Monday, July 4, 2011

Recent director calls

You know your standards are high when 17 points for 6 sessions at a sectional is disappointing. That's what Sean and I did this weekend at the Atlanta sectional and over half of those points were from 2nd in the flight A pairs Friday.

Today's post, however, is about director rulings. I've seen several of them the last 2 days.
The auction goes 1C-P-1H-2H; X-P-P-P. 1C was alerted as bal 12-14 or any 17+. 1H was alerted as natural but canape-style. 2H was not alerted but after the auction it was apparent that it was natural. The director ruled that the auction can only be rolled back to responder over 2HX. Now, taking X as 17+ takeout rather than 3 card heart support (as it would be over a non-natural 2H), I, responder bid 3C. The ruling was correct but one of us should have figured out that defending 2HX was still our best spot. I mean, it is authorized information that opener has a support double so defending when we have 7 trumps and at least half the points couldn't be too bad. Unless I think my partner may have initially treated 2H as natural and actually has a strong takeout.

The second director problem really surprised me because both the director and my lho, a former world champ, didn't understand. P-1NT-P-P-2D-P-3S. 2D was alerted, opener looked at the properly filled out CC (which clearly says H+S), opener then asked and the explanation was look at the card because I wasn't 100% sure of the meaning but it is definitely on the card. After I bid 3S, my p went away so I could tell them that 2D shows the majors. The director then allows opener to take back her pass over 2D and change it to 3C. Why? What new information was gained and why were they entitled to that to begin with? They aren't and the director later admitted that there was noninfraction and the auction should have continued normally with no roll back. Perhaps a relatively new TD was intimidated by Eric's presence at the table?

One more that someone complained about today when I was directing: there are no penalties for revokes at trick 12. Just correct the illegally played card. If there is a revoke, there really isn't any choice of what to play instead or what to lead next and the main point of revoke penalties is to restore equity, which is easy to do at trick 12.


  1. As i understand the auction, you did not explain your partner's bid, but told opponents to look at your cc. You are supposed to know your cc and telling them that you are not sure what is there could be interpreted as giving information to your partner.

  2. the CC gives an explanation. when what they want to know is clearly stated on the convention card, there is no need to verbally explain, particularly when not 100% sure. The only real way to be at fault is to give a wrong explanation. why the heck do we bring convention cards? so the opponents don't have to ask such questions and introduce the possibility of misinformation or unauthorized information. if it's on the cc, it's always better to go by the cc than to ask. at least for games played without screens.

    There are too damn many conventions over 1NT. the meaning of (1NT)-2D with my partners in order of frequency I play with them: hearts and spades (Sean), diamonds and higher (Emory), diamonds and hearts (Joel), i have no idea what Meg and I play, hearts (Bob), diamonds and hearts (David).

  3. 2H in 1C-P-1H-2H is alertable? Is that because the 1H bid was canape? (and by canape does that mean it shows 5?) I play 2H as natural there against standard auctions.

  4. I like 2H there to be natural as well, as do many, but the non-alerted meaning of that call is that it is not natural.
    the ACBL alert chart clearly says that direct cuebids of a natural bid that are natural are alertable. (natural is defined by the acbl as showing 4+ if a major or 3+ if a minor) Cuebids that are not natural are not alertable regardless of its meaning

  5. Andre we disagree with one important point. The opponents are allowed to know what you think 2D means if you take it as conventional. Your bid of 3S shows different hand types depending on what you think 2D shows. The opponents are entittled to that information.

  6. Andre,
    On the ACBL alert chart:
    it says that alertable cue-bids are "Direct cue-bid of natural opening bid played as natural" So to me that means 1C-2C and 1H-2H played as natural are alertable but 1C-P-1H-2H and 1C-P-1H-2C as natural are both non-alertable. Playing these as natural have been discussed in the bridge bulletin several times in the last couple years and they never mentioned the bids being alertable (they usually point that out).

  7. Sam, perhaps, and that is why screens are good, but how does that affect what opener does directly over 2D? She "knows" it showed the majors at that point.

  8. Dana, you are correct. Several directors are not familiar with this as multiple times they have said it is alertable. This report from the 2001 fall nabc shows the specifically when the alert procedure was changed.

  9. Thanks for posting that Andre, that was an interesting read. I played for a couple years before those changes and remember that some of those had to be alerted. I always thought it was weird that 1 minor - 2NT (invitational) was alertable and was glad that one changed.