Sunday, January 21, 2007

Correspondence with a Minor Suit Question

Also our current system uses Hardy's idea, that a re-raise of the minor to 4m is RKC for that minor. As in say 1NT-2S(MSS)-3C-4C is RKC for Clubs. or 1C-2C;2H-4C is RKC for clubs. We have not worked out what is RKC with your approach yet.

The most usual RKCB for a minor would be the cheapest out-of-focus major, normally 4H. Here, that does not change unless a 1-2-4 auction calls for RKCB. I am more convinced that the need for a 4C cue and a 4D cue/LTTC are too valuable to simply use 1-2-4.

With that in mind here is our auction from last nite: (The ops were silent, very strange as you will see.)
1S-1NT (Forcing)
2C-3C (Sets trumps right? )

Yes, in that it sets clubs as the "focus" suit. You may want to incorporate a BART CONVENTION here, as a valuable tool to distinguish "couresy" raises to 3C and "power" raises to 3C. You can find various versions of this described on line (google).

3H- (Could be attempt to get to 3NT, could be S.I. right? if SI denies a diamond control right?)

Exactly. The inferred diamond weakness is also a diamond control weakness, as it was bypassed.

-- 5C also denies a diamond control right?

I would agree. RKCB on route to a minor-sit game is nearly always "free" and should therefore be bid most of the time.

All Pass
Is 3H g/f?

I would think so. However, if BART CONVENTION is used, the weaker club raise might allow for a 4C stop, if agreed.

3NT over 3H would have been natural right?

Yes, although it implies at least some diamond value, not necessarily a control (e.g., QJ10?), in case Opener continues.

Then 4C would be a slam try.

Yes. With two of the top three clubs.

4D would show a diamond control, but would not promise extras right?

4D by Opener after 3NT, instead of 4C, would seem to be Last Train, denying two top clubs.

4C would show weakness and deny a spade card right?

4C by Responder, after 3H, would seem to be a waiting bid without a diamond stopper.

What would you use for RKC after this start?

4H (see above).

Now here are the actual hands:
x Qxxx Ax Q8xxxx (N)
AQJ9x --- xxx AKJTx (S)
South felt that because of the silence of the ops, pard probably had hearts, and if he jumped to 3C over 1NT the auction would become too crowded after a 3H call. Now how do you find out if 3NT is right or 4S on the 5-2 etc. Accordingly he took a slight gamble and bid only 2C at his second turn.
North felt that he had already bid enough with his raise to 3C. He wanted to discourage with 4C over the 3H bid, but was afraid that South would take it as RKC. SImilarly he felt that a 4D call would show slaminterest he did not have. Using your ideas I think that North is OBLIGED to bid either 4C (not RKC) or 4D is that so? Would 4C here just deny slam interest or would it show two of the top 3 honors?

If the auction goes:

3H-4D (Not 4H picture splinter because it is a void)
4S- With the diamond Ace, North can seriously consider 6C.

But what if he has only the Diam K? Say x Q98x KJx Q9xxxx Is there a way for either pard to find out if the red suit control is first or second round?

Thanks for your time,

First, I would have liked to use a "Power 2NT" structure after 1NT. With this structure, 2NT is a GF Relay to 3C (Responder can bid other things, but usually bids 3C). This handles all strong jump rebids and jump shifts, with 2NT...3NT showing clubs. 2C would be semi-forcing and semi-artificial, possibly a balanced hand (the usual 2NT hand). Jump Shifts, then, show 5-5 pattern and five losers, not necessarily great HCP's. You can see how this 3C call would help here.

Not using that, BART would help Responder's problem, as I mentioned.

Not using either. 3C seems fair. Opener's 3H call was right on -- isolates the diamond problem.

Responder might consider 3NT with the diamond stopper. If he bids 3NT, Opener should probably bid 4C (two top club honors; no diamond control; slam interest), and Responder has enough to use RKCB, IMO. He has the first-round diamond control issue resolved (he's looking at it), a tertiary control, and extra club length.

If Responder instead decides to decline 3NT, I think he should bid 4D. He has first-round diamond control and extra club length. He will have inferred, slightly, the stiff spade because he did not bid 3S. 4D must be seen as a power bid, IMO, and the hand merits this. Now, Opener should move, although a passive 4S cue might actually work when Responder takes one last stab by bidding 4NT. 4NT should be last train, and Opener should accept this.

All of this is, of course, much easier after POWER 2NT, BART, or both (I use both personally).


Anonymous said...

OK, I'll admit to being the one who didn't think responder's hand was worth a slam try, but I can accept that others may feel differenly. That still leaves me not understanding how responder can steer the hand away from 3NT to play in the minor, on a hand that for the sake of argument really is is too weak for the 4D slam try, and too shapely to want to offer 3NT, but which happens to have a diamond honour control. By my understanding, 4C (in the complete system) seems to acheive this, but unfortunately my partner thinks this is systemically incorrect by denying the diamond control. This leaves responder totally boxed into either bidding 3NT, which makes me squirm, or suggesting non-existent slam aspirations with 4D. Nothwithstanding the judgement aspect bidding 3NT anyway, would 4C actually deny the diamond honour control? Or should the 4D bid be made even when totally lacking any slam aspirations?

Kenneth Rexford, Esq. said...

Technically, the definition of the 4♣ call is that esponder lacks a “notrump control.” What that means is contextual. A 4♣ call might be based upon a hard honor control (Ace or King) in the context of a hand that is unsuitable for notrump play. In any event, there may be a diamond shortness control.

So, after 4♣, Opener does not expect that diamonds are not controlled. For that matter, after 3NT, he does not know the control situation, as Responder might have QJ10x, for instance. Thus, Opener should not explode into 5♣. If he bids a sane 4♦, this is Last Train, needing diamond control (shortness or “unsuitable” honor control) and stuff.

So, the timid Responder still may win after 4♣, if Opener uses 4♦ as LTTC.