Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Responding to opener's reopening double

My wife-and-favorite-bridge-partner has the slightly disconcerting habit – to someone who thinks of himself as a theoretician – of frequently teaching said theoretician some little bit of theory.  Here's an example from a late-night bout with the GIBs on BBO (nobody is vulnerable): ♠AQ 8543QT54 ♣832.

Kim opened (second seat) 1♠ and RHO overcalled 2.  I passed as did LHO and Kim re-opened with a double.  What now?  Clearly my hand isn't good enough to pass (that would net us -570!) but what is best?  I chose 3, hoping for four diamonds opposite, which was not a success.  The robots mercifully let me play undoubled but I somehow lost a trick I was supposed to get and ended up -200 for a 4.5 imp loss.  I basically shrugged it off, noting that I might not have reopened with a double myself, and thought nothing more of it.

Kim made a very astute observation, however.  Why didn't you just bid 2♠?  [She believes that I always try to wrest the contract from her, but that's another story – and certainly not the case here as I had no enthusiasm whatsoever for playing this particular hand!].

But her comment triggered a thought.  Suppose RHO had never bid.  The auction would have unfolded 1♠ – 1NT* – 2♣ – 2♠.  That's automatic using the 2/1 system.  There never would have been any question of anything else.  I'd do the same with two small spades (assuming I had a 1NT response to start with).  So isn't it logical that I should do the same thing in this sequence?  It would result, assuming double-dummy play and no double, in -100 (which would beat the par of -140).

It's not only logical, it should be automatic.

1 comment:

  1. Negative double over the 2H overcall?

    Making a negative double would be my choice. I hate to pass with this much stuff and none of it wasted. Sure, I would rather have one of my hearts morph into a club, but I am not going to be displeased with any rebid of partner's, including a 2S bid. Meanwhile, if partner has some sort of 17-19 count, she will know that we are possibly in game zone, something she will not know when I pass 2H and then choose a rebid over a reopening double. For example,what if partner is KJxxx, Kx, AKx, Axxx? Balancing with 2NT is not too attractive when responder might have zilch. But getting to 3NT should be fairly easy after responder has made a negative double.