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Missed slam (X-IMPS)

#1 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2021-April-09, 17:04

5 card majors, weak NT, Jacoby 2NT. I was North.



Defence cashed the A, hearts were 2-2 so 12 tricks were there.

Would you be happy being in a slam at imps which depends on playing a nine card fit for no losers missing the queen?
How should this have been bid? I'm not sure what more I could have done, but should South go through Jacoby? If so, what do I respond? We play the basic version of Jacoby but responding 3 with a singleton ace seems wrong (and it would give partner the wrong impression of the compatibility of the hands) so I'd probably treat it as intermediate and bid 3NT. I guess partner then would drive to slam, what do you think?
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#2 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2021-April-09, 17:58

View PostAL78, on 2021-April-09, 17:04, said:

Would you be happy being in a slam at imps which depends on playing a nine card fit for no losers missing the queen?

Yes, but I wouldn't be too upset about missing it either. The odds are about 53% in favour of finding the queen, so bidding it does win in the long run.

As for bidding the slam, you may be hampered by your system but South underbid their hand significantly. Even if you're not playing 2/1 game-forcing, you need a way to show a good hand with heart support in this auction - IMO 3H is better played as forcing than invitational. South might also have splintered over 2H or even simply asked for key cards.

General wisdom is that it is rarely right to hide four-card support for opener's major, so most people would raise immediately. The hand is too good for an immediate splinter, so bidding Jacoby 2NT looks right. Over that, your instinct about not showing the singleton club is a good one. Once you show extras, South certainly should be looking for slam.

One other thing about the slam auctions. Standard advice is to stay out of a slam missing one ace and the trump queen, but that's not best particularly with a 9-card fit. There are two possibilities - you're missing an ace and the slam is 53%, or you're missing the KQ of trumps and the slam is 76% (only losing when they're both offside). This is less true in an 8-card fit both because you have less chance of finding the queen and because a bad break is more likely to cause problem. But here the slam should be bid after a keycard enquiry.
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#3 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2021-April-09, 18:17

View Postsfi, on 2021-April-09, 17:58, said:

Yes, but I wouldn't be too upset about missing it either. The odds are about 53% in favour of finding the queen, so bidding it does win in the long run.


If the opening lead isn't a diamond, declarer can cash 2 rounds of trump, and try to discard a diamond on a 3rd spade winner.
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#4 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2021-April-09, 19:39

View Postjohnu, on 2021-April-09, 18:17, said:

If the opening lead isn't a diamond, declarer can cash 2 rounds of trump, and try to discard a diamond on a 3rd spade winner.

Tbh I didn’t look at how the slam plays. I was just going on the assumption that it was all about finding the queen.
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#5 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-April-09, 20:11

Slams are about tricks and long side suits are the major source so my belief is that 2c is critical to any hope of finding slam. Jacoby 2n should be reserved for balanced hands mostly.

PS: Note this slam become more problematic if missing the J of trumps.

This post has been edited by Winstonm: 2021-April-10, 10:16

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#6 User is offline   Douglas43 

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Posted 2021-April-09, 20:56

I play Acol rather than 2/1, but would probably bid 1 - 2 -2 - 4 splinter. That shows opening strength, slam interest, 4-card support, a club suit and a singleton or void diamond.
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#7 User is offline   TylerE 

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Posted 2021-April-09, 23:01

4 is a massive underbid. By an Ace and 2 trumps AT LEAST.
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#8 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2021-April-10, 01:21

View PostAL78, on 2021-April-09, 17:04, said:

Would you be happy being in a slam at imps which depends on playing a nine card fit for no losers missing the queen?

The percentages are well known but determining the intermediates in the suit can be more of an art than a science.

If you have no intermediates, and no J, then it is just 40% making it a poor slam. Holding the jack, so that a singleton queen is sufficient, then this rises to 53%. And if you hold sufficient intermediates that you can pick up a 4-0 break, as here, then it rises to almost 58%.

However replace South's J with a small card and it drops to 46%.
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#9 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-April-10, 02:25

If I had a SJS 3 available I'd use that.

Otherwise as people have said, S is asleep, Ax, Kxxxxx, xxx, Ax or similar is no great hand but an excellent slam whichever 2 aces are held.

S should investigate, if he signs off on discovering he's missing an ace and the Q, there's no real blame attached.

A part of the issue of bidding as he did starting with 2 rather than conclusively showing 4 card support is that if he inquires later, partner can't show the Q with 6 to the K.
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#10 User is offline   mw64ahw 

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Posted 2021-April-10, 05:48

With a modified loosing trick count of 5.5 (Strong) South should be looking for a slam after the opening bid. 19-7.5-5.5=6 (expected contract level)

I use a limit+ Jacoby 2/2NT and only use 2/1 when there is no 3+ card fit.
Continuations after the 2nd bid can vary, but one version I use uses incremental bids showing various strength hands. In the above example bidding would go:

1-2 (4+ limit+)
3 (Intermediate 6.5)-3 (Intermediate+ short suit ask with slam intentions)

With other responses sign off can be in 3M/game or still be slam explorational. Choose your style after the 3rd bid; short suit ask/2nd suit ask/ITL cue bids etc. Key card shows/asks establishes slam viability and with 9 cards in trumps and missing the queen the odds are on your side with South's hand above.
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#11 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-April-10, 10:36

In Italian style 2/1, bidding 2 doesn't in any way deny 4-card support and it facilates the three-level raise which can be used to explore slam.
So here it would probably go:
1 - 2
2 - 3
3 - 3N
4 - 4
4 - 4N
6 - p

where 2 says nothing about strength, 3 suggests 4-card support and invites a control-bid; 3 onwards are control-bids and 4N shows even keycards.

It's a weakness of this kind of auction that the trumps Q cannot usefully be checked if off one keycard (as North knows). But the fact that South chose to bid this way rather than RKCB suggests he has at least the J, plus also that his control may well be a singleton.

Of course another factor to consider is how the rest of the room bids. It's no worry to be in a 53% slam if everyone else will be there too.
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