Saturday, May 20, 2006 11:42 AM

D.S.I.P. - Exceptions




          It is easier for Bridge players if all penalty doubles can fall into two main categories forcing pass theory & D.S.I.P. theory and follow the same rules. The good news is that they are categorized like above but the bad news is there are some exceptions to the rules of the game.  The two most obvious exceptions to D.S.I.P. theory are pre-empts & 5 level bidding. The rule for penalty doubles for these two scenarios is that they follow the most simple rule possible. My double is penalty and as you have described your hand already , the double is to be left in. I am not asking for your opinion as you have pre-empted so I am in a better position to make the decision for the partnership.


          When they balance is another exception for D.S.I.P. doubles. A compromise is made in these situations with the “over/under” rule coming into effect. When they balance and you are behind their suit , a double is penalty. When you are in front of their suit, the double is D.S.I.P. Another exception is subsequent doubles in competitive auctions. D.S.I.P. doubles are only defined for the initial double so all subsequent doubles are penalty.


          Pre-empts are not just the obvious definition of pre-empts , weak 2 , 3 & 4 bids for exclusion from D.S.I.P. theory.  Pre-empting includes jumping to game in a major either by opener or responder. Pre-empting includes  systemic toys like unusual 2NT , Michaels , weak jump overcalls/shifts or disturbing NT bids when the lower range is assumed .


          Most people play that once a pre-empter has bid , she is through for the entire auction. This is not true among expert bidders. Forcing pass theory applies to pre-empters also when it is determined that their side owns the auction. In competitive auctions , a pre-empter is allowed to make a penalty double based on the bidding. Kiz Fung and I had an auction that shows this understanding in action. Kiz held Qxxx K AKQ10x Jxx vul against not and opened 1.  Her LHO overcalled 1 and I bid 3♣ which is a pre-empt. Kiz competed to 4♣ vul aginst not so she can not have a weak hand willing to push them to game. They opponents now bid 4 and I hold xx 10xx x A109876x . On this auction , you give the opponents the heart suit that is assumed. I should double with my hand even though forcing pass theory is not turned on . Why ? because I feel that with by stiff in partners suit and my Ace , they cannot make 4 !  Also I am announcing my stiff diamond to partner and armed with that information she may choose to bid a vul 5 club game. Change her hand to AKJx K Jxxxx Kxx and knowing there is no duplication of value in diamonds she bids 5♣. This gets doubled and your side chalks up +750. Also if I pass , I may have a diamond fit void xxx xxx A109876x and she may make the push to 5♣ based on that information. My pass even in a non forcing auction means I do not have a penalty double and is a green light based on that information.


          Forcing pass rules are strict. D.S.I.P rules are strict with competitive auctions. Pure penalty doubles as I call them are as simple as they come. They cannot make their contract as I have their trump or shortness in your suit. Re-act accordingly partner.