in the poll:

https://bridgewinner...m-2-6io0rdymql/
The "4 is a transfer to 4" award goes to Jinksy - PhilKing
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### #32cherdano

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Posted 2019-January-06, 16:05

Tramticket, on 2019-January-03, 08:52, said:

What more is North looking for and how much worse could our hand be? I guess that it is possible to construct KJT4 K 7542 KQT4?

Here is just one example. Say mdgraham's memory is right and North actually had - xxx AJT9xx Axxx. Now our actual hand makes slam cold barring a 5-0 club break, but with KJT x KQxxx Kxxx it'd have no chance.
Obviously we have a recall bias in favour of the assholes. -helene_t
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### #33cherdano

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Posted 2019-January-08, 07:36

Jinksy, on 2019-January-05, 20:20, said:

FWIW I posted south as a single-hand problem on bridgewinners, and 70% of the votes were for S signing off immediately in 5!D, including Phil Clayton's, the strongest player I know of to have voted in the poll:

https://bridgewinner...m-2-6io0rdymql/

This is very rare, but this is a case where I have no problem claiming that the BW majority is wrong. This is obviously a hand where the immediate reaction is to bid 5, but once you think about possible hands for partner, you realise how much useful stuff we have for partner, and how little more (beyond what he has already promised) we need from him.
Obviously we have a recall bias in favour of the assholes. -helene_t
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### #34mikeh

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Posted 2019-January-11, 11:59

This entire thread shows why bidding is so difficult for most people. We all tend to evaluate our hand early and often allow that initial evaluation to colour how we see the hand later, even though all good players know that they are supposed to re-evaluate with every round of bidding. It is especially difficult, in my view, to change one's mind a second time.

Here, opener had a minimum opening bid, so was already inclined to be conservative in later action as of the decision to open.

The Michaels bid warns that the spade holding is of little use...a signal to downgrade. The splinter doesn't help much, since the splinter will usually be a stiff rather than a void. However, imo it should be gf: trying to land in 4m on this auction is threading too fine a needle for me.

The 4H call actually helps our hand, a bit. We have a stiff heart, partner has, we assume, a stiff spade. So what do his minors look like?

Possession of both Aces, along with 5 diamonds, makes 5D a good spot. The only opp who can have long clubs is RHO so we can never lose a club trick opposite, say, x Kxx Axxxx Axxx, which, you will note, is a borderline gf (or worse!) and has the wasted heart King.

So I think the first failure of imagination by South was the pass over 4H. Now, that was surely a forcing pass, but does South really want to defend? The opponents clearly have 9 spades (assuming north has a stiff) and one has to think that they probably have at least 9 hearts, else they'd play in spades. So partner, inferentially, has the 1=3=5=4 hand, or better, and while they probably can't make 4H if partner doubles, I'd be betting that we can make 5D. Having said that, I can't see this hand as good enough to pass and pull: so I think we ought to bid 5D.

North would surely tack on the 6th, since South cannot have 2 heart losers and bid 5D.

However, let's give South the right to pass 4H. Now North makes a slam try, announcing the spade void.

I think it obvious that if I think South should bid 5D opposite a presumed spade loser, then he should bid slam opposite a void.

The problem is that we tend to get mentally lazy, especially when our values are superficially soft. My wife and I are working hard on a partnership (I am a horrible partner for her, in the past at least, and so we have rarely played). We are practicing, in part, by my generating hands and bidding them. I continually ask her, on almost all rounds of the bidding: 'what's going on?'

Most players, in my experience, tend not to listen attentively to what both partner and the opps are telling them. In fairness, many players don't bid very well so it can be dangerous to draw inferences. Deducing that one's soft hand has grown up enormously requires faith in partner's bidding, and the courage not merely to draw inferences but also to base one's actions on the inferences.

Bidding 6D here would make most players nervous, especially in a new partnership, but it would reflect the sort of trust that one would like to have in a good partner.
'one of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is the howls you will hear from the Men of God' Johann Hari
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### #35msjennifer

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Posted 2019-January-13, 15:00

Sir,we as SOUTH bid as follows over RHOs 4H bid.DOUBLE shows first round control.PASS shows a second round control and 5D as not having even a second round control in H.
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### #36msjennifer

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Posted 2019-January-13, 15:00

Sir,we as SOUTH bid as follows over RHOs 4H bid.DOUBLE shows first round control.PASS shows a second round control and 5D as not having even a second round control in H.
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