Defensive Bidding: The Overcall by Robertinho


 (07/06/2014) by Roberto Martiniano Figueira de Mello for the Federacion Brasilera de Bridge

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In the recent South American Bridge Championship (May/2014), the players in the South position (Vul against NVul)  received the following hand: A J 7 4 A Q 8 7 5 A 6 5 3.

The dealer was Este, and he opened 1. With this three coloured hand: 0454 and 14 HCP, Southe has to say something, in this case for me the best bid is 2. The bidding continued:

Oeste Norte Este Sur
    1 2
4 Pass Pass ??

The question that arises at this point is what do the reader say with the South hand?

Unlike the takeout double, simple interference naming a suit has an upper limit defined. I think that the most popular maximum is 17  HCP. North passed, his hand was something undefined and vulnerability was disadvantageous (VUL against NVUL). A priori, the one who overcalls with maximum force should talk again. In my opinion there is no alternative, the player who makes a simple intervention naming a suit with a maximum, in this case with three offensive tricks (three aces), should take the risk and reopen with double to reveal this condition to his partner. Now North must make the final decision: to penalize or to declare another contract.

These were the four hands:

  K 7 4
10 3
J 9 6 5 3
Q J 2
A Q J 9 8 5 3 2
6 2
10 2
  10 6
K Q 9 8 5
K 10 9 8 4
A J 7 4
A Q 8 7 5
A 6 5 3

South reopening bid with double es really advantageous. 4 NV is one down (50), but in 5 Vulnerable you can make 12 tricks. Some of the players which reopened with double, played 5 doubled, they make an extra trick and scored (950).