July 20, 2006 4:13 PM
Bridge is a partnership game . This concept prevents single handed poker decisions which in Bridge is a recipe for disaster. One of the best concepts to re-enforce partnership Bridge is forcing pass theory. When you own the auction , forcing pass theory is the basis for joint partnership decisions. In order to play forcing pass theory , you need to recognize the cues that determine that you own the auction.
Here is a hand from Chicago where forcing pass theory assists in making the right decision. The opponents open 1♠ and Maurice vul overcalled 2♥ and Susan held A9xxxx xxx xx QJ and raised to 3♥. Here LHO bid 4♦ and Maurice bid a vulnerable 4♥ game. RHO bid 5♦ so what is your bid and why ? By Maurice bidding a vulnerable game , he has stated that our side owns this auction so forcing pass theory kicks in. A double in forcing pass theory is a red light warning partner not to bid again because I am minimum or I have length/duplication in their suit. Susan doubles to turn on the red light and the optimum result is achieved.
The other day Tom & I had an example of forcing pass theory in action but a different auction triggered forcing pass theory. Tom opened 1♣ and they overcalled 1♥ and I bid 2♥ which shows a limit raise or better in clubs. In forcing pass theory “limit raise or better” does not turn on forcing pass theory until your side bids game . Tom leapt to 5♣ and they bid 5♦ so what should I do with my hand and why ♠A ♥A987x ♦xxx ♣KQJx ? I have a pretty good hand on the auction but in accordance with forcing pass theory , I must make a warning double saying I have quick losers in diamonds. This is a red light for partner not to bid 6. I double and LHO gives preference to 5♥ and Tom passes around to me and I double. Best defense gets 5♥X for 1100 against our 5♣ for +400. Maurice added some comments on this hand on what the opponents did not do at the two level. Although they gave preference at the 5 level , they never doubled 2♥ or competed to 3♥. This should imply that partner has the “better” rather than the limit raise hand for the Q bid. This again would re-enforce that we own the hand at the 5 level.