Had a hand that somewhat fell outside our discussions over 1N in a team game this week. We play 1N shows 12-14 HCP and may include a 5 card major or minor. So when partner opened 1N with no one vul and I held Q2 9 KQJ97 AJT98, I had to decide on an approach that made sense.
We play 3 of a major as a fragment with both minors, at least game interest, so a 3S bid is fairly close on my hand, but tends to imply only 5-4 in the minors, will have to talk to partner later if it can include this hand pattern. Part of the reason for having that is to be able to play in a 4-3 or 5-3 major suit game if it looks right from the 1N opener side, so doing it with only 2 may get me 4 of the major, something I would not be happy with.
We also play 4 suit transfers, so I felt the best way to start was to transfer into Clubs and then bid Diamonds, which is forcing for at least 1 round and should imply something like this in the minors, since I did not start with a fragment. So I started with 2S (Clubs) and partner bid 2N, denying honour third in Clubs. Wanting to continue on with the description, I now bid 3D, and partner bid 3S over that. In the discussions we had on these auctions, we agreed that a bid of a major over a minor and a forward going bid pinpointed values, to start towards notrump, but also perhaps leading to a minor game/slam, so partner is showing stuff in Spades, and basically denying much in Hearts. This actually makes my hand better.
I now bid 4H to show a control in Hearts, and deny a balanced hand since I bypassed 3N. Partner bid 4N over this. I really thought this had to be forward going in Diamonds, since partner could have just bid 5D. It should not show Heart cards, since with both majors, partner would have bid 3N over 3D. All of the news that I had gotten to this point had been good, so I decided to just jump to 6D on the hand, ending the auction. I was asked what the meaning of the auction was, and I actually explained my reasoning of the 4N bid. The opps, a good experienced pair, thought that 4N should be weak, but I do not agree with that assessment.
LHO led the 9 of Spades, and dummy tracked with what I had expected, almost a perfect hand, AK83 JT42 AT4 Q6. With the Spade lead, the slam became a laydown, pulling trump and pitching the Heart on the third Spade, before taking the Club hook for an overtrick. On a Heart lead, I need the Club to make. Turned out the Club was onside, so the contract was always making.
I realize that it might be pushy to go after the slam opposite a weak NT with my hand, but the bidding kept indicating good things from partner. The big question is, would partner bid 4N the same way without the Q of Clubs, in which case it is a very bad slam. She still has A AK for me, and a ruffing value in my second suit. Have not had a chance to ask that question yet, but it should be informative for future bidding. And we will have to decide if we want to or can add something in for a decent minor 2 suiter over a 1N opener.