Appeal 2 - 2003
Reported by Pauline Gumby

ITS Open Q3 24/02/2003

Appeals Committee: Edward Chadwick, Michael Hughes, Warren Lazer

Board 9
EW Vul
Dealer North

H  AKQ95
D  Q
C  KT983

S  AT8653
H  -
D  K9875
C  J4

S  J974
H  JT62
D  J2
C  Q76
S  2
H  8743
D  AT653
C  A52

West North East South
1H P 2H
4S P* P 5H
* Agreed hesitation

Play:  Spade lead to Ace. Club switch.

Result:  5HX NS: +650.

Tournament Director Statement of Facts and Ruling : I was called to the table at the end of the play. There is no dispute of the facts that North hesitated before passing the 4S bid by West.  Law 16 - unauthorised information. For a player to base a call on information received following a hesitation may be an infraction. Accordingly the partner may not choose from among logical alternatives one that could demonstrably have been suggested over another by receipt of this information. I did not believe that the bid of 5H was suggested by the hesitation but rather the bid resulted from the re-evaluation of the hand which there had been an initial "mis-bid" where the player has "mis-sorted" the cards. Accordingly I therefore allowed the table result to stand as there had been no infraction.

Reasons for Appeal: We feel that North's break in tempo influenced South's 5H bid.

Opponents Submission: South had mis-sorted her hand as a 2-4-5-2. With a 1-4-5-3, the system bid is 4H over 1H. Over 4S, South's 5H was a catch-up bid. The break of tempo is agreed, but probably no more than one would expect over the 4S bid. 

Decision of the Appeals Committee: The committee disallowed the 'mis-sorting' explanation of the respondents - without doubting its veracity, it was considered to be 'convenient' and self-serving.

Bridge law states that after a break in tempo, South may not choose from alternatives one that may have been suggested by that break in tempo The 5H bid satisfies this criteria and is cancelled. However, holding two aces opposite an opening bid, pass would not be reasonable. 4SX has been assumed - normal play resulting in two down.

Correction of Score: NS +500; EW -500

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