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13

August 2014 English Bridge

www.ebu.co.uk

over 4™ you will have both minor suits,

but when you bid 4NT over 4´ you could

have any two-suiter. The reason for this is

if you are dealt five spades and five

diamonds and a good hand, it is often best

to overcall 4´ over an enemy opening of

4™, as the advantage of being a level lower

makes up for the fact you might be in a

slightly weaker fit.

(Players often don't realise that when

you play a level higher than you could

have done, you need to make two more

tricks in order for it to be worthwhile: if

your counterpart next door makes nine

tricks in 4´ and you make ten tricks in 5t,

then you have got the same score.)

Obviously when you come in with 4NT

to show a two-suited hand you are com mitting

to play the contract, so you need

to have good suits and decent playing

strength, ideally 6-5 or 5-5 with values.

Let's look at a few hands where you

might consider taking action over a 4™

opening:

Hand A Hand B

´ 6 ´ A K 8

™ 8 ™ Void

t K Q 9 7 6 3 t Q 6 5 3 2

® A K 10 8 5 ® K J 8 7 4

Hand C Hand D

´ K Q J 9 8 ´ Q

™ 3 2 ™ A 3

t A K 8 7 5 4 t A 9 8 7 3

® Void ® K 9 8 4 3

Hand E

´ 8

™ Void

t A K J 9 8 3 2

® Q 10 8 4 3

Hand A should bid 4NT; although modest

in terms of points held, it has extra shape

and good suits that make it well worth a

bid.

Hand B should double, as the minors

are too poor and it has far too much

playability in spades. (If partner is 5-4-2-2

with a 10 count, he won't thank you when

he has to play 5® carefully to get out for

800 when 4´ is cold!)

Hand C should overcall with 4´. If this

is doubled in a voice of thunder you can

consider running but it will probably be

best to stand it; 5t will be messy as well

no doubt.

Hand D has too much defence, as the

chances of a spade ruff mean that 4™ is

probably going down, so should pass.

Hand E should just bid 5t; the

disparity in suit quality means that if you

bid 4NT you will often play 5® when 5t

is better.

One final thing about responding to a

4NT overcall showing two suits. Where

the suits are known, (such as 4NT over

4™ showing the minors), then the res ponder

just picks his best suit. How ever,

when the suit are not known, i.e. when

4NT has been bid over 4´, the responder

needs to take care. Imagine you hold the

following hand in response to a 4NT

overcall of 4´:

It's very easy to bid 5t

being grateful that you

have found a won der ful

fit, but what if

partner con verts to 5™

showing that his two

suits are hearts and

clubs? Now you have the unenviable choice

of either bidding 6® or passing 5™ on the

5-2 fit.

The solution is to bid 5® initially. It's

true that this could lead to a 5-3 club fit

when you have a 6-5 diamond fit but not

only is this massively against the odds, it is

also a fact that if partner does have the

minor suits then the oppo nents will have

an enor mous double fit and buying the

contract will be enough for a good score.

Let's review the dos and don'ts of

defending against four-level pre-empts:

Do:

• Keep your four-level doubles up to

scratch; you have to be prepared for

partner to have nothing.

• Strain to bid over a pre-empt with

shapely hands that have good suits

and fair playing strength.

Don't:

• Be afraid to pass partner's take-out

double with bad balanced hands

with little playing strength, trying

to get four tricks in defence rather

than ten in offence.

• Make two-suited overcalls when you

are three-suited or have little play ing

strength and a lot of defence.

• Forget that 4NT over 4´ could be

showing any two suits, not just the

minors. r

´ 5 3

™ 8 7

t K J 9 4 3 2

® A 4 3

BRITISH SPRING

SIM PAIRS NATIONAL

HEAT WINNERS

Mon, April 7th: Robert Gasser -

Aleksandar Lishkov (Summertown BC)

Tue, April 8th: Tony Disley -

Roger Penton (Pencoed Duplicate BC)

Wed, Apr 9th: Tony Ratcliff -

Julian Pottage (Bridgend BC)

Thurs, April 10th: Kong Luk -

Murray Ferguson (Meridian BC)

A photo of the Friday winners,

Barry Dudley - David Alsford (Milton

Keynes BC), was not available.

Index

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