None vulnerable

Play Bridge: What I prefer my opponents do not do

"I prefer my opponents not do the following because this makes life difficult for me..."

I prefer my opponents not do the following because this makes life difficult for me

• Open 1NT with 14 HCP’s, a couple of tens and a five-card-suit

• Open 1NT with a five-card major when 5-3-3-2

• Overcall with a four-card suit such as KQJx or AKJ10

• Open light in third seat

• Balance

• Open a weak two with five cards such as KQJ10x and very short in the unbid majors

• Refuse to take a finesse when an end-play is available

• Falsecard

While I prefer my opponents do the following:

• Pre-empt with a suit without any of the top three honours

• Overcall with bad suits

• Make minimum off-shape takeout doubles

• Sell out to one or two-level contracts

• Feel they have to enter opponent’s auction every time they have an opener

• Stay out of the auction without a full opener.

• Hide four-card majors from partner during the bidding

• False-card incorrectly

• Bid one of the suits for which I have doubled

• Save me from misfits by bidding

Of all the points made above, I will concentrate on overcalling with a four-card suit. Mike Lawrence in his “Complete book on overcalls,” states that overcalling properly with a four-card suit can be devastating and he prefers that his opponents were “not into this particular strategy.”

The bidding: East opens One Diamond and South overcalls One Spade. This is an excellent bid as it shows a strong suit, and it takes away most of the one-level from the opponents. West responds One No Trump denying four Hearts because he did not make a negative double. North, always assuming partner has five for his overcall, raises to Two Spades and the auction passes out.

The Play: West leads the Diamond Queen, and declarer ruffs the second Diamond. He cashes the top two Clubs and the Heart Ace and then cross-ruffs the hand making nine tricks for +140. West will ruff the fifth Club and lead trump. Trump leads keep declarer to +110.

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