M J Bridge

Bidding

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Theory and Conventions

Hand

A18

Context

S. & S.C.B.A. mixed pairs - June 2008

Dealer

West

Methods

Natural overcall, Asptro, transfer overcall

Vulnerability

NS




N

K 7 5 3

9 6 5

9 8 4 3

J 6


S

J T 6

A K J 4

J

A T 8 4 3


W

Q 8 2

Q T 8

K Q 7 2

K 7 5


E

A 9 4

7 3 2

A T 6 5

Q 9 2

Opening 1NT, natural overcall

South’s overcall of 2 promises no more than a decent five-card suit.

East might be tempted to contribute, and a double may well be the percentage bid at pairs, but most will be happy to sit back and defend.

W

N

E

S

1NT

-

-

2

-

-

-






Evaluation


Left to his own devices West will usually make seven tricks in 1NT for a score of 90.


Played by South, West will give away a trick with any lead other than a diamond, but on this lead declarer will do well to make more than seven tricks in either clubs or hearts - would you finesse 8 on the first or second round of the suit?  South’s best outcome is likely to be -100.


Moral, don’t overcall on a thin suit at this vulnerability, and if you do then choose a sequence which will not take you to the three-level, so on this particular deal at this vulnerability South’s best option is to pass, and his second best option is the natural overcall.

Change the vulnerability or the suit quality and the conventional overcalls might begin to come into their own.


Similarly, on the day, East should find a double at pairs, but it could be very risky in other forms of scoring.

Beginner and above

Opening 1NT, Asptro

2 by South promises four hearts together with another five-card suit.  North can do no better than bid 2 in search of the second suit and South will complete the picture with 3.  In general North will prefer the 5-2 club fit and pass as shown, but there is something to be said for bidding 3 on the 4-3 fit at pairs in search of a better part-score.  In either case East may or may not double for penalties.

W

N

E

S

1NT

-

-

2

-

2

-

3

-

-

-


Intermediate and above

Opening 1NT, transfer overcall

South transfers into his four-card suit and then completes the picture with a natural bid in his five-card suit.

As above, North may or may not give preference to hearts and East may or may not produce a penalty double.

W

N

E

S

1NT

-

-

2

-

2

-

3

-

-

-


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