None Vulnerable

Play Bridge: Avoid the chance of being pre-empted

Tips and tricks for bridge players new to experienced.

The bidding: This is a hand that occurred at the South Okanagan Sectional this past spring. East opens the bidding with a weak two in diamonds. This is a good not-vulnerable weak two. East may probably decide not to make the same bid if vulnerable.

A good rule of thumb is that one should never pre-empt a pre-empt. One should wait to see which of the partners has the strong hand. This hand is not such a case. South has a strong hand because of the seven-card suit. South would never dream of making a weak two with this hand. Even with six hearts, South will make a two-heart overcall of two diamonds.

If South passes, North will be forced to pass as well because he has the wrong shape to double and is a point shy for a two No Trump Overcall. I, however, would have deemed this 14-count to be good enough for a two No Trump Overcall, showing 15 to 18 balanced, because of the length and strength in diamonds and the possession of two Tens which are half of a point each.

South would have made a mild slam try by transferring to three hearts and then bidding four hearts. With a weaker hand, South would have used a Texas transfer, four diamonds. North then would play the hand in four hearts.

However, if South overcalls two hearts, North will jump to three No Trump and South will correct to four hearts.

The Lead: The Two of diamonds. West is always leading a singleton in partner’s bid suit in spite of the fact he also has a singleton trump.

The play: A spade lead makes things harder for the declarer. He will win the Ace of spades and cash the Ace of trump and see the Queen fall. He will then pitch a spade on a diamond and then draw trump.

Results: Two diamonds down three for -150 or four hearts making six for +480. This is a real tough slam to get to. It is cold, but it is hard to bid even without a diamond weak two.

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