June - September 2018

16th July 2018

Query received from Lisa Adamson, Benoni Northerns Bridge Club

Lisa writes:

Event: Club afternoon
Players:Top quarter of the club ladder

East won, played another heart which was trumped by South. They continued to play the hand and E-W called the T.D at the end.

E-W felt they had been damaged by South’s bid of 1H. South explained that immediately she bid she realised that she had put down the wrong card, she had intended to bid 1D, but West had already doubled.

T.D explained to South that, if her partner had not yet bid, she could call the T.D. and ask to change her bid. She was not aware of this.

T.D told E-W that she would review the outcome at the end of the afternoon.

When T.D. looked at the hand she asked East why she had not opened 2NT. She said Woops. East was further asked why she did not at a later stage in the bidding indicate to her partner the size of her hand – no reason given.

T.D. felt that East was the architect of her own destruction, and said she would not adjust scores on what might have been. West was not happy with this, so I said I’d send this to you for an opinion.

My reply

Hi Lisa

A few comments:

  • Your take on this matter is spot on. She could change her bid to 1D, yes... provided her partner has not bid yet (Law 25A). Mistakes do happen and fortunately this mistake did not cost her side. Next time, North will raise hearts and they will go for a number;
  • Strange that a heart was played at trick 2, in light of the bidding.   When dummy comes down with 4 hearts, something is surely amiss...
  • East should open 2NT or bid 4S after the double. East was bidding as if she held 13 points only.
  • Incidentally, 4S on a 4-3 fit is not bad, notwithstanding the bad break. Set this as a quiz for your learners?

You are quite correct to say "...T.D. felt that East was the architect of her own destruction..."

If E-W want the TD to adjust, ask them this: "What was the infraction? What LAW did N-S break?"

Score stands, I agree.

11th June 2018

This incident happened during the European Championships, that is presently underway in Belgium.

From the Czech Republic v/s Scotland match: the Scots played in 3H by West in room 1 for -2 or -100.

In room 2 the Scots plays in 3D by North, for 1 down or -50. An innocuous-looking hand except for the fact that in Room 1, the Czech players (both!) forgot that a 3D response to a 1D opening in their system shows both majors and this fact was disclosed to the TD, who was called at the end of the hand in Room 1.

In their system, they are able to open 1D with the North hand on K-6. Suffice to say here that they play some sort of strong club system.

The TD was not called until at the end of play. North (or South) remembered that a 1D - 3D bid in their system was supposed to be for the majors. I think they deserve a pat on their back for belatedly disclosing that there could be damage caused to E-W for their misinformation (a non-alert is also deemed misinformation.) N-S called the TD at the end of the hand and "owned up". 1D - 3D = majors was in both of their CCs. They simply forgot.

QUIZ: How would you rule?

Pete Maybury (quiz went out to my mailing list) got it spot on! The TD figured that if they remember and explained, no-one would bid 3H. So the contract was reverted back to 3D.

Now a look at the hands (and results of other matches) determines what should happen to 3D by North, It was decided that one out of four times 3D makes, the other 3 times -1.

End result of the board? Instead of Czech Rep gaining 4 IMPs (+100 for 3H-2 and +50 for 3D-1) they gained but +1 IMP on the board, taking the weighted result in the calculations.

New 2017 Laws: emphasis is on restoring equity.

Query Reply References

1st June, from Graham Burrows, KZN

Could you please tell me if there are any limitations on the use of opening with a 3 card minor, when using a 5 card major system.

Questions have been asked for clarity, especially when the holding includes 3-3 in the minors. All I can see from the laws and conventions is that it is accepted that a minor suit must contain at least three cards unless one is playing an approach club system.

Graham Burrows

Hi Graham

Absolutely no limitations. The WBF rules now state that an opening of 1-minor when it can contain 3 cards need not be alerted. However, a club can stipulate that for the sake of clarity and full disclosure, we announce a possible 3-card minor opening as "better minor"   or   "we always open 1C with 3-3 in the minors" or similar. Just as we announce a 1NT opening as "15-17 balanced". Benoni Bridge Club follows this procedure...

Personally, I prefer always opening 1C on 3-3. Even if diamonds are A-K-Q and the clubs 4-3-2 !
When I open 1D and D's are 3 only then I will have 4-4 in the majors.

The following deviations to the above norm are pre-alerts, i.e. it must be announced at the start of a session:

  • A system where 1C opening shows points only (like Precision)
  • When a 1C can be shorter in clubs compared to diamonds, e.g. 2-3 or 2-4
  • Also, if you open the weaker minor when 3-3 as a partnership understanding, this must be disclosed (Law40). A bad result obtained as a direct consequence of non-disclosure of a partnership understanding can be overturned (see Law40b).

Partnership Understanding


Law 40A1
(b) Each partnership has a duty to make its partnership understandings available to its opponents. The Regulating Authority specifies the manner in which this is done

Law 40B3:

(a) A side that is damaged as a consequence of its opponents’ failure to provide disclosure of the meaning of a call or play, as these laws require, is entitled to rectification through the award of an adjusted score.

(b) Repeated violations of requirements to disclose partnership understandings may be penalized.

Reminder: Address your query to: forum [at] sabf.co.za