Page 0026

26 English Bridge August 2018 www.ebu.co.uk

H

aving examined low-level doubles last time

we will extend it to Support Doubles (and

redoubles). Initially devised by America's

Eric Rodwell I should reiterate that they better

complement a Strong No Trump system rather

than Acol.

The idea is to use them when a partnership opens

and responds, followed by an intervention -

overcall or double - to give great clarity as to our

support as opener for responder's suit. A double

shows 3-card support for partner's suit, provided

we are still able to play at the 2-level. Bidding

responders's suit shows 4-card support:

W N E S

1® Pass 1™ 1´

?

W N E S

1® Pass 1™ 1´

?

W N E S

1® Pass 1™ 2´

Dble

Low-level doubles 2 -Support doubles/redoubles

If you could add one thing . . . by Neil Rosen

click

link

The scene is set:- here, a double would show 3card

heart support (any strength or type of hand at

this stage), whereas bidding 2™ guarantees 4-card

support. Obviously the 2™ bid limits the opener to

minimum values (usually either a weak no trump

with four card support or clubs and hearts). You still

have the usual 3™ bid available to show strength, or

the unassuming cue bid if you play it.

Do note that Support Doubles only apply when

you can still play in partner's suit at the 2-level.

Therefore:

Assuming you are playing a

strong no trump, you open 1®

and the auction continues:

The correct call is pass. Don't be shocked if

partner alerts this since in principle the pass

suggests a maximum of two cards in hearts.

With 4-card support you would be expected to

support by bidding 2™. With 3-card support you

would be expected to double (support double).

Hence without three you can either bid 1NT or

pass. Bidding 1NT should not in my judgement be

bid on an unsuitable minimum. Either a maximum

(13-14) or a well-placed double-stopper would be

my recommendation.

ARE THEY COMPULSORY?

Are you obliged to make a support double when

holding 3-card support and a grotty minimum

weak no trump or some such? I certainly don't

think so. If you feel you have a bad hand and they

remove the obligation to rebid by overcalling then I

feel the best way to describe it is to pass! Radical!

A compromise is that they are pretty much

compulsory when the opponents bid at the 1-level,

but you can use your discretion when they overcall

at the 2-level. This is the arrangement I have in most

of my partnerships. Also if holding something like:

´ Q 4 2

™ A 4

t K 7 6

® Q J 9 5 3

W N E S

1® Pass 1™ 1´

?

´ K 5

™ 7 6 4

t 7 6

® A K Q 5 4 2

Here it is not a Support Double, since there is no

safety net playing at the 3-level in a 4-3 fit. With

modest minimum hands you would simply pass. A

double here reverts to simply being for take-out

rather than support, with some extra values.

STYLE ISSUES

Getting used to the idea of support doubles will

take some getting used to:

I don't mind at all if you decide to bid 2® here

rather than making a support double. Surely the

club suit is the important feature to mention - when

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