Monday, June 06, 2005 8:06 PM





          KCB is a sophisticated system so playing Italian style Q bids,  slams reached by the way of 5 level Q bids are out of the question. 5 level Q bidding is a no-no playing Italian Q bids as you do not know whether there is 1st or 2nd round controls being bid previously. There is no such thing as Q bidding at the 5 level playing this style. If Q bidding starts at the 5 level it should be Exclusion Blackwood . What if you are Q bidding and you go on to the 5 level in your own trump suit bypassing KCB ? There obviously must be some flaw that prevented you from using KCB . Voila you must have a suit that lacks a 1st or 2nd round control and you can not use KCB or you have bid the ambiguous Last Train Slam Try . This type of Last Train Q bid may or may not have a control in the suit bid..


          The creative minds of Meckwell defined a use for the jump to 5 of your major . They called it Lackwood. ( lacking a control Blackwood ) .  When you are Q bidding and you bid 5 of your agreed trump suit it normally asks if you have control of the unbid suit bid 6 . Lackwood builds on that concept. When you bid 5 of the agreed suit you do not have control in this unbid suit. However , it is more than the standard treatment . You do pass if you also do not control that suit but respond controls if you do. These are straight KCB responses. You bid 6 of the trump suit if you just have 2nd round control of that suit. For grand slam exploration , if you have 1st round control , you bid KCB responses. 1st  step is 1 or 4 , 2nd step 0 or 3 , 3rd 2 without and 4th step two with the queen of trump.


          When you play “last train” slam tries you “Q bid” a suit that you do not have or may not have a control in ( one under the trump suit) saying that you have a control elsewhere but due the rank nature of Q bidding you can not show it without passing game. Remember that the “last train” Q bid still may have a control in that suit but this Q bid does not necessarily show it. The last train bid is showing a Q bid that has been previously unbiddable. The fact that you may have a Q bid in your “last train” suit brings in Lackwood. You bid 5 of the major asking for the control in that suit that you Q bid as a “last train” slam try !!


          Some sample auctions  1-P-2-P                   4 is the last train slam try showing a club control but not

                                                2-P-3-P                  necessarily a heart control. 5 is “Lackwood” asking for the

                                                3NT-P-4-P                heart control.



                                               1-P-2-P                  4 is the last train slam try showing a spade control ( since

                                                2-P-3-P                  partner denied a spade control with 3NT) 4NT

       3NT-P-4-P                instead of Lackwood as 1st round control in spades not

                                                4NT                            shown.


          In “last train” auctions , Lackwood is always predicated on the “Last Train” suit .  If you are sure of the 1st round controls bid Lackwood otherwise KCB is in order. Some more examples


          Last Train Q bid sometimes shows a Q bid that is unbiddable and sometimes tells partner that a control is missing but I am still interested in slam. This auction shows that a control is missing .


                                         1-P-2-P                 Partner obviously has no diamond control. If you have 1st round

                                          2-P-3-P                diamond & club control , you can bid Lackwood in hearts

                                          3NT-P-4♣-P             With 2Nd round diamond control bid KCB or signoff with none.



          Last Train Q bid and Lackwood go together. Partner uses the Last Train Q bid to show 1) I have a specific control that you denied but I can not show it without going beyond game 2) Please tell me if you have the specific control that we are missing by taking control with KCB or Lackwood 3) I want you to use your judgment as I have extra 4) some combination of the above.


          Try this auction          1-P-2-P         You did not make a serious 3NT bid and you do not have a spade or

                                            2-P-3-P            club control. Meckwell plays this as a subtle Last Train saying that

                                            4                     I am still interested and I might have a diamond control. The suit below the trump suit is always Last Train no matter how the auction went. This must be hearts with spades agreed and diamonds if hearts agreed , of course. They say it works !!