November 25, 2006 5:25 AM
Serious 3NT - Clubs
The more practice I get with the “serious 3NT” , the more I think the bid meshes with the club suit. Why ? The serious 3NT demands that partner Q bids . Q bids are done via rank order with the lowest ranking control bid first i.e. clubs . Therefore , if you have a club suit or a club void , the serious 3NT is a good way of getting the information you need. If you have a club suit , partner will show the club control you want to hear about. If you have a club void & partner bypasses a club control , happiness.
Perry held this hand ♠AQ10xxx ♥x ♦x ♣AQ109x and he opened 1♠ . I responded with 2NT and the obvious bid by Perry is to bid 4♣ which shows a two suiter. This relinquishes control to my side as he is describing his hand to me. I hold ♠KJxx ♥AJ10xx ♦Ax ♣Kx and I indeed take control of the auction. However, if Perry is 5-5 with a doubleton heart , I can not bid 7 without a heart asking bid later in the auction. The solution is for Perry to take control via the serious 3NT as he has the club suit & a 6-5 ). I must bid 4♣ as that is my lowest ranking control. Armed with the information that I fill his club suit, Perry bids KCB and bidding 7♠ is a simple bid. The serious 3NT keeps control of the auction to your side. If I deny a club control , Perry keeps a lid on the auction and only tries for a small slam.
Here is another auction from the Bermuda Bowl. You have ♠AQ10x ♥AKJ10x ♦J10xx ♣void and you open 1♥. Partner bids 2NT so you have a choice of bids. You can bid 3♦ which shows a strong hand with shortness in a minor but you relinquish control to partner. Serious 3NT & 4NT KCB are two bids that allow you to control the auction ( Kiz will love that ) . I contend that you should bid a “serious 3NT” with this hand as you have a club void. Partner has ♠Kx ♥Qxxx ♦AKQx ♣Qxx and bids 4♦. This means that partner does not have either the Ace or King of clubs ! The bulk of her HCP’s must be in the other suits so we start investigating a grand slam.
I would bid KCB and then go into a series of suit asking bids. Over my 4NT bid , partner bids 5♣ so I bid the queen ask. Partner bids 5♠ saying she has the spade king as the lowest ranking king at the 5 level along with the trump queen. I now bid 6♦ asking in diamonds and partner bids the grand slam with her KQ of diamonds. Very simple KCB auction once you start with the “serious 3NT” . The serious 3NT along with being a Q bid itself is a mini KCB in that partner must Q bid her controls. It is a nice device in that you are making a serious slam try under game. KCB gets you too high in a lot of auctions.