Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Competing after interference over weak notrump

Ray and I have been walking through our system notes, getting ready for the bid event in Sydney! One of the issues we have been debating (and I use the word literally) is how to handle this situation:

Partner has opened 1NT (12-14) and you have something like this:


♠ Q654

♥ KJ43

◊ 2

♣ A1043

S Q654 H KJ43 D 2 C A1043

If RHO passes depending on your agreements you might pass or bid Stayman with the idea of forcing partner to pick a major if he doesn’t show a four card major. That is over 1NT-2Cx-2Dx you would bid 2Hx asking partner to pass or correct or you could bid 2NT with some trepidation. You do this because you hope that you have a four card major suit fit and if you do game is possible. While tempted to bid I would probably pass 1NT. Suppose though that RHO bids 2D natural. Do you still want to pass? I don’t. It is more likely now that you have a major suit fit. Isabelle and I play that a double here is takeout. It does mean that you can’t double 2Dx for penalty in the direct chair and the opening notrump bidder is not likely to balance with a double so you do have some issues if you would like to make a penalty double. What is more useful takeout or penalty.

One issue with a takeout double is that the bridge gods don’t always deal us such a perfect hand as the one above. Suppose the auction has gone 1NT-(2D natural) and you hold


♠ QJ54

♥ K3

◊ 52

♣ A10432


♠ QJ54

♥ K32

◊ 52

♣ A1043

I suppose on this hand if you want to compete you can Lebensohl your way to 3C and give up on a spade fit and if you really don’t want to defend on hand b) you can double even if it means that sometimes you wind up in a six or seven card heart fit. If you always promise about 9+ HCP for this action and therefore some defence, opener can decided to leave the double in for penalties on ill fitting hands with diamond length.

The next question is what do you do when their overcall shows two known suits? For example, the opponents play that 2D shows both majors. Does the double here show values and at least one major with some penalty intent or is it still takeout and if so of what?

Right now I think we are going with penalty doubles in all cases but I am not sure that I like that very much. Any suggestions?

1 Comment

Jean GuyJune 16th, 2011 at 8:33 pm

A) OK to play 3C. Not strong enough to double followed by a C bid

which would be game force.

B) I would pass followed by a penalty double.

If I had good D, I would double for lead directing not take out.

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