When a Negative can be Positive

The Leighton brothers, Maurice and Cecil, from England, did not have a great time in the Seniors Pairs qualifying sessions on Monday but they did achieve one outright top against 'a famous ex-Italian'. This was the deal:

Board 18. Dealer East. NS Game
ª 9
© A K 6 4
¨ A J 10 6
§ Q 8 5 2
ª J 10 5 3 2 ª A K Q 8
© J 9 2 © Q 10 8 7 3
¨ K 9 7 ¨ Q 5 2
§ 10 3 § 6
ª 7 6 4
© 5
¨ 8 4 3
§ A K J 9 7 4

West North East South

1© 2§
Dble 5§ 5ª Pass
Pass 6§ Pass Pass
Dble All Pass

The Leightons play a convention known in England as 'negative slam doubles'. Basically, in a possible sacrifice auction, you cannot double a slam to say it is going down, rather you tell partner how many defensive tricks you believe yourself to hold. The idea is that you judge right whether to save more often than when using traditional methods.

Here, East's pass over 6§ showed zero or one defensive trick, and West's double showed one trick (the ¨K). With two defensive tricks, West would have to pass 6§. Knowing that his brother was looking at a defensive trick, and believing that he too would make a trick, East passed the double. Had he held no defensive trick, he would have taken the save.

6§ doubled was one down for a complete top to East/West, and a result they will both remember for a very long time. So you see, a negative (slam double) can lead to a positive (result).

Results Contents
Open Pairs F1, F2
Ladies Pairs F1, F2
Senior Pairs F1, F2
IMP Pairs F1, F2
Société Générale Open Pairs Final
The IBPA Annual Awards
Turbo Charged
When a Negative can be Positive
Squeeze Time in the Zonal Pairs
Irish Luck

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