Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Unusual Penalty Doubles

These deals from last weekend in Wilmington, all involving strange penalty doubles, were rather amusing and contributed a lot to our winning.

Sean and I play a Gambling-like 3NT opening. It always shows a solid 7 card minor but in first and second seat it could contain 2 outside controls and possibly even more in 3rd seat. Friday night Sean dealt and held: ♠JTx, T9xxxx, Txx, ♣x. The auction went: P-P-3NT-4; P-4-X-P; P-P. It's hard to imagine how I could have a double but even with this crappy hand, leaving the double in when they're bid his 6 card suit was no problem. I held 7 solid clubs, plus the ♠A and KJ so I just wanted to let him know I do have some defense and he can do something smart. We only beat it 2 but it was good for almost all of the matchpoints.

Saturday afternoon, Sean held another beauty: ♠97, T97, 7632, ♣Q765. The auction, with me as dealer: 1♣-P-1-P; 1-P-1♠-X; XX-P-P-P. Here's a quick lesson on part of our Swedish canapé system.
1♣ was either a weak NT or any 17+.
1was any 0-7 or 12+ w/o a 4 card major.
1 was 18-20 bal or 23+ bal or 17+ 4+ unbalanced and possibly canapé.
1♠ was any 0-5. Redouble was undiscussed and I am glad we were both on the same page in thinking that it's a business redouble. I had a 24-count that's canapé with longer spades: ♠AKQ43, AKQ4, Q8, ♣A8. We were probably getting to 3NT or 4♠ going down. Good thing she made a lead-directing double on her T8652 suit with 2 jacks outside. In case you were wondering, 1♠ redoubled making 2 is 1120.

Saturday night, I made yet another penalty double and Sean had a crappy hand. This time my LHO dealt and Sean held ♠QJ4,
T5, QT83, ♣AT53. Our auction: P-P-1-P; P-X-1♠-X; 2-P-P-X; P-P-P. Since we do not play strong NT overcalls (1NT would be takeout showing 4 spades and a 5 card minor), he is aware that I may well have a strong NT but just have no bid. Therefore, balancing on lighter values is probably a good idea, but in this case, he has a decent balancing double at the one level by a passed hand whatever your system. As it turns out, all I had was a 4-3-3-3 hand with A-AK-K and 3 small hearts and would have never doubled 2 if the opponents were not vulnerable in matchpoints. With trump leads at every opportunity, we prevented a diamond ruff in dummy and set it one for +200 and a top. The rest of the scores on that board were pretty evenly divided between +100 and +130.

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  1. Your type font is much smaller than usual, making it hard to read. Did you do something different this time?

  2. Yes, I did do something different but it's back to normal font now. At work I can now access blogger.com but still can't access anything at blogspot.com, including the preview.