Wednesday, March 08, 2006 4:17 AM

Forcing Pass - After a single raise




The following is from notes by Eric Kokish on Forcing Pass Theory




Opener can create a forcing pass situation after a single raise by:


(1) Bidding a new suit at the three level, AND having responder accept this game try. However, if responder refuses and opener bids game anyway, a forcing pass is in effect. If the opponents reach game BEFORE you do in this type of auction, there are NO forcing passes in effect because you have NOT stated that you would get to game, i.e. responder might have REJECTED the game try. In these specific cases, double by opener says that he would have bid game anyway; responder may pass or pull.


Double by responder is a much more difficult thing. If we treat this as a normal non-forcing situation, responder's double would be in the TRANSFERABLE VALUES category, i.e. he would have ACCEPTED the game try and so has most of his values OUTSIDE the enemy suit. This idea is certainly valid and playable.


Maintain the same rules as always; treat this as a PASS=NF so DOUBLE IS TRANSFERABLE VALUES situation. In my opinion, the scenario has not changed so drastically from normal NON-FORCING PASS situations to merit a change in the basic structure of rules. Note that you still get SOME of your juicy penalties when opener can double to announce that he was always going to bid game anyway; you will pass that double.


To summarize: if your side has NOT actually accepted a game invitation after a three-level trial bid, doubles by both partners are NOT for penalty. They simply show extra values, normally without a powerful holding in the enemy suit. ( D.S.I.P.  Bob C )


(2) Bidding 3NT after a single MAJOR raise. You might have a second suit and slam interest or a 6331 type where it is too bulky to cue-bid the enemy suit. Responder is encouraged to double with ANY BAD HAND; i.e. he does NOT need trump tricks. His pass is at least moderately encouraging; i.e. definitely NOT trump tricks.


(3) Cue-bidding the opponent's suit, which invariably shows SHORTAGE.


(4) Leaping to game VUL vs NONVUL (according to Kantar).

According to EOK:


A leap to game by opener (or by responder, after a single raise by opener) is to be treated as primarily DISTRIBUTIONAL. It does NOT ask for the "raiser's" cooperation. The guy who leaps to game may be intending to double his opponents UNILATERALLY after luring them into a PHANTOM SACRIFICE. Thus, he is not expecting a TRANSFERABLE VALUES DOUBLE from "raiser" and is planning to PASS/DOUBLE FOR PENALTY/BID ON by himself. The only thing that "raiser" might do in such a situation is DOUBLE FOR PENALTY, i.e. real trump tricks and/or enough values to suggest that the opponents are going down. This sort of situation is a SPECIAL CASE, one in which normal NFP rules do NOT apply. In brief: the guy who leaps to game after being raised (1M-2M;4M, or 1x-1M;2M-4M) is the CAPTAIN. The captain's partner may ONLY pass or double for penalty. If the CAPTAIN wanted to hear from the CREW about future OFFENSIVE prospects, he would NOT have jumped directly to game.


(5) Bidding a new suit at the four-level (according to Kantar).

According to EOK:


Take: 1H-(1S)-2H-(2S); 4m ... This should indeed establish a force. Opener is showing concentration in two long suits (at least five-five). There is reason to believe that if the opponents can make their higher contract, opener's side can bid on with profit as a save or make. And if they are going down, we ought to double, if only to protect our likely plus. But: 1S-(2H)-2S-(3H); 4m ... is NOT A JUMP. Maybe this makes a difference. Opener may not be certain he can make 4S here but would like to tell responder that he has a second suit. Of course, the partnership is in game arbitrarily if the opponents stop bidding (and that is the case for playing that future passes are forcing) but as a practical matter, the opponents will often bid 4H for a variety of reasons. It is not unreasonable to treat this as more of a GAMBLING situation, another SPECIAL CASE. Responder may DOUBLE for penalty and may bid higher than the opponents when he has a double fit. Or he may pass when he is not sure of which way to go. It is almost as if that four level new suit was a game try; it was NOT particularly strong, after all. Opener may be intending to DOUBLE himself to say that he was expecting to make game; responder would then be invited to PASS or PULL according to his hand (normally, he would PASS). Thus, in my opinion, this SPECIAL CASE is a HYBRID. Opener has given up CAPTAINCY with his four-level-bid; responder may DOUBLE for PENALTY, BID ONE MORE, or simply PASS. If responder chooses to PASS, Opener may double to bring his side back into the auction, but he too may PASS. In this example auction, Opener may continue over 4H with 4S. That WOULD establish a subsequent force.Take: 1H-(1S)-2H-(3S); 4m ... Also NOT A JUMP. But here the opponents can outbid you on the four-level (and probably will). This is still one of these HYBRID cases. Responder may DOUBLE for PENALTY, BID ONE MORE, or PASS (NF). Opener may double to bring his side back into the auction, but he too may PASS. The interesting variation is that Opener may continue by bidding 5H or 5m. In my opinion, these bids would NOT establish a force. A bid of 4NT instead, WOULD establish a subsequent force. Thus Opener may show extra length to ensure playing in the RIGHT SUIT without risking a silly result later when responder thinks he MUST double or bid on. This HYBRID situation stresses the GAMBLING element in bridge. It is often a question of WHO MAKES THE LAST GUESS