DEC_08_EB_p52-53 Kambites 14/11/08 12:15 pm Page 48
In Auction (i), the 2♣ bid shows the The Astro Defence to INT
majors. The East hand in Diagram (i)
Andrew Kambites feels no temptation to investigate game Over an opponent’s 1NT:
because he is well aware that playing
duplicate pairs West will be straining every Double is for penalties, catering for all
IN this article I consider two-suited over- muscle to push South out of 1NT at love strong hands except perhaps those
calls when an opponent has opened 1NT. all. Note that although East-West don’t which have extreme shape.
There are two main differences between a find an eight-card fit, 2♠ is unlikely to be 2♣ = hearts and a minor suit, with at
two-suited overcall of a suit and such an more than one off and might well make, least 5-4 (or 4-5) shape.
overcall of a no-trump bid. but 1NT by South would easily succeed on 2♦ = spades and another suit, with at
a heart lead. least 5-4 (or 4-5) shape.
1. Most strong hands start with a At any other vulnerability there is less 2♥/♠ are single suited natural bids.
double of INT, making it unlikely temptation to intervene on rubbish because 2NT is usually played as a powerful,
that you would start with a two- there is the prospect of somebody would shapely two-suiter that does not want to
suited bid. Your overcall will there- be going off in 100s rather than 50s. At make a penalty double of 1NT, but you
fore be intermediate (up to 15 teams-of-four there is less need to turn a can choose to play it as showing the
points), or weak. small loss into a smaller loss, or a small minors, the only combination not
2. In duplicate pairs there is often gain into a slightly bigger gain. Partner already catered for.
strong reason for dislodging your will take your overcall seriously and not
opponents from a INT contract. want to risk missing game, so a two-suited After a two-suited overcall there are two
Particularly at love all, if you let overcall should show roughly opening conventional bids you can use: the suit
them play in 1NT you often score values. Note that the 2♣ bid here was above the suit used in the overcall and 2NT.
badly whether they make it or not. allowable on 5-4 shape, which is common
If you score minus 120 for letting practice, even when playing teams-of-four.
them play in 1NT +1, you find you Certainly this needs discussing with your Diagram (ii)
could have escaped for –50 if you partner! ♠ KQ76 ♠ J2
had competed to 2♠. On the other ♥ K4 W E
hand, if you take them two off (for The simplest method ♦ KQ643 S ♦ A75
+100) you find that other pairs in ♣ 92 ♣ Q543
your direction are scoring +140. Once again you are faced with a choice of
These considerations often give rise a system. The simplest idea is to play 2♦,
to the most flimsy of two-suited 2♥ and 2♠ overcalls as natural, but use Auction 2
overcalls at love all. 2♣ to show the majors. This is called West North East South
2♦ Pass 2♥ Pass
Diagram (i) A more comprehensive method 3♦ All Pass
Love All. Dealer South.
♠ K643 ♠A87 However, I suspect that many of you will In Auction 2, the 2♦ bid shows spades and
♥ A9754 W E
♥8 want a far more comprehensive system of another suit. East is prepared to play in 2♠
♦ Q52 S ♦J643 overcalls, which allow you to show a if West has five spades but not if he has
♣ 9 ♣AJ432 variety of two-suiters. only four. East conventionally uses the bid
There are a lot of different systems in ‘in between’ the conventional 2♦ and 2♠,
use; all I can do in the available space is to the anchor suit implied: 2♥, which requires
Auction 1 explain one which is popular and reason- West to pass if he has five hearts, or
West North East South ably simple. otherwise to rebid his cheapest five-card
1NT Note: from now on in this article I will suit, even if it is spades. Auction 2 will leave
2♣ Pass 2♠ All Pass assume you are playing teams-of-four. East-West in a sensible contract.
48 English Bridge December 2008 www.ebu.co.uk