Friday, August 09, 2002 3:30 PM

Forcing Pass - D.S.I.P.




           Tactical bidding by the opponents bring in the element of judgment with penalty doubles . O.K. I am going to get up on my soap box here because I feel very strongly about this . In rubber bridge quite a few ( all ? )  of your partners lack judgment in penalty double situations. For them a platitude like " you never pull my penalty doubles" will earn you money in the long run  i.e. you do not have to trust them to use judgment that they  do not have . For a good partnership to have this understanding that "you never pull penalty doubles" is down right insulting .  Sometimes partner wants penalty doubles to be pulled . These type of doubles are called Do Something Intelligent Partner  and require partner to be at the table as well as using good judgment . These doubles occur when you are just competing  but can also occur in forcing pass situations.  Rote rules or platitudes just do not cut it when you are playing with your regular partner at expert levels. The penalty double is an ambiguous bid in Bridge . Ambiguity like in a language needs clarification from the context it was used to define its meaning. In Bridge this means that the auction sometimes determines the meaning of the penalty double. In other words , thought is required rather then blindly adhering to rote rules.


            An example hand was a hand that I had with my ex partner on pulling penalty doubles . Mr. Jones had ♠KQ void AKxxx ♣10987xx and opened 1 and LHO bid 2 and I doubled showing one or both the majors and a good hand . This double turned on forcing passes.  RHO bid 4 and with the forcing pass element on and  "being at the table" that I could not have hearts , I doubled so that partner could do something. A double in a forcing pass auction does not simply mean I have a trump stack in their suit when the auction clearly dictates that I should not have. The double just means from my perspective this is the best way for our side to get a plus.  I do not have diamonds or hearts ( unless opponents are suicidal ) so I must have spades and clubs so it is an easy pull to 5♣ with Peters hand . 5♣ makes and 4 doubled makes the other direction . This is not a tough hand . Gordon Campbell summed it up best with a touch of humour when I gave him the hand for his opinion ..


"Accordingly, he must Dble with many hands (with even more extras than the initial Dble showed) which are not necessarily penalty-oriented but are of the "we-have-lots-of-stuff-but-I-don't-have-a-clear-action" type of double.

My coined terminology is the DSIP Double. (Do Something Intelligent Partner)

And yes, Partner should not play like Rueful Rabbit - and muse on the existence of there being 16 Hearts in the deal, while he gurgles on his ginger bikky.

He does have to be at the table.

He should listen to the Opponents, as well as Partner.

I get very worried when they are too confident. "


        Another hand that involves the frustration when partner is not at the table and leaves in penalty doubles when they should be pulled .

BJ Trelford tonight showed good judgment on a forcing pass auction. He held Axxx xx AKxxxx ♣x and vul against not opened 1. The opponents bid 2NT for hearts & clubs. I doubled which turned on forcing passes. However the opponents leapt to 4 telling everybody at the table they owned the heart suit. The bid came around to me who doubled. BJ realized that I could not possibly have a trump stack double so I am asking him to do something intelligent. BJ bid 4♠ which told me he hand some distribution with 5 or 6 diamonds. He would have just passed with all flat hands & lead a trump. I leapt to 6 and BJ made +1370. When the opponents sound too confident … ( See Gordon Campbells comment above )

    O.K. I held a hand last night with Tom against the Bartons  that I think the D.S.I.P. rule applies with penalty doubles apply .

I held ♠Ax xx AK ♣KJ1098xx  with everybody vul . I opened 1♣ and Tom bid a spade and RHO bid 2♣ alerted to be a two suiter in hearts and diamonds with shortness in clubs . I felt like leaping to 4♣ but I did not want to go past 3NT so I bid 3♣ . LHO bid 3 and around to me again . O.K. one last desperate attempt at 3NT so I bid 3 which LHO doubled and Tom bid 4♣ . RHO bid 4with lots of confidence knowing they owned the diamond suit. I wanted to bid 5♣ very badly but why take such a single handed action ? I have 4 booked in my own hand & I am short in his spade suit so why not put partner in the picture with a D.S.I.P. double ?

If partner holds ♠Jxxxx x xxx ♣Axxx    4 makes and 5♣ makes

If partner holds ♠KQxx Jxx xx ♣xxxx        4 goes for 500 and 5♣ goes for 500

If partner holds ♠Jxxx Jxx xx ♣Axxx           4 makes and 5♣ goes 1 down

    Partner must use her judgment depending on the club &  his spade holding on these type of auctions. Platitudes like not pulling partners penalty doubles do not apply here . Partner wants you to pull with the appropriate hand !! partner expects your HCP’s to be located in spades as you bid them. If they are not , it is a danger sign.

              Frustrations with penalty doubles in competition lead me to believe that trump stack doubles should become extinct. These penalty doubles are single handed anyway and do not involve partnership Bridge. Telling an expert partner not to pull “MY” penalty doubles is insulting. There has to be a better way L.