Overcalls Against Strong 2 Club Openings by Paul Lavings

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Try this quiz at nil vulnerable.

By Paul Lavings
On 20 January, 2016 At 16:21

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Source: ABF Newsletters

Try this quiz at nil vulnerable.Paul Lavings

What do you bid when your RHO opens a game-forcing 2:

2 ?

aaxx

1). AK983 72 10875 982

2. When opponents open 1 playing Precision, they are vulnerable to preemption because they have not yet shown a suit. Naturally, you try to take advantage by taking away their bidding space whenever possible. When opponents open 2 they are at a similar disadvantage, so good tactics is to get in early and limit their bidding space. It is important partner cooperates to make it even harder for the opponents, by raising your suit to the level of your trump fit. It is no small matter that a spade is also a good lead for your side.

2)  Q10875 KJ6 Q65 A4

Pass. You have a very defensive hand and a spade may not be a good lead, while another suit may well be an excellent lead. Despite the fact that you are considerably stronger than in hand 1 you should pass and defend

3).  QJ10875 K874 73

3. This is about what your hand is worth, with your good shape and strong suit. Hopefully partner can bid 4 or more. Don’t forget opponents haven’t yet made a natural bid, so you want to take away space now. Many pairs play double by the 2 opener’s partner as either takeout or a weak hand, which makes 3 even more appealing. My style is to play penalty doubles after our side opens 2 because pass is forcing anyway.

4).  643 — 9872 AJ9854

3. Not many points, but it is still worthwhile to take the risk to disrupt their 2 auction. Maybe partner has a singleton spade and a good club fit, and your side finds a profitable save. Also, a club is a good lead for your side.

5).  63 J7 KQ1087643

4. You might catch a very poor dummy but you still want to try to make life diffi cult for the opponents. When this hand came up 4 doubled failed by only two tricks for -300. The opponents could make 6 but not 6, so the less space they have available, the better for you. It would not be a good idea to bid 5. You take so much space from the opponents that they may have little choice but to double you and take the penalty.

6).  A9874 AQJ65 73

Double. Over Precision 1 I like to play RCO overcalls (RANK-COLOUR-ODD) to show two suiters. Double shows two suits of the same rank (majors or minors), 1 shows two suits of the same colour (reds or blacks) and 1NT shows the remaining two (spades/diamonds or hearts/clubs) of the six possible two-suiters.

It makes good sense to do the same thing over a strong 2 opening. RCO overcalls are normally 5/5 but can be a chunky 5/4, typically fi ve minor – four major. That way you can compete effectively with any two-suiter. You get to take away their space when partner replies as high as possible with a pass or correct bid, as after a multi 2 opening. If this form of germ warfare over their 2 opening is too high-powered, you could play double of 2 as majors and 2NT as minors.

7).  A10853 76 KQ764

2. Showing reds or blacks. If your side can find a fit you can make life very difficult for the opponents. Who knows, with very little opposite your side could find a profitable sacrifice, or even fluke a game in one of your suits. The most important thing is not to pass with a good hand like this.

8).    AK853 J1097 K98

Double. Two suits of the same rank, majors or minors. This hand from the 2011 Coffs Congress was a good lesson. Opponents’ 2 was described as strong, so I did not come into the bidding. The opening 2 was  J10,  KQ,  AKJ109874,  10 and with a near worthless hand opposite the opponents reached 3NT and made nine tricks when we were cold for 10 tricks in spades or 11 tricks in hearts. A 2 opening is open to partnership interpretation so do not assume that the 2 opener has the same hand we would have to open 2. Beware – some pairs play 2 as eight or nine playing tricks but still call their 2 opening “strong”.

9).   AK53 984 KJ982

2. Showing two suits of the same colour. Only 5-4, however you have a useful hand and you don’t want to let go the opportunity to interrupt their auction. Holding two suits is much safer than one. With fi ve spades and four clubs prefer a 2 overcall. Partner should always be able to rely on you for fi ve of the minor when you show an RCO hand.

10).   A87 Q6 AK63 QJ106

Pass. You can’t overcall 2NT as a natural bid, nor would you want to. Just pass for the moment and listen to the bidding

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