The Adventures of Team Porcupine, Part XVIII: A Bad Overcall


The Adventures of Team Porcupine, Part XVIII: A Bad Overcall

By Ray Adams


Team Porcupine was locked in a close match with a top team at a recent regional when the following hand came up:



When Kowalski/Nograwowicz held the NS cards, the bidding went as in the top auction above. West led a low club and Nograwowicz won dummy’s king, played a club to the ace, and ruffed a club in dummy, as West followed with the queen. When Nograwowicz saw the queen, he realized that East had overcalled two clubs on a suit to the jack/ten. He knew the player sitting East to be an otherwise sound bidder and this caused him to make the assumption that East must hold all the missing kings and probably the queen of hearts also. This explains why he now played a low heart from dummy, a most unusual way to play the trump suit.

However, as he expected, East won the queen and now looked to all the world like a man who had been endplayed. East finally decided to exit with a club. Declarer discarded a diamond and ruffed in dummy. He then cashed the ace of diamonds and led a low diamond, East rising with the king. Nograwowicz ruffed this and led a heart to the ace. He cashed the queen of diamonds and led a low diamond from dummy. East had to toss his last club.

Nograwowicz ruffed the diamond and then threw East in with a trump. East had to lead from his king of spades into dummy’s ace/queen tenace. Making five for +650 looked to be a super result for Team Porcupine. Indeed, it was. At the other table, Konejwicz refused to overcall two clubs and normal defense and declarer play meant that four hearts was down one. Team Porcupine had picked up 13 imps on this board in a match they only won by 8 imps! Clearly, East should never have overcalled and given a great declarer like Nograwowicz so much information.

Team Porcupine would like to thank Bill Nutting of Stockton, California, for giving them this hand to play. In fact, Stanislaus Kowalski even said, “If we ever face Mr. Nutting’s team, you can rest assured that we will go out of our way to avoid bad overcalls.”





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