September 17th 2019
Board 1

Overcalling with a good suit (using suit quality test) and showing a lead suit

North opens 1Heart with the intention of rebidding 1NT. West with a good 6 card suit and 10 points overcalls South’s 1S bid. Remember the Suit Quality Test: Add up the number of cards in the suit (five+) to the number of honours in the suit. (8 (tricks) – so can bid to the 2 level. 

North bids 2NT to show 15-16 points and a good club stop. South hasn’t got quite enough to raise to game. 

Without the Club bid East would have led a spade conceding an 8th trick. As it is a club lead will probably result in 2-off, unless declarer finesses the S9. 

Board 2

Competitive Bidding: length is strength

Neither side have 25 points for game but the length of the suit and the fit makes a game possible both ways. On best play EW can make 10 tricks, but will probably only make 9 – unless South bangs down SA or DA. (Doing both lets the contract make). The best lead is a H trump which gives nothing away and reduces the ruffing potential.

If NS decide to try for 6C, (difficult decision as they are vulnerable) they may make 12 tricks by finessing and then setting up the long diamond for a spade discard. This is a case where east MUST cover the first honour led in the suit as otherwise his King will fall under the Ace.