Appeal 1 - 2004
Reported by Pauline Gumby

Butler Pairs 19/04/2004

Appeals Committee: Bruce Neill, Mike Hughes, Tina Zines

Board 28
NS Vul
Dealer West

S  QT7
H  J854
D  3
C  AQJ84

S  J862
H  Q2
D  KQ95
C  KT7

S  543
H  A3
D  T8642
C  963
S  AK9
H  KT976
D  AJ7
C  52

 1D = 8-12, 4+ S not 4H

Result:  3C NS: +150.

Tournament Directors Statement of Facts and Ruling: I was called by South during the play of the next hand.  On reading the EW system card, he noted the statement that 2 of a major may be bid on shortage opposite opening bids that deny a major.  He therefore believed that 2H should have been alerted.

East contended that this was not part of the present partnership's agreement and that the system cards provided at the table were not correct.

The NS agreement was that the double of 2H showed 16+ points.

I ruled that the score would stand on the basis that :

  1. there was no infraction - NS had been provided with an accurate explanation of the EW agreements; and
  2. even if it was found that EW had infracted, the damage suffered by NS was not because of the failure to alert 2H

Reasons for Appeal: Next hand I (South) was dummy and I looked at the system card at the table:- noting the possibility of shortage of H in the 2H bid.  EW admitted that the card was not theirs but stated that even their system notes had the 2H showing the possibility of shortage 

The problem that I have is that the event is a Selection Event - the used system card states that it may be short.

At which point is the system card accepted as the real system or that a player may change it at will.
          - whatever is fair is good.

Opponents Submission: EW have no agreement ie 2H, other than natural/non-forcing.  With others this would show length or shortage and be alerted as such.  EW have no recent instances of this type of psyche.

Decision of the Appeals Committee: Committee unanimously found
-there was an infraction.
-it contributed in part to NS missing game.
-score adjusted to weighted score of NS +400.
-EW procedural penalty of 1VP.
-Director to restate EW's obligation to disclose implicit agreements or not use them.

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