Be careful when you step in vulnerable! by Helen Sobel

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Bad vulnerable overcalls lose more points at the bridge table than any other indulgences.

By Helen Sobel
On 13 December, 2015 At 12:59

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The Milwaukee Journal – 10 Feb 1950 by Helen Sobel and Sam Fry

Bad vulnerable overcalls lose more points at the bridge table than any other indulgences. The good bridge player does not come in vulnerable at the two or three level, or even the one level for that matter, without real security. He does not allow himself to be fooled by the fact that he has “a good strong opening bid” in his hand. He thinks of the taking tricks that he has in case his partner has nothing, and only then if it seems to him to be worth the risk does he step in. It is better occasionally to chance missing a game than to step in dangerously. South got what was coming to him on today’s deal.

East dealer, North-South vulnerable.


West opened with one spade and East raised to two. South did indeed have a good hand, and admittedly it was possible that North would have enough for the partnership to make a game in hearts. But there are some hands on which one must take one’s licking to insure avoiding disaster. With North-South vulnerable and East-West not, and with both opponents bidding, and North having passed, South, despite his six card suit and  outside kings should have decided that discretion was the better part of valor.

South had on his rose colored glasses, however, and stepped in with three hearts, which West, promptly doubled. East made a good decision in leaving it in despite his weak hand.

East and West, by careful defense after the queen of diamonds opening by West, were able to take two spade tricks, two heart tricks, a diamond trick and two club tricks for an 8OO set.

To make matters worse, with the singleton heart opening by North, East and West could not have made four spades had they been tempted to bid it.

Be careful when you step in vulnerable!

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