Appeal 1 - 2003
Reported by Pauline Gumby

ITS Open Q2 10/02/2003

Appeals Committee: Edward Chadwick, Mike Hughes, Warren Lazer

Board 12
NS Vul
Dealer West

S  2
H  AK4
D  QJT853
C  Q93

S  KJ9874
H  T96
D  2
C  652

S  AT3
H  Q53
D  K97
S  Q65
H  J872
D  A64
C  A84

West North East South
2D1 3D 3H2 3NT
1 Alerted, known to be weak 2H/S
2 No alert, convertable

Result:  3NT NS: -400.

Tournament Directors Statement of Facts and Ruling: Ruled that the non alert of 3H was an infraction. However any damage to NS was not considered to be a direct consequence of that infraction by EW.

Reasons for Appeal: Failure to alert 3H. 3NT was pushy anyway but South had reason to hope for some spades opposite. If West alerts 3H, it will dawn on South that partner has a major singleton. Then 4D is clear.

1) South had no reason to think that 3H was not natural. Many Multi
pairs play this way but some don't - they bid 3H/S natural, double
instead to play 3 of pd's suit. None of South's regular partnerships
play this multi (our 2D opening = diamonds).

2) If East's 3H shows hearts, South's 3NT vul vs not at Butler IMPs is
brave, but clear. North's vul 3D shows a good hand (slightly stronger
than over a weak two since weaker hands can pass and protect)
Sxx   Hxx   DKQxxxx   CKQx
is not enough. Pass and protect with this. Partner is virtually certain
to have a major honour, say:
SKx   Hxx   DKQxxxx   CKQx, or
Sxx   HAx   DKQxxxx   CKQx,
etc, maybe SJx, HKx,
Now 3NT is cold opposite any of these, and a fair shot opposite some
weaker hands such CKJx.

3) If South knows that East has 3-3 majors, it's clear that North has a
major singleton and opener's major is cashing. Then South can double to
show this sort of hand, or just raise. Either way scoring +130 in 4D.

4) West's opening does not satisfy the Rule of 15! Have fun with that!

Opponents Submission: We had had a 2D opening 2 boards earlier which had been discussed so everyone knew what it was and it was alerted. 3H - pass or correct - is a standard treatment and South was a bridge teacher too. Don't understand why South should expect spades in the North hand as claimed. She had a good 11 count with stuff in both majors and partner had made a vulnerable overcall at the the 3 level. It looks like no damage has been done.

Decision of the Appeals Committee: Appeal rejected. Table result to stand.

Although West's failure to alert his partner's 3H bid was a clear and potentially damaging infraction, the committee was of the opinion that:-

1. The South player is sufficiently experienced to appreciate the potential pass/correct nature of the 3H bid, and

2. Even with an alert and explanation the 3NT bid is still almost 'automatic'.

Addendum : The 2D opening does not meet the ABF standard of 15 points (HCP + length of 2 longest suits - this hand has only 13). This had was routinely opened 2S (or 2D multi) around the room. Perhaps the NSWBA TC should examine this hand (a normal weak 2S) before embracing these regulations.

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