Join Bridge Winners
Light Overcall
(Page of 7)

In a round of 16 match in the Open trials, you have to decide whether or not to butt in against an enemy 1NT opening with a light overcall.

N-S vul, North deals. As West, you hold:

West
A9
K9432
K73
J52
W
N
E
S
P
P
1NT
?

Your methods are:

DBL: 4-card major, longer minor

2: Both majors

2: One major

2M: 5-card major and a minor

Your call?

West
A9
K9432
K73
J52
W
N
E
S
P
P
1NT
?

Your suit is terrible. Your distribution is terrible. You know there is no game your way. You have decent defensive prospects against 1NT with a heart lead.

The only thing in favor of getting in there is the vulnerability. But that is a very big thing. Due to the vulnerability, there is very little downside to acting. Even if you are going for a number, most of the time the opponents won't be in a position to get you. By bidding you could disrupt the enemy auction and get them to the wrong contract, or possibly win a part-score battle by pushing them up too high. This hand certainly wouldn't be a model one would show students about what an overcall looks like, but in practice it is likely to have greater upsides than downsides.

If you do choose to act, there is a lot to be said for faking the minor and bidding 2. Partner isn't going to be going out of his way to play at the 3-level, so with a doubleton heart he will leave you in 2 rather than find your minor. He will pull you out of 2 only when he has a singleton heart, and if that is the case you don't want to be in 2 anyway. In particular, if he has a 5-card spade suit and a stiff heart he will bid 2, which is what you want him to do.

You choose to bid 2. The bidding concludes:

W
N
E
S
P
P
1NT
2
P
2
3
P
P
P

2: One major

2: Pass or correct

Your lead. Third and fifth leads. Upside-down count and attitude signals.

West
A9
K9432
K73
J52
W
N
E
S
P
P
1NT
2
P
2
3
P
P
P

Nothing is attractive. A lead from either king is risky, and there is no reason to think it would be productive. A trump lead from Jxx could also cost a trick, and it doesn't look like there is much ruffing value in dummy.

What about leading the ace of spades? This probably isn't as dangerous as the other choices, since the ace will be coming down anyway. In addition, there is a real possibility of obtaining a third round spade ruff, either if partner has the king of spades or if he has a quick trump trick. This looks to be the best shot.

You lead the ace of spades.

West
A9
K9432
K73
J52
North
10532
Q1085
QJ84
8
W
N
E
S
P
P
1NT
2
P
2
3
P
P
P

Partner plays the 8 (UDCA), and declarer the 6. What do you lead at trick 2?

West
9
K9432
K73
J52
North
1053
Q1085
QJ84
8
W
N
E
S
P
P
1NT
2
P
2
3
P
P
P

Partner's 8 appears to be discouraging, although it is possible that you hit him with KQJ8. At any rate, it can't hurt to continue the suit. Any damage done from the spade lead is done. Any shift is very dangerous looking at this dummy.

You contine spades. Partner plays the 4, and declarer the king. Declarer plays ace, king, and ten of clubs, partner winning he queen on the third round. Partner shifts to the ace of hearts. What heart do you play?

West
K9432
K73
North
105
Q108
QJ8
W
N
E
S
P
P
1NT
2
P
2
3
P
P
P

Even though you have the king of hearts, you very much want a diamond shift. You should discourage hearts as strongly as possible by playing the 9.

You play the 9. Partner shifts to a diamond. Declarer plays the 10. You win the king, and grab your king of hearts for down 1. The full hand is:

West
A9
K9432
K73
J52
North
10532
Q1085
QJ84
8
East
J874
AJ
9652
Q76
South
KQ6
76
A10
AK10943
W
N
E
S
P
P
1NT
2
P
2
3
P
P
P
D
3 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
A
2
8
6
0
0
1
9
3
4
K
3
1
1
A
2
8
6
3
2
1
K
5
4
7
3
3
1
10
J
5
Q
2
3
2
A
6
9
8
2
3
3
6
10
K
8
0
3
4
K
8

How was East's defense?

West
A9
K9432
K73
J52
North
10532
Q1085
QJ84
8
East
J874
AJ
9652
Q76
South
KQ6
76
A10
AK10943
W
N
E
S
P
P
1NT
2
P
2
3
P
P
P
D
3 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
A
2
8
6
0
0
1
9
3
4
K
3
1
1
A
2
8
6
3
2
1
K
5
4
7
3
3
1
10
J
5
Q
2
3
2
A
6
9
8
2
3
3
6
10
K
8
0
3
4
K
8

It was fine. East doesn't particularly want spades continued. Cashing the ace of hearts resolved the hand for West.

Do you like South's bidding?

West
A9
K9432
K73
J52
North
10532
Q1085
QJ84
8
East
J874
AJ
9652
Q76
South
KQ6
76
A10
AK10943
W
N
E
S
P
P
1NT
2
P
2
3
P
P
P
D
3 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
A
2
8
6
0
0
1
9
3
4
K
3
1
1
A
2
8
6
3
2
1
K
5
4
7
3
3
1
10
J
5
Q
2
3
2
A
6
9
8
2
3
3
6
10
K
8
0
3
4
K
8

It is sometimes right to open 1NT with a 6-card minor when the rebid problems would be great if the minor is opened. On this hand South has a respectable 3 rebid over anything, and the hand is very strong for a 1NT opening. Thus, South is probably better off opening 1.

South's 3 bid turned out badly, but he didn't have any real choice.

North wasn't happy passing 3, but he doesn't have enough strength to expect 3NT to have any play, so he is right to take his lumps here.

West's 2 call might look filthy. However, had West passed N-S could have landed in 1NT, although North might have bid garbage Stayman which doesn't work well on this hand. 1NT would have made comfortably, so the 2 call may have swung 5 IMPs. Bids such as this have a way of accumulating those 5 IMP pickups, which compensate for the occasional disaster.

73 Comments
Getting Comments... loading...
.

Bottom Home Top