Aug 1999

Newsgroups

In recent weeks, Abby and I have been having much pleasure in visiting the two main NewsGroups on Bridge - REC.GAMES.BRIDGE and REC.GAMES.BRIDGE.OKBRIDGE. Some nice problems are posed in the NewsGroup, and it is refreshing to see the variant replies....

You can access the NewsGroups either through your e-mail - you need to download the headers first; or via http://www.deja.com/

Abby advocates that the doubles both be takeout, and I am partial to them being penalty-orientated, and this feud has been carrying on for some months now. We posed our dilemma to the experts that comment in the NewsGroups.

(We would welcome comments from you, the reader, also - please e-mail us at elsid@cheerful.com or at abby@cybergal.com. Much thanks!)

ORIGINAL QUERY BY E-MAIL FROM US TO
Newsgroup REC.GAMES.BRIDGE :

==================================================

We need assistance.

Please let us know your views on the interpretations of
the double in each of the two auctions :-


1NT is 15-17.

a) 1NT 2H X

b) 1NT P  P 2H
    P  P  X


Many thanks,

Sid & Abby


==================================================

The replies, in chronological sequence:



On Wed, 25 Aug 1999 22:23:10 +0200, "Sid" > wrote:

>We need assistance.
>
>
>Please let us know your views on the interpretations of
> the double in each of the two auctions :-
>
>
>1NT is 15-17.
>
>a) 1NT 2H X
>
>b) 1NT P  P  2H
>    P  P  X

I play both as penalty. I think it's *right* to play both
as penalty. When you pass a strong notrump with
Kxxx QTxx Qxx xx, you're in a "tie-lose" position, in that
it's possible there's a making game but you're not getting
to it. Then LHO reopens with 2H. Suddenly you're in a
position to win big--but only if you can double.

The only double I play as takeout by either partner after
a 1NT opening is opener's reopening double: 1NT-2H-P-P-X.
It shows a maximum with a doubleton in overcaller's suit.

-- Don Varvel


============================================================


>
> >We need assistance.
> >
> >
> >Please let us know your views on the interpretations of
> > the double in each of the two auctions :-
> >
> >
> >1NT is 15-17.
> >
> >a) 1NT 2H X
> >
> >b) 1NT P  P  2H
> >    P  P  X
>
> I play both as penalty. I think it's *right* to play both
> as penalty. When you pass a strong notrump with
> Kxxx QTxx Qxx xx, you're in a "tie-lose" position, in that
> it's possible there's a making game but you're not getting
> to it. Then LHO reopens with 2H. Suddenly you're in a
> position to win big--but only if you can double.
>
> The only double I play as takeout by either partner after
> a 1NT opening is opener's reopening double: 1NT-2H-P-P-X.
> It shows a maximum with a doubleton in overcaller's suit.
>
> -- Don Varvel

Yes - we do that also - by opener. Max with dbleton in suit. :))


However, what would you bid with
Kxxx
x
Q9xxx
Jxx

after the bidding has progressed:
1NT - P - P - 2H
 P  - P - ?

Sid


============================================================



>> The only double I play as takeout by either partner after
>> a 1NT opening is opener's reopening double: 1NT-2H-P-P-X.
>> It shows a maximum with a doubleton in overcaller's suit.

>Yes - we do that also - by opener. Max with dbleton in suit. :))
>
>
>However, what would you bid with
> Kxxx
> x
> Q9xxx
> Jxx
>
>after the bidding has progressed:
>1NT - P - P - 2H
> P  - P - ?

2S. This can't be 5+, since I would have transferred
on the previous round.

There actually *is* one other double that isn't exactly
penalty. Using a weak notrump and 2-way Stayman (and
therefore immediate signoff bids of 2M and 3m), in the
auction 1NT (P) 2H (2S or P); P (P or 2S), I play 
responder's double (whether immediate or reopening) as 
showing a maximum with 2 or 3 spades. That's because
responder is *very* unlikely to have spade length, but 
opener might. (I *think* this was my idea, but it
might have been David Goldfarb's.)

-- Don Varvel

============================================================


)There actually *is* one other double that isn't exactly
)penalty. Using a weak notrump and 2-way Stayman (and
)therefore immediate signoff bids of 2M and 3m), in the
)auction 1NT (P) 2H (2S or P); P (P or 2S), I play 
)responder's double (whether immediate or reopening) as 
)showing a maximum with 2 or 3 spades. That's because
)responder is *very* unlikely to have spade length, but 
)opener might. (I *think* this was my idea, but it
)might have been David Goldfarb's.)

I believe it was yours also. You came up with it after 
Mike Lawrence fixed us on essentially that auction.


-- 
David Goldfarb 
goldfarb@ocf.berkeley.edu 

============================================================



>
>>> The only double I play as takeout by either partner after
>>> a 1NT opening is opener's reopening double: 1NT-2H-P-P-X.
>>> It shows a maximum with a doubleton in overcaller's suit.
>
>>Yes - we do that also - by opener. Max with dbleton in suit. :))
>>
>>
>>However, what would you bid with
>> Kxxx
>> x
>> Q9xxx
>> Jxx
>>
>>after the bidding has progressed:
>>1NT - P - P - 2H
>>  P - P - ?
>
>2S. This can't be 5+, since I would have transferred
>on the previous round.
>
>There actually *is* one other double that isn't exactly
>penalty. Using a weak notrump and 2-way Stayman (and
>therefore immediate signoff bids of 2M and 3m), in the
>auction 1NT (P) 2H (2S or P); P (P or 2S), I play
>responder's double (whether immediate or reopening) as
>showing a maximum with 2 or 3 spades. That's because
>responder is *very* unlikely to have spade length, but
>opener might. (I *think* this was my idea, but it
>might have been David Goldfarb's.)


Question: If the auction goes 
1NT-(P)-3m[preempt]-(P or 3 suit)-P-(3suit or P) should 
not double still primarily show a maximum (though obviously 
much more often passed since the defense only needs 
five tricks, not six)?
Holding xxx xxx Ax AQxxx, I would respond 3C to a weak NT 
and hit anything the opponents bid (at least, I would at 
matchpoints, and I would be likely to at IMPs).

Christopher J. Monsour

============================================================

On Thu, 26 Aug 1999, Sid wrote:

> However, what would you bid with
> Kxxx
> x
> Q9xxx
> Jxxx
> 
> after the bidding has progressed:
> 1NT - P - P - 2H
>   P - P - ?

Director, please, I have 14 cards!

Remove a small club or diamond and I'll try 2S, remove 
a small spade and I'll try 2NT which cannot be natural 
(with about 8 hcp, balanced, you simply defend 2H).


Henk

Henk Uijterwaal Email: henk.uijterwaal@ripe.net 

============================================================

>
>However, what would you bid with
> Kxxx
> x
> Q9xxx
> Jxx
>
>after the bidding has progressed:
>1NT - P - P - 2H
> P  - P - ?


2S. Btw, because partner has not whacked 2H,
I'd tend to bid 2S rather than X even
when we have agreed to play 'negative doubles
under the length, penalty X over the length'


Thomas

============================================================


>
>We need assistance.
>
>Please let us know your views on the interpretations of
> the double in each of the two auctions :-
>
>1NT is 15-17.
>
>a) 1NT 2H X
>
>b) 1NT P  P 2H
>    P  P  X

While it's certainly possible, and reasonable, to have 
agreements to the contrary (especially in the context of 
an overall system of responses to 1NT), I think the normal 
way to play these is that doubles "over" the overcaller 
(i.e. with the overcaller at your right) are for penalty, 
and doubles "under" the overcaller are for takeout. This 
applies both to doubles by the 1NT bidder and his partner.

Therefore 
(a) is a penalty double, as would be 1NT-P-P-2H-X 
    (a super-max with four good hearts). 
(b) is takeout, as would be 1NT-2H-P-P-X 
    (a maximum with two hearts, ideally a small doubleton).



-Dave
DWetzel117@aol.com 
"Black holes: the place where God divided by zero."

============================================================

> We need assistance.
>
> Please let us know your views on the interpretations of
> the double in each of the two auctions :-
>
> 1NT is 15-17.
>
> a) 1NT 2H X
>
> b) 1NT P  P 2H
>     P  P  X
>

a) Penalty. Simple & standard.
b) Penalty. Pard has made a closely defined limited bid in 
strength and distribution. You're giving up the advantage of 
that if you don't have the option to penalize here. Plus, 
you're committed to guessing at the 3 level on a responding 
hand not worth an invitation to game if you play this as a 
takeout bid. Hardly seems logical to turn a plus or a small 
minus into an opportunity for a bigger minus.

Regards

Pete
--
pwityk@my-dejanews.com 

Robb's Law It's impossible to devise a foolproof system as Nature
will simply evolve a more perfect fool.
Naeser's Law You can make it foolproof, but you can't make it
damnfoolproof.

============================================================

> > We need assistance.
> >
> > Please let us know your views on the interpretations of
> > the double in each of the two auctions :-
> >
> > 1NT is 15-17.
> >
> > a) 1NT 2H X
> >
> > b) 1NT P  P 2H
> >     P  P  X
> >
>
> a) Penalty. Simple & standard.
> b) Penalty. Pard has made a closely defined limited bid in 
> strength and distribution. You're giving up the advantage of 
> that if you don't have the option to penalize here. Plus, you're 
> committed to guessing at the 3 level on a responding hand not 
> worth an invitation to game if you play this as a takeout bid. 
> Hardly seems logical to turn a plus or a small minus into an 
> opportunity for a bigger minus.
>
> Regards
>
> Pete
> --
> pwityk@my-dejanews.com 
>


Thanks, Pete :)

In the b) auction, what would you now do with
Kxxx, x, Q9xxx, Jxx ?

2S? 3D? Pass?

Sid

============================================================


> Thanks, Pete :)
>
> In the b) auction, what would you now do with
> Kxxx, x, Q9xxx, Jxx ?
>
> 2S? 3D? Pass?
>
> Sid
>

2S. Failure to transfer limits spade length; failure to stayman 
limits strength. Too good a hand to sell out to 2H.
However, with an oblivious partner ( one who wouldn't consider 
these inferences ), 3D & take my lumps in a potential 5-2.

Regards,
Pete


Sent via Deja.com 
Share what you know. Learn what you don't.

============================================================


>> > We need assistance.
>> >
>> > Please let us know your views on the interpretations of
>> > the double in each of the two auctions :-
>> >
>> > 1NT is 15-17.
>> >
>> > a) 1NT 2H X
>> >
>> > b) 1NT P  P 2H
>> >     P  P  X
>> >
>>
>> a) Penalty. Simple & standard.
>> b) Penalty. Pard has made a closely defined limited bid in 
>> strength and distribution. You're giving up the advantage of 
>> that if you don't have the option to penalize here. Plus,
>> you're committed to guessing at the 3 level on a responding 
>> hand not worth an invitation to game if you play this as a 
>> takeout bid. Hardly seems logical to turn a plus or a small 
>> minus into an >> opportunity for a bigger minus.
>>
>> Regards
>>
>> Pete
>> --
>>
>
>Thanks, Pete :)
>
>In the b) auction, what would you now do with
>Kxxx, x, Q9xxx, Jxx ?
>
>2S? 3D? Pass?


2S, as other posters have explained.

Better question: What do you do with that hand in auction (a)? 
Partner has not got heart shortness (in all likelihood), 
so if you pass, partner will not reopen, and you get to 
defend them playing 2H in their 8 or 9 card fit.
This,of course, is the argument for playing negative doubles 
after 1NT-(2H).  (Of course, I might rather have Kxxx x Kxxxx Jxx, 
but the example hand is close.)

The point is that the over/under double idea is way overdone. 
Because 1NT-2H-P-P-X is takeout, it makes good sense for 1NT-2H-X 
to be  takeout, or you get stuck when responder has the shortness.

In auction (b), 1NT-P-P-2H-X would have been penalty when playing 
a strong NT (though it is rare, based on a trump stack), so 
1NT-P-P-2H-P-P-X should also be penalty-oriented, though of course 
not based on a trump stack.
Something like a maximum pass (7-8) with xxx in their suit would 
be ideal, so partner can pass when we are beating 2H on power. 
Thus, the over/under double principle determines the *character* 
of your penalty-oriented doubles, but both are penalty-oriented. 
2S is available if responder must take out. (NT opener could have 
doubled in front of responder if he were planning to convert a 
takeout to penalties, so the takeout bid needn't be a double.)

I think the correct treatment of auction (b) is much less clear 
playing a weak NT, where opener effectively must pass 1NT-P-P-2H 
regardless of his hand. Anyone have ideas for that one?

Christopher J. Monsour

============================================================

:>> > We need assistance.
:>> > Please let us know your views on the interpretations of
:>> > the double in each of the two auctions :-
:>> >
:>> > 1NT is 15-17.
:>> >
:>> > a) 1NT 2H X
:>> >
:>> > b) 1NT P  P  2H
:>> >     P  P  X

There are very standard usages but they are just that.
With one partner, when we play pairs, we play these as T/O
(as well as 1N 2H P P X and 1N P P 2H X).
We haven't had more than couple of months experience yet but we have 
had no disasters (is there such a things at pairs? the worst you can 
is a bottom, it's not like going for 1700+ on the first board of a 
total imp match) and it makes some hands easier.

If somebody mentions this in a year, I might comment based on 
some experience.

Douglas

============================================================


Douglas Newlands > wrote -
> If somebody mentions this in a year, I might comment based on some 
> experience.


I've played t.o. doubles up to 3D level after our NT opening for 
about 4 years and the results have been just fine. Treat it just 
like any other MP auction, and be willing to compete like hell 
up to 3H level.
The bonus is that your partner's 1NT opening has clear limits and 
this gives you an edge in the auction. Don't sell out at the 2 level 
unless vulnerability or your own hand say 'choose to defend'. 
More caution vulnerable at teams, as ever. chris 
-- 
Chris Ryall

============================================================

from: m.j.hargreaves 

There is some logic in playing negative doubles at the two-level,
especially at matchpoints. If so, then I suggest that the double be 
used only with hands with some defensive potential, since there is a
reasonable chance for opener to pass. With AJxx xx Qxxx Jxx and
1NT - (2H) - ? what do you bid? this hand is light for a game-force 
lebensohl auction, and no other bid fits. Having said that, I personally 
play penalty doubles against natural overcalls. I have not encountered 
many natural overcalls by experts recently: most experts play some 
conventional defences, which opens another can of worms altogether: 
artificial defences to artificial defences, etc.

However, this applies only to direct bids after an overcall. 
I would still play the second sequence as penalty. With something 
like Kxxx x Qxxx Qxxx just bid 2S after 
1NT - P - P - 2H -P - P - ?. Pd will know you have only 4 cards and 
will takeout with shortness.

============================================================

Sid wrote:
> 
> We need assistance.
> 
> Please let us know your views on the interpretations of
> the double in each of the two auctions :-
> 
> 1NT is 15-17.
> 
> a) 1NT 2H X
> 
> b) 1NT P  P 2H
>     P  P  X
> 
> Many thanks,
> 
> Sid & Abby
> 

Sid > wrote:
> 1NT is 15-17.
>
> a) 1NT 2H X


This clearly is for penalties.

> b) 1NT P P 2H
>     P  P X

I play this a penalties, and 2S as take-out.
Some other people play X as negative
or co-operative here.


Thomas

============================================================


In article <7q2j5o$2f4t$4@news.okay.net>, Thomas Dehn
 writes
>
>Sid  wrote:
>> 1NT is 15-17.
>>
>> a)   1NT    2H     X
>
>
>This clearly is for penalties.
>
>> b)     1NT     P       P      2H
>>         P      P       X
>
>I play this a penalties, and 2S as take-out.
>Some other people play X as negative
>or co-operative here.
>


Proddy and I play doubles over a bid as penalties and double 
under as showing small doubletons in this sequence.

chs john


============================================================


> >> 1NT is 15-17.
> >>
> >> a) 1NT 2H X
> >
> >
> >This clearly is for penalties.
> >
> >> b) 1NT P  P  2H
> >>     P  P  X
> >
> >I play this a penalties, and 2S as take-out.
> >Some other people play X as negative
> >or co-operative here.
> >
> Proddy and I play doubles over a bid as penalties and double
> under as showing small doubletons in this sequence.
> 

John Probst is of course rated almost as highly as a player as he 
is as a TD, so one must respect his opinions. But playing a sequence 
as asymmetric (its a very popular style actually) so that either 
both defenders can catch declarer or neither can is probably 
not sound. It might be better to play double over as just a 
maximum not trump oriented, that way at least you catch them 
on two sorts of hands I think.

Barry Rigal

============================================================

>We need assistance.
>
>
>Please let us know your views on the interpretations of
> the double in each of the two auctions :-
>
>
>1NT is 15-17.
>
>a) 1NT 2H X
Takeout double of hearts
>
>b) 1NT P  P 2H
>    P  P  X
Takeout double of hearts

We also play this opposite 12-14 and 9-12 NT. By far the
strongest treatment. In the second case there is an assumption
that opener with a sound 1NT and heart values can convert for 
penalty. If 3rd hand cannot stand this he must say 2S, or 2NT(t.o)
or pass and fulminate.

We also play 1NT (2H) - -; x as takeout promising a no minimum opening
and generally xx or Jx in the suit doubled. I would recommend this 
if you play takeout in (a) above (in fact play all 1NT ... x at takeout 
up to either 3D or 3H level). If responder converts so be it. A loss hand 
is when you have three and cannot double with say KJ9x opposite, but 
this is rare. chris
-- 
Chris Ryall (in France 5-25 August)

=================================================================
           end of replies from rec.games.bridge
=================================================================



Only one comment through the NewsGroup
REC.GAMES.BRIDGE.OKBRIDGE:


from:  "Fred Flam"
In my imp game, both are competitive doubles. MP? Don't play it.



Now you can sound out your notions or search for ideas.
This is a great place to dwell in occasionally.


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