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45 - January 2024

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THE RED MIST – DOUBLE TROUBLE [PART 8]

In the previous months, we examined (amongst others) Takeout, Negative, Responsive, Support, and DSI Doubles.

Game-Try (Maximal) Doubles

This double is used by opener to make a game try. This allows opener the ability to compete to the three level without inviting game. Suppose you hold: ♠A2 KQ10984 43 ♣K32.

At favorable vulnerability, you open 1 and partner raises to 2. You’d love to buy it there, but RHO bids 3. Since your side has nine trumps, you want to compete to the three-level, so you bid 3. However, what if partner thinks you have an invitational hand, and he raises you to 4? This is why the Game-Try (Maximal) double exists. In the auction described, 3 means what you want it to mean (“Partner, I am just competing for the part score”). If instead, you did have a game-invitational hand, such as: ♠AQ3 KJ987 3 ♣AJ102, you would double. This call says nothing about Diamonds. It just says: “Partner, I have a 3½ Heart bid. Please go to four with a maximum but retreat to 3 with a minimum.”

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Larry Cohen

Larry Cohen is one of America’s top writers and teachers, having semi-retired from top-level competition in 2009. His To Bid or Not to Bid; The LAW of Total Tricks is one of the best-selling bridge books of all time.

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