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2/1 Assistance Please Deciding on slam

#1 User is offline   briannz556 

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Posted 2019-May-30, 22:58



North opens 2N. My question is what is the best way to get to slam 6N / 6. We play transfers & control bidding. I've toyed with:
2N - 3 - 4 - 4 - 4 but then feel I should just bid 5 and let North make the decision. But it doesn't grab me as being ideal.

Much appreciate some expert advice.

Brian
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#2 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-May-31, 00:30

What's the 2NT HCP range, and are you playing IMPs or Matchpoints?

A common description of opening 2NT is slam killer, because you are starting at a high level and it's hard to describe your hands, find a fit, find outside controls, decide whether to go past game, etc.

On this hand, slam rates to be an odds on favorite in clubs or NT (with enough aces), with 6 being the safer choice and 6NT scoring better but going down a little more often, sometimes by several tricks.

This is a rare hand where I would trot out 4 Gerber and bid a slam if the response shows 3+ aces. I would try for a grand opposite 4 aces.
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#3 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-May-31, 01:41

Well nothing is going to stop me bidding a slam on this hand unless we're missing 2 aces. Note 7N(N) is a pretty good contract (hearts 3-3 or the spade finesse with a faint chance of a miracle squeeze).
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#4 User is offline   smerriman 

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Posted 2019-May-31, 02:19

What is your definition of 3? It seems one of the more common definitions is that it forces 3NT, after which you have ways of showing one or both minors with slam interest.
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#5 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2019-May-31, 03:56

I'd be happy in 6, but I'd want it played by opener. So if 3 is a transfer to clubs, do that and check aces with your 4 ace ask. But you seem to be playing 4 as a cue, which is surely wrong when you need it for aces. Partner can easily be missing 2 aces, so 4NT is not good enough (or at any time except when spades are trumps). If he shows 4 aces I would not bid a grand unless he turned up with both kings (if that would be permitted in your 2NT range) .
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#6 User is online   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-May-31, 04:59

View Postbriannz556, on 2019-May-30, 22:58, said:

We play transfers & control bidding. I've toyed with:
2N - 3 - 4 - 4 - 4 but then feel I should just bid 5 and let North make the decision.


The earlier bids depend on methods available. But after your proposed auction I agree with 5. This must show slam interest and worries about the spade suit. With all four aces and the spades controlled, partner will not struggle to raise you.

View PostfromageGB, on 2019-May-31, 03:56, said:

check aces with your 4 ace ask. But you seem to be playing 4 as a cue, which is surely wrong when you need it for aces. P


Using 4 to ask for aces has its downsides. It is not advisable to ask for aces with two fast losers in a suit (spades), so there is a good argument for cue-bidding rather than asking for aces.
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#7 User is offline   gszes 

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Posted 2019-May-31, 06:05

View PostCyberyeti, on 2019-May-31, 01:41, said:

Well nothing is going to stop me bidding a slam on this hand unless we're missing 2 aces. Note 7N(N) is a pretty good contract (hearts 3-3 or the spade finesse with a faint chance of a miracle squeeze).


I have often wondered if the straight spade finesse or 33 hearts is a better option than playing for 33 hearts OR either opp holding the long hearts and the spade K (Vienna coupe). Seems like the coupe is more likely to be frustrating to the opps and if the finesse would have won and the coupe fails you can always beg forgiveness from partner because you have not seen your picture in the papers lately. I am pretty certain I would always go for the coupe if I was in 7n with a dia lead
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#8 User is online   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-May-31, 06:39

View Postgszes, on 2019-May-31, 06:05, said:

I have often wondered if the straight spade finesse or 33 hearts is a better option than playing for 33 hearts OR either opp holding the long hearts and the spade K (Vienna coupe). Seems like the coupe is more likely to be frustrating to the opps and if the finesse would have won and the coupe fails you can always beg forgiveness from partner because you have not seen your picture in the papers lately. I am pretty certain I would always go for the coupe if I was in 7n with a dia lead


Surely the K is more likely to be in the hand with the shorter hearts (vacant spaces)? My partner would probably want me to be in the paper for causing criminal damage if took the flashy line instead of the higher odds line.
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#9 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-May-31, 07:26

View Postbriannz556, on 2019-May-30, 22:58, said:

We play transfers & control bidding. I've toyed with:
2N - 3 - 4 - 4 - 4 but then feel I should just bid 5 and let North make the decision. But it doesn't grab me as being ideal.


It's a bit unusual to play 3 as a transfer to clubs here, but if you did agree this then your sequence looks ideal to me. You showed mild interest in slam, but no spades control. North will get the message and decide (in this case slam).
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#10 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-May-31, 09:04

2N-3
3N(forced)-4(nat slam try)
4(aces)-4(1)
4N-(Q?)-5(yes and K)
6N YOu know partner has KQxxxx and the heart K which is 11 tricks with the chance that he has J, Kxx or a 7th club to make the slam better than the spade finesse. J could also be enough if they fail to lead a diamond.
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#11 User is offline   HardVector 

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Posted 2019-May-31, 10:00

Normally, these kind of hands are loaded into a 3 bid. It's normally defined as a relay to 3n followed by responder showing some kind of slam interested hand in one, or both minors. This is occasionally different than peoples 1n structure when they load WEAK minor suit hands into a 2 bid. After 2n, you don't want to use 3 to show weak hands, however, because missing good slams is now too likely (as you discovered). With a really weak hand, just bid 5c or 5d and go for that. After a 2n opener, I've made 11 tricks with a 7 card minor headed by just the J and no other points, so don't worry about the level too much.
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#12 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2019-May-31, 10:22


briannz556 writes 'North opens 2N. My question is what is the best way to get to slam 6N / 6. We play transfers & control bidding. I've toyed with:
2N - 3 - 4 - 4 - 4
but then feel I should just bid 5 and let North make the decision. But it doesn't grab me as being ideal.'
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Non-expert comments...
-- In my favorite version of Muppet, 3 is a transfer and then 4 is RKC for s but, lacking that understanding, I like JohnU's Gerber 4.
-- There seem to be 12 top tricks, so you would like to reach at least 6N and 7N by North is reasonable.

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#13 User is offline   briannz556 

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Posted 2019-May-31, 17:20

Thanks for that wonderful advise. I'll amend our agreements to fit in with the suggestions. I like the 2N-3S-3N-4C-4D Ace ask and subsequent developments.

Appreciate the responses.

Cheers

Brian
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#14 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2019-May-31, 20:00

View Postbriannz556, on 2019-May-31, 17:20, said:

Thanks for that wonderful advise. I'll amend our agreements to fit in with the suggestions. I like the 2N-3S-3N-4C-4D Ace ask and subsequent developments.

Appreciate the responses.

Cheers

Brian

As a matter of bridge theory, it is generally not a good idea to have the limited hand, here 2N, asking for aces, certainly not before learning enough to know where to place the contract. I would have 3S, puppet to 3N, then4C as a single suit slamtry. Opener would cue, and keep cuiing until at least small is reached. If partner cues 4H, as he should, I’d bid 4S, then 5H, which is a grand slam try, and partner will take us at least to 6N. I would never be driving to slam, let alone suggesting interest in grand, without the club Ace.
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#15 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-June-01, 01:54

View Postmikeh, on 2019-May-31, 20:00, said:

As a matter of bridge theory, it is generally not a good idea to have the limited hand, here 2N, asking for aces, certainly not before learning enough to know where to place the contract. I would have 3S, puppet to 3N, then4C as a single suit slamtry. Opener would cue, and keep cuiing until at least small is reached. If partner cues 4H, as he should, I’d bid 4S, then 5H, which is a grand slam try, and partner will take us at least to 6N. I would never be driving to slam, let alone suggesting interest in grand, without the club Ace.


Generally yes, but x, Kxx, x, KQJxxxxx the weak hand needs to ask as really only aces matter, there are going to be enough cover cards to put the small/grand on at worst a finesse based on the number of aces, and if the strong hand asks it can be difficult to know about the 7th and 8th clubs so to count the number of tricks.

Here, the 7th club is a trick partner won't know about.
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#16 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2019-June-01, 02:52

View Postmikeh, on 2019-May-31, 20:00, said:

As a matter of bridge theory, it is generally not a good idea to have the limited hand, here 2N, asking for aces

Instead of

2N-3; 3N-4; 4 = RKC()

one could always play

2N-3; 3N-4; 4 = controls in diamonds, hearts and spades (so "showing", not "asking")

2N-3; 3N-4; 4-?:

4 = Do you have at least 4 key cards, partner?
...4 = Yes, but I don't have the trump Q.
...5 = No.
...other = Yes. I also have the trump Q, but I don't have ___
4 = Do you have at least 3 key cards, partner?
...4N = Yes, but I don't have the trump Q
...5 = No
...other = Yes. I also have the trump Q, but I don't have ___
4N = Do you have either at least 2 key cards and the trump Q or at least 3 key cards, partner?
...5 = No.
...other = Yes, but I don't have ___
5 = Do you have at least 2 key cards, partner?
...P = No
...other = Yes, but I don't have ___.
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#17 User is offline   dB451 

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Posted 2019-June-01, 02:54

I play a few different sets of things over 2N, but my favorite is this: after 2N, 3S is a relay to 3N, with responder's follow-on bids being: 4C/D = 4 cards in the bid minor/5 cards in the other_minor (then 4H/S by opener is keycard for C/D, with step responses showing 1, 2, and 3 keycards); 4N = 5/5 minors (and opener decides what to do); 4H = keycard for Clubs (then 4S = 2 KCs, 4N < 2 KC, which can be passed, bailing in NT, and giving up on the Club slam, and 5C = 3 KC); 5S = keycard for Diamonds (then 4N < 2 KC, which can be passed, bailing in NT, and giving up on the Diamond slam, 5C = 2 KC, and 5D = 3 KC). So, on this hand, the bidding would proceed: 2N - 3S (relay to 3N) - 3N (completing the relay) - 4H (keycard for Clubs) - 6C (opener realizes the existing structure only supports showing three KCs, but opener actually has four KCs, so they just bid the Club slam. Now, if I was playing in a top-level game in a Regional or National tournament, I might need to decide whether to play the Club slam or convert to 6N, but in a club or lower-level tournament game, I'd just be happy enough to bid what I think is the good Club slam. If it makes 6N and someone else wants to bid it, fine, let them have the top, and I'll settle for a tie for second, probably at the worst. That's my $0.02.
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#18 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2019-June-01, 06:12

View PostCyberyeti, on 2019-June-01, 01:54, said:

Generally yes, but x, Kxx, x, KQJxxxxx the weak hand needs to ask as really only aces matter, there are going to be enough cover cards to put the small/grand on at worst a finesse based on the number of aces, and if the strong hand asks it can be difficult to know about the 7th and 8th clubs so to count the number of tricks.

Here, the 7th club is a trick partner won't know about.

I think you misunderstood me. The ‘limited hand’ is not the ‘weak hand’. It is the hand which has already closely described, I.e. limited, its values. Here, 2N limits the hand very precisely while responfer’s hand is unlimited in strength, hence it is, IMO, poor bridge theory to have methods in which opener asks for keycards. By definition, opener will almost never be able to count winners with any confidence.

Far too many players use Ace asking, or keycard asking, as a crutch.
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#19 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-June-01, 07:55

View Postmikeh, on 2019-June-01, 06:12, said:

I think you misunderstood me. The ‘limited hand’ is not the ‘weak hand’. It is the hand which has already closely described, I.e. limited, its values. Here, 2N limits the hand very precisely while responfer’s hand is unlimited in strength, hence it is, IMO, poor bridge theory to have methods in which opener asks for keycards. By definition, opener will almost never be able to count winners with any confidence.

Far too many players use Ace asking, or keycard asking, as a crutch.


On most hands you want the much stronger hand to ask because the weak hand may be able to show every high card as they have less of them. The problem is when the weak hand has a surprise (like the 7th club) which it can't show, and a flaw (2 losing spades) which prevents it from asking. Cue bidding starts unpleasantly high after a 2N opener, which means it is difficult, and sometimes you just have to punt. It happens frequently enough that when you correctly bail in 4N/5 that you lose big to everybody else who blasted slam and didn't get the right lead.
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#20 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2019-June-01, 09:27

View PostCyberyeti, on 2019-June-01, 07:55, said:

On most hands you want the much stronger hand to ask because the weak hand may be able to show every high card as they have less of them. The problem is when the weak hand has a surprise (like the 7th club) which it can't show, and a flaw (2 losing spades) which prevents it from asking. Cue bidding starts unpleasantly high after a 2N opener, which means it is difficult, and sometimes you just have to punt. It happens frequently enough that when you correctly bail in 4N/5 that you lose big to everybody else who blasted slam and didn't get the right lead.

Our experiences are obviously very different. As are, it seems, our notions of how best to design bidding methods. Which, of course, is why bridge is so interesting,
'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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