Insights on Bridge

In my recently published book, “Insights on Bridge: Moments in Bidding – Book 1,” there is an embarrassing typo. A pretty big one. On Hand 51 (page 103) I discuss what to bid when your RHO opens a strong notrump and you are using a convention that doesn’t allow you to double for business. I discussed the Hamilton convention. My error. I intended to discuss the DONT convention.

Here’s the hand with the text that should have been used in this discussion.

Hand 51
Dlr: North
Vul: E-W

♠ 9 7 6 5
10 9 7 6
8 7 3 2
♣ 6
♠ A K
Q J 8
A 6 4
♣ K Q 7 5 3
WEst North East South
1NT ?

North opens 1NT (15-17), finding East with a much better hand. What can East do?

East happened to be playing DONT. Using DONT (Disturbing the Opponent’s NT), East can’t double to show points. DONT uses a double to show a one-suited hand, suit unknown. That’s not what East wants to do. He wants to double for penalty.

East is stuck. What East did was pass, hoping for the best.

Everyone passed and East was disappointed to find his opponent making eight tricks.

After the hand, West said that it was lucky they were playing DONT because if East doubled for penalty, East-West would get a bad result as they had no place to play.

So East, upon pondering this statement, agreed that it was good that he could not double for penalty. But in the back of his mind, East thought of what could have been if West had had a few points.

Postmortem: No matter how well thought out a convention may be, it will not always do the job.