Playing on OKbridge last night, Kate and I bid these cards to 6♥.
♠ Q 6 3 2
♥ K 10 6 5 4
♣ A 10 4
♠ A K J 7
♥ A K J 7 3
♣ Q J 2
Most pairs would not have our complicated auction. The 1♣ bid was artificial and promised 16 plus high-card points. 2♦ showed five plus hearts with nine plus points and was game forcing. 2♥ agreed hearts and asked for (number of) controls. 3♦ showed five controls where an ace is two and a king is one. After that South used Keycard Blackwood and gave up with she found we were missing the ♣ K.
Whether you made six or seven depended on which defender held the ♣K. If the finesse was on, you can make seven of either major (or 7NT, for that matter). Otherwise, you would make six.
Do you want to be in 6♥ or 7♥. Conventional wisdom says you should be in six. Why? The slam was so trivial, that all our fancy bids were unnecessary. Even in a weak online field, 64 our of 71 pairs bid slam (61 pairs bid the small slam, three pairs bid the grand). Because of this, 6♥ was worth less than 1 IMP (.81 to be exact).
Bidding the grand was worth 13.01 IMPs, but if you bid the grand and went down, you would lose 17 IMPs. (You can never be positive, but Kate was fairly sure that the grand slam was on a finesse.) Therefore, you are risking 17 IMPs to win only 13 IMPs on a 50-50 proposition -- bad odds.
Whoa! Not so fast. I am a heretic and say the answer depends. If you are one of the stronger pairs, but are only having an average game, bidding 7♥ is a good shot to pick up a board, and get back in the hunt, so to speak. But if you bid seven, and it goes down, your average game goes downhill fast. So, I guess it depends on your feelings. Do you want to just play the best bridge you can? Do you want to try and win, or at least win some masterpoints? Are you playing with a student, with whom you want to get more pay dates? Would bidding seven on a finesse upset your partner? All of these scenerios might play into your decision.
One more scenario: You are playing in a major knockout team game against Meckwell (Meckstroth and Rodwll). You are pretty sure you are behind a little and there are only three more boards to go. Wouldn't it be worth being able to beat them, if all you needed was a finesse to win?
Are you a heretic or a middle-of-the-road person?
Are you wondering if the finesse worked or not? You can find out, see all the scores for this board, and find out more, if you click here.