By Val Rhead
Bidding in a Bridge game is a conversation. It is a conversation in which the two partners exchange information about their hands. When one partner overcalls her opponent’s bid with a jump bid, she has limited her hand. She has told her partner that she has a six or seven-card suit and 6 to 12 points. Her bid is pre-emptive, designed to interfere with the opponents and also to accurately describe her hand to her partner. (The same bid by opener is known as a “weak two” bid).
Presumably, the partnership has an agreement about the quality of the overcall suit. This can vary between partnerships – some bid unwisely with almost any six cards in the suit, but most players are more astute and require a suit with two of the top three honours or three of the top five honours, particularly when vulnerable. So what more is there to know?
The responding partner now has several choices. If he has three or four cards in his partner’s suit and if he has the bidding room, he can extend the pre-empt by bidding the suit at the three or four level. This is in concordance with the Law of Total Tricks. A partnership with a combined total of nine trump safely can compete at the three level, or with ten trump can compete at the four level. Also, responder is now in a position to place the contract in either a part-score or a game. In very rare cases, a slam may be a possibility and he could ask for aces. Otherwise, the overcaller is not expected to bid again.
I recently observed a partnership in which the responder felt incorrectly that he had to find out more about his partner’s hand and kept bidding. Of course, he already knew almost everything there was to know within the limits of Bridge conventional bidding. Much to responder’s chagrin, the overcaller then correctly passed, and they went down one in a misfit. If the responder had passed originally at the lower level, they would have made the contract.
An exception would be if the responder also has a six card suit. Particularly if his suit is a major and the initial suit is a minor, or if the responder has no tolerance for overcaller’s suit because he has a singleton or void. It would be worthwhile for responder to bid his new suit either at the part-score or game level depending on the value of responder’s hand.
So remember, a Weak Jump Overcall is WEAK, just like an opening Weak Two Bid is WEAK. In either case, the overcaller rarely bids again. The responder does not reply unless he can extend the pre-empt or he has enough opening points to compensate for his partner’s weakness, in which case he places the contract at a game level.
If you wish to promote an activity in your bridge group or ask a bridge question, send the information to [email protected] and I will try to include it in this column.
HUNTSVILLE DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB
Games at the Huntsville Club are Tuesday 7:15 start, Trinity United Church 33 Main Street. Please arrive 15 minutes before game time. For partners and information call Jan Roberts 705 635-2522 or email [email protected]
REMINDER: Our Christmas Party is Dec 12 at Main Street Local Kitchen (across the street from Trinity United). The game follows at our regular venue, Trinity United, at 7:15 p.m.
The following winners are for Tuesday, Nov 28 with 10 pairs playing a Howell movement. 1. Fay MacDonald and Helen Pearson; 2. Betty Fagin and Brian Brocklehurst; 3. Jim Smith and Ralph Mitchell; 4. Vern Foell and Rod Dixon; 5. Mary Simonett and Kel Andresen
MUSKOKA DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB (Bracebridge)
Games for the Bracebridge Club are Mondays 7pm, Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Taylor Road. Please arrive 15 minutes before game time. For information or partnerships, call Brian at 705-645-5340 [email protected]
REMINDER: Dec 4 – 5PM is our Christmas Party at the Golf and Curling Club. We will return to Knox Presbyterian Church for our bridge game at the usual time 7pm.
PLEASE NOTE: The game is cancelled Dec 25 and Jan 1 and resumes Jan 8.
The following winners are from Monday, Nov 27 with 17 pairs playing a Mitchell movement. North-South 1. Kel Andresen and Jim Smith; 2. Gerry Flaherty and Ralph Hair; 3. Mary Mitchell and Susan Maddocks; 4. Betty Fagin and Brian Brocklehurst; 5. Gail Lederer and Lynda Ferguson; East-West 1. Liz Barnes and David Bryce; 2. Carol Anne Robinson and Nancy Barber; 3. Art Insley and Don Evans; 4. Fay MacDonald and Joanne Garvey; 5. Joyce Payne and Malcolm Payne
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