Sunday, February 27, 2005 12:37 AM

Hand Evaluation - High Level Doubles




            D.S.I.P. doubles or competitive doubles were not designed for the higher level auctions . The 5 level & D.S.I.P. doubles are not a good mix. Having said that , if we have established our fit early with the opponents pushing us right up to & including the 4♠ level , D.S.I.P. theory still applies as long as we do not own the hand. The double means that I want to bid again in our suit but I have defense outside their trump suit. If we have not established a fit with the auction at a rarified level say game and beyond , the double is penalty.


            Contrast these two auctions. 1-2-2-3   4-X   This is the classic D.S.I.P. double saying I want to bid 5 but I have defense. 1-2-4-X   This is also a D.S.I.P. double but HCP showing rather than a huge heart fit. If you have hearts , you must make your decision right now to bid or pass. It is an actively competitive auction but you have not had a chance to show trump support for partner at a lower level. This changes the meaning of the D.S.I.P. double . The double shows “cards”.


            Competing against the higher ranking spade suit , showing a limit raise in hearts is impossible if they jam. If below game , the D.S.I.P. double shows a limit raise in hearts. This is the only exception to the rule that you must show the fit earlier before the D.S.I.P. double shows great support. 1-2-2-X    limit raise in hearts .

1-2-3/4-X    D.S.I.P. but HCP’s rather than heart fit. If we have a heart fit , we just bid it.


            Our high level D.S.I.P. understandings are predicated on the fact that we do not double with a trump stack. Take these two hands 1) ♠void Jxx KQJ10xx ♣KQJx   We open 1 , they overcall 4 so partner doubles & around to you. This is a 4NT Lebensohl bid intending on pulling partners forced 5♣ to 5. If you hold 2) ♠void Qxx AQ109xxx ♣AKx   you pull to 5 directly as a slam try. Our D.S.I.P. understandings are not valid if partner starts doubling with just trump stacks. The fact that they are in game does not change the meaning of D.S.I.P. doubles !


            If it is still a live auction with us actively competing , the level does not matter up to but not including the 5 level. Doubles are still D.S.I.P. but with no great fit if you have not shown the fit at a lower level. If the auction had subsided  & they are at a high level , the double is penalty or lead directing not D.S.I.P.  They open a diamond , partner overcalls 2♣ . You do not compete ,  they arrive in 4 . If you now double , you are beating 4 with a club lead.


            D.S.I.P. doubles at higher levels. Do not leave home without them.