Friday, January 20, 2006 7:24 PM

Forcing Pass Theory III




            Forcing pass  theory was designed to impart Bridge discipline on a partnership. Instead of making singe handed decisions for the  partnership , you transfer the decision to partner with information in which to can make the ultimate vote. Partnership Bridge in action.  A hand that drives forcing passes home came up Thursday with Tom & Maurice . Tom opened 1 and BJ doubled with Maurice bidding 2NT showing limit raise or better. This bid does not turn on forcing passes immediately but does if partner bids game. The opponents are considered as intruders as your side should own the auction in the forcing pass sense . Not playing forcing passes makes high level auctions a crap shoot involving just a series of guesses that you either luck out or do not. A very undisciplined way of playing the game of Bridge.


          Maurice held AJx A Jxx Jxxxxx  which was the limit raise range for his bid. The vulnerability was equal so there was no real advantage to playing the hand. I bid 4with 10xxx Jxxxxx xx x  and Tom turned on forcing passes by accepting the game and bidding 4. BJ had x KQxx Axxx Axxx and figured upping the ante to 5 in this Bridge poker game was the correct strategy. Ok forcing pass theory is applicable. By bidding 5 you are saying that you do not need partners input to the final decision as you are very confident that 5 will make. By passing you think 5 will make but you need partner to make the final decision for you. A double says 5 level belongs to the opponents so lets just take our plus. Pass and pull is a slam try . Standard stuff that is any Bridge players repertoire.


          On this hand , experts would choose the forcing pass. This says we do not have duplication of value in hearts but I lack the 4th trump which adds to my defense and detracts from the offensive potential of the hand. I have no assurance that 11 tricks are there but if you have the correct hand I may have. Tom with his hand has an easy decision KQxxx xx KQ109 KQ  15 HCP no aces so he will happily decline partners invitation to bid 5. He will double and with a trump lead,  I go two down for –300. Tom would have made the right decision as 5 goes one down. When this board came down ,  Tom said this was not the dummy he was expecting on the auction.


          This is an interesting play and defensive hand. Tom got the heart King lead from BJ won on the board by Tom . After long thought , Tom concluded correctly that the spades were at least 4-1 so he could not draw trump as we would switch the contract to 5NT by tapping him with hearts when one of the Aces got knocked out. Accordingly , Tom needed to leave the trump on the board as insurance against the heart tap. He lead a club and BJ read the situation correctly and gave me a club ruff so 1 down. What if Tom attacked diamonds instead ? I play the diamond 9 and BJ must duck. Tom is not drawing trump for a reason,  so BJ should figure out the trump are 4-1 . The contract is doomed again as BJ has the option of giving me a ruff in either minor !!


          Anyway a good example of defensive bidding by BJ Trelford that worked out due to an opponent’s unfamiliarity with forcing pass theory.