Sunday, August 23, 2020

Unusual Response to RKC

I had an interesting situation with the BBO robots recently when I bid RKC, Roman Keycard Blackwood.  Here is the hand.

After partner passed, RHO opened 1 and I made a takeout double. I was pleased and surprised to hear my robot partner jump to 3.  I wasted no time bidding RKC.  Partner responded 5, showing two keycards plus the Q.  

Now, as you can see, I actually held the Q.  What was going on?  I went ahead and bid 6♣, and then understood the bidding when the dummy came down.  With the great extra length in clubs, partner evaluated that it was equal to the possession of the Q.  This is an expert bid and I was pleased to see it utilized by the BBO robots.  

When partner bids RKC, Roman Keycard Blackwood, and you have extra length in the trump suit, so that you are relatively certain that the partnership holds at least 10 trumps, you can go ahead and show the queen of trump in your response. This information can be quite helpful for a partner contemplating bidding a slam, but concerned about losing a trick to the queen of trump.

The play was straightforward. The score of plus 920 was worth 94% of the matchpoints.

Here is another hand I played at matchpoints, where I had some difficult decisions to make. Although my robot partner was a passed hand, I thought I should try to get into the auction when RHO opened 2 and I held: K43, AQJ9, 5, A9865.  No good bid, but I tried a takeout double.  

Partner bid 2NT, Lebensohl, which requested a 3 bid from me. I figured that the robot would correct to 3, in all likelihood its suit, after my bid of 3♣, and that presented a dilemma. I would be happy to hear a heart bid, but a 3 bid would be disastrous.  With no good options I considered a pass. If partner had diamonds, 2NT could actually be the best spot.  Accordingly I passed.

I was quite pleased to see the Q in partner's hand. A spade was led and I took a heart finesse, hoping that if West won, a spade would be returned.  Instead a couple of diamonds were played and then a spade switch.  After all was said and done, the robots didn't manage to cash their diamond tricks and I actually took 9 tricks.

The score of  plus150 was worth 96.5% of the matchpoints.

As they say, "It's better to be lucky than good!"

See you at the table!

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