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Insufficient Call alerted and corrected

#1 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-May-22, 09:08

An amusing incident from a club tournament yesterday.



NS are weak bidders who have no written agreements. South opens 1NT (15-17) and North responds 4NT (not alerted). South thinks for a while and bids 4, which is promptly alerted by North before South attempts to correct it to 5. How should the poor Director proceed when he is called by East?
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#2 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2019-May-22, 10:31

Why the heck was 4 alerted?
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#3 User is online   pran 

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Posted 2019-May-22, 11:16

View Poststeve2005, on 2019-May-22, 10:31, said:

Why the heck was 4 alerted?

My guess is that North alerted a 5 response by South (showing 2 aces?) and never noticed that South actually had bid 4
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#4 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2019-May-22, 11:30

View Postpran, on 2019-May-22, 11:16, said:

My guess is that North alerted a 5 response by South (showing 2 aces?) and never noticed that South actually had bid 4
but that isn't alertable either!
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#5 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-May-22, 11:43

View Postpran, on 2019-May-22, 11:16, said:

My guess is that North alerted a 5 response by South (showing 2 aces?) and never noticed that South actually had bid 4


Yes he had not noticed that the bid was insufficient, and assumed (or at least hoped) hearts as the 2 Ace response to his 4NT intended as Blackwood. Why he alerted it however is less clear - he said he thought it was alertable (it isn't, being the second round of bidding) but maybe he was in alarm because partner had not alerted his 4NT.
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#6 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2019-May-22, 13:15

View Poststeve2005, on 2019-May-22, 11:30, said:

but that isn't alertable either!

That depends on the alerting regulations in force. The world is larger than the ACBL.
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#7 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-May-22, 13:33

View Postgordontd, on 2019-May-22, 13:15, said:

That depends on the alerting regulations in force. The world is larger than the ACBL.


This was in Italy, alerting regulations are basically announcements + WBF alerting policy.
So any non-natural bid must be alerted unless at 4 level or higher and beyond first round of bidding. This includes a direct 4NT as Blackwood but excludes Blackwood replies, which cannot be on first round.

Whether or not 4NT as a quantitative invite to 6NT is natural is a separate question, but I am interested in your opinion.
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#8 User is online   pran 

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Posted 2019-May-22, 13:58

View Postpran, on 2019-May-22, 11:16, said:

My guess is that North alerted a 5 response by South (showing 2 aces?) and never noticed that South actually had bid 4

View Postpescetom, on 2019-May-22, 11:43, said:

Yes he had not noticed that the bid was insufficient, and assumed (or at least hoped) hearts as the 2 Ace response to his 4NT intended as Blackwood. Why he alerted it however is less clear - he said he thought it was alertable (it isn't, being the second round of bidding) but maybe he was in alarm because partner had not alerted his 4NT.


Remember OP initial information: NS are weak bidders who have no written agreements

What do you expect from inexperienced players? I am not at all surprised, they need friendly support, not criticism.
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#9 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-May-22, 14:43

View Postpran, on 2019-May-22, 13:58, said:

Remember OP initial information: NS are weak bidders who have no written agreements

What do you expect from inexperienced players? I am not at all surprised, they need friendly support, not criticism.


Nobody critized anyone: TD accepted North's explanation, established that West [corrected, ndr] had no intention to accept 4 and allowed 5 as a comparable replacement. TD waited until North bid 6NT and then left them all relatively happy.

But TD had already studied the hand diagram and knew that they had a clear 6NT with two flat 17 hcp hands and that no damage was imaginable. He also turned a relatively blind eye to a slew of infractions. He also assumed that peers of NS (perhaps two pairs) would consider 4NT as Blackwood rather than Quantitative and in any case have no meaning for 5 over the latter. Did he exceed his powers?
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#10 User is online   pran 

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Posted 2019-May-22, 14:57

View Postpescetom, on 2019-May-22, 14:43, said:

Nobody critized anyone: TD accepted North's explanation, established that East had no intention to accept 4 and allowed 5 as a comparable replacement. TD waited until North bid 6NT and then left them all relatively happy.

But TD had already studied the hand diagram and knew that they had a clear 6NT with two flat 17 hcp hands and that no damage was imaginable. He also turned a relatively blind eye to a slew of infractions. He also assumed that peers of NS (perhaps two pairs) would consider 4NT as Blackwood rather than Quantitative and in any case have no meaning for 5 over the latter. Did he exceed his powers?

Sounds perfectly fine to me :rolleyes:
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#11 User is offline   msjennifer 

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Posted 2019-May-23, 00:35

Sir.The 4NT bid may be quantitative if they are playing GERBER or Blackwood or even quantitative again if they are not using Gerber but have decided to treat it as such.So it was not unethical to alert. Since the 4H bid was insufficient the correction to 5H which is in the same suit is also perfectly legal and as per my personal opinion did not convey any other information illegally.The Director hence ruled correctly.The Direcetor has the power to give redressal if he feels that the opponents were damaged by the infraction..Hence he rightly allowed the auction to proceed .
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#12 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2019-May-23, 00:42

View Postpescetom, on 2019-May-22, 09:08, said:

An amusing incident from a club tournament yesterday.



NS are weak bidders who have no written agreements. South opens 1NT (15-17) and North responds 4NT (not alerted). South thinks for a while and bids 4, which is promptly alerted by North before South attempts to correct it to 5. How should the poor Director proceed when he is called by East?

I think there are two possibilities here: either the player intended to bid 5H and the 4H call was a mechanical error, which would be corrected under Law 25A1; or the player intended to bid 4H as a confused Blackwood response, in which case it could be corrected under Law 27B1b -> 23A3 (assuming that 4H was intended as a Blackwood response and 5H would be a Blackwood response).

The TD should try to determine which it was, because in the second case the player next in turn has the option to accept the insufficient bid if they wish. Otherwise, 4H is replaced by 5H and the auction continues.
Gordon Rainsford
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#13 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2019-May-23, 01:33

View Postpescetom, on 2019-May-22, 14:43, said:

Nobody critized anyone: TD accepted North's explanation, established that East had no intention to accept 4 and allowed 5 as a comparable replacement.

E=W?
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#14 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-May-23, 02:13

View Postsanst, on 2019-May-23, 01:33, said:

E=W?

Next in turn, who was W not E.
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#15 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-May-23, 08:27

5 needn't be a blackwood response at all, it can be "I'm accepting the slam try and I have 5 hearts" if he intended it as this, partner's alert may give him UI although a 6N bid is always going to attract a pass.
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#16 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2019-May-23, 08:39

View Postpescetom, on 2019-May-22, 14:43, said:

He also turned a relatively blind eye to a slew of infractions.

What "slew of infractions" would that be?
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#17 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2019-May-23, 08:42

View Postmsjennifer, on 2019-May-23, 00:35, said:

Sir.The 4NT bid may be quantitative if they are playing GERBER or Blackwood or even quantitative again if they are not using Gerber but have decided to treat it as such.So it was not unethical to alert. Since the 4H bid was insufficient the correction to 5H which is in the same suit is also perfectly legal and as per my personal opinion did not convey any other information illegally.The Director hence ruled correctly.The Direcetor has the power to give redressal if he feels that the opponents were damaged by the infraction..Hence he rightly allowed the auction to proceed.

There seems to be a trend these days to bring up ethics in almost all situations where an infraction has occurred. That trend should be abandoned. There is rarely an ethical problem in these cases, and when there is not, bringing ethics up can only make the problem worse.
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#18 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2019-May-23, 09:58

View PostCyberyeti, on 2019-May-23, 08:27, said:

5 needn't be a blackwood response at all, it can be "I'm accepting the slam try and I have 5 hearts" if he intended it as this, partner's alert may give him UI although a 6N bid is always going to attract a pass.

If that's the case, the correction would be allowed under Law 27B1a, as being the lowest bid that specifies the same denomination. I think almost any way it's looked at, the 5H call is going to be allowed, but the point to be determined is whether or not the next player is allowed to accept 4H, should they wish to.
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#19 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-May-23, 10:42

View PostCyberyeti, on 2019-May-23, 08:27, said:

5 needn't be a blackwood response at all, it can be "I'm accepting the slam try and I have 5 hearts" if he intended it as this, partner's alert may give him UI although a 6N bid is always going to attract a pass.


Or "I'm just below maximum but I do have 5 hearts", which is how I would guess it if our agreement was that 4NT is a quantitative slam invite or if we had no agreement but partner was at all advanced. Either way it would complicate things if in the meantime it became apparent that partner had intended Blackwood and I just happen to have 2 Aces.

But I think this is academic when referred to the actual NS pair who could probably not conceive any meaning other than Blackwood for 4NT (and hearts were 3-3, assuming Director is allowed to know this).
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#20 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-May-23, 11:24

View Postblackshoe, on 2019-May-23, 08:39, said:

What "slew of infractions" would that be?


- playing in a federal tournament without a Convention Card (national rules)
- failure to alert a conventional bid in first round of bidding (national rules)
- alert of a bid beyond 3NT not in the first round of bidding (national rules).
Plus any possible infractions to Laws related to insufficient bid and replacement thereof.
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