Thursday, April 05, 2007 4:28 AM
D.S.I.P. - Sacrifices




          One of the basics of D.S.I.P. theory is to know when a double is penalty. A penalty double is defined within the confines of forcing pass theory & subsequent doubles in a competitive auction. A penalty double is also defined when partner makes a pre-empt , a pre-emptive raise to the 3 or 4 level of partner’s suit or a systemic toy. We assume the systemic toy is the weaker of the two hand types until we hear differently and a penalty double is made based on that premise.


          All nicely defined ? No , vulnerability comes into play. When we are at the “sacrificing vulnerability” i.e. nv vrs vul,  doubles opposite a pre-empt are no longer penalty but a permission to sacrifice bid. These doubles still promise defense but their purpose is not to punish the opponents for bad bidding but to make good sacrifices. With all other vulnerabilities , the double by a pre-empter’s partner or the pre-empter herself for that matter are for penalty.


          The opponents were vul and we were not . Partner nv vrs vul held ♠void K10x A1098x ♣AJxxx and opened 1. They overcalled 1 & I pre-empted to 3 . Klimo bid 4♠ to make as they do not pre-empt over a pre-empt especially at this vulnerability. You have a superb hand to sacrifice but it could easily be a pseudo sacrifice as you have 2 quick tricks and they may be coming into a bad trump split. This hand is built for a D.S.I.P. double but partner pre-empted so it is penalty ? Not on this one vulnerability , so you double asking permission to sacrifice. I say thank you but no thank you & pass as I had two trump tricks. 4X goes for 500 and 5X goes for  300 to 100 depending on the defense.


          What do you do with this hand on the other 3 vulnerabilities ? I would just pass and hope we beat it. They are getting a bad trump beak and 5 making is just a bad gamble. A double on these vulnerabilities means they have run into a bad trump break or otherwise have bid poorly. With the other 3 vulnerabilities , I would have made a trump stack penalty double from the pre-empters side.


What about hands where partner pre-empts at the two , 3 or 4 level ?  Initial doubles are still penalty but if partner has raised your suit & we are at the sacrificing vulnerability , a double is not penalty. Preventing a pseudo sacrifice or missing a good sacrifice are just too important at this one vulnerability. D.S.I.P. doubles & sacrificing are an excellent combination .