Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, April 10th, 2022


clarksburgApril 24th, 2022 at 11:42 am

Good morning Bobby
Matchpoints, both Vul
Partner, as Dealer passes.
You hold J7652 Q83 A102 AK
What is your call when
RHO also passes?
RHO bids 1H
(if it matters, agreement is strong 1NT (14+ to 18- for shape) and 1NT overcall with only 14 if not vul).

bobbywolffApril 24th, 2022 at 1:09 pm

Hi Clarksburg,

Since your side is vulnerable, any thought of a 1NT overcall is decidedly out, so it becomes a matter of 1 spade or double, not a much too wimpy, pass.

Furthermore, at least to me, while holding a 5 card major suit (especially spades) it becomes
a slam dunk for a simple 1 spade overcall, since
it would be a distortion not to choose that bid as an easy default choice, mainly since spades may get lost in the shuffle if partner has 3 card support.

If someone needs more coaxing and double seems right, would he then bid that poor suit when partner first chooses a minor suit or some number of NT to respond, even a jump.

No problem to me, just a simple 1 spade, although not perfect if partner becomes the opening leader, but not likely since you will be on lead vs. hearts (the more likely resting place for the opponents)

It’s always good to hear from you and good morning back at you.

clarksburgApril 24th, 2022 at 2:03 pm

Thanks Bobby
Very glad I asked, and heard your view about 1NT being out for sure!
In our club game, I closed my eyes to the vulnerability and overcalled 1NT over RHOs 1 H call. Since the 1S overcall could be Spades only and only 7/8 pts, I thought the 1NT fib would be more descriptive (strength and shape) and thus likely more helpful to Partner. Ended up top in 3NT+1 whilst all others in Spades also making just 10 tricks.
So our opponents got fixed on this one.

bobbywolffApril 24th, 2022 at 3:05 pm

Hi Clarksburg,

Your great result is what makes bridge the spectacular game we know it is.

Ignoring danger, thus bidding ’em up, often works, whether it results from luck or error prone opponents, not to mention superior dummy play. No doubt, aggressive NT games probably lead the list for Dame Fortune to cooperate.

Regarding your fear of only overcalling 1 spade while possessing a sound hand, it is rarely dangerous for missing a good game contract. Partner, if having spade support, is more than just likely to raise, while holding 3+ trump and a modicum of values.

However, good show, and with more results like that, you’ll add to others regretting to come to your table, always a positive and strategic condition for you.