Wednesday, June 02, 2004 3:31 AM

D.S.I.P. The Pass




          In  D.S.I.P. theory,  the pass becomes the trump stack penalty double . Partner should bend over backwards to double with good defense or just pass otherwise in the pass out seat. Say you had this hand Axxx xxx KQ AKQJ      and RHO opens 1♣ . You double and LHO bids 3♣ partner bids 3 and RHO bids 4♣ . You can not double as that says you want to bid 4! This is an implied fit auction .You must pass and hope partner can double for you. At last there is an escape valve. Partner in the pass out spot  can not freely bid 4as he must ask your permission with a double first if he has defense.  You then convert and get your telephone #.


          This is an impossible auction you say. Yes , in high level IMPS this auction is insane so it would never happen. However in Match points and Rubber Bridge this auction is entirely possible . The solution is not to play D.S.I.P. theory in those games. Leave the good old fashioned trump stack double  in your system. One of the premises of the  D.S.I.P. double is competent opponents so you do not come across these type of situations. The other assumption is the IMPS type of scoring where the scale itself cuts down the profits so to speak. Wrong end of the IMP scale is the most frequent comment with these kind of auctions.


          The D.S.I.P. double at higher levels should always have the safety net of a lot of HCP’s . If you have their suit you pass and hope partner re-opens with a double..  Say you have this hand Kx KQ10x Jxx AJ10x  and 1♣-1-4-?   You have no guarantee that 4 can make but you do have 14 HCP . Why not play the double as D.S.I.P. saying I have cards .  This gives partner the option of passing with duplication of value in diamonds or do something intelligent. With x KQ10x Jxx AQxxx you can still double as you have too much to pass and see if partner re-opens.  Say you had  x Q10x KQJ109 xxxx  why double 4 for penalty in a live auction ?  Partner has been trained to use his double card in these auctions. He is not allowed to bid 4 with defense without doubling first. If partner wants to bid again then he will double 99% of the time and you convert. It is more useful in the long run to have the advantages of a D.S.I.P. double in these kind of non fit auctions. What if the opponents just bid 3 with the same auction ? This time the double can be cards with a tolerance for spades.  A 3  bid is just competing and a 4 Q bid to show the huge spade hand.


          This brings about a new generalization for D.S.I.P. doubles . D.S.I.P. doubles always apply when forcing pass theory does not . The only exceptions are when 1) Partner has made a pre-empt or 2) the opponents balance and are unlucky enough to hit your suit.  In other words , the pass is the trump stack  penalty double of choice . This is initial action only. Only one D.S.I.P. double in a round. All subsequent doubles are penalty.


          Using the pass as a trump stack double has the advantage of  the double whammy . Partner has defense since he is the doubler and you have the trump stack. A lethal combination to seal the opponents fate . Gone are the days where partner traps you by making a trump stack penalty double and you do not have defensive values so you pull and get doubled yourself. Gone are the days that pulling partners trump stack double is a tough decision to make . This is true because there are no trump stack doubles to pull !!


          OK there is a further nuance of a pass in competitive auctions. If either partner had a chance to pass and did so , a subsequent double by her is not D.S.I.P. , it is penalty. We say in these auctions she was not actively competing. 1-2-2♠-P  4-P-P-X   is penalty as there has been a previous pass by the doubler.

Note the  the absence of trump stack doubles in the Garozzo system below . He uses the pass to show “trump stack doubles” and hopes partner has enough defense to make a “TO double” .  Again if you analyze most of the sucessful trump stack doubles , partner had enough to double to show his defensive values anyway. I.e. the conversion  to a penalty pass would have taken place.




          Quoting Garozzo from his notes



Our doubles are generally all TO at all levels at least when doubler has not shown length in their suit. We use the PD at low levels only when one of us has shown given a penalty pass. In penalty situations when we know we have balanced hands and we hold a certain majority of the points we utilize the double to suggest partner pass with length in the suit. One doesn't make a double if one doesn't want partner to convert to penalty.



Despite the many TO doubles there are standard situations in which doubles are penalty :

          Partner has opened a preempt

          We have made a Penalty Pass over a TO double of a suit or NT bid higher than 1NT

         The double of a suit in which the doubler has shown 5+ cards

         We have already made a  PD