Sunday, August 21, 2005 10:10 PM

D.S.I.P. Defining Q Bids




          One of the most horrible bids in standard bidding is Q bidding to show a strong hand without a fit. In my mind , a Q bid should be fit showing for limit raise or better hands. Playing D.S.I.P theory actually defines your Q bids. You never Q bid to show a strong hand without a fit when you have the option of doubling them because this essentially rescues the opponents if partner wants to convert. Here is a hand from the Life Masters pairs in Atlanta to illustrate my point. My partner held Axx AQJxxx J10x x and nv I opened 1♣ . Partner responded 1 and my RHO overcalled 1 vul. Auction passed around to partner again. Partner had a strong hand so wanted to force .He used the Goren Q bid of 2 to show strength and I leapt to 3NT. They led a diamond and cashed the first 5 diamonds for a close to a zero. My hand was a minimum 13 HCP with KJ98 of spades. 1 doubled is in the +800 range and the Q bid rescued them from disaster when we had all the HCP’s.


          The trump stack double has been around since the beginning of Bridge. I think it is a silly bid unless you own the hand and forcing pass theory takes effect. Why ? because the trump stack double is a single handed bid that puts pressure on the partnership. If partners hand is distributional , she may have no where to bail out and get doubled herself. You tell declarers how to play the hand and strange numbers like –730 crop up. However the biggest reason I do not like “trump stack” penalty doubles in competition is that the double is far too useful and versatile to be used for that one purpose. Trump stack situations can always be converted by the other partner making a re-opening double.


          The Q bid showing a strong hand without a fit was invented to accommodate trump stack doubles. Playing D.S.I.P. doubles ,  you do not need to use a Q bid to show a strong hand as you double instead. This says a lot in one bid. As I am giving you the option to convert , I do not have a fit with your suit. As I am giving you an option to convert , I have defense and HCP strength even though I may be distributional. As I am giving you an option to convert , I do not have their suit as I would leap in NT or bid NT with their suit. Doubling in front of the suit as penalty does not make much Bridge sense anyway.


          The hardest part of playing D.S.I.P. theory is getting rid of bad habits formed by playing trump stack doubles. In the early days of Bridge, the trump stack double was a useful bid as there was no shortage of bad bidders . Bridge ( matchpoints especially) still have bad bidders but the game has evolved to the point where trump stack doubles in competition should be declared extinct. The D.S.I.P. double is just that much more useful.