Thursday, August 18, 2011

Absurdity of some appeals

It’s slightly absurd what some people bring to appeal committees. One of them was a pair arguing about their opponent’s claim for down 2 when stupid play would have resulted in down 3. They were in a grand slam off an ace and the trump Q. (Summer 2004 case 16)


Another one that’s interesting to me is on a claim where a player stated she would crossruff. In hand she had a club and two top trumps. In dummy she had a diamond and two trumps, only one of which was high. RHO still had 2 trumps so the director ruled that with the stated line, she would have to ruff the club low, which would be overruffed. However, it was pretty clear from earlier play in the hand that declarer totally intended on trumping the club high. She had already trumped 2 clubs in dummy with high trumps. I was glad to see the committee accept the claim, even though adding the word high to her claim statement would have saved all the trouble. (Summer 2004 case 20)


Those two were from regional events but the cases from NABC events are usually pretty good.


As Patrick said in response to the previous post, committees seem to favor big name players. I have only been through 2 NABC casebooks but I read every one of those cases, including the commentary, and was appalled at a few rulings that went in favor of big names like Berkowitz, Meckwell, Weinstein.


People are terrible estimators of time during hesitations. In one event, with screens, a vugrapher, and several kibitzers, everyone had a different estimate of how long it took to send the bidding tray back, from no hesitation up to 5 minutes. Eventually the director ruled that for Rodwell to pass 3NT (after Meck took some time to bid 3NT) is not a logical alternative because he knew the partnership has at most 22hcp. Baloney! Have they not seen these two voluntarily bid (and make) 3NT on 22hcp before. At least they all agreed Meck was the hesitator and not the screenmate Versace. (Summer 2004 case 12)


Case 6 from Fall 2004 is disturbing. 1D-P-2H*-P; P-2NT-P-3C; P-P-P. When dummy comes down with a 3-2-4-4 7-count, the defenders suddenly “sensed a hesitation over 2H.” Yes, it is very strange to bid 2NT on a 3244 7-count but if the hesitation was legitimate, surely you would come with a stronger word than sense which indicated doubt about whether there was a hesitation (beyond the 10 second requirement) – this wording and timing makes it sound like you’re just fishing. Or maybe it’s the other side that is lying, thinking they are sure to get away with it since no one commented on the hesitation when it actually occurred.


There could be so many more cases of UI from hesitations and MI but most of us don’t care to make an issue of it most of the time, and that’s basically a good thing.

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