Wednesday, August 18, 2004 11:38 PM
D.S.I.P. Competitive Doubles
D.S.I.P. doubles are competitive doubles designed to help in auctions where forcing passes do not apply. D.S.I.P. theory needs a narrow definition of the word “competing”. When one side obviously owns the auction , the other side is not “competing” per se. They are sacrificing or otherwise making a nuisance of themselves. Competitive doubles do not apply when forcing pass theory applies. Very important to tune in on the difference.
If there is no element of competition an “out of the blue” double is penalty. Takes this standard auction . 1♠-P-2♠-4♥ P-P-X-P ? There is no element of competing in this auction. Partner was willing to play 2♠ so the double of 4♥ can not be D.S.I.P. all of a sudden inviting him to bid 4♠ . The double has to be a trump stack penalty double. If the opener doubles 4♥ that is a different matter , as he may have game on his mind. A double of 4♥ by the opening bidder is D.S.I.P.
Vulnerability can not be used to interpret if a double is D.S.I.P. or penalty. If you bid a 4♥ game vul and they bid 4♠ nv forcing pass theory is applicable. All other vulnerabilities and everyone competing up to the game level , D.S.I.P. applies. There must be an element of competition though. If they just jump to game , penalty doubles apply.
There is still an element of “depending on context” to interpret a penalty double. If the double makes no sense in a competitive connotation , it is a trump stack penalty double. When in doubt ‘ use the “clockwise” order of Bridge to guide you . If the doubler is behind the suit and there is no element of competition , it is a penalty double. If the doubler is in front of the suit , it is D.S.I.P. This principle is even more important when they balance or even if you balance and partner subsequently doubles.
2♦-3♣-X This has to be a trump stack penalty double. You are behind the suit and you have not competed.
P-3♠-P-4♠ A double by either side is penalty as the competitive element is missing.
Do not compete when you have their suit . This lack of competition is what defines your penalty double later on. You open 1♠ nv and you hear a 2♥ overcall vul by the opponents. Partner bids 2♠ and RHO bids 3♥ and you hold AKxxx QJ10x Kx xx . You pass and LHO bids 4♥ and around to you so you double. This is penalty as you did not compete & “trapped” with their suit. Trapping is one of the defaults for penalty doubles. Say you had AKJ10x x xxx KQ109 so you compete with 3♠ and now they bid 4♥ . Your double is now D.S.I.P. saying you want to bid 4♠ . Competing with their suit is a filthy habit anyway as it induces pseudo sacrifices about 90 % of the time.
If your partnership has shown strength on the auction and subsequently bid game , it is a forcing pass auction and not D.S.I.P.
4♥-4♠-X This is a penalty double as partner’s 2NT is limit raise or better. D.S.I.P. is not designed for auctions where we have most of the HCP’s.
If partner has not shown any sign of life and comes into the auction belatedly , doubles are penalty by either partner as opposed to D.S.I.P. . If partner has made a jump raise to the 3 or 4 level , doubles are penalty based on the “pre-empt “ principle. You must always have your ear to the bidding to determine if forcing pass theory is in effect or D.S.I.P. theory is in effect or the 3rd case where just old fashioned trump stack doubles apply. There still must be auctions where you can double the opponents with a trump stack. It is just less common playing D.S.I.P. theory. D.S.I.P. doubles are not for the faint of heart.