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Reaching 7NT after Exclusion
(Page of 4)

Playing in the Pachabo Trophy, the national (England) competition between the champion teams from the various EBU county associations, you pick up this very powerful hand:

 

South
AQJ8632
A
AKQJ8
W
N
E
S
?

 You might consider opening 6 asking partner to raise if he has a top spade, but if he has something like Kxxxx  xxxxx  KJx you could be going down in 6 with 7 makeable.  You therefore open 2 (playing a natural system).  Partner responds with a positive 2 and you rebid 2, which partner raises to 3.

 

South
AQJ8632
A
AKQJ8
W
N
E
S
2
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
?

How do you continue?

Playing exclusion RKCB you have an easy jump to 5, asking for key cards outside clubs.  Partner responds 5, showing one key card (i.e. K).

You could just bid 7, but before doing so you remember that the scoring in the Pachabo is a combination of IMPs (converted to VPs) and point a board (where a difference of 10 points doesn't count as a tie).  Bidding 7NT won't gain any IMPs, but it could win an extra point for the PAB element of the scoring.

South
AQJ8632
A
AKQJ8
W
N
E
S
2
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
5
P
5
P
?

Is there a better bid than 7?

I suggest jumping to 7 instead of 7.  Surely this can't mean anything other than asking for A.  Even if partner fails to get the message, he won't pass and you'll still be able to play in 7.

West
1054
843
105
AQ654
North
K97
KQJ76
32
K92
East
10952
9764
J10873
South
AQJ8632
A
AKQJ8
W
N
E
S
 
2
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
5
P
5
P
7
P
7
P
P
P
D
7 South
NS: 0 EW: 0

In practice partner doesn't have A, so you finish in 7 anyway.

You might think that this is a simple grand slam to bid, but when the hand came up in 12 matches only 16 of the NS pairs managed to reach 7.  Four NS pairs stopped in a small slam.

Graham Sadie and I had this slightly different MOSSO http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/introduction-to-mosso-mosca-with-standard-spade-openings/ auction:

West
1054
843
105
AQ654
North
K97
KQJ76
32
K92
East
10952
9764
J10873
South
AQJ8632
A
AKQJ8
W
N
E
S
 
1
P
1
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
5
P
5
P
7
P
7
P
P
P
D
7 South
NS: 0 EW: 0

1: 3 way, showing one of:  (a) 13+ (unbalanced) with a club suit;  (b) 17+ with 5+ spades;  (c) 12-14, 18-20 or 23+ balanced.

1: natural positive.

1: natural, but still 3 way (and F1R).  But it denies 12-14 balanced, so responder can force to game with 11+ points.  I could have rebid 2 to show 17+ with 6+ spades, but thought it better to keep the bidding low.

2: GF relay, but not quite the same as 4SF.  Opener with long clubs nearly always rebids 2, over which 2 now acts as 4SF.  I found it a little amusing that partner could force to game when I might have held just 13 points, but instead had 12 probable tricks in my own hand.

2: 17+ with 5+ spades.  (This third round bid would have had the same meaning (GF) after responder's rebid of 1NT, 2 or 2.)

3: Natural, 3+ card support.

5:  Exclusion RKCB.

5: One key card outside clubs.

7: Just in case partner thought that we had inverted my third round bids of 2 and 2 (as we have recently done in other situations).

7: Graham was initially rather mystified, but worked out what was happening.

This auction was fun while it lasted but our opponents also bid to 7, so we had to settle for a flat board.

 

On the previous page I summarized what happened at 20 tables, but 12 matches mean a total of 24 results.  So what happened at the other 4 tables?

Did they somehow stop in game? No, it was worse than that and the clue is in the title of this article.

https://app.pianola.net/Results/Session218195/Travellers/14 

Spare a thought for the EW pairs playing for Cambridge & Huntingdon, Berkshire & Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire and the Channel Islands who recorded the par result of -1510 and had to add this to the score of -100 brought back by their NS teammates.  17 IMP (and the board) lost in a failed attempt to win the board and gain 0 IMP!

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