Bay State Bridge
Release 2.19r

During the regional tournament in Nashua, Tuesday–Sunday, June 11–16, there will be no games in Wellesley. There will be a game in Peabody on Tuesday, June 11, at 12:15, and there will be supervised play in Wellesley on Thursday, June 13, at 10:00.

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This page documents some of the more interesting rulings that have come up in our club.
  Monday Morning, 2021 February 15, board 4, 3 v. 2

1NT = 15–17
2♠ = natural (not self-alerted)

4♠x made 4 (NS 790)

After the play, West checked the NS convention card. It said 2♠ showed spades plus a minor. West called the director.

The director chatted with North and South and judged that:

  • South believed 2♠ was natural, and
  • North knew what the convention card said, but also “knew” that South wouldn’t remember, so North “knew” 2♠ was natural.

The director therefore ruled that, convention card notwithstanding, the actual NS agreement was that 2♠ was natural. Therefore EW were not misinformed.

NS broke Law 75D2 by posting a convention card describing “an agreement where the same mutual understanding does not exist.” In a high-level event, the director might assess a procedural penalty (although there’s no way to assess a procedural penalty in a virtual club game on BBO 🤔). The director asked NS to revise their convention card to reflect their actual mutual agreements.

Ruling: no misinformation; result stands

What if the director had determined that NS really did have a mutual agreement that 2♠ showed spades plus a minor and had failed to alert? The new alert procedure says “Penalties for failing to Alert are not automatic. However, a player who is misinformed by an opponent’s failure to Alert will be protected.” Alas, it isn’t that simple! The Laws (12B1, 21B1a, 21B3, 40B3a, 47E2, 75B1, 75D3) repeatedly state that the director shall adjust the score if, and only if, the non-offending side was damaged “because of,” “influenced by,” “from,” or “as a consequence of” misinformation, or misinformation “results in damage.” Any adjusted score is “based upon the likely outcome had the opponents received the correct explanation in a timely manner.”

If South had actually shown a two-suiter without self-alerting, would West have bid differently? Why? West was damaged by deciding to double, but if there had been misinformation, would West’s decision to double actually have been a consequence of the misinformation? Would the likely outcome had the opponents received the correct explanation in a timely manner have been that West would have doubled anyway?

Last updated : Feb 15, 2021 17:56 EST
  Monday Afternoon, 2019 March 18, board 22, B1 v. B3

4  made 5. All agreed that North unmistakably hesitated before passing over 3NT.

Ruling: North’s hesitation demonstrably suggested that South not pass out 3NT. Pass was a logical alternative. Therefore South’s 4  bid was a violation of Laws 16B and 73C. The contract was adjusted to 3NTW. Following Law 12C1c, the director estimated there was a 50% chance 3NT would be down 2 (6 matchpoints for NS) and a 50% chance it would be down 4 (8 matchpoints for NS) and assigned a score of 7 matchpoints for NS.

For more information, see the Rulings FAQ article on Hesitations, Failures to Alert and Misinformation.

Last updated : Mar 19, 2019 14:44 EST
  Thursday Morning, 2017 February 2, board 20, NS14 v. EW7

West’s 3♠ bid showed a good hand and a good suit (Ogust).

North led the ♣3 to the J, Q, and A. Declarer led a trump to dummy’s Q and South’s A. South led the 6, and North made a face. North won the A and returned the deuce. South ruffed and led a club. North ruffed and gave South a second diamond ruff.

Table result: 4W–2, NS 200.

North’s reaction to South’s diamond lead was an “extraneous gesture” violating Law 73B1. South was therefore prohibited by Laws 73C and 16B1 from “choosing from among logical alternatives one that could demonstrably have been suggested over another by the extraneous information.” The director ruled that the “extraneous information” “demonstrably suggested” leading a club at trick five, but after polling a few players the director ruled that at trick five South had no “logical alternative” (see Law 16B1b) to returning a club.

(The director notes that two NS pairs set 4W only one trick after the ♣3 opening lead. The director suspects that those South players never got a second diamond ruff because they did return a club when they were in with the A.)

Director’s ruling: The table result stands. North-South penalized for North’s impropriety.

Last updated : Feb 2, 2017 16:46 EST
  Tuesday morning, 2012 October 9, board 7, NS1 v. EW16

At the table, EW scored 170 for 3W+1. There was an acknowledged break in tempo (BIT) before East’s second-round pass.

The director polled several players of comparable skill to West on what they would call with West’s hand when the actual West bid 3. The director then ruled that Pass was a “logical alternative” to 3, that the BIT “demonstrably suggested” bidding rather than passing, and therefore that West was required to pass. (laws 16B and 73C)
The director adjusted NS’s score to –100 for 2♠S–1 (“the most favorable result that was likely”) and adjusted EW’s score to –110 for 2♠S= (“the most unfavorable result that was at all probable”). (law 12C1e)
Last updated : Feb 2, 2017 15:12 EST
  Tuesday morning, 2012 October 9, board 19, NS17 v. EW14

East alerted West’s 2NT bid and explained it as a transfer to diamonds. At the table, East made 3NT for 600.

The director ruled that the EW agreement was in fact four-way transfers and systems on. West had made a “mistaken call.” East had not given a “mistaken explanation.” NS were correctly informed about the EW agreement. (laws 21 and 75)
When West bid 3NT, he did have unauthorized information from his partner’s “unexpected” alert and explanation, but he did not, in the director’s judgment, have a logical alternative, so the director allowed the table result to stand. (laws 16B and 73C)
Last updated : Feb 2, 2017 15:12 EST