Not an Easy Slam to Bid
MrQ: Would you bid small slam in clubs? How? I guess after South’s 1C opening, North could go 3H (double jump shift) to show splinter (void or non-ace singleton and opening hand), but what should South bid then to show 1st round of control? Omit agreed trumps (clubs) and bid 4D, 4S from North (1st round control in spades), 4NT from South (key card ask), 5H (2 key cards – surely king of clubs and ace of spades – without the queen of trumps), 6C from South? Is there a point checking for key cards? Any response other than 5C (0 or 3 key cards; both highly unlikely if not impossible) ends up in 6C contract anyway.
Guru: First of all, East should have opened 1S then 3NT is inevitable, but if they didn’t … I don’t think this is an obvious one to bid to slam, certainly not easy. With Evil bidding, South opens 1C and north bids 2NT (game force and Key card ask, then South bids 3S (two + queen of clubs) and North will probably bid 4C, South 4D (cue bid) and North 4S at which point both should realise that they are heading for 6C. All somewhat problematic. But given that the bidding went as it did (normal Acol I take it) South should have redoubled not bid 1H. This suggests strength and a willingness to penalise opponents wherever they go. 1H doubled is a big result, but if they bid spades, a cue bid in spades says much the same thing then North will probably bid 3NT. Hard to bid the slam unless clubs can be agreed early.
MrQ: Have you ever thought of Evil splinter? So it would be regular splinter + key card ask (instead of showing controls)? Then Evil 2NT response could be denying splinter. Just an idea.
Guru: So glad that you’re thinking about these things. Evil Splinters are a good idea but need to be discussed with a decent partner, which comes with more play. But a great idea!