Going for the Jugular

How is your defensive bidding against a strong, usually Precision, opening 1C? In the following deal it really does not matter, nor does it matter if South opens an Acol 1D. All the EW pairs missed the boat, so let’s see why they did and why they should not have.

Board 6 from Tuesday 4/01/20
Dealer E EW Vul


Let me address the strong Precision 1C (16+) opening by South first. Despite the warning bells, I cannot see any red blooded West NOT overcalling with 1S. North bids 2H, which is a positive response (8+HCP) and shows five or more hearts. What should EAST do? Many Easts would not even raise partner, did you? And if they do, to what level?

Most would reason that a) South has a strong hand, b) EW are vulnerable and c) “I have ONLY a three count”. The same could be said if South had opened a natural 1D playing a natural system like Acol. But if East is put off by the vulnerability, East should also consider the fact that WEST knows the vulnerability and the situation as well, and would not bid 1S on tram tickets. How much is East’s hand worth after West’s 1S overcall and North’s 2H bid? It is a HUGE hand in support of partner, and East should bid all the way to the maximum that is warranted.

East can expect, after either the Precision or Acol bidding so far, that NS will bid to game in hearts or No Trumps, or even diamonds which might just be too high. A bid of 4S will surely make life difficult for NS and if West’s play is as sensible as his overcall, such a risky sacrifice against the NS game may well pay off, despite the vulnerability and paucity of points. Have a look at the likely outcomes by clicking here.

Our own defence to a strong 1C is to bid the same as with our “Evil Twos”, so a jump to 2S would show five spades and 4+ in a minor, and considering EW are vulnerable and South has opened with 16+ HCP, would certainly have some reasonable values.

How many EW pairs would bid to 4S, I wonder? Maybe a copy of “13 Tricks and Evil Acol” would encourage YOU to bid better and play better? If you don’t have a copy, email me at villyn@xtra.co.nz and I will make you an offer you won’t be able to refuse!

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Best wishes,