"(5NT Pick-a-slam) grows in popularity every year. It has pretty much made the Grand Slam Force obsolete. (It used to be that 5NT asked partner to bid a grand slam with 2 of the top 3 honors, but in the days of RKC, that method is no longer needed)." -- Larry Cohen
Playing in the Lebhar IMP Pairs at the St. Louis North American Bridge Championships (NABC) with Richard Oshlag, I picked up: ♠A K J 8 3 2 ♥A Q 4 ♦K ♣A K J.
Partner opened 3♦, over to you.
I bid 5NT, Grand Slam Force and partner bid 7♣ which showed two of the top three diamond honors. I corrected back to 7♦, and Richard made seven.
Here are all four hands:
I was happy to see that he didn't have the ♦J and the suit didn't split, so 7NT had no play. It was IMPs anyhow, so no need to be greedy.
With the bad splits, Deep Finesse says that 3NT is the limit here. For chuckles, I like to check what it says can be made. East-West can make 4♠ or 2♣! North-South can make 1♥!
I was slightly surprised to check my scores after the session and see that we had won 7.99 IMPs on the board, one that should be fairly flat.
What's going on?
I checked with a friend and his partner opened 4♦, he tried RKC and his partner passed. She thought he was offering it as a place to play.
I can imagine others who agree that after a preempt, RKC is off and 4NT is straight Blackwood. In these cases, you need Grand Slam Force, so (in certain cases) I wouldn't put it on the shelf and forget about it just yet.