Had a couple of tough slam hands at the weekly IMPS game this week. On the first, you hold KQ752 AKQ4 AK98 void in 3rd seat with no one vul. It starts with P – P to you, and the first decision is what do you open. I am a firm believer in 2 suiters should almost never be opened 2C, since you will almost always have difficulty describing the hand, especially major/minor 2 suiters. But what about 3 suiters and especially this strong of 1. If you open 1S and over anyone else’s bid, jump to 3H (or reverse if jump to 3D), 1 of the red suits is almost certain to be lost, and it is hard to justify only bidding 2H/2D at your second turn on this hand. So better or worse, I decided to show strength first with 2C. This went 2H by partner (negative), 2S by me, and 3D by partner. The 3D bid intrigued me, since it should be natural, but I decided to see what partner would say over 3H first, and got a 4S bid from partner. This seems to indicate partner has a bad hand with a bunch of Diamonds, probably 2 Spades since did not get an immediate Spade raise, and less than 4 Hearts. So since we have no more than 1 quick loser in the majors, and a 9-10 card fit in Diamonds (if I read pard correctly), I bid what I wanted to play in, 6D.
Pard had about a perfect hand, 109 7 Q76532 8753, and even with the 3-0 Diamonds split, was able to make 6D on the hand, when Spades went 4-3. At the other table, 1S was passed all around and the hand made 3. Still not sure what is the best auction, but I like our result of +920 better than the +140 at the other table.
The next hand was A98 QT74 J AK963, NV vs VUL. Partner opened 2N in 1st seat (20-21/22) and it went pass on my right. 3C was puppet stayman and partner bid 3N, no 4 or 5 card major. I now made a very lazy bid, I bid 6C, figuring since partner had 7+ cards in the minors, I should get some support. Partner put down the proper hand for lazy bids like this, KQ6 AK2 AKQT7 74. Since Clubs were not 3-3, I had found the only slam that managed to have 0 play.
As I said later, there is no rush on this hand, if I just bid 4C over 3N, I will find out if partner has support or not. If he does, I continue on to 6C as before, but if he does not, and bids 4N as here, then I can raise that to 6N and play in a reasonable contract. When not sure of the strain and/or level, involve partner in the discussion, got to always remember that. Here I ‘Assumed’ I knew the strain and level, when there was a possibility I was wrong, and I had a method of finding out. And it is good to see lazy bids punished on occasion, it is the only thing that teaches you lessons. If partner put down a 4333 hand I would have been overjoyed at my brilliance, and gone away happy. Probably would not stop and think about what could have gone wrong, since I obviously did not at the time.