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RKCB - A better Step1 Queen Ask? Slam Bidding

#1JohnHall57

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Posted 2023-March-04, 16:16

(added) When RKCB keycards and Queen ask say slam is on can you avoid it if weak trumps like Kxxx-Qxxx eg.
After 1,1; 4,4NT; 5(0/3),6 on:
Kxxx
AQxx
AQxx
x

Qxxx
Kxx
Kx
Axxx

Instead after ..4NT,5(0/3) suggestion is 5 asks details (for missing Q or number of trump honours) then 5 would show here at least 2 honours (AK/AJ/KJ) allowing slam or 5 at most one honour so slam avoided.
Lengthy analysis, see Queen+.ask 5 for details of approach.

Standard RKCB situation, spades trumps, slam strength, keycard check 4NT RKCB
Critical is 4kc, missing 1, split 2-2/3-1/4-0. If 2-2 rkcb response is Step3/4 5/5 no further room to explore, decide on slam
If kc 3-1/1-3/4-0/0-4 response is Step1/2 5/5, normal approach is similar, check Q present, if so odds are slam will have play
However if missing keycard could be trump A/K it may be risky with only 8 card fit
With 4kc/8 card fit need either combined 3 trump honours including Q (missing sideA or just trump loser) or AQT/AJT in one hand
Combined AKJ is weaker missing A+trumpQ, so AJT facing K marginal but odds-on with Q/KQ/none so bid anyway

After Step1 5 can we find combined KQJ/AQJ/AKQ by 5? Avoid slams like Kxxx-Qxxx without J
Queen+.ask 5, after RKCB Step1 response of 5, confirms 4/5 kc as standard
Called Queen+.ask because positive response requires trump Q + other trump honours, not solely Q
Asker & Responder consider their trump honours as one of 3 groups:
Queen+ group Trump Q plus other trump honours - QJ/KQ/AQ/KQJ/AQJ/AKQ
Lone Q complement group Either lone Q trumps OR 2/3 trump honours without Q - Q or KJ/AJ/AK/AKJ
Weak Group 0/1 trump honours excluding Q - none/J/K/A
With kc counted recognise extras, QJ better than KQ/AQ or AK, kc already shown! Slam try after kc response confirms A/K trumps
For 4kc/8 card fit, slam needs one Queen+ holding or two LoneQ complement holdings
Asker bids slam with Queen+ group and uses Queen+ ask 5 with others, yes with lone Q use Queen+ ask (to find complement)
Responder bids slam with Queen+ qroup, 5 with Weak group and 5 with LoneQ complement group (if 5kc, Asker knows if 5 is Q)
After 5 Weak group response Asker passes (needs Queen+ group which would have bid slam not asked)
After 5 LoneQ complement group response Asker signs off 5 if Weak and bids slam if also has LoneQ complement group, the perfect pairing!
eg. Asker with lone K (Weak) uses 5 Queen+ ask, responder bids 5 LoneQ complement group so Asker bids 5 to play (8 card fit) -
either Responder has lone Q likely 2 trump losers or AJ missing side A plus trump Q
Note holding KQ/AQ bids slam hoping partner has an honour, A/K or J (or T9). A risk not avoided but much better with honours together than split

9-card fit> If 9-fit known, slam also Q (47+%, with 9 53+%) or AJ/AKJ (53+% 1/0 losers). Asker bids slam, Responder bids 5 LoneQ' (in case 5kc)
but bids slam over sign-off if fit known. With 9-fit Asker can accept 5 LoneQ' response with A/K/J meaning combined AQ/KQ or AKJ
As always you can only bid on what you know & sometimes one partner knows fit and other has the critical honours
Summary: Queen+.ask evaluates combined trump holding more effectively to aid slam decision, at the cost of the extra negative 5 (5T-1)

Works with RKCB 1430 or 3014 Step1. Kantar's book says mostly 1430, with 3014 opposite strong opener, increases Step1 responses
Trumps not spades - for space use Kickback 4 RKCB hearts and similar in minors although minors more complicated if 4M/4NT to play
STEP2 rkcb reply only has room for basic Q.ask with one negative response, unless RKCB bid was below 4T+1 (as with Minorwood, see later post)
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#2mikeh

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Posted 2023-March-04, 18:53

I tried to read this but gave up, and Im generally regarded as having good reading comprehension, lol
'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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#3dokoko

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Posted 2023-March-05, 02:37

What are you trying to achieve?
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#4nullve

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Posted 2023-March-05, 03:15

I believe the thread is about using a modified queen ask (the Queen+.ask) over the step 1 response to Kickback (or RKC()) to avoid slams on dubious trump holdings like Qxxx opposite Kxxx.
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#5JohnHall57

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Posted 2023-March-05, 03:26

nullve, on 2023-March-05, 03:15, said:

I believe the thread is about using a modified queen ask (the Queen+.ask) over the step 1 response to Kickback (or RKC()) to avoid slams on dubious trump holdings like Qxxx opposite Kxxx.

Quite correct.
Sorry the posting is rather wordy but I tried to give as much detail to try to explain the need and purpose of a more comprehensive Queen ask to see how others viewed it.
Thanks for this feedback, I have added a description of purpose at front, although post detail remains very technical.
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#6nullve

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Posted 2023-March-05, 11:58

JohnHall57, on 2023-March-04, 16:16, said:

STEP2 rkcb reply only has room for basic Q.ask with one negative response, unless RKCB bid was below 4T+1

A solution might be to play a form of PKCB.

E.g.:

4T+1(PKCB(T))-?:

4T+2 = even # of key cards
......4T+4 = Weak Group
......5T = Lone Q complement Group
......[5T+1]+ = Queen+ Group
4T+3 = odd # of key cards, Weak Group
4T+4 = odd # of key cards, Lone Q complement Group
5T = odd # of key cards, Queen+ Group
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#7JohnHall57

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Posted 2023-March-05, 12:56

nullve, on 2023-March-05, 11:58, said:

A solution might be to play a form of PKCB.

E.g.:

4T+1(PKCB(T))-?:

4T+2 = even # of key cards
......4T+4 = Weak Group
......5T = Lone Q complement Group
......[5T+1]+ = Queen+ Group
4T+3 = odd # of key cards, Weak Group
4T+4 = odd # of key cards, Lone Q complement Group
5T = odd # of key cards, Queen+ Group

What a clever idea!
The extra space created by PKCB works well with the extra trump definition provided by Queen+ask/groups.
I like the layout of responses although I prefer Weak at 5T since responder can bid on with Lone Q complement if 9-fit.
Should be very effective where PKCB applies.
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#8JohnHall57

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Posted 2023-March-05, 16:47

The Queen+.ask/groups can be used more in minor trump sequences if Minorwood is being used. If 4m is RKCB for that minor then the extra space, compared with 4NT RKCB and Kickback 4T+1, allows the Queen+.ask to be used after a Step1 or Step2 reply to check trump solidity. Inspired by nullve's idea above it can also replace step3 & step4 for 2kc with/without, so for diamonds (or clubs) you could use:

4 RKCB(1430) in agreed diamonds
...4 1/4 key cards
.........4NT Weak group
.........5 Lone Q complement group
.........5+ Queen+ group
...4 0/3 key cards
.........5 Lone Q complement group
.........5 Weak group
.........5+ Queen+ group
...4NT 2 key cards, Weak group
...5 2 key cards, Lone Q complement group
...5 2 key cards, Queen+ group

eg.
AKJ8x
Jx
Kxxx
xx

xx
AQx
Qxxx
AKQx

1,2 - game force
2,3
3,4 - rkcb.1430 in suit
4NT,pass/5 - 4NT shows 2 key cards + Weak group (A/K trumps alone, not both, no J or Q)
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#9Gilithin

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Posted 2023-March-18, 16:12

nullve, on 2023-March-05, 03:15, said:

I believe the thread is about using a modified queen ask (the Queen+.ask) over the step 1 response to Kickback (or RKC()) to avoid slams on dubious trump holdings like Qxxx opposite Kxxx.

If you were holding that hand, maybe RKCB was not the optimal choice in the first place?
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#10JohnHall57

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Posted 2023-March-19, 11:26

Gilithin, on 2023-March-18, 16:12, said:

If you were holding that hand, maybe RKCB was not the optimal choice in the first place?

It can be something to consider when you invoke RKCB but what else would you bid? Can partner only call RKCB with 2 trump honours, severely limiting.
Looking at Kantar's RKCB book I see 4 examples in the first 2 chapters invoking RKCB with only one trump honour and one example with zero trump honours!
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