Misinformation 2

During the auction the bidding became confusing at one point but the non-offending pair were not damaged as a consequence.

1 (a) Alerted as a splinter by N but intended by S as Gerber.
2 (b) (Based on a splinter) N correctly signed off in 4♥

3 (a) Wishing to press on with a slam enquiry anyway, S bid 4NT (RKCB). Although N wanted to sign off in 4, it made no difference whether S interpreted N’s bid as (i) a sign off, or (ii) 1 key card. Either way, with such a strong hand, S was determined to press on. Since his previous bid had been read as a splinter, 4NT was used to clarify the situation to everybody.

(b) To correct the misinformation she had given previously N then advised EW that “the 4♣ bid by S had clearly not been a splinter”, and accordingly N bid 5 (2 key cards). N went out of her way to try to clarify the situation which arose from the mis-information which she had given due to a misunderstanding of the 4♣ bid from S.

4 Missing only one key card in partnership and with a strong point count, S took a calculated risk and raised to 6. Careful play by North resulted in making a small slam.

There is not a shred of evidence that EW were in any way damaged by the error during the auction. Quite the contrary: in fact they gained authorised information that S did not have either 1st or 2nd round control in clubs.

N inadvertantly gave mis-information but EW were not damaged in the slightest (they had very few points and didn’t bid at all), but NS had their slam cancelled. In fact EW gained slightly from N’s subsequent clarification of her interpretation of the 4♣ bid from S, because EW would then know that S didn’t hold first or second round control in clubs. Such information would have been unavailable to them without N’s clarification. We believe that the NS slam should be allowed without adjustment.

Mike Ingle – Oswestry

Misinformation 1

1 Announced by South as better minor.

2 (a) Alerted by West
(b) Meaning queried by South (since it could be CRO, Michaels or natural)
(c) West said the bid was natural
(d) South asked “Clubs?”
(e) West nodded.

3 North reasoned that having been advised by West that East held clubs, it is reasonable to conclude that this must include the King, since North held three of the top four honours. She further reasoned that a club finesse would therefore fail. For this reason she signed off in 5. If North had known that in reality East held both majors, then given her void in spades plus A, cover in clubs, and a partnership holding in diamonds then she would obviously have bid 6

On returning home that night we saw that 7/8 pairs had made 12 or 13 tricks in diamonds, including ourselves, and 3/8 did bid a slam. Clearly a slam was there for the taking and if North had not been misled by misinformation from West, then North would have bid it for the reasons stated above.

However the Director ruled in favour of E/W and imposed no penaltyon them at all despite the fact that N/S were severely damaged by the misinformation give. Indeed, the Director defended the misinformation by saying”…West had just been confused…”

We were playing NS in both cases. I would be very grateful if you would give me your opinions as to whether I have a chance of winning an appeal.

Mike Ingle – Oswetry.

Scoring Error

I was Director at a recent session, but am still in training, and would be grateful for your advice on this hand. We were playing duplicate pairs and a two-winner Mitchell movement. This hand was played on the first round at Table 10 by four comparatively inexperienced players. On round 2, sitting at Table 9 the hand came to me next. Our EW opponents were two experienced players including a trained and experienced director.

Looking at the Bridgemates after we had played it, we were all dubious about the result which had been entered at the previous table. Our reaction was that the cards must have got muddled. We agreed to let everything stand and check the hands against the deal file at the end of the session. We subsequently found that the hands were correct and had not been muddled on the first round. The result was allowed to stand, but on later reflection I believe that Clubs instead of Spades had been entered by North at Table 10 on the first round, and this had been missed by East/West (leaving aside for the moment the whole question of whether it really was 11 tricks making rather than, say, 10).

A number of players have difficulty in distinguishing the icons for Spades and clubs (and indeed Spades and Hearts) on the Bridgmates, including myself.

In short, I think the error was a typographical error, but no personal hand records had been kept. When a scoring error is made it affects not only the pair in question, but everyone. In this instance Pair 22 (EW) were disadvantaged, so giving all the other EW pairs a slight boost to their scores. Similarly, NS (Pair 10) gained from the error but this causes the scores of all the other NS pairs to be slightly disadvantaged.

Therefore, my question is that when a “typo” has been made on the bridgemates, can it be corrected later? Do the rules give the director any discretion to correct the icons (suits) entered under any circumstances?

I suppose that if I had been more on the ball I would have:

(a) checked the deal file immediately after playing the hand myself to ensure the cards were correct and

(b) gone back to those who played hand 21 on the previous (first) table to ask them to re-check the recorded score.

Mike Ingle – Oswestry Bridge Club

Disputed Claim

Declarer with 3 cards in his hand claimed the remaining tricks in a suit contract, stating that there were no trumps left and he had 2 master diamonds and the last trump. In fact an opponent had the master trump and two top clubs to cash. Declarer then said he would play his diamonds and said that he would have 2 of the last 3 tricks, just making his contract. This was a match played at a player’s home with no director to refer to, but I was contacted later for an opinion, which I gave as follows:

I think the relevant Law is no.70 – Contested Claim or Concession. Section C is titled ‘Where there is an Outstanding Trump’. This states:

When a trump remains in one of the opponents hands, the Director shall award a trick or tricks to the opponents if;

A claimer made no statement about that trump; and
It is at all likely that claimer at the time of his claim was unaware that a trump remained in an opponent’s hand, and;
A trick could be lost to that trump by any normal* play.

Declarer made a mistake by not stating at the outset of the claim that he was to play diamonds; with him being mistaken about a trump being outstanding he might have played the trump first when the opponents would win all 3 remaining tricks. I think in these circumstances I would award all 3 tricks to the opponents.

I would be grateful for any observations.

Pete Smith – Chepstow

Inadmissible Double

I am in dispute with some bridge players here in Portugal. Last week my right-hand opponent opened 1NT, I passed, followed by “double” by opener’s partner. I called the Director who agreed with me that this was an invalid bid. Not knowing what else to do the doubler passed and we carried on.

However, the pair are convinced that is a valid (alertable) bid – asking partner to “describe his 1NT hand further”. They are so convinced that I am beginning to doubt myself!

It is invalid, isn’t it?! How should we have proceeded? What is the penalty, if any?

John Cobby – Porthcawl & Portugal


1 by South (better minor), Pass, 1♠ by North, Double by East (not alerted), Re-double by South, Pass, Pass, Pass. East comments before opening lead “Let’s see how this goes”.

Contract three-off for East/West 1000. Heavy spade suit holding by East now obvious. Questioned as to why there had been no alert for the double, says ” It was for take-out and I was looking for the best contract our way.”

Any rectification available here?

Neville Richards – Llandrindod Wells

Hesitation (1)

East opens 1♠, South – pass, West – 1NT, North – 2♣, East – 2, South – 2, West – 3. North then hesitates for a long time and passes. South now bids 3 on:

♠ QJxx
♣ xx

The auction then proceeds: 4 by West, passed out, and the result was -1.


Can South justify bidding 3 after the long hesitation?

Should the director (called) have disallowed the 3 bid, and adjusted the score to 3 making?

Mike Baker – Haverfordwest

Board Not Played

What is the correct treatment in a pairs competition of a board that cannot be played – neither pair involved is in any way at fault. It has been suggested that each pair should be awarded 50% but this seems to penalise a pair if they had otherwise achieved greater than 50% and vice versa. If there is a missing pair in a movement, for the pair sitting out, the boards are simply no included in the calculation of their score – should the “no play” board be treated in the same way?

Ian Hill- Monmouth.