Page 0016

16 English Bridge August 2018 www.ebu.co.uk

´ K 8 3 2

™ A K Q 8 5 2

t A 2

® 6

S

o far in our exploration of RKCB we have

looked at identifying which suit is trumps (the

last bid suit) and making pass or correct sign

off bids, as well as asking for the queen of trumps.

This month we are going to finish our look at

RKCB by looking at some more interesting wrinkles

as well as times when you can break some of the

rules.

When we started this topic several issues ago it

was because we had been looking at bidding grand

slams, and we shall have a look now at what

happens after the initial key-card ask.

When you are thinking of a grand slam it is

generally because one hand has enormous playing

strength and needs to know only about the missing

controls. For example:

Roman key-card Blackwood, Part 3

Traps for the unwary by Michael Byrne

by Michael Byrne

´ A K 9 5 4 ´ 8 7 3 2

W E

´ A K 9 5 4 ´ Q 8 7 3

kings. The king of trumps has already been counted,

so there are now only three left.

When you give a 0 response partner pretty much

always signs off. A one king response will

occasionally elicit a grand from partner but a 2-king

response normally will (as a matter of frequency

partner often has the other one). If partner ever bids

5NT and you hold all three kings then your partner

should be bidding a grand slam (otherwise why has

he bid 5NT?) but you might still respond 6´ as

partner will normally be in a better position to pick

the final contract.

You'll recall from previous articles that when

partner bids 5NT he is always inviting a grand slam

and you are allowed to leap to seven (rather than

showing kings) if you have a source of tricks.

Consequently it is very important that every time

you bid 5NT you must make sure you have all five

key-cards between you and the queen of trumps.

This point cannot be stressed strongly enough, if

you bid 5NT without enough key-cards you will

often find yourself getting too high.

WHEN DO YOU NOT NEED THE QUEEN OF

TRUMPS?

Our final look at RKCB sees us look at a topic that

is entirely logical but not discussed very often.

When I started the series of articles I quoted a

pair of hands missing the ace of clubs and with this

trump suit:

Partner opens 1´. It is reasonable to launch into

RKCB (especially if 1´ is likely to be a 5-card suit).

If you hit a 5´ response (two and the queen) then

you can take a stab at 7´ without even asking for

kings as the singleton club and the powerful heart

suit will give you enough tricks.

However, in the absence of such shapely

monsters, you might need to ask for kings. The good

news is that when you do this the responses are the

same as they were before we took RKCB on board:

5NT: 6® = 0 kings

6t = 1 king

6™ = 2 kings

6´ = 3 kings (This will lead to a grand

slam automatically)

You'll note I haven't said what to do when you

have four kings - that's because there aren't four

'Don't bid a slam' I said 'as a 2-2 trump break is

against the odds - barely 40%'.

This trump suit is perfect, losing a trick just 5% of

the time.

W E

Index

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