Had a pair of back to back interesting hands yesterday at the Weekly IMPS League. On the first, you hold AK764 KT3 5 AQ84 All Vul and hear partner open a 12-14 HCP NT in 2nd seat. You transfer to Spades and partner accepts with 2 Spades, which has many negative connotations, no 4th Spade from partner (Weak or Strong), no 3 card holdings with good hands. So this is simple, you bid 3C, which we play as a 1 round force, possibly game forcing as well. Partner now bids 3D, saying he likes 1 of your suits, and setting up a full game force. So you bid 3H, and partner now jumps to 4S. Now what?
At the time, I thought partner had a minimum or near minimum 3 card Spade holding with help in Clubs on the hand, hence the jump to 4S. I would need a minimum of xxx AJx Axx Kxx to have any play for slam (it is now on a Heart guess), but even with that minimum, would partner jump to 4S with all primes? I finally decided that partner had too much room to do something between 3H and 4S, especially 3S, if he had anything that would work towards slam, so decided to pass. That was the wrong decision, as partner actually had xxx Axx AKxxx Kx and slam was a claim when Spades went 3-2. Turns out partner was worried that 2N over 2H would promise a Spade honour or 2 (something I disagree with, would rather know partner has a good 3 card raise with a max, this hand, then honours). And then over 3H, was worried that 3S might not be forcing, which I disagree with since 2 cue-bids can not now stop below game. And even if it was non-forcing, 4 of a red-suit would have gotten us there.
At the other table, they had a variant of the same problem to also miss this slam. After a 12-14 HCP NT as well, my hand bid 2D (GF Stayman, not playing transfers) and his partner bid 3D. This now went 3S by my hand and 4S by his partner. Talking to the person that bid 4S after, I said she should have cue-bid 1 or the other of the red suits, since at this point, that must indicate a good hand for Spades. Again, not knowing how good the fit really was, my hand passed for a push board.
On the next hand, you pick up a nice collection with None Vul. AK42 5 AKT73 AKT. This gets even better when partner opens 1S in front of you. I was really tempted here to actually just bid 7S, like c’mon, how often to you really get the possibility of that auction? I actually bid 4N, since there is little I can learn on this hand by bidding 2D first. Partner showed 1 KC with 5C, and I bid 5D asking about the Spade Q. Partner now bid 5H showing the Q of Spades and the K of Hearts, so no Club loser, now what.
At the table, I fell asleep here and made a non-bid, 5N, knowing what partner had to bid over that before he bid 6S, since I am looking at every other card missing. I eventually now hoped for something other than 3 small Diamonds from partner and raised to 7, but I had put myself to a guess for no reason. I really think, after the fact of course, that 6D here has to be taken correctly. I do not think you can want to play in Diamonds on this kind of auction, so it should be asking for 3rd round Diamond control. Partner was nice and had Qx, so this is not a problem hand. But it would be a nice one to stay out of when partner has xxx, even though there are still chances as long as partner is not 3 small in each of the minors.
At the other table, it went 1S-2D and then after KC BW, my hand decided to be pessimistic and settled in 6S, also not thinking of the 6D bid. Although in his case, there would be a lot more ambiguity now, since after 2D, 6D actually could be a place to play.