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19th Mar 2020 18:23 GMT
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Our commentaries are now used by a few clubs, some of which are close by.
For reasons of security we will no longer be posting them on the website.
Naturally when you have played in a session you will be emailed the commentary that night.
They all use Standard English Acol and are suitable for Second Years+
There are 24 boards each week.
Any club who wishes to use our commentaries should contact me:

More Hosts Please!

Our club is totally unique in that it offers anyone who rocks up to our club a guranteed game.
To enable us to fulfil this valuable commitment we need more volunteer hosts.

We already have a small but commited group of volunteers. We need more to spread the burden.
Identify a Tuesday session in the forthcoming months where you would be able to volunteer and drop a line to our Host Angel


Chief Host Angel !
Chief Host Angel !

Our club has always been a great advocate of 'everyone gets a game'. Just turn up and a partner will be found - every time.
It particularily suits people graduating from courses who have yet to find a regular partner and people new to the area who want to try our club (good choice!)

Our lovely Maureen is our Chief Host Angel.  Her task is to allocate volunteer hosts to session dates.
She looks a bit shocked here actually:-)

Announcing this that and the other
Announcing this that and the other
We have all got used to 'announcing' the range of partners opening bid of 1NT. Now the rules have been extended to announcing the range of the opening bid of 2NT.
Subsequent transfers and Stayman also require an announcement.
Additionally those of us that play 5-card major suit openings, a minor suit opening that could be two cards or fewer should be announced even if it is non-forcing. 
5th March
Responding to a Suit Overcall

When partner bids a suit after an opponent has already opened the bidding, you should treat the bid in many ways as an opening bid.  But remember the key differences:

  1. Partner is guaranteeing a 5-card suit.  (An opening bid may be based on only a 4-card suit.)
  2. Partner may not have as many points.  (An opening bid promises 12 HCP, but partner might overcall at the 1-level on as little as 8 HCP.)

The upshot of this is that:

  1. You only need to hold three cards in partners suit to be content to play with that suit as trumps.
  2. You need to hold more points to consider looking for game contracts, in particular if you don't have a good fit.
Responding when you like partner's suit.

Remember that you should be satisfied with partner's choice of suit even if you only hold three cards.  It is seldom right to introduce your own long suit if you are happy with partner's choice.

If you do like partner's suit, then you should bid as if partner had opened that suit.  (Although partner might not have many points, the quality of the suit should compensate).

For example, suppose partner overcalls 1♠, and you hold three spades yourself, then you should let him know that you like spades (by bidding spades as well), and show how many points you have by the level at which you bid:

  • 0 - 5 HCP - just pass!
  • 6 - 9 HCP - bid 2♠.
  • 10 - 12 HCP - bid 3♠

Had partner opened 1, you would have responded 3 to show that you like hearts, and that you have a quite good hand (10-12 HCPs) - not quite enough points for game, but you don't need much extra from partner.

When partner overcalls 1 after an opponent opens the bidding, you respond in exactly the same way.  Partner has a little extra, and so accepts the invitation, bidding 4.

Note that you don't have 25 HCP between the two hands, but the extra 'shape' and quality of the trump suit compensates for the lack of high cards, and makes the game contract a good prospect.

Responding when you don't like partner's suit

You should be satisfied with partner's suit even if you only have 3 cards.  But if you have just two cards in partner's suit, then might want to consider bidding a suit of your own, or even trying No Trumps.

However, this is when you need to remember that partner might have fewer points than if he'd opened the bidding.  For example, a 1-level overcall shows about 8-15 HCP, whereas an opening would have shown 12-19.
Remember also that because partner has at least 5 cards in his own suit, it's less likely that he will have many cards in your own suit.


To respond to an opening bid of 1 of a suit, you would need about 6 HCP or more.  But to respond to an overcall you need at least 9 HCP.

To bid a new suit, you need a good suit - at least a 5-card suit.
To bid No Trumps, you have to have a 'stopper' in your opponent's suit.

When partner overcalls 1♠, you should think that there is a possibility that there is a game contract available, but you don't want to play in spades!  So try bidding your own suit, and see if you can negotiate a better contract.

After you bid your own best suit, partner surprises you by bidding 2.  This is good news! You know now that you have an 8-card fit in that suit, and even though partner might not have many High Card Points, you have enough shape and strength to bid 4.

In Summary

When your partner makes an overcall, and you hold:

0 - 5 HCP   Pass!

6 - 9 HCP   Support partner's suit if you have three cards; otherwise SHUT UP!

9-12 HCP   Jump Raise in partner's suit;
                Bid your own suit if it's a decent suit
                Bid No Trunps if you have a stopper in the opponent's suit.

13+ HCP     Raise to game in partner;s suit
                Bid a new suit if you can
                Jump Bid in No Trumps.