Wednesday, June 16, 2004 3:13 PM

 D.S.I.P. Please Pull Partner




          Old fashioned penalty doubles are single handed actions. They do not want your input as it is assumed you have your bid . In fact , exponents of the trump stack double rely on a platitude “never pull my penalty doubles”.


          D.S.I.P. doubles are exactly the opposite . PPP or Please Pull my Penalty doubles is the platitude of the day. The doubler wants your input into the decision. In fact you are the ultimate vote. A penalty double in competition with D.S.I.P. theory means I want to bid but we do have the option of defending if you feel that is the best action. You do not have had to support partner earlier. The penalty double implies cards or you just pass and take your plus if there is one.


I had a hand with my ex partner Peter Jones which shows this principle. The auction went P-1-2♠-x P-3♣-P-3NT  x by me with Axx Q109x K1098 xx . OK. I am a passed hand so I have a maximum of 10 HCP’s . They are vul and we are not. Partners range is 5-10 HCP so the opponents could be conceivably bidding a 22 HCP 3NT with a bad split in their main suit diamonds. I want us to bid 4 spades as a sacrifice if partner’s hand is unsuitable for defense and leave it in otherwise. Partner held Q1098xx Jxxx void xxx and he had made a tactical two spade bid. OK this is an easy decision on his part as he now knows that the opponents could have as many as 30 HCP and certainly they will make their game doubled with vulnerable overtricks. 4 spades doubled goes for -300 or -500 depending on the skill of the defenders. Our partners were +660 so we are winning 4 IMPS minimum. My partner subscribes to the theory that the partner of a doubler is simply “not allowed” to pull penalty doubles passed hand or not regardless of the nature of his own hand. Accordingly he passed and we were minus –1150 for an 11 IMP loss instead of a 4 IMP win. A 15 IMP swing based on a difference of religion so to speak. We lost the IMP match by 1 IMP !


          Say if partner had a good jump overcall of KJ10xxx xxxx void Axx . Knowing that they are getting a bad diamond break and partner has a spade honour we now pass 3NT X . I lead a spade and we take 7 tricks for +800. Allowing both sides to have input into the final vote for a penalty double is a win - win situation. Forcing pass theory was invented to allow the partnership to make the decision rather then one partner to do so in forcing auctions.  D.S.I.P. theory was invented for the same reason in non forcing auctions. The only thing you have to scrap to have this understanding is the single handed trump stack double . Good riddance anyway as that bid quite often back fired. Bridge theory has simply outgrown the penalty double as it was first invented when Bridge was in its infancy.