Saturday, June 19, 2010

PP 2nd Final Board 7

Board 7
Dlr S
Vul Both
♠ Q 9 7 6 3 2
K J 9 8
♣ 9 3
♠ A K 10 4♠ 8 5
A Q 10 9 78
10 3A 6 5 2
♣ J 6♣ K 10 8 7 5 4
♠ J
K J 5 4 3 2
Q 7 4
♣ A Q 2

3NTAll Pass

2♣ was a touch sick but did not deserve this fate.  My double is not penalty, though it sounded so penalty I couldn't believe we had this agreement.  2NT was scrambling, but I thought I had enough for 3NT anyway.  Just needed clubs to come in for one loser (and an entry they can't or don't kill on the opening lead), so I'm not so sure this bid was wrong.  But there's a lot to be said for quietly passing and taking a nice plus. 
But, -200 was worth only 2.  +200 would have been 13.5.

[Andy] I feel kind of obligated to comment, since I imagine that a lot of old fashioned players will look at this board and make fun of our agreement. A world-class player was on my right, and he asked me the meaning of the double. I told him it was cards and not penalty. Afterwards, he told me that I had explained the double as penalty, he would have taken his chances with 2♠. Franco would certainly double that also, and we can manage to beat it, but it's close -- 2♠ only goes down because I have the ♠8. So defending 2 undoubled is really a better choice for the defense than 2♠X.

Also in postmortem conversation, the expert told me "It's easy to forget when you're looking at the hand, but how often do you hold THAT hand?" Essentially, that's the combined argument for the agreement. First of all, a killer penalty double isn't all the common, and even when it does come up it might alert the opponents to run to a better spot. Some of the time, partner will reopen with a double and you'll get them anyway. Meanwhile, when you hold a card showing double you really want to be able to make it.

This argument isn't really different from any argument on the modern theory of doubles, it's just being applied to what would seem to be one of the more extreme cases of it.

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