Page 7 - august-2017-real-FINAL
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        missing a slam. 3NT is a close-out bid because partner’s values are narrowly
        defined. When your partner opens 2NT, depending on your methods, you can
        place the final contract by making a close-out bid because once again, partner’s
        values and shape are well defined.
               Your auction is quite different. Could your 1♥ response have been based
        on 6 points and four lousy hearts? Could you have held 11 points and five
        reasonable hearts? Could you have held six hearts and 14 points? The answer to
        all of these questions is yes.
               When your partner raised you from 1♥ to 4♥, she was saying that even
        if you held that bare 6 points with four lousy hearts, the partnership belonged in
        game. If she thinks the partnership has game values when you may have only 6
        points, how many points is she suggesting? Because a major-suit game typically
        requires 25-26 points, partner is likely to hold 19- 20 points (or compensating
        distribution). This auction creates yet another example of “the one who knows
        goes.”
               Holding considerably more than the minimum 6 points, you are now the
        one who knows the partnership is in the slam zone (typically 31-32 points for a
        six-of-a-suit contract). At that point, depending on your hand, either Blackwood or
        a control bid should be the correct move towards a possible slam.
               Your suggestion that your partner should go more slowly doesn’t really
        work. By raising your suit immediately, she identifies four-card support and limits
        her values, thereby transferring the captaincy of the auction to you.
        Each of the sequences below accomplishes this purpose:
                                     Partner                      Me

                                         1♦                          1♥
                                         2♥
                                         3♥
                                         4♥
        2♥ = roughly 12-15 points - a minimum to sound opening.
        3♥= roughly 16-18 - an invitational hand.
        4♥= an excellent hand just short of a 2♣ opening.


               Your confusion is probably based on this similar-sounding, but vastly
        different auction:
                                     Partner                      Me
                                         1♥                          4♥
        Although this bidding reflects the same premise - you cannot close out a hand
        whose values have not yet been limited - this time it is opener’s hand that may
        have undisclosed extras.  From responder’s perspective, 4♥  is primarily an
        obstructive action intended to end the auction.
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