Friday, April 23, 2004 12:45 AM





          D.S.I.P. doubles do not work without partnership discipline in opening bids and overcalls. I do not subscribe to opening bids just for the sake of “clubbing baby seals” . Right from the Culbertson days and thru Goren to present days ,  there is a quick trick requirement for opening bids . Just because you have 13 HCP’s it is not enough for an opening bid . ♠QJxx QJx QJx ♣QJx has 12 HCP’s but it no way shape or form is it an opening bid . If fails the defensive trick requirement by a long shot . ♠xxx xx AKxx ♣Axxx  has only 11 HCP’s but it is an opener as it has the required defensive values . Although there is a tactical advantage in “getting the first shot “ in  Bridge I do not open 11-13 HCP flat hands without the required 2 ½  defensive tricks . It just helps good players play the hand and misleads partner . Especially  misleads partner in D.S.I.P. theory as his double assumes that you have the defensive values for an opening bid. The lack of quick tricks or controls in an opening bid  also hurt in slam bidding , competing and game bidding. Bad opening bids get you to a lot of aborted slam tries and leads to partnership frustration.


A partnership needs “standards” for competing in the game of Bridge. An opening bid and sound 2 level overcalls are “standards” on which you can count on to make a partnership decision. People who say they do not need quick tricks to open , or “colors are for kids” or suicidal pre-empts & overcalls are playing the game as “solo artists” so obliterate the partnership aspect of the game of Bridge.


          D.S.I.P. doubles depend a lot on the vulnerability and of course seat position. Partner will give you leeway if you are bidding not vul against vul ( terrorist vulnerability ) . He will pass in competitive auctions rather then forcing you to make a decision at a higher level with a D.S.I.P. double.  Non favourable vulnerability he will probably make a D.S.I.P. double every time to give you the alternative of converting for penalty. D.S.I.P. doubles like re-opening negative doubles should play the vulnerability. You are vul against not  with ♠xx x AKQxxx ♣KJxx and you open a diamond . 2 overcall by not vul partner and around to you . With every other vulnerability except this one you should re-open with a double to protect partners penalty pass. With this one vulnerability you should bid 3♣ . You then get to your 1370 in clubs. With this distribution and vulnerability  protect partner from making a bad conversion decision by bidding your suits . 2’s doubled goes for –500 and partner was converting expecting you  to be less distributional. Bidding should not be based on weak distributional hands on these auctions . A double should be made to take your sure plus with partner having a penalty double over there.


          Have distribution & a purpose for making a T/O double as a passed hand. Be disciplined so that partner can trust you. The opponents bid 1-P-2♠-?  Axxx QJ10 Axx ♣xxx do you double ? Of course not. A double is more than announcing to the opponents that you passed 11 HCP. You are encouraging partner to take some action at the 3 level vulnerable. Your longest suit is spades & 50 % of your HCP’s are in their suit !  Playing D.S.I.P. double theory it is very important to be disciplined. Partner held ♠x QJ10 KQ10xx ♣Q1098 so competed to 4 over 3♠ and went for –800 ! Change your hand to ♠xxx Q109 Axxx ♣AJx ( same 4-3-3-3 ) & a 5 game is 50 % .


          The vulnerability is very important to ensure discipline. The auction goes 3-P-3NT-? , you hold a weak hand with 5-5 in the majors . If you are equal vulnerability , it is futile to take action as you are just giving them a fielders choice. They know more what is going on than you do , so it is advantage their side. Take your fix if there is some miraculous major suit sacrifice against their 3NT. Remember partner has had no say in the proceedings. Going for a single handed set just erodes partnership trust & confidence.