Friday, May 21, 2004 4:59 PM

 D.S.I.P. Strong NT




          The strong NT is the corner stone of our bidding system . With that in mind its best to have a thorough understanding of all the agreements around this one bid. Regardless of the vulnerability ,  if we bid game after a strong NT and they bid game ,  we assume forcing pass theory applies. With 15-17 over there and you bidding game , it is not productive to  have doubts and apply D.S.I.P. theory.


          D.S.I.P. theory applies when the opponents overcall at the two level after a strong NT. Many modern partnerships play negative doubles at the two level but that is too restrictive in my mind. Negative doubles have to be disciplined with a specific suit requirement. D.S.I.P. doubles do not have to be disciplined , they just have to have HCP’s and relative shortage in the opponents suit.


          Maurice had an impossible hand to bid in standard playing with Klimo the other day . J10 A10xx Qxx J10xx . Klimo opened 1NT and the opponents overcalled 2♠. Maurice now had a problem . Selling out to 2 does not seem to be right and forcing to game does not seem right either . It’s a type of hand where you need partners input into the decision rather then making a single handed decision for both sides. Enter the D.S.I.P. double !  This allows partner to bid or convert or bid NT depending on his hand . Maurice bid 3 at the table and the partnership was committed to game with a probability of going down with only 8 points largely made up of jacks and queens. This ultimately led to a minus when partner made a bad decision later in the auction.


          When the opponents pre-empt at the 3 level over the strong NT , negative doubles make a lot of sense. I held this hand playing with Osama Lambert . AKJx xx xx AKxxx and the auction went 1NT (vul ) and a 3 not vul pre-empt to my right. I doubled and Osama made an excellent bid of 4 with Q10xx Ax AKQx J10x .  The final contract was 6 for +1430 and at the other table they played 4 X for –500 .


          At high levels ( above 4♠ ) assume forcing pass theory over your 1NT opening  as opposed to D.S.I.P. theory clarifies auctions. I held 1098x AJ1098xx void xx   and the auction went



 4♥-5-P-P  ?     KQx KQ xxx AKxxx        When partner passes he is showing shortness in their suit and a willingness to play 5 .You have an easy decision with nothing in diamonds and you bid 5. This contract makes slam if the spade jack is well located. What if the partner of the overcaller bid 5 ? When the 1NT bidder passes 5it has a different meaning. Since the NT bidder must some length in diamonds , the  pass show no or little duplication of value in diamonds and a willingness to bid 5. Change the NT bidders hand to Kxx KQ Qxx AKxxx I would bid 5 if we were vul against not and take our plus at all the other vulnerabilities.


          Tom G had a hand in Calgary that shows forcing passes in action over strong 1NT auctions .  Vul ,  I had x x Axxxxxx 10987 and Tom opened 1NT  . 2overcall by Judy and I bid 2NT Lebensohl and Gordon bid 4 . Tom had Ax Kxx K109x AKxx  and although he had a beautiful 17 HCP there was no forcing pass situation established yet as I could just have been competing for a partial. Tom  accordingly passed. A double by him in a non forcing pass action would have been a “trump stack” double saying he had 4 doubled beat in his own hand. Anyway around to me and I bid 5vul which now switched on forcing passes as I contracted for a vul game. Gordon then bid 5 so Tom had a “forcing pass “ decision. Tom had 1st round control of spades , a huge diamond fit and all controls . He wants to invite 6 so he passes . He does not double because he can beat 5 , everyone at the table knew 5 can not make with a strong NT over there and a partner contracting for a vul game. Anyway with Tom’s pass the decision comes around to me . With a 7-4 and an Ace I go for it and bid 6 . Thanks to Toms pass of 5 showing diamonds and a favourable offensive hand ,  this contract is ice cold for +1370  as the club position is favourable. 5 doubled goes for a 100 and only because the heart Ace was to the left !


          Anyway , be aware that a strong NT and a game bid by partner turns on forcing passes and act accordingly. Forcing passes allows both partners input into the decision so that you do have to make single handed decisions !!