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AUG_08_EB_p48-49 Kambites + QzAnsw 16/7/08 10:32 am Page 44

COMPETITIVE BIDDING

The Unusual

No-trump

overcall

that you are quite likely to find partner count. It certainly pays to get your two-

with some length in one of your suits and suiter into the auction at an early stage.

Andrew Kambites shortage in the other, allowing you to ruff

the second suit good. When do you bid on?

Diagram (i) shows the potential of Hand

I CONCLUDED my last article by showing A if even a semblance of a fit is found: However, suppose you decide to bid

that the one type of hand not obviously 2NT over 1♠ with Hands A, B and C. The

covered by standard overcalling/doubling auction might start:

methods is the two-suiter. I am going to Diagram (i)

assume that a two-suited hand has at least ♠ 2 ♠ 864 West North East South

5-5 shape when you are overcalling a suit ♥ A4 N ♥ 8632 1♠

W E

bid (though I am aware that some partner- ♦ K Q J 10 6 S ♦ A4 2NT Pass 3♣ Pass

ships agree to use them on 5-4 shapes). ♣ AQJ98 ♣ 10 7 6 2 ?

To illustrate two-suiters, I am going to

start with a conventional bid that most of When do you bid on? If you do bid on (say

you will already play: the Unusual No- East-West may have only 21 high-card with 4♣), the auction is becoming very

trump. points between them, but 6♣ will make if high. If you bid on with Hand B you risk

If an opponent opens with a suit bid, a the club finesse (taken through the opening the horror story in diagram (iii). East has

jump to 2NT is widely played as showing bidder) is right. Given time, East’s hearts little choice but to bid 3♣ over 2NT. In this

the lower two unbid suits. 2NT is not really can be discarded on West’s diamonds and case it is a strangled preference, not real

needed to show a strong, balanced hand the four of hearts can be ruffed. Moreover, support for clubs. If you play two-suited

(except in the protective position) because if North-South have some shape (e.g. dia- overcalls you must understand the differ-

with such a hand you double first and monds breaking 5-1 and clubs 3-1), then ence between support and preference.

then bid no-trumps. So your right hand they might well make 4♠.

opponent opens 1♠. How much potential Even Hand C can have playing strength

do these hands have? far in excess of its point count, as shown in Diagram (iii)

diagram (ii): ♠ 2 ♠ Q 10 7 6 3

♥ 86 N ♥ K7543

W E

Hand A Hand B ♦ KQJ76 S ♦ 3

♠2 ♠2 Diagram (ii) ♣ AQJ98 ♣ 74

♥A4 ♥86 ♠ 9 ♠ 864

♦ K Q J 10 6 ♦KQJ76 ♥ 94 N ♥ 8632

W E

♣AQJ98 ♣AQJ98 ♦ K 10 9 7 6 S ♦ A4 So West chooses to pass 3♣ with Hand B,

♣ KQ985 ♣ 10 7 6 2 but now this is the layout:

Hand C Hand D North-South will comfortably make 4♠ Diagram (iv)

♠9 ♠ A but East-West may well only be two off in ♠ 2 ♠ 10 7 6 3

♥94 ♥ K6 5♣ – certainly a good sacrifice if your ♥ 86 N ♥ AQ3

W E

♦ K 10 9 7 6 ♦ J7432 opponents are vulnerable and you are not. ♦ KQJ76 S ♦ A32

♣KQ985 ♣ Q5432 Do you see the common theme of dia- ♣ AQJ98 ♣ 743

grams (i) and (ii)? If West bids an Unusual

2NT over South’s 1♠ opening bid, then it

If you show two suits, your chances of is right for East to compete to 5♣ over 4♠ You can’t really expect East to do much

finding a fit are greatly enhanced and the whether West has Hand A or Hand C! more than bid 3♣ opposite 2NT if West

danger of suffering an adverse penalty cor- Two-suited hands tend to have a potential might have Hand C, but an excellent game

respondingly diminished. Another factor is playing strength far in excess of their point has been missed when West has Hand B.

44 English Bridge August 2008 www.ebu.co.uk

Index

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