Hands today are from San Diego Bridge Club (on Home Ave), October 9, 2018.
East: ♠853 ♥Q43 ♦A98 ♣KQ104
West: ♠A ♥K9 ♦KQ63 ♣AJ9876
West opened 1♣ and East bid 2NT—wanting to “show her points.” I believe, playing Inverted Minors, that 2♣ is a superior bid. Do not worry about supporting partner with only four clubs. Kantar tells us that when partner opens 1♣, 85% of the time s/he has at least four clubs. [I would not jump to the 3 level in support of clubs without 5 of them.] There are three reasons NOT to grab the no trump with the East hand: (1) you have no spade stopper; (2) your heart stopper is not ideal; (3) it is usually better for the stronger hand to be Declarer whenever possible.
If East bids 2♣, promising a good 10 or more HCP and four or more clubs, West should get excited with her 6-card suit and control-rich hand. If they are playing Minorwood, a bid of 4♣ is now Key Card for clubs. East would show two Key Cards and the Queen of trumps (a 4NT response). Missing only one Ace (or the ♣K), West should be happy to bid 6♣. This has many ways to work. If they are missing the ♦A, West will have to hope partner has the ♦J, or a doubleton diamond, or that the ♦A is onside. If they are missing the ♥A, West will have to hope partner has ♥Q or that the ♥A is onside. If they are missing only the ♣K, they are on a finesse for making seven.
No Trump Slams are Just Arithmetic!
North: ♠AK ♥K7 ♦KQ108 ♣K9865
South: ♠Q1075 ♥A3 ♦A652 ♣AQ7
If South opens a strong (15-17) NT, North's bid is simply 6NT. Your combined HCP total is 33-35: enough for 6NT, not enough for 7NT. Since the clubs break nicely, you actually take 13 tricks.
Even if the club break 4-1 you will make 13 tricks in many cases. If the ♣10 or ♣J drops on your right when you play the ♣A, restricted choice says it is roughly 2:1 odds to finesse the ♣9 on the second round. If both defenders play small to the ♣A and one shows out on the ♣Q, you may still take 13 tricks on black suit squeeze. Test diamonds in two rounds. If they are 3-2, unblock the ♠AK, and return to hand to play the ♠Q. If the ♠J drops, you have your thirteenth trick. If not, cash winners until you have ♠10 ♣7 opposite ♣K9. If the defender with four clubs also has the ♠J, he will have been squeezed out of a black card. If you can envision the ending, this is an easy squeeze to track because you only have to keep an eye out for the ♠J. If you haven’t seen it you try clubs and may be pleasantly surprised to find that your ♣9 is a winner if you haven’t been paying careful attention.
South: ♠10 ♥AJ76 ♦KJ974 ♣A108
North: ♠AK7 ♥KQ854 ♦A102 ♣42
South opens 1♦ and North responds 1♥. South raises to 2♥. [It is a lovely hand, but you still have 7 losers.] North is excited because it looks like you have a double-fit in the red suits, but cannot just blast into asking for Key Cards with a worthless doubleton in clubs. Best to temporize with a 3♦ call. Partner will take that as a “help suit” game try and you want to find out if she likes her diamonds anyway!
South is happy to accept the game try and bids 4♣ along the way—showing a control JUST IN CASE partner has aspirations for something more. [This principle is worth remembering. If you are going to game anyway, it doesn't hurt to show a control along the way. Usually partner is only making a game try, but something partner is making a slam try.] 4♣ is music to North's ears, so now he bids 4NT (Key Card for hearts) and South shows two Key Cards without the Queen. North bids 6♥.
With the ♦Q favorably placed, you take 13 tricks.