Monday, July 07, 2003 4:48 PM

 Enforcer Doubles




            Playing with a partner that plays the “Bridge cop” and is out to arrest all bad bidders from speeding is a bad experience. Usually this type of partner is very disciplined herself and wants to show the world that bad bidding should be punished . This type of partner has a “trump  stack” mentality and you do not pull my penalty doubles ever.  This philosophy is all right for weak rubber and match point games but that is all . It is a very bad way to play IMPS at a high level .


            In IMPS and high level auctions the double should show shortness in that suit . It is the singleton that doubles and the other hand converts if there is a trump stack . All doubles of high level auctions are D.S.I.P. doubles and pulling doubles should be a very common occurrence.


            Lets take a common auction , a pre-empt in the sandwich position .






















        You hold KQJ10 xx AKxx xxx  . 3 spades is definitely going down but

  Do you double with your minimum hand . No , this is a clear cut pass . If partner

  can not re-open with a double with her obvious shortness in spades , we take   our  plus. Why , because the double is far more useful to define a different meaning  to it . I like playing Thrump doubles in the sandwich position also . The double asks partner to bid 3NT with a spade stopper . I have a good hand but no suitable bid. If I had a good hand with a spade stopper I would just bid 3NT myself .


What if they pre-empt to the 4 level in the sandwich position . Since they are in game , the double can be ambiguous . Either a trump stack or lots of HCP’s . Partner will pass unless slam interest or wildly distributional with a big fit.


            In the re-opening position , doubles should be takeout rather than enforcer doubles . Why , because partner is expected to do something intelligent which includes bidding .






















     You have KQJ10 xx AKxx xxx  . This is a clear cut pass . Partner will never

  leave the double in unless trained to “never pull my doubles”. Say you have

  x AQxx AKxx AJxx which is a clear cut double. Partner with KQxxxx will bid

  clubs and you might get to your +1370 instead of your +300 . If you have their suit , do not be an enforcer , just take your plus .


4NT is never Blackwood when the opponents pre-empt 4H/S . Use 4NT as Lebensohl over doubles and you have some new inferences. Being an “enforcer” wrecks these delicate Lebensohl auctions . The last thing partner expects for your double is a stack of points in their suit .