06, 2002 4:53 PM
Hand Evaluation – Q bids ( Serious 3NT )
Subash was telling me that among world class players "serious 3NT" has replaced the principle of fast arrival in 2/1 auctions & Jacoby 2NT with major suit fits. I have leaned so heavily on that “fast arrival “ principle & that Q bids show extra for so many years it is a drastic change for me. The new way of thinking has the jump to game virtually extinct . Q bids no longer show extra because the other hand is unlimited . The 3NT bid with a fit has replaced the "slow arrival" trump raise to show the serious slam try . Advocates of this way of bidding says it drastically cuts down futile slam tries at the 5 level & partner does not pre-empt you out of slams by jumping to game . Experts who play this also play the Italian style of Q bidding where the Q bid can be 1st or second round control when initially bid . We have discussed this Serious 3NT style in many articless before but as a review let’s review the basics :
1. 3NT is never to play once a major fit has been established . It makes the raise below game now just a "noise" where before it showed extra. 3NT asks for a Q bid
1. The jump to game still exists but it is a real dog showing no outside controls. Fast arrival is virtually extinct.
2. Q bids do not show extra when the other hand is unlimited
3. 3NT in Jacoby or splinter auctions does not mean duplication of value – fast arrival does mean duplication of value
Lets bid a few hands some the old way and some the new way with serious 3NT understandings .
OLD WAY NEW WAY
1♠ 2♥ xx AKxxxx Ax KQx 1♠ 2♥
4♥ ( minimum old way) ? 4♦ 4♥ ( did duty with 3NT )
4♠ ( good min ) 4NT (0K )
AKxxx Jxxx Kx xx 5♦ 6♥
1♠ 2♦ xx xxxx AKJxx Ax 1♠ 2♦
2♥ 4♥ ( minimum old way ) 2♥ 3♥
? 3NT 4♣
AKxxx AKxx Qx xx 4♥ ( did duty) 5♦ ( good minimum )
6♥ (OK )
On both these hands the minimum's took the push as the serious slam try was made with the 3NT bid by partner. These minimums could have been a lot worse so if the big hands were pushy at the 5 level disaster could have occurred . All the bids the new way were bid below game.
One thing I was worried about is that these auctions give too much information to the opponents for opening lead purposes. However , you have an inference that partner did not bid a serious 3NT so you can leap to game or sign off in game with a minimum armed with that information.
4♣ 4♠ ( partner did not bid 3NT and you are minimum )
A Fred Gittleman innovation to this style of bidding . He is so sure that enough information has been given in these auctions that he forbids Q bidding at the 5 level ! . He prefers to use the 5 level Q bid as exclusion Blackwood in that suit . Comments ?