High level competition agreements

Hi all

Some nights just can’t go wrong. I guess we had two soft results during the night, but they didn’t cost that much, a few scattered imp. Hoek and I went home with two fine bottles of Belgian beer and 60 fimp (Fat International Match Points).

North Dealer
EW Vul
North
xx
Axxx
Qxxx
AQx
West
KJxx
Qx
Axx
KJTx
East
Qxx
T
KJx
xxxxxx
South
Axxx
KJxxxx
T98

West
North
East
South
 
1NT1
pass
2
double2
2
5
5
double
a.p.
 
 

1. 12-14
2. Leaddirecting

After 5 I had a tough decision (at least I thought I did). The void, the two extra trumps and no soft values made me bid 5. If the opponents bid a vulnerable game, then they sure have their shape and/or points right, they are not on a suicide mission. When East decided to lead a it was the end of the defence. Hoek could discard two  losers from dummy, draw two rounds of trumps, give away a  and claim the remainder on a crossruff.

I was not unhappy with the result, but it was mere luck than good bridge.

So what to do over 5? We haven’t bid game yet, so pass is not forcing (at least in my book it’s not). If the vulnerability was the other way around, then the decision gets a lot more difficult. So I want to explore agreements where "double" in my position shows an encouraging hand. "Please partner, bid on!" Where pass would show no interest in bidding on (could induce a penalty double).

This game I would have doubled, asking partner to continue with suitable values. Hoek, holding a worthless Ace-Queen of , would have had an easy pass. I haven’t thought through all the implications of this kind of agreements, but I think it has potential. Using double as encouraging to bid on during high level competition appeals to me, it brings a lot of rest. I want to avoid as many forcing pass situations as possible.

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