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This Week in Bridge looks at overcalls in short articles suitable for club and congress level players.Try these for some good ideas, reinforcement or just a point of reflection:

  • "Hold up plays" - great 5 page summary of the declarer gaining advantage with hold-up plays in various situations.
  • "When to be optimistic and pessimistic" - good 3 page coverage of when declarer should plan the play optimistically and when pessimistically.
  • "Combining chances as declarer" - useful 5 page summary of ways declarer can combine rather than choose between options for additional tricks.
Shows the problem

One might prefer better diamond spots for a 1NT overcall. But doubling is also dangerous; what would one do if partner advanced with 2C? At least 1NT accurately communicates the hand-type and strength.

At trick one, West leads the H9 and East puts up the HJ. When you lead the CK, it wins the trick.

How would you plan the play?

Plan your play as South playing 6H after an uncontested auction and a SQ opening lead:

Those who attended Derrick Browne's pre-session talk before the Swiss Pairs on Tuesday 24 April may have an advantage. 


Cover image

See if you can work this one out:

S 54
H K73
D A86
C AQ863

S A82
H A842
D K73
C 752

You, South are in 3NT, with East having bid spades, West dutifully leading one. How do you plan the play?

declarer play challenge

Try this declarer play challenge from Ron Klinger - taken from the 2018 Summer Festival of Bridge Bulletin 14 Jan.

Plan the play in a teams event. If you duck the opening lead, West switches to the S9. Trumps are 2-2.

Try to plan it out fully as if you were at the table before playing to the first trick - or clicking the Read More link.

S AJ962
D 76

S 743
H 6
D K5
C AQT9642

WEST  NORTH   EAST   SOUTH (Dlr W, Vul nil)
1H    1NT     -      3NT
4D    -       4H     5C
All pass

West leads the queen of hearts against your five club contract. How do you plan the play?

S J963
H AT753
D T94

S AQT852
H Q9
D 6
C KQ42

1D   -     -    2S
3D   3S    -    4S
All pass

West starts with two top diamonds against your contract of four spades. You run the second round and lead a club to dummy's jack. East wins and returns the eight of hearts, on which you play the nine, West the jack, and dummy the ace. How should you continue?

Image of book cover

You find yourself in 4S after opening 1C with no opponent bidding. The opening lead is the DQ. How do you plan the play? Does this change if the opponents double your 4S?

S 9763
H K5
D A865

S A842
H A94
D 3