Auction and Explanations
* break in tempo
Lead - S4
Tournament Director's Statement of Facts and Ruling :
I was called to the table by NS at the end of the hand. They raised an objection to East's decision to bid on to 4H following a break in tempo by West before bidding 3H. I checked the RealBridge logs which indicated that the length of time taken by West after South's second pass and before bidding 3H was 68 seconds. I determined that East was in receipt of unauthorised information. When I asked East to explain his action, he said that after making the trial bid he had second thoughts and wanted to bid game. Under the laws, unauthorised information is deemed to potentially influence any subsequent actions by partner. I ruled that East's decision to bid on to 4H could have been influenced by the unauthorised information. Passing 3H after asking for partner's input with a trial bid was considered to be a logical alternative. I therefore ruled that there was an infraction under Law 16 and adjusted the score to NS -200.
Submission by EW:
So, even though I used a trial bid, my intentions was always to bid 4H, we had ten hearts between us and opening hands, partner's hesitation made no difference to my final call, as I know that we should be in 4H.
Just because I chose a different path in getting to 4H shouldn’t have any relevance, I might have been a bit ambitious in thinking of slam at the time but decided that 4H was the limit after partners 3H bid.
At the time you questioned my bid, I was a bit confused and flustered by having the Director called, and perhaps didn’t explain my intentions clearly. I have never appealed before, but am adamant that I had my bid and annoyed by this ruling.
Decision of the Committee:
The committee view was that although there are probably players who would consider making a slam try on the East cards, there are also players who would consider making a game try. Unfortunately it is impossible for us to know which type of try East was making. Under law once there has been a hesitation we cannot allow East to choose from among logical alternatives one which could have been suggested, hence the director's ruling has been allowed to stand.
Although one member of the committee thought there was a case for deeming the appeal without merit, in the end the committee felt the appeal was not without merit.