Wednesday, August 16, 2006 1:09 AM

Forcing Passes - Ownership




          Forcing passes apply when you own the auction. There are multiple situations where it is obvious that you own the auction , so forcing passes are turned on. There are some more subtle auctions that turn on forcing passes and this involves the 2 level overcall with game reached by your side. The two level overcall & forcing passes were never a mix in the early days of Bridge. This is because an overcall at the two level was never a good enough hand to warrant forcing pass theory.


          In the modern game , a two level overcall has respect on every vulnerability except nv vrs vul. Over a two level overcall and a new suit by partner, forcing passes apply when your side reaches game. You have reached game on a strong auction so this should be enough to say you own the auction when the opponents crawl in.


          If partner just raises your suit after a 2 level overcall with you bidding game , forcing passes are not turned on. If you Q bid first or made another strong bid , forcing pass theory applies. A new situation came up tonight with either D.S.I.P. or snapdragon doubles after a two level overcall. BJ overcalled a 1 opening bid with 2 and RHO bid 2♠. I made a “snapdragon double” with ♠Ax xxx Jx ♣A109xxx  which shows defense , the unbid suit and a tolerance for partners suit. LHO jumped to 4 and BJ bid 5 and passed around to the opener who doubled. RHO pulled to 5 so is forcing pass theory applicable ? Yes it is. A two level overcall and some strength showing double at the two level should be enough to say you own this auction. Partner may have a void in hearts , so you make a forcing pass saying you are amenable to a 6 bid. Partner on this hand says thanks but no thanks and just doubles. You only beat the contract one but the partner who was in a better position to make the decision was the captain of the ship.