The origin of this method is unknown. This convention method provides a so-called escape system in particular auctions whereby partner has opened the auction with 1 No Trump and the next player in rotation doubles for penalty. The touching escape bids allows the responder to clarify the holding in order that the partnership can reach an optimum contract.
As soon as it becomes established that the double is definitely for penalty, the responder of the 1 No Trump bidder has several options at his disposal to rescue the partnership from this penalty double, and to escape the penalty double. The guidelines of the conventional method designated as touching escapes is presented below.
Note: In general the touching escape bids are designed for the responder following the immediate player, who doubles for penalty. However, the concept can be adjusted also for the bidding sequence, whereby partner opens 1 No Trump, followed by two passes, and the opposing player in the pass-out seat doubles for penalty. In such instances the responder can continue to escape per an agreement, which is based on the original concept except that the pass is no longer an option.
Auction and Principles of Concept
South West North Meaning 1 NT Range is announced. Double This double by the next player in rotation is for penalty. Pass Option 1: Promises at least a distribution of 4-4 in two non-touching suits, such as Clubs and Hearts, Clubs and Spades, Diamonds and Spades. Option 2: Promises a holding worth a Penalty Redouble. The 1 No Trump bidder is required to redouble (if possible). Redouble Promises a one-suited holding and requires the 1 No Trump bidder to bid 2. If Clubs is the suit, then the responder passes; if not, then the responder corrects. 2 Promises at least a 4-4 distribution in Clubs and Diamonds. The 1 No Trump bidder can either pass or correct to Diamonds if the Diamond suit is preferred. 2 Promises at least a 4-4 distribution in Diamonds and Hearts. The 1 No Trump bidder can either pass or correct to Hearts if the Heart suit is preferred. 2 Promises at least a 4-4 distribution in Hearts and Spades: The 1 No Trump bidder can either pass or correct to Spades if the Spade suit is preferred. 2 Promises Spades. The 1 No Trump bidder is expected to pass.
These guidelines can also be applied after a penalty-oriented double by the next player in rotation once the auction has begun with a bid of 1 No Trump as in the auction:
North East South West 1 NT Double Pass * Pass Redouble 2 2
Pass*: Since the pass by South is encouraging by agreement, the 1 No Trump bidder should redouble to play. 2 : Promises at least a 4-4 distribution in Clubs and Hearts or Clubs and Spades. The 1 No Trump bidder can either pass or correct to Hearts if the Heart suit is preferred, which the responder will pass, otherwise the responder corrects to Spades if Clubs and Spades. 2 : Promises at least a 4-4 distribution in Diamonds and Spades. The 1 No Trump bidder can either pass or correct to Spades if the Spade suit is preferred.
This conventional method is also helpful in the following auction:
North East South West 1 NT Double Redouble Pass 2 Pass ?
Since the guidelines of the touching escape bids employed by North/South require that North rebid 2 Clubs, the responder South can continue the escape using the following guidelines. The redouble by South shows a one-suited holding. East, employing whichever conventional method for the double, is generally eliminated from the auction but may continue to compete.
Note: Partnership agreements govern the continuance by additional interference. However, for this presentation of the touching escape bids conventional method, East passes and the recommendations for South are:
Pass: Promises at least a 5-card Club suit. 2 : Promises at least a 5-card Diamond suit. 2 : Promises at least a 5-card Heart suit. 2 : Promises at least a 5-card Spade suit.
It must be noted that the responder is able to respond first with 2 Spades, promising a long Spade suit. The second option is to first redouble and then bid 2 Spades.
Note: The partnership agreement is the determining factor as to which bid would show stronger values and which bid is considered to be possibly semi-forcing, and whether a jump would be invitational.
Note: since the distributional shape of 4-3-3-3 cannot be fully addressed with this conventional method, the general understanding is that the responder assess the location of the working values and bid as if the holding were two-suited.
If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.
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