This hand occurred in the second round of the ANC Interstate Championship in Adelaide. It offered a range of ways to proceed over West’s 1H opener and perhaps you would like to consider how you and your partner would bid it. The persons sitting East could all see that they had a good hand and made bids which were going to reach game and show mild slam interest. A common response was 4C, showing good trump support and a shortage in clubs. Opener probably had some difficulty believing this but certainly had extras and nothing wasted in clubs. West now has to show strong slam interest. A cue bid of 4D seems the most natural forward move but East will probably sign off in 4H since they have certainly bid all their values and have no convenient bid available. Most obviously, they cannot make a spade cue bid. Nonetheless, West will usually bid 6H.
Teams, Both vul, Dealer West
The problem with auctions starting with the 4C splinter is that South will double and North should raise clubs. West should still bid the 6H slam despite being denied the use of Blackwood.
At other tables, East started with Jacoby 2NT and West showed extras and the club shortage. North’s clubs are not good enough to double so EW continued, in peace, to the slam as shown. The board was then flat in 6H almost everywhere but the perceptive amongst you will have noticed that it is not the correct contract. The correct spot is 7D but neither of the auctions, so far, have any chance of reaching it. Indeed, they never mention the diamond suit. There are two plausible, natural auctions which might reach it. They start 1H- 2D- 4C where 4C is a splinter with diamond support with extras and 1H- 3D where 3D is a fit jump showing heart support, a good diamond suit and at least invitational values. The other type of plausibly successful auction is a strong club with relays but this would let South in easily with a club overcall which would be raised to the sky by North causing a severe problem for EW.