North south vulnerable

Play Bridge: Overcall on two spades

Tips and tricks for bridge players new to experienced.

Last week, one got into a pre-empted auction with a weaker hand than normal because of an excellent long suit.

This hand also occurred on Bridge Base Online and is another example of a weaker hand getting in to a pre-empted auction. This hand is two-suited. Good things may happen if one gets into the bidding. One usually bids aggressively with two-suited hands with fair-quality suits. Hence the expression, “Six-five, come alive.”

The Bidding: South opens a vulnerable weak two in Hearts. The suit is a two-loser suit at the most, and the hand is the weakest in strength that can be opened at this vulnerability.

West overcalls Two Spades hoping the sixth card will make up for the ratty Spade suit. A suit with the King is still worth a lead-direct bid at the very least.

North raise partner to game. Using the rule of 17, he really only needs 13 points of cover cards to make game because he has four trump. He has 15 points in cover cards, but not enough for slam even though it is very close. When partner pre-empts, side suit Queens and Jacks are usually not useful.

East raises to Four Spades. South passes because he has nothing new to say. One never tells the same story twice. If some of his points were in the opponent’s suit he would double because any points in Spades are better used on defense than offense.

North goes to Five Hearts because he has more than he has already shown. The Spade Ace will be useful because partner would not have pre-empted with a void.

Opening Lead: South would have doubled Four Spades with Spade values so a Spade lead is safe. A Heart lead would also be fine. A Diamond lead is not a good lead because of the tenace.

Result: Five Hearts makes for +650. Is Five Spades a good sacrifice? Yes, West will lose two Spades, one Heart, two Diamonds and no Clubs, but it will require two short hand ruffs and South will duck the Diamond Ten which will lose to the Queen. If South rises with the Diamond Ace, West will lose one Diamond and could be down 300.

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