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MANY YEARS ago I put forward the idea of the "Mini No-trump" based on 10-12 points. Now many top pairs have adopted the concept. With the enthusiasm of youth, I had originally suggested it at all vulnerabilities and also added the "compulsory re-double".

This meant we never played in 1NT doubled; if the bidding went 1NT - double, partner had to pass and, if given the chance, the opener re-doubled. Equally, if the bidding started 1NT, pass, pass, double, the opener had to re-double. This was quite neat - when we stopped in 1NT re-doubled, only one of the two opponents knew that we wanted to play there whereas if the auction had started 1NT, double, re-double, both opponents could take avoiding action.

This led to many scores of plus 510 or plus 710 and also rather large minuses, but on balance it paid off and was great fun. Yes, we played this in teams as well as pairs - if ever we threw a hand in, we knew that our opponents had held the balance of points.

Recently I held the South cards on the deal above and One No-trump by West was followed by two passes. Now I had a problem - #2 would be a variety of Asptro, showing spades and another suit, and #3 seemed a little lively. A glance at my opponents' system card provided the solution - they were playing the compulsory re-double! So I doubled, West dutifully re-doubled and, after a complacent pass by East, I retreated to Two Diamonds. When this came round to East, he doubled ("We had the balance of points, partner!") but the play was not difficult and plus 180 was an excellent score.

Love all; dealer West


4Q 9 7 6 2

!K 7 6 3


2A 7 4

West East

4A J 10 4K 5 3

!Q J 5 4 !A 10 9

#9 2 #A 8 6 5

2K 9 5 2 28 6 3


48 4

!8 2

#K Q J 10 7 4

2Q J 10