Tuesday, March 02, 2004 1:17 AM

D.S.I.P. & 2NT




          There is a correlation between the natural 2NT invitational bid in competition and D.S.I.P. double theory. In the early days of Bridge , 2NT was a standard bid in competition to show a balanced invitational to 3NT hand with a stopper in the opponents suit. Over time , experts have realized that this bid is ineffective and 2NT is not a place to play a partial in a competitive auction. They realized that a D.S.I.P. double could replace the 2NT bid to show that particular HCP range.  If you have enough values to make 2NT , the opponents are usually going for –300 their way. The “old” meaning of the 2NT was replaced by Lebensohl ( Good-Bad 2NT )  , scrambling 2NT or showing unbid 2 suits or whatever . O.K. what if you did have the old fashioned 2NT invitational hand  in competition – how did you describe it ??  The D.S.I.P. double to the rescue.


          O.K. there are still auctions where 2NT has the old fashioned meaning. If the opponents overcall at the one or two level , 2NT is still natural. If partner overcalls at the one or two level 2NT still has its natural meaning . After a takeout double , the direct 2NT bid still has its natural meaning. If partner overcalls and RHO makes a simple raise , a 2NT bid is shown by a D.S.I.P. double. To right side the 3NT , partner will Q bid their suit.  I prefer a direct 2NT in this situation as showing the unbid suits. There are passed hand and trapped hand considerations which help interpret the 2nT bid


          With takeout doubles and RHO bidding or raising her partner , 2NT is Lebensohl and a D.S.I.P.  double shows 2NT values . 1-X-2-X shows a natural 2NT in values . If partner is interested in 3NT , she will Q bid and the doubler will bid 3NT with a stopper. Partner may choose just to convert the double and lead trump. If partners double is made in the sandwich position especially when the opponents are bidding spades , the 2NT bid can be defined as a scrambling bid .



 p-2NT                  This is not natural , a pass would show that hand . They are not making 2’s doubled if you have spades and a 2NT HCP range hand and partner has a double. This 2NT bid means just pick your lowest suit and lets scramble to the best spot. If I bid a suit instead of 2NT , you have the inference that it is 5 cards or longer.


          If partner had a natural 2NT and did not bid it and later pulls a double to 2NT it is Lebensohl .

1 - 2 - P - P  

 X - p – 2NT . In balancing auctions , 2NT as Lebensohl does not make any sense.


                     p-X-p-2NT    is not natural so its just “scrambling” to find the best spot.



  2-2NT  is not natural as a D.S.I.P. double shows that hand. I would play 2NT as saying pick a minor partner.  This auction shows the minors 1-p-2-2NT but over spades 1-p-2-2NT should show any two suiter.


          The 2NT bid in competition is a “depending on context bid.”  If it can be interpreted as natural , treat it as natural . If partner had a chance to make a D.S.I.P. double then the 2NT is probably an artificial  competitive bid.  A re-opening 2NT bid should be natural but based on “playability”. A flat NT type of hand in that position should be described with a double. If you have a flat NT type of hand in competition , describe it with a double rather then a 2NT bid . 1-1-p-2  X   shows a flat NT type of hand. We do not play artificial game tries in competition so 2NT can be defined as something else.   Maximal game try doubles are a form of D.S.I.P. doubles . Bid game , retreat to a partial or convert for a penalty. A 2NT bid in the sandwich position is the “good-bad 2NT”. 1 - 1 - x – 2 2NT is the “bad” and forces partner to relay to 3♣. A bid by the opener now shows a minimum.


          There should be an understanding that whenever you were going to bid 2NT as a natural invitational bid with the opponents interfering , wield the D.S.I.P. double instead. This gives partner an extra option to leave in the double for penalty. Tom Gandolfo and I had a sequence recently that  shows this treatment in action. 1 X  P 1NT

           2  X  P   P     Tom for his two doubles had Qx Axxx K1098 AKx . If no interference , he would have tried 2NT as a game invite. The double by him gave me an option so I pass for +300 & 3NT is two down !  A free 2NT bid by Tom  should mean lets compete in a minor somewhere. Bidding 2NT as natural just takes away an option and could be rescuing them.


Anyway , the blend between D.S.I.P. doubles and the old fashioned 2NT bids are obvious and leaves an artificial meaning to your 2NT bids in competition. In the sandwich position these 2NT bids are the “good-bad 2NT” Some partnerships play the good-bad 2NT in the sandwich position period. When they bid in the sandwich position and when your own partner bids in the sandwich position after an overcall. The memory aid for the “good bad 2NT” is the sandwich position.


.  If you eliminate trump stack doubles from your repertoire in competition , doubles are a useful tool with a multitude of practical uses. Discuss with partner.