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Overcalling over a strong 2C

#1 User is offline   EricK 

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Posted 2013-April-15, 17:22

What advice can you guys offer about interfering with the opponents' strong 2 auction? Do you try to interfere as often as you reasonably can (to throw a spanner, however tiny, into the works), or do you only do it on hands which offer a high degree of safety (i.e. a long, good suit) in order to, perhaps, pave the way for a sacrifice? How do different vulnerabilities affect what you would do? Does it depend what suit you have (eg more likely to overcall with 2 than 2)? And what about teams vs MP Pairs?
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#2 User is offline   trevahound 

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Posted 2013-April-15, 18:17

In as often as possible (not with X or 2d, either, I don't want to come in if I'm not using useful space). PI suction is my preference, but anything that lets you preempt at whatever level is appropriate is fine. I don't come in with good hands unless I'm planning to make it. I come in very aggressively at favorable, esp if pard is a passed hand. I only play with understanding partners and teammates.

There is a risk, but it's less than I guessed before I got active, and from the opening side's POV, 2c is already a very preemptive opening with no shape info given at all; if they have to start describing at the 3 level or higher, you have created a variance that I find beneficial far more often than not. Obviously, YMMV. Know thyself (and thy partner and teammates), and act accordingly. :)
"I suggest a chapter on "strongest dummy opposite my free bids." For example, someone might wonder how I once put this hand down as dummy in a spade contract: AQ10xxx void AKQxx KQ. Did I start with Michaels? Did I cuebid until partner was forced to pick one of my suits? No, I was just playing with Brian (6S made when the trump king dropped singleton)." David Wright
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#3 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2013-April-16, 04:00

Against advanced and lower I have found it a big winner to get in there as often as possible, as high as possible when not vulnerable, not only against a traditional 2 opening but also a Benji 2. You hardly ever get doubled. I strongly suspect this would be different against expert opponents but most do not play in that league very often. When vulnerable you need to be much more circumspect, especially at the 3 and 4 level. The flip side of that is that partner can be more confident about raising red overcalls but you still have to be careful about not giving the opponents "fielder's choice".
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#4 User is offline   Codo 

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Posted 2013-April-16, 04:49

I need shape to intervene, not strength, so T98xxx, Qx, xxxx,x will do. :)
5/4 with xx, KJxx,xx, QJ9xx, will do to.

Of course vulnerability matters and how much space I can take away.

In team games versus good opponents, I try to know their system. Something like: double negative, pass game forcing (or vice versa) is quite often seen here and makes it easier to intervene.
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#5 User is offline   EricK 

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Posted 2013-April-16, 07:02

Thanks for the answers. As you might imagine there was a specific hand which led me to ask this question:
KJT92 AJ J983 74
Would you overcall (presumably with a natural 2) with this hand at any scoring/vulnerability? Or is it, perhaps, too defensively oriented to risk a large penalty, especially vulnerable, when you might have hopes of the opponents getting too high and your beating them?
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#6 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2013-April-16, 07:07

2 not vulnerable. Pass vulnerable.
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#7 User is offline   mikl_plkcc 

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Posted 2013-April-16, 08:26

View PostEricK, on 2013-April-16, 07:02, said:

Thanks for the answers. As you might imagine there was a specific hand which led me to ask this question:
KJT92 AJ J983 74
Would you overcall (presumably with a natural 2) with this hand at any scoring/vulnerability? Or is it, perhaps, too defensively oriented to risk a large penalty, especially vulnerable, when you might have hopes of the opponents getting too high and your beating them?

I would bid 2 even with 8 HCPs in this case, definitely, hoping partner has support in s. If he has 0 HCPs and 5 s, he can advance to 4.
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#8 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2013-April-16, 08:53

View PostEricK, on 2013-April-16, 07:02, said:

Thanks for the answers. As you might imagine there was a specific hand which led me to ask this question:
KJT92 AJ J983 74
Would you overcall (presumably with a natural 2) with this hand at any scoring/vulnerability? Or is it, perhaps, too defensively oriented to risk a large penalty, especially vulnerable, when you might have hopes of the opponents getting too high and your beating them?


I would at MPs if NV.

At IMPs, probably only NV/V.
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#9 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2013-April-16, 09:05

With defence, pass. With shape and values in the long suits, be aggressive. On the given hand, I pass. Far too much defence and not enough offence for me.

I'd consider bidding at favourable at mps, but only against weak opps. Good opps not only handle low-level interference fairly well in the auction, but tend to use our bidding to help them in the play. At imps, I don't see a lot of upside, due to the fact that we have sufficent values that they may be going down in whatever they bid, especially if I don't clue them in. In addition, partner may take a dive, thinking we have a purer offensive hand/less defence.
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#10 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2013-April-16, 09:43

On the specified hand I would have done what Phil suggests.
More generally, I have conflicting thoughts.
In my experience, most average partnerships are clueless on (a) when to open 2C and (b) how to develop the auction thereafter.
If that assessment is correct, the marginal utility in bidding just to stir it is diminished; there are fairly high odds that the opponents are about to foul it up without my assistance, so putting my head in the noose is just giving them another winning option.
Against expert players, or advanced regular partnerships, there may be more of a case for stirring it. Not sure if you should be as silly as we do over a strong 1C, mind.
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#11 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2013-April-16, 10:51

View Postmikeh, on 2013-April-16, 09:05, said:

With defence, pass. With shape and values in the long suits, be aggressive. On the given hand, I pass. Far too much defence and not enough offence for me.

I'd consider bidding at favourable at mps, but only against weak opps. Good opps not only handle low-level interference fairly well in the auction, but tend to use our bidding to help them in the play. At imps, I don't see a lot of upside, due to the fact that we have sufficent values that they may be going down in whatever they bid, especially if I don't clue them in. In addition, partner may take a dive, thinking we have a purer offensive hand/less defence.


I think you overestimate the possibility that partner is going to hang you and underestimate the effects of interference. Even if partner expects a pure hand, 4 is probably a 500/800 position against their vul. game.

Even good opponents would rather have a nice smooth Kokish sequence, or a practiced auction that occurs after a 2N rebid instead of something like (2) - 2 - (p) - 3.

As far as helping them in the play, surely we are leading a spade against 3N, so I'm not clear how our overcall matters, except to help partner defend, and maybe get him off to the best lead. Against a suit contract, I might get an extra heart trick because I overcalled that I wasn't getting before.
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#12 User is online   fromageGB 

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Posted 2013-April-17, 08:00

For me a key point is that while putting a spoke in their methods may cause them to have a less accurate auction, if they end up playing in the inevitable 4M or 6M. or 3NT or whatever it is that is the contract in the rest of the room, an intervention is nothing but an assistance to them. If there are 30 hcp in their hands, and you are likely to have most of the others, then you have steered them into the right finesses, and by the distribution you have shown, the right plays.

To make this not true, you need to overcall with 2 not just on KJT92 AJ J983 74, but also on T9632 J3 7643 74. Do you? Even then the spade length may be a clue to their play, so mingle it with 9632 J73 743 742. Now you will not be helping them. However, a few calls to the director and you are likely to be hauled in for psyching.
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#13 User is offline   jogs 

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Posted 2013-April-17, 08:08

View PostEricK, on 2013-April-16, 07:02, said:

Thanks for the answers. As you might imagine there was a specific hand which led me to ask this question:
KJT92 AJ J983 74
Would you overcall (presumably with a natural 2) with this hand at any scoring/vulnerability? Or is it, perhaps, too defensively oriented to risk a large penalty, especially vulnerable, when you might have hopes of the opponents getting too high and your beating them?


Never with any vulnerability or any form of the game.
Want a pattern with a singleton. Want points
to be in the long suits.
They have a better chance of getting too high if
you are silent. Also they wont know to play you
for all the cards.
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#14 User is offline   mikl_plkcc 

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Posted 2013-April-19, 21:58

Given this:
AKJxxx x xxx xxx
I would bid 3 after 2, especially when my partner has passed
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#15 User is offline   FrancesHinden 

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Posted 2013-April-20, 04:05

View Postjogs, on 2013-April-17, 08:08, said:

Never with any vulnerability or any form of the game.
Want a pattern with a singleton. Want points
to be in the long suits.
They have a better chance of getting too high if
you are silent. Also they wont know to play you
for all the cards.


If you must have a singleton before you overcall, you are making it easier, not harder, for them in the play.
And if you don't need any high cards before you overcall, they won't know to play you for them when you do.
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#16 User is offline   wanoff 

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Posted 2013-April-21, 06:23

View PostfromageGB, on 2013-April-17, 08:00, said:

For me a key point is that while putting a spoke in their methods may cause them to have a less accurate auction, if they end up playing in the inevitable 4M or 6M. or 3NT or whatever it is that is the contract in the rest of the room, an intervention is nothing but an assistance to them. If there are 30 hcp in their hands, and you are likely to have most of the others, then you have steered them into the right finesses, and by the distribution you have shown, the right plays.

To make this not true, you need to overcall with 2 not just on KJT92 AJ J983 74, but also on T9632 J3 7643 74. Do you? Even then the spade length may be a clue to their play, so mingle it with 9632 J73 743 742. Now you will not be helping them. However, a few calls to the director and you are likely to be hauled in for psyching.



View PostFrancesHinden, on 2013-April-20, 04:05, said:

If you must have a singleton before you overcall, you are making it easier, not harder, for them in the play.
And if you don't need any high cards before you overcall, they won't know to play you for them when you do.


Just how far should we take this ? This is a hand from the TolleQ where muggins went for a large penalty.........At white, pass from partner, 2 and you hold J10xxx xxx xxx Qx
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#17 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2013-April-21, 06:56

View PostEricK, on 2013-April-16, 07:02, said:

Thanks for the answers. As you might imagine there was a specific hand which led me to ask this question:
KJT92 AJ J983 74
Would you overcall (presumably with a natural 2) with this hand at any scoring/vulnerability? Or is it, perhaps, too defensively oriented to risk a large penalty, especially vulnerable, when you might have hopes of the opponents getting too high and your beating them?

I would overcall, except r/w. Maybe questionable when we are vulnerable, but despite all the side strength I really want a spade lead.
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#18 User is offline   wank 

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Posted 2013-April-21, 09:55

we're going to be on lead well over 80% of the time and as for the effect of pre-emption, it's ameliorated significantly as they have forcing passes available, etc.

i think you should reserve overcalls for more serious [distributional] hands where you actually want to get raised and play it.
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#19 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2013-April-21, 17:31

An lead-directing overcall may work in 3rd position after (2) Pass (2 ??, For example at green, you might overcall 2 with K Q T 9 2 to suggest a lead because 2 openers usually end up as declarer.
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