Sunday, April 02, 2006 7:22 AM

D.S.I.P. - Negative Inference




          The advocates of D.S.I.P. theory feel that the penalty double in competition virtually destroys the idea of competing. It certainly does. With the silly penalty double , you need a way of showing a good hand in a competitive auction. This is done by “bidding again” . Partner might even raise you to game because you “bid again” to show values. This is inherently silly. What this does is rob you from the ability to compete. You can not “push them up” based on distribution without the risk of partner punishing you . In other words , you can not compete or even make “sacrifices” when they own the auction. Ambiguity due to the “luxury” of having a penalty double in competition rears its ugly head. Preserving the double in low level and high level competition for a trump stack , is a blatant waste of a good bid.


          A new player that I am mentoring had an auction that occurs all the time in the trenches .




 3-P-4-P      The 2 bidder re-evaluated her hand when she “found out” partner had extra by bidding again. She had a nice hand and was worried they missed game. There are many many auctions where you can re-evaluate your hand in light of the auction and get to game that you would otherwise not reach. However , this is not one of them . The 3 bid is ambiguous. Partner may have a good hand or she might just not want them to “buy” the contract. In D.S.I.P. theory , with the absence of a double there is no possibility of partner holding a good hand. The double is the most flexible call in Bridge.


          There is a negative inference in D.S.I.P. theory , that all good hands are shown with a double. This is in direct chair or the re-opening and by opener or responder. Bidding means you are competing period. In the absence of a competitive D.S.I.P. double ,  you can not hold defensive or “transferable” values as Eric Kokish likes to call them. You are not obligated to alert this understanding as you are making a negative inference but this understanding does guide the entire competitive process. I call this the “Gandolfo” aspect of D.S.I.P. theory. If you like to bid  ( Tom has been accused of that ) , you get to do so and partner will give you leeway. If she subsequently doubles the opponents , you can bet on partner drawing their trumps J  .


          You hold KQJ10 AKxxx xx xx and open 1. They overcall a spade and partner bids 2. RHO bids 2 so now what ? The advocated of the penalty double would double for penalties. This is silly as if there is a stiff heart and a 6 card spade suit , partner needs two defensive tricks to beat the contract one ! In D.S.I.P. theory,  you can “push them up” by competing to 3. If they take the bait , you now double and its unmistakably penalty. If they make this contract , at least you get 100 honours. Do not forget that in D.S.I.P. theory , it is only the initial action that is D.S.I.P. . Subsequent action in a competitive auction is old fashioned Bridge.