When is DOPI not a DOPE ?
Before entering this tournament the Scottish
team had an extended training session on the internet with Mike
Lawrence. He taught them to bid rather well. (A session on taking
tricks might also have proved useful, but that is another story.)
One seminar on slam bidding included a
few fine points on coping with interference over 4NT. Lawrence
recommends DOPI (Double = 0 or 3 keycards, Pass = 1 or 4 keycards)
when the interference is below the level of your trump suit.
But when they bid your trump suit or higher, using more space,
he suggests DOPE (Double = an Odd number of aces, Pass = an
Even number). Very sophisticated.
Begson-McCrossan demonstrated just how
much they have benefited from Mike’s teaching on this hand from
their match against Denmark.
| Round 8. Board 19. Dealer South. E/W Vul.
K 6 4 3
© K Q J
¨ Q 7
§ Q 10 9
© 6 5 2
¨ A 10 8 6 5 3 2
A J 10 8 5
¨ K J 9 4
§ A J 6
© A 10 9
8 4 3
§ 8 7 4
Once McCrossan made a junior overcall
of South’s junior weak two, Bergson was slamward bound, but
he thought he should check on aces first. South tested the methods
by bidding 5©, above the level of the trump suit. McCrossan’s
pass therefore showed an even number of aces, so Bergson made
a Grand Slam try.
Since the Scots were the only pair to
reach slam on the board it was lucky that Bergson reigned in
his enthusiasm enough to stop at the six-level when partner
showed the king of clubs. He expected him to bid 7¨ if he had
the king of spades also. Science is a wonderful thing.
In the other room the Danes stopped in
a part score, so this was a convincing gain for Scotland. Great
stuff. What had gone wrong?
McCrossan, who had missed the seminar
on slam bidding, was playing unadulterated DOPI.
Conventions ~ who needs them?