BBO Discussion Forums: key card enquiry with minor fit - BBO Discussion Forums

Jump to content

Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

key card enquiry with minor fit

#1 User is offline   AL78 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 1,998
  • Joined: 2019-October-13
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SE England
  • Interests:Bridge, hiking, cycling, gardening, weight training

Posted 2023-November-21, 17:02

Just finished a duplicate session with another poor turnout (three and a half tables) with a scratch partner (I was standby) and we won, which is something I have been unable to do with my regular partners. This hand came up in which our opponents bid to a slam missing the ace and king of trumps which is never a good idea:



MPs, opps playing 5CM but 2/1 not game forcing.

The problem started when West wanted to express slam interest in diamonds and she wasn't sure how to proceed, so resorted to Blackwood and the roof fell in when partner's response revealed two missing key cards. Afterwards I said I would post the hand on here to find out methods to investigate slam when the partnership has a minor fit and the quality of the fit as well as controls needs to be established. How would people on here go about it?
0

#2 User is online   DavidKok 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 2,367
  • Joined: 2020-March-30
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Netherlands

Posted 2023-November-21, 17:28

You do not need both 3 and 4 as different shades of invitational hands, especially as 3NT is an important final contract. I prefer to play 4m (almost) always forcing, so that would be an option for opener's rebid. The actual hand has a more attractive alternative in the form of 4 splinter - the singleton queen is not ideal, but nothing else comes close to describing the hand. Over this partner may or may not make another try for slam, but at least we have a bit more space before bidding Blackwood.

Personally I play 2/1, and the example hands would go down a Gazzilli auction. I think this is sufficiently different that there's not much point offering it as an example.

Edit: I forgot to add, I would stay away from kickback, redwood, minorwood and other stuff like that. In my experience it hurts more than it helps, especially if you don't know on which auctions you would like to play it. I think the primary use of those conventions is to tickle the people with a gadget addiction. More generally, optimising your key card structures like this is very low priority and has a significant opportunity cost in lost natural calls and confused auctions.
0

#3 User is online   mw64ahw 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 1,027
  • Joined: 2021-February-13
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Interests:Bidding & play optimisation via simulation.

Posted 2023-November-21, 22:36

Having Kickback available would let you stop in 5, but 4 as a 1st/2nd round control also works, with 4 then showing a weak suit for me.
Having said that, while you have the point count for a slam try, the key card count for the strong hand is sub par.
My approach is slower with artificial responses over 2 (GI) and a 3 response showing extras and support leading to a 3NT contract.
0

#4 User is online   P_Marlowe 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 10,131
  • Joined: 2005-March-18
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2023-November-22, 05:01

Hi,

assuming 3D by opener is Acol style (*), opener can generate a forcing auction by bidding
4D, or make a 4C splinter bid. Both show slam interest.
Obviously lots of peoble play 4D as minorwood, but you dont need to do it, natural
works as well.


The splinter bid would work brilliantly on the given hand, ..., having min East
should give up, although he has the Aces, so saying "has to give up" may be due to
the fact, that I see both hands.

After 4D it gets harder to stay out of the slam, you have the controls, and I understand a
subsequent 4NT bid, after responder showed the heart control, even more so, if the first
cue is honor based, the cue should say, I have a suitable hand, which he has
.. or blast 4NT himself, although he has min for the 2D call.

As it is, in the given seq. 5NT over 5H should be to play, an agreement, which may or may
not have saved the score.

(*) You dont need 2/1 to make a 3D bid opener forcing, only, that a 2/1 response promises
another bid, like in the famous SAYC booklet, or if you play a 2/1 response French style.


With kind regards
Marlowe
With kind regards
Uwe Gebhardt (P_Marlowe)
0

#5 User is offline   AL78 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 1,998
  • Joined: 2019-October-13
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SE England
  • Interests:Bridge, hiking, cycling, gardening, weight training

Posted 2023-November-22, 06:00

 P_Marlowe, on 2023-November-22, 05:01, said:

Hi,

assuming 3D by opener is Acol style (*), opener can generate a forcing auction by bidding
4D, or make a 4C splinter bid. Both show slam interest.
Obviously lots of peoble play 4D as minorwood, but you dont need to do it, natural
works as well.


The splinter bid would work brilliantly on the given hand, ..., having min East
should give up, although he has the Aces, so saying "has to give up" may be due to
the fact, that I see both hands.

After 4D it gets harder to stay out of the slam, you have the controls, and I understand a
subsequent 4NT bid, after responder showed the heart control, even more so, if the first
cue is honor based, the cue should say, I have a suitable hand, which he has
.. or blast 4NT himself, although he has min for the 2D call.

As it is, in the given seq. 5NT over 5H should be to play, an agreement, which may or may
not have saved the score.


(*) You dont need 2/1 to make a 3D bid opener forcing, only, that a 2/1 response promises
another bid, like in the famous SAYC booklet, or if you play a 2/1 response French style.


With kind regards
Marlowe


Why would that be a sign-off rather than asking for kings? Isn't the standard to bid the cheapest non-trump suit (spades here) as a request for partner to bid NT followed by a sign-off?
0

#6 User is online   P_Marlowe 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 10,131
  • Joined: 2005-March-18
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2023-November-22, 06:34

 AL78, on 2023-November-22, 06:00, said:

Why would that be a sign-off rather than asking for kings? Isn't the standard to bid the cheapest non-trump suit (spades here) as a request for partner to bid NT followed by a sign-off?


You can play that 5S requests partner to bid 5NT, it is the same, ..., I believe, we
play 5NT direct as sign off, 5S asking for (specific) kings (*), but I dont claim to know,
what standard is, what ever you can remember is best, it rarely comes up.

... And I would be able to generate a forcing seq. with 3D, so the frequency of this
specific bid goes down further.

(*) If the next steps asks for kings, you are happy to have 1 add. step, so you take 5NT
as sign off. I would also assume, that 5S is the bid, if you happen to play something
complicate like spiral scan or ...

Regardless how you reach 5NT, you asked for agreements, and an agreement to stop in 5NT is
simple to add to the existing set and may have helped to safe the score.
With kind regards
Uwe Gebhardt (P_Marlowe)
0

#7 User is online   DavidKok 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 2,367
  • Joined: 2020-March-30
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Netherlands

Posted 2023-November-22, 06:43

If you are going to improve their agreements to stay out of poor slams my first suggestion would not be to start looking at continuations over 5, but rather at the double jump that happened at the table, or the single jump that this system mandates otherwise.
0

#8 User is offline   AL78 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 1,998
  • Joined: 2019-October-13
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SE England
  • Interests:Bridge, hiking, cycling, gardening, weight training

Posted 2023-November-22, 10:18

 DavidKok, on 2023-November-22, 06:43, said:

If you are going to improve their agreements to stay out of poor slams my first suggestion would not be to start looking at continuations over 5, but rather at the double jump that happened at the table, or the single jump that this system mandates otherwise.


The problem is being able to establish diamonds as trumps, initiate slam investigation, find out about controls and find out about any missing top trump honors without swallowing so much bidding space as to make this impossible without guessing.

In Acol or the system this pair was playing, the sequence 1 - 2; 3 does not promise extras and is not forcing which is not compatible with the West hand. 1 - 2; 4 establishes diamonds as trumps and is slam invitational, but it burns up a level of bidding space, now the problem is how to check for trump honors and side suit controls without bypassing a makeable game when insufficient requirements for slam are revealed. Opener splintering with 4 has the same issue with burning up space, although if responder can sign off to imply a poor trump holding that would work nicely here. I wondered if a double jump in the minor could be used to establish trumps and ask for keycards so the partnership could stop in 4NT or 5m with two keycards missing, but DavidKok recommends not going down that route due to potential undesirable side effects.
0

#9 User is online   P_Marlowe 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 10,131
  • Joined: 2005-March-18
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2023-November-22, 11:21

 AL78, on 2023-November-22, 10:18, said:

The problem is being able to establish diamonds as trumps, initiate slam investigation, find out about controls and find out about any missing top trump honors without swallowing so much bidding space as to make this impossible without guessing.

In Acol or the system this pair was playing, the sequence 1 - 2; 3 does not promise extras and is not forcing which is not compatible with the West hand. 1 - 2; 4 establishes diamonds as trumps and is slam invitational, but it burns up a level of bidding space, now the problem is how to check for trump honors and side suit controls without bypassing a makeable game when insufficient requirements for slam are revealed. Opener splintering with 4 has the same issue with burning up space, although if responder can sign off to imply a poor trump holding that would work nicely here. I wondered if a double jump in the minor could be used to establish trumps and ask for keycards so the partnership could stop in 4NT or 5m with two keycards missing, but DavidKok recommends not going down that route due to potential undesirable side effects.

Playing 4m as conditional Key Card ask works reasonably well. Conditional means, the first step showes a min, the following answer steps
are regular. After a min response, the next step repeats the Ace asking.
This still enables you to play 4NT, if the KC answer did not suit the asker.
But if you go down this route, you should make all 4m conditional KC asks, unless it is obviously a part score fight.
It may get messy, if you try to find out, if 3NT is on, but if you lack a stopper, ..., you may just keep bidding on 5m.
If I agree to play 4m as KC ask, I would only agree to conditional, you need the option to ask p, if he is better than dead min,
and you need this more, than the option to ask for KC.
The given set is an example, opener has a nice hand, responder has a 2/1, but the 2/1 is min.
Due to the min, you cant handle wastage.


As I have said elsewhere, I am happy with just playing 4NT as KC ask, but most players I know, ommmitting regular cIub level player, play some sort of 4m as KC ask. It is not overly complicated.
With kind regards
Uwe Gebhardt (P_Marlowe)
0

#10 User is online   pescetom 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 7,496
  • Joined: 2014-February-18
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Italy

Posted 2023-November-22, 13:41

 AL78, on 2023-November-21, 17:02, said:

The problem started when West wanted to express slam interest in diamonds and she wasn't sure how to proceed, so resorted to Blackwood and the roof fell in when partner's response revealed two missing key cards. Afterwards I said I would post the hand on here to find out methods to investigate slam when the partnership has a minor fit and the quality of the fit as well as controls needs to be established. How would people on here go about it?


A good start would be to avoid asking a question if you know you can't handle a likely answer, in this case 4NT RKCB with a 2 keycard reply.
Another good start would be to agree that (as P_marlowe suggests) a 2/1 response even if not GF promises another bid (as was already normal in Italian 4 card majors 40 years ago): then Opener could rebid 3 and Responder could bid 3NT (or 4 if you prefer) and they now make a more informed choice.
0

#11 User is offline   apollo1201 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 1,095
  • Joined: 2014-June-01

Posted 2023-November-22, 14:47

 pescetom, on 2023-November-22, 13:41, said:

A good start would be to avoid asking a question if you know you can't handle a likely answer, in this case 4NT RKCB with a 2 keycard reply.

I was indeed told long ago in minor slam sequences to avoid BW with only 1 ace, which makes that if no one asks, then 2 aces are missing so we should stop at 5m. That was before I learnt RKCB. I guess it can still be made with 5 KC, the asking partner will learn 2 KC + 1 opposite and (hopefully) be able to stop in 5m (some ppl play 41-30 just because of that on minors).

Here it could work, 4C splinter, not super strong hand (to say the least!) opposite but 2 aces so maybe give a 4H cue, 4S partner and now 4NT, oops, stop in 5D.
0

#12 User is online   pescetom 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 7,496
  • Joined: 2014-February-18
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Italy

Posted 2023-November-22, 16:42

 AL78, on 2023-November-22, 10:18, said:

The problem is being able to establish diamonds as trumps, initiate slam investigation, find out about controls and find out about any missing top trump honors without swallowing so much bidding space as to make this impossible without guessing.

In Acol or the system this pair was playing, the sequence 1 - 2; 3 does not promise extras and is not forcing which is not compatible with the West hand. 1 - 2; 4 establishes diamonds as trumps and is slam invitational, but it burns up a level of bidding space, now the problem is how to check for trump honors and side suit controls without bypassing a makeable game when insufficient requirements for slam are revealed. Opener splintering with 4 has the same issue with burning up space, although if responder can sign off to imply a poor trump holding that would work nicely here. I wondered if a double jump in the minor could be used to establish trumps and ask for keycards so the partnership could stop in 4NT or 5m with two keycards missing, but DavidKok recommends not going down that route due to potential undesirable side effects.

I find that a lucid analysis (except for missing the point that non GF 2/1 could in any case promise a rebid, whatever Acol said 80 years ago) and while I agree with DavidKok in general about excessive and inappropriate use of RKCB (I rarely use it except with robots or non-regular partners, even for minors) I retain he overstates the disadvantages of playing 4m as RKCB (the original Minorwood) or some equivalent scheme of kickback over minors. One has to recognise that 4NT RKCB 0314 only really works with spades, after all. It can be partly adapted to hearts with 1403 but the minors (especially clubs) remain a SNAFU and really need different replies or (preferably) different asking strains.

I have played 4 in either minor as RKCB for the same minor, 4 in diamonds as RKCB for clubs and 4NT as RKCB for all other suits, 4 in diamonds as RKCB for clubs and 4 in clubs as RKCB for diamonds, all work well and only the latter has any significant problems of disambiguation with natural sequences - those only start in earnest when you use a major as asking strain (as in Redwood or a full Kickback) which I agree leads to more psychiatrist bills than eggs.

If you don't play (or plan to play) Italian style control-bids then you can also consider 4m as a generic game force with slam interest over which 4m+1 is RKCB and anything higher is a control-bid, with 4NT recovering the control-bid you lost (some also play a variation of this which is confusingly still named Minorwood, essentially as above but a direct 4m+1 is RKCB, fine with clubs but dangerous with diamonds for the same reason as Redwood).
0

#13 User is online   DavidKok 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 2,367
  • Joined: 2020-March-30
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Netherlands

Posted 2023-November-22, 17:19

On the example auction I think using either 4 or 4 as a keycard asking bid for diamonds is better than reserving that for a control bid - in particular, on 1-2; 4-? or over the 4 jump rebid (or reserving that 4 jump rebid itself as RKC). On many other auctions I think the converse is true, and I don't have good rules for deciding which is which. Also generally I have the ability to set trumps and express slam interest at a lower level, which resolves most of the problems. But in the case we only get to set trumps by 4m I think it is not clear that the number of key cards is the main issue for slam.

More importantly, even if kickback or minorwood or redwood or some other version would have worked this time, I think the need to jump to set trumps is going to matter more and come up more often than any slam gadget. I would much rather improve that instead. Make an effort not to jump on slam auctions.
0

#14 User is offline   mikeh 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 12,913
  • Joined: 2005-June-15
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Canada
  • Interests:Bridge, golf, wine (red), cooking, reading eclectically but insatiably, travelling, making bad posts.

Posted 2023-November-22, 20:15

 DavidKok, on 2023-November-21, 17:28, said:



Edit: I forgot to add, I would stay away from kickback, redwood, minorwood and other stuff like that. In my experience it hurts more than it helps, especially if you don't know on which auctions you would like to play it. I think the primary use of those conventions is to tickle the people with a gadget addiction. More generally, optimising your key card structures like this is very low priority and has a significant opportunity cost in lost natural calls and confused auctions.


Your comments make sense if aimed at the average non-expert player. However, the great majority of expert partnerships not only use gadgets such as kickback but actually know how to do so.

Minorwood is, imo, not something any serious player should use, especially if (and I’ve seen a partnership of two grand life masters do this) 4m is minorwood even when it’s the first time the minor has been raised! Admittedly the risks are low, in that disaster doesn’t happen often, but there’s simply no reason why one should ever treat suit agreement as keycard.

Let’s look at a classic, if awkward, 2/1 auction. 1S 2H 3D.

Responder has a gf hand with, say, 1=5=4=3, so he’s got interest in diamonds and perhaps slam interest. But using 4D to both show support and demand a keycard response is idiotic.

What if opener has AKQxx x AQxxx xx and responder x AKQxx KJxxx Qx

Did either do anything wrong getting to 4D? Now opener shows 2 with the queen….5C. Fine…..except that responder has no idea whether slam is good. Obviously it isn’t on my example…but…

Oh…I got opener’s hand wrong….it’s AJxxx Jx AQJxx x. So sorry we missed the slam. Or maybe it was Kx in clubs? Again, sorry we missed the slam

The answer is to use 4D as setting trump and requiring each partner to cue bid controls….there’s almost always room to do so below 5m, especially if you use either player’s 4N as a kind of last train substitute….4N says ‘I have nothing to cue bid below game, at this stage, but my hand is otherwise better than I’ve shown’.

This sort of approach requires considerable partnership discussion and practice, but I’ve been playing kickback and thus ‘rolling 4N’ in minor auctions for many years and I think we bid our slams about as well as 99.5% of partnerships.

Having to use 4N as keycard, of any variety, in minor auctions is horrible.

On the actual auction, I doubt that many modern acolytes would play a 3D raise as non forcing, but (if they do) nobody would be passing 4D. If forced to play non 2/1 gf, however, I’d splinter.

Btw, playing 2/1 gf, I wouldn’t splinter because the hand is too strong. I like splinters to show good working minimums rather than extras. With extras, we take it slow…set trump (although after 1M 2m 3m we can still play 3N) and then control bid.
'one of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is the howls you will hear from the Men of God' Johann Hari
2

#15 User is online   DavidKok 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 2,367
  • Joined: 2020-March-30
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Netherlands

Posted 2023-November-23, 03:43

Thank you, I agree with that almost in full. The example hands showcase nicely why more dialogue bidding, in the form of controls or strength-showing (last train) or otherwise, are very valuable.

My personal experience with Kickback has been almost entirely negative. I don't play it, but I have won a lot more from defending after a Kickback accident than I have lost from opps finding whether or not slam is on thanks to the extra steps - even in an experienced field. Expert partnerships are very capable of solving these problems and getting good value from this convention, although even then I would ask whether this is the most important change to make to the system. Personally I think I will lose more than I will gain from adopting it. I am not at the level where the benefits will outweigh the risk of accidents.
0

#16 User is online   Cyberyeti 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 14,001
  • Joined: 2009-July-13
  • Location:England

Posted 2023-November-23, 04:20

This is why we play 1-2-2N (GF bal in standard Acol weak NT) as GF not necessarily balanced so our auction continues 3-3-3N-4N/P I suspect and ends there

We've had one major KB accident in nearly 20 years of playing it and find it valuable.
0

#17 User is offline   Gilithin 

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Full Members
  • Posts: 972
  • Joined: 2014-November-13
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2023-November-23, 12:09

Methods? A popular one is 4 slam try; 4 RKCB; 4NT heart splinter. West-Central European systems use a direct 3 raise as forcing with an invitational raise being bid by 2 (forcing) followed by a delayed 3, which gives you some extra options if you feel you need them.
0

#18 User is online   pescetom 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 7,496
  • Joined: 2014-February-18
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Italy

Posted 2023-November-23, 16:45

 Gilithin, on 2023-November-23, 12:09, said:

Methods? A popular one is 4 slam try; 4 RKCB; 4NT heart splinter.

That's the one I mentioned at the end (I dislike it as incompatible with Italian-style control-bidding).

 Gilithin, on 2023-November-23, 12:09, said:

West-Central European systems use a direct 3 raise as forcing with an invitational raise being bid by 2 (forcing) followed by a delayed 3, which gives you some extra options if you feel you need them.

that's the one I play.
0

#19 User is offline   Gilithin 

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Full Members
  • Posts: 972
  • Joined: 2014-November-13
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2023-November-23, 18:02

 pescetom, on 2023-November-23, 16:45, said:

That's the one I mentioned at the end (I dislike it as incompatible with Italian-style control-bidding).

A little extension to it that I picked up from these forums a few years back is to play 4 as agreeing diamonds and starting a cue auction. That might be one that works well for you in conjunction with Italian style slam methods.
0

#20 User is online   pescetom 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 7,496
  • Joined: 2014-February-18
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Italy

Posted 2023-November-24, 13:33

 Gilithin, on 2023-November-23, 18:02, said:

A little extension to it that I picked up from these forums a few years back is to play 4 as agreeing diamonds and starting a cue auction. That might be one that works well for you in conjunction with Italian style slam methods.

Yes that's playable, but also close to Crosswood where 4 is the cheapest keycard ask over diamonds and 4 is GF inviting a cue auction. I played it for years (quite happily, although it would be tricky with a dumb partner) but then lost that partner... nowadays with new partners I just agree that 4 is RKCB over clubs and 4NT is RKCB 1403 for the other three suits, which is very low memory load and works well enough.
0

Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

1 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users