At Amber [Vul v Vul] I picked up
and heard a pass on my right. I was playing Imp Pairs in the very friendly Frederiksberg Alle Bridge Festival in Copenhagen [actually in Frederiksberg, which is nearly in Copenhagen]. I bid 1, pass from LHO, and my wife, Liz, bid 2, an artificial game force. 3 from RHO. To keep the auction simple I bid 3, Liz bid 3, I bid 4, she bid 4 and I bid 6. [Terrible bidding: going to slam without Blackwood: what is the world coming to!]. After considerable thought LHO leads the 2 [please don't ask what leads he played - the convention card was in Danish].
2 6 K ?
What do you reckon? See my answer!
|* Described as spades and a minor|
|Result: 3= by North, NS +110|
West claimed damage because of misinformation. Specifically, he said that after a club lead, trump, club to the king, club seven asking for spade ruffed, East led a low spade and West failed to play his spade king because he thought East's spade was a singleton, so the singleton queen scored a trick.
North-South stated that everyone played 2 as spades and a minor at their club, and it was on their convention card. Actually, their convention card was only part filled in and Defence to 1NT was still blank. West said he accepted that the convention card would say 2 = spades + minor when it was filled in.
North said he realised what had happened as soon as his partner alerted and considered his ethical position before bidding 3. He decided that 3 was the bid he would have made behind screens, especially since South had not bid 2 over 1NT.
How would you rule? See my solution!
I won the A, decided the spade finesse was a no-no, cashed A, K [everyone followed, no Q] and cashed A, K. When RHO followed with the ten I was home. J [RHO discarded] to the Q, 9 discarded a diamond, A [RHO discarded but ruffing would not have helped]. ruff, K discarding a diamond and I had made it! The full hand was:
|Result: 6= by North, NS +1430|
|Lead 2|| A43|
Despite what the players ask for it is correct in this type of ruling to consider both unauthorised information [UI] and misinformation [MI]. In other words, when South alerted and described the North hand as spades and a minor this gave East-West the wrong picture of the hand [MI] and told North something had gone wrong [UI].
Since West accepted that the description of the system was correct but North had misbid then I decided there was no MI. Actually, I wasn't too impressed with West's view he had been damaged since he had apparently played his partner for a singleton spade, forgetting that he had opened 1NT. When asking what had happened I asked West whether they usually opened 1NT with a singleton - and he looked a bit sheepish!
UI, however, was much more of a concern. Would North always rebid 3? Had he chosen amongst logical alternatives [LAs] one suggested by the UI over an alternative? If I considered pass of 2 an LA, then surely 3 was suggested over pass by the UI, ie by the knowledge that partner had bid 2 because he took 2 as spades and another.
Having consulted with the Danish Chief TD, Jesper Dybdal, [competent TDs always consult before giving judgement rulings] and especially noted the quality of the diamond suit and the spade singleton, this ruling was balanced on a hair: however the final decisive bit of evidence was South's failure to bid 2 directly over 1NT, which suggested the spades could not be that good. I decided, therefore, that Pass was not an LA, and the result stood.
Note that this ruling would not have been correct in NAmerica. An LA in Europe is roughly speaking a call that one in four players of similar ability might find: in NAmerica an LA is merely a call that a number of players of similar ability would either find or seriously consider: under this test I would rule Pass an LA, so in NAmerica I would adjust to 2 doubled minus two [or three?]
In many tournaments TDs are expected to rule against the players that created the difficulty and leave it to the Appeal Committee. In this very friendly tournament there was no real chance of any appeal, so I wanted my ruling to be right. I believe it was.
|1||Liz & David||661|
|2||Pernille & Anders||506|
|3||Steffen & Lars||380|
|4||Liz & Matthew||271|
|5||Haff & Duus||261|
|6||Kirsten & Hans||192|
|7||Per & Jens||129|
|8||Lone & Morten||111|
|9||Mette & Svend||43|
|10||Pia & Morten||-3|
|11||Eva & Karsten||-98|
|12||Bodil & Jesper||-253|
|13||Charlotte & Jens||-323|
|14||Mette & Erik||-329|
|15||Steen & Niels||-670|
|16||Lisbet & Lene||-878|
A great tournament which we thoroughly enjoyed. Liz and I won our first tournament together after 23 years.