Monday, January 1, 2007

5-4 Secondary Fit Discovered?

In reviewing and rethinking one auction, I discovered a missing pattern of great interest.

Consider the auction after a major opening and (constructive?) raise, followed by a new-suit game/slam try by Opener. For example, 1♥-P-2♥-P-3♣. As mentioned in the book, the partnership has increased slam prospects if the club suit turns out to be 4-4. We now can expect an extra trick from the 4-4 fit.

What if, however, Responder holds a fifth club? Perhaps 2335 pattern? Now, our trick potential includes Opener's five hearts, Responder's five clubs, and a club ruff from Opener's side. That's 11 tricks on pure shape, as opposed to 10 from the 4-4 fit.

It seems that a Responder with something like xx-KQx-xxx-KQxxx is perhaps too strong for a constructive raise only. However, xx-KQx-xxx-Kxxxx or xx-Kxx-xxx-KQxxx are certainly possible. Describing these hands, the hands with a fifth card in the second suit and three covers, through the four-of-the-major response to the 4♣ asking bid (after the Constructive Responder's Serious 3NT) is inadequate. If you review the responses available after this 4♣ call, you should notice that there is "no meaning" to a bid of five of the second suit.

Thus, I propose that, after a major opening is raised (constructive), followed by a second-suit game try by Opener, a Serious 3NT by Responder (offering a conversion of slam focus to the other suit), and a 4♣ call (agreeing the second suit and slam interest; asking) by Opener, that a response to 4♣ by Responder of five of the new suit show three (3) covers, plus a fifth card in the new trump suit.

If you could have the four-cover holding mentioned earlier, a tad rich for my idea of a "constructive raise," then perhaps you could cover this option with the jump to five of the original major after the 4♣ call.

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