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Daily Bridge in New Zealand

“Bread and Butter” Bidding.

2 Level Overcalls revisited.

It really is important to get the basic bidding right. Then, you can concentrate on the harder bidding decisions. There should have been no hard decisions to make on today’s hand, at least not initially… but it did not seem to work out that way.

Bridge in NZ.pngnz map.jpg

     
East Deals
None Vul
 
N
W   E
S
   
 
Q 2
K 4
J 8 7 5 2
A K 6 3
West North East South
    1  ?

 

We talked about overcalls a day or two back. As a follow-up, how would you treat this South hand? It’s Pairs and no-one is vulnerable.

Would you even think of bidding even though you have a 13 count? The rules of bridge allow you to pass initially and enter the bidding later if it seems right to do so. You do not have to make an early commitment to bid or to pass.

Two flawed bids

After the 1Spade-small opener, the only two possible bids on the above hand are flawed. Your partner will expect you either to have more hearts or a stronger hand if you double. While you have two suits and tolerance for a third, you are lacking in the suit your partner will expect you to hold.

How would you feel if you overcall 2Diamond-small on the above hand and hear that passed round to the opener who makes a reopening double. Is West just waiting to penalise you for your grossly inadequate 5-card suit overcall? Should you offer a choice of minor suits first? These are questions you cannot properly answer. The true answer is that you should not overcall with your 13 -count (with Spade-smallQ unlikely to be carrying full or any weight) even not vulnerable. -500 does not stack up very well when the opponents just have a part-score or even in Pairs when they have a not-vulnerable game.

Pass. The bidding is not over and soon you may be able to enter the bidding legitimately:

West              North            East                South

                                                1Spade-small                Pass

2Spade-small                   Pass                Pass                ?

Now you can make a bid which shows both minor suits in one bid, 2NT. You know your partner has some value because the opponents have stopped so low. Bidding 2NT now is much safer than overcalling 2Diamond-small a round earlier. Leave the rest of the bidding to your partner and the opponents.

West              North            East                South

                                              1Spade-small                   Pass

2Spade-small                   Pass              Pass                2NT

Pass                3Diamond-small                3Spade-small                  All Pass

Job done. Here’s hoping they cannot make 3Spade-small. They cannot:

East Deals
None Vul
J 5
Q J 8 7
K Q 10 4
Q 10 8
A 10 7
9 6 5 3 2
6 3
9 5 2
 
N
W   E
S
 
K 9 8 6 4 3
A 10
A 9
J 7 4
 
Q 2
K 4
J 8 7 5 2
A K 6 3
West North East South
    1  Pass
2  Pass Pass 2 NT
Pass 3  3  All pass

 

You are going to score +50 because you are going to start with clubs and switch to diamonds after three rounds of the suit..or even an earlier diamond switch if Club-small8 confuses South. You can make 9 tricks in diamonds but no more. Doubling 3Spade-small is not appropriate. You have pushed the opponents higher than they wanted to go and have gone plus without risk. Job well done.

Oh, so you think West might pass 1Spade-small? North will not. They will double and now the difficulty is to stop low enough. With both minors, South may choose to find partner’s better minor by forcing with 2Spade-small or just jump to 3Diamond-small. Certainly, North could be stronger. However, West might help North-South out by doubling 2Spade-small. North has no great desire to bid and if South now contents themselves with 3Diamond-small, all will be well whether or not East bids 3Spade-small. South has to realise their partner may just be balancing not necessarily having an opening hand for their double. Harder bidding for South to stop in part-score, though as stated that Spade-smallQ is not worth 2 hcp on this deal.

Thus, the bidding could get harder for South though the risks of a bad result will have lessened if they do not overcall 2Diamond-small first time round.

This time, it was North who had the diamond honours South should have had. A conservative pass of 3Diamond-small by North would save the day whether or not West bid 2Spade-small in the following auction.

West              North            East                South

                                             1Spade-small                  2Diamond-small (no great bid!)

Pass (2Spade-small)       2Spade-small(x)          Pass                3Club-small

Pass                3Diamond-small             All Pass

though if West had bid 2Spade-small, then North could be forgiven for competing to a non-making 4Diamond-small. Only 4 out of the 8 North-South pairs got the plus score they could/should achieve with other contracts ranging from the too-conservative 2Spade-small by East making to an over-aggressive 5Diamond-small by South not making!  

It seems in both cases, North-South just did not get the basics right.

Defending for Friday

 

East Deals
Both Vul
J 10 7 5
Q J 9 7 2
Q 3
K 3
   
N
W   E
S
 
9 8 3
10 6 5
A 9 8 5 2
Q 8
West North East South
  dummy you  
    Pass 1 
2  Dbl 3  3 
4  4  All pass  

 

    A lively auction sees you defending 4Spade-small. Your partner starts with Heart-smallA on which you play a very discouraging Heart-smallT at trick 1. Trick 2 goes Diamond-small6, Diamond-small3 your ace and Diamond-small7 from declarer…. and trick 3?

Richard Solomon

 

 

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