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Fun with Fantunes (3)
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You pick up 

South
J742
A3
1065
AQ95
W
N
E
S
1
P
?

and have to respond to a SWIFT (Standard WIth FanTunes) 1 opening.

Unlike Fantunes, a SWIFT 1 or 1 opening has no weaker option, so always shows 13+ points (or a hand passing the rule of 22).  Responses generally correspond to modern 2/1 using the "principle of the transferred queen".  If we added a queen to this hand we would readily force to game opposite a 2/1  1 opening, so we're happy to do so here.

This is actually a relevant issue even at this stage of the auction, since SWIFT incorporates the Kaplan Interchange, so we can't actually show our spade suit straightaway.  A 1 response would be the negative response, showing 0-10 points.  A 1NT response is unlimited (0+ points), but guarantees 5+ spades.

We therefore have to respond ...

... 2.

The SWIFT sequence 1M-2 is Spear http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/spear-them/ and doesn't actually promise clubs. This allows opener to rebid 2 when he has nothing special to say (the "catch all") and for a 2M rebid to promise a 6+ card suit.

South
J742
A3
1065
AQ95
W
N
E
S
1
P
2
P
2
P
?

This is actually partner's rebid.  Continuations from this point are essentially natural.  What should we bid now?

 

A rebid of 3 would show a long club suit, so our options are 2, 2NT and 3.

Partner hasn't denied 4 spades, so we could now bid our spade suit in an effort to find a 4-4 fit.  With our weak suit, however, it's far from clear that this would be the best trump suit.

Knowing of an 8-card heart fit we could also raise to 3, but this has the disadvantage of ruling out 3NT, since this bid would be "frivolous", showing some suitability for a slam, but a minimum hand.

We therefore make the waiting bid of 2NT.  Partner surprises us by rebidding 3.

South
J742
A3
1065
AQ95
W
N
E
S
1
P
2
P
2
P
2NT
P
3
P
?

What now?

It would be possible to backtrack with 3, but partner's club bid has improved our hand.  It must be right to raise clubs, since we can still get out at 4 if partner's hand is unsuitable.

South
J742
A3
1065
AQ95
W
N
E
S
1
P
2
P
2
P
2NT
P
3
P
4
P
4
P
?

As planned we bid 4, but partner continues with a further cue bid of 4.  What now?

We have nothing to cue bid, so we show our good cards in partner's suits by jumping to 6

North
KQJ876
A82
K873
South
J742
A3
1065
AQ95
W
N
E
S
1
P
2
P
2
P
2NT
P
3
P
4
P
4
P
4
P
4
P
6
P
P
P

West leads 5.  Plan the play.

North
KQJ876
A82
K873
South
J742
A3
1065
AQ95
W
N
E
S
1
P
2
P
2
P
2NT
P
3
P
4
P
4
P
4
P
4
P
6
P
P
P

We've bid well to a good contract, but we probably need clubs to break 3-2 to succeed.  If this is the case we could actually make an overtrick by ruffing the opening lead, entering hand with A, taking a second spade ruff, drawing trumps and discarding our four remaining losers on dummy's hearts.

What happens if trumps are breaking 4-1?  We're probably going down whatever we do, but we can give ourselves a small extra chance if West has a singleton honour.  In that case we could make the contract by foregoing the second spade ruff and playing a club to A followed by a club to K.  When the position is exposed we draw trumps with the aid of the marked finesse and cash our winners, conceding the last trick.

West will have a singleton club honour around 5% of the time.  Would it be worth taking the safety play at matchpoints?

 

Very much so!  It's clear http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/how-do-you-bid-this-slam-2/ that 6 would be difficult to reach playing a "standard" system, so we should just give ourselves the best chance of making the contract.

West
K10653
1094
KJ73
J
North
KQJ876
A82
K873
East
AQ98
53
Q94
10642
South
J742
A3
1065
AQ95
W
N
E
S
 
1
P
2
P
2
P
2N
P
3
P
4
P
4
P
4
P
4
P
6
P
P
P
D
6 South
NS: 0 EW: 0

Note that if declarer takes a second spade ruff and sees a club honour dropping under dummy's K, he can't use the principle of restricted choice to take the second round club finesse, since West might be false carding from J10x.

Does this hand tell us anything about the effectiveness of SWIFT for slam bidding?

 

Not really.

The SWIFT auction works because East is strong enough to force to game and also because he can't show his spade suit on the first round.  But change a few cards around and a standard 2/1 auction could be much more comfortable.

Thanks to Ethan Liu for the hand and also to the various people who provided comments.

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