Thursday, December 2, 2010

More on Responsive Doubles

The weekend in Orlando didn't yield many things that I would want to blog about - I spent most of the time at the bridge table being frustrated. In the second round I made a claim - a totally legitimate and proper claim, stating that I was pitching 2 losers from my hand on good cards from dummy, and then showing my hand. LHO pitched a bit of a fit because I played before she did and then didn't understand that me stating a line of play and showing all my cards face up on the table was a claim because I didn't use the word claim.

On Sunday, I pitched a fit because we had an auction 1S-2H-2S-X-all pass. I was the 1S bidder and I checked their meticulously filled out convention cards to see if responsive doubles were marked. Both cards identically showed the only doubles they played are negative through 3S, so I felt no need to ask as this is more than enough information to indicate that RHO, the doubler, has the spade stack. I proceeded to misplay it, eventually letting rho trump something with her singleton trump and going down in what is a cold contract if I take a normal line of play or if the doubler actually has 4 or 5 trumps. I guess I could have asked but I hate asking if it's something that's clearly on the card. After the hand, I question them about the double and they say it was a negative double and that they do not play responsive doubles (and don't understand how that is relevant here), I tell them they are wrong and summon the director. He quickly agrees that my assumption about who had the long trumps is reasonable and says he'll look at it more closely. Eventually the director ruled that other people went down in 2S and that I, as the seeded pair playing against a pair that was clearly not very sophisticated at bridge, could/should have done more like ask a question, to protect myself from being misled, so the result stood. Grr. In a more serious game, I think that one I may have taken to a committee.

Responsive doubles are takeout doubles when the opponents have bid and raised a suit and partner has bid something or doubled in between. Why doesn't everyone know this?

Quick quiz to name what kind of double is applicable in various situations:
1S-X-2S-X     responsive
1S-2H-X         negative
1S-X-2H-X     penalty
1D-P-1S-2H-X  support (penalty if you don't play support doubles)
1D-1S-3D-X   responsive (penalty if you don't play responsive that high)
1D-X-1NT-X  penalty (many people wrongly believe this is negative as well)
1D-1S-2H-X   snapdragon would apply (but penalty is standard)
1H-1S-1NT-X penalty
1S-2H-2S-3H  maximal (the only way to invite to game as 3S is just competitive), but penalty if you don't play this


  1. Another way to clarify it is that negative doubles are made by responder and responsive doubles are made by advancer .... on second thought, that could confuse people :)

  2. yeah.. people don't know the term advancer.