President — June Buckland
Chairman — Gavin Wilson 📧 firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer — Muriel Hodder
Secretary — Kay Wilson 📧 email@example.com
Refreshments — Yvette Barton 📧 firstname.lastname@example.org
Membership — Pauline Harris 📧email@example.com
The Director team comprises:
The Scoring Team comprises:
Carol Wildig (Team Leader)
In 2018, Claygate will start rolling out the wireless scoring system called BridgePal, which runs on smartphones and tablets. The implementation team today consists of Gavin Wilson and Carol Wildig, but more volunteers will be very welcome. We will provide as much help and training as each North needs to enter the scores into the handset.
Further information about BridgePal can be found here.
With 15½ tables, this was never going to be a silent evening. But I was never called as TD until after we had played our final hand. A heated row had started on table 5.
The auction went something like:
South was highly upset that, in his view, East had clearly psyched with his 1NT overcall as he had just 7 HCP and no heart stopper. He was also vexed that East had passed having stated that West's response was Stayman. South was concerned that an outbreak of such psyches would upset the club membership as a whole. East said that, as a passed hand, his 1NT could not be expected to contain more than 11 points. East also said that, through his passing his partner's 2♣, the partnership had missed its best contract: 2♠.
Of course if East had shown his 4-card spade suit in response to Stayman, West would undoubtedly have gone straight to 4♠, if not further. The partnership was therefore never going to play in 2♠.
Law 40C states that:
The EBU's White Book 2013 states the following:
On the bidding, I had no grounds for believing that East's partner had reason to believe her partner had deviated from their announced system. From her viewpoint with 15 HCP, it was possible that South had 11-12 and her partner had 10-11 plus the ♥A stopper.
I therefore ruled it as a GREEN psyche and took no action to adjust the score.
I discussed the matter with another director that evening, and with the committee by email the next day, and we decided to start a Psyche Book.
This was a busy night in which trouble seemed to follow one particular partnership around the room. I didn't feel particularly anxious but we had a Call out of Rotation, an Insufficient Bid and a Lead out of Turn — all on the first hand, and those were all my me...
The auction had gone something like 1♠ : Pass : Pass. East drew a Pass card from his box and placed it on the table, and tried immediately to retract it and exchange it for a Double card.
Law 25A states that:
I allowed East to change his pass to a Double.
East passed when it should have been his partner opening the auction.
Law 30A states that:
I called Nigel over to adjudicate and deliver this verdict: East had to pass for one round.
No-one complained afterwards, so the Red Book's Law 23 about adjusting for potential damage did not apply.
I was called over to a table where a red-backed card had been discovered on the floor. It was suggested that the card (the ♦9) may have fallen out of a board just passed to the adjacent table, and that it may have belonged to East.
Though the calling table had yet to play their red-backed hand, I asked them to pause their play and count their cards, which they did. Everyone had 13. I then looked at the hand records for the red-backed hand to be played on the adjacent table, and saw that indeed East should have the ♦9.
I then interrupted play on the adjacent table and asked East to count her cards. She had 12. I put the card face down next to her current blue-backed trick pile. Unaccountably South then had a look at the card.
Law 14 says that:
So no adjustment is needed with regard to the player (East) whose board was initially short of a card.
I briefly admonished South but decided to take no further action, as it was not too important a card and South might well have forgotten all about it by the time she came to play that hand. But what should I have done?
Law 16C says:
If the Director considers that the information could interfere with normal play he may, before any call has been made, adjust the players’ positions at the table, if the type of contest and scoring permit, so that the player with information about one hand will hold that hand.
This would seem to be the most satisfactory way of resolving the situation. So N-S would have become E-W for that one hand. But from a scoring viewpoint, each pair would now need to be assigned unique pair numbers, as in an arrow-switched Mitchell event, so that N-S pair x does not get confused with E-W pair x.
My first outing of the New Year saw a noisy 14-table mêlée containing three situations of interest to the apprentice director. I'll start with the easiest one first.
I was called to the table towards the end of play on one hand. East was left with two cards, while West had four.
I concluded that neither East nor West had counted their cards; they agreed. (The cards must have been misboarded on the previous table.)
Law 13 says that:
I awarded an adjusted score: 60% to N-S, who were innocent of any offence, and 40% to E-W.
This problem occurred at the director's table. No bias was employed in arriving at the verdict.
I established with the offender's partner that the 4♣ was intended as Gerber. The pair also play Blackwood 4NT.
Law 27B.1(b) says:
(There is an intriguing discussion on a bridge forum about whether a simple Gerber 4♣ can be replaced by Roman Key-Card 4NT in this situation. See http://iblf.matthew.ath.cx/index.php?showtopic=4411)
I allowed West to replace her insufficient 4♣ bid with 4NT, and the auction and play proceeded as normal.
This was certainly the most argumentative case of the evening. E-W apparently were late arriving at the table, because of slow play on the previous table. Here is the layout:
The auction proceeded as follows:
So the contract was 3♥ by South, which made. (E-W could have made 4♠, as eight pairs did on the evening.) I was called by East, who insisted that he alone be permitted to provide the initial description of the situation. East's argument was that North had received unauthorised information from his partner's second-round hesitation, and that North would not have doubled otherwise. North argued that East and West had both limited their hands through their bidding, and that his take-out double was an everyday balancing bid.
This situation was well above my pay-grade, and after several glances across the room, I saw that Nigel Barnes had now finished playing his hand, so I brought Nigel over to assist.
Nigel's argument was that North must go out of his way not to use the unauthorised information created by his partner's hesitation. It does not matter that N-S employ balancing bids in their system — what matters is what the rest of the room would use in this situation. Many would be surprised that North could bid a take-out double, which would push his partner into a 3-level bid vulnerable, on seven working HCP.
The Yellow Book says the following:
Where 'unauthorised information' is conveyed by his partner, a player is required to act as follows:
Basically, a player who has received 'unauthorised information' form his partner MUST seek to avoid gaining advantage from it.
Law 16 in the Red Book says:
Many in Claygate Club would give serious consideration to passing, rather than doubling, in North's seat. South's hesitation suggests that a double by North might be feasible. North should have sought to avoid gaining advantage from South's hesitation, and therefore he should have passed.
The irregularity on this hand occurs at the point at which North doubles. Although some of E-W's earlier bidding is questionable, as the non-offending side, it does not commit any serious error after the irregularity, so Law 12C1(b) does not apply:
Nigel and I gave an adjusted score: N-S 40%, E-W 60%.
Summarising Nigel's second thoughts the day after:
In a busy evening for the director, this was the hand that most frequently caused problems for partnerships wherever it landed. Below I discuss the hand at two tables. On the evening, at both tables, I let both scores stand as played. South made either 9 or 10 tricks in spades. But what should I have done? I did not ask to examine any of the pairs' System Cards, but my belief is that no pair had a System Card readily available to their opponents which described how the pair had agreed to handle this situation. In neither case was I confident that I knew what the result would have been, had the infraction not occurred.
At one table, for example, the auction went as follows:
West's explanation of her partner's 2♣ bid as 'Stayman' is clearly mistaken, whatever East claimed afterwards. Law 21B1b says that:
I had no strong evidence that South would have bid differently, had West provided the correct explanation for her partner's bid. My judgement is that, rightly or wrongly, South was concerned that E-W were taking the auction away from N-S, and that her partner needed a pointer to South's clearly best suit. South was in an excellent position to extract a good penalty so it was the bid of 2♠ which was the cause of N-S's poor score rather than the 2♣ bid. Therefore N-S had not been damaged by West's Mistaken Explanation, and the score achieved should stand.
At another table, E-W were playing an unalerted Forcing Pass convention:
Law 20F5a says that:
In the second auction, I remain unconvinced by North's claim: that South would have passed, had she known East's pass was forcing on West to bid. North implies that South believed she was making a 'rescue bid' with her 2♣ because of the probability, in her mind, that 1NT doubled would make. Had she known East's pass was forcing, she would have needed to weigh the possibility that E-W would find a fit in ♣, ♦ or ♥ — in which case she would probably still have bid 2♠ after the E-W fit was found — against the possibility that E-W would end up in 2♠, the only contract she could herself double. The possibilities seemed too vast at the time, which was very late in the evening. I felt that North was aggrieved because South had made the wrong bidding decision, and was using the fact that West had not alerted East's forcing pass as justification for requesting an adjusted score.
I think it was safest to let the score achieved stand.
Source: A description of the Forcing Pass convention can be found at http://www.bracknellbridge.com/after1ntdbl.htm
This is my synopsis of a different view, provided by Nigel Barnes:
So I would give a weighted average — something like:
This gives a total of 16.75 MP.
This is messy, perhaps better to give N-S/E-W 60/40% on the basis that N-S have potentially been damaged, but the damage is difficult to assess without spending the next 30 minutes polling the experienced players in the room.
It was a chaotic evening, for which I arrived ill-prepared. Sixteen-and-a-half tables' worth of noisy bridge players seemed likely to break all recent records for both numbers and volume levels. Both incidents to which I was called involved insufficient bids — a common situation which nevertheless I hadn't previously faced. I did not acquit myself well, but did I eventually come up with the correct ruling? This is the second incident:
The auction went something like this:
East's 3♣ is an insufficient bid. The first step in rectifying the problem comes from Law 27A1:
In this case, South would not accept East's 3♣. Law 27B1 states the next step:
East chose to pass instead. Law 27B2 spells out the implications for West:
South then bid 3NT, with everyone then passing. So West was on lead, but were there any restrictions on her opening lead? Law 27B2 continues:
Law 26 specifies that:
There are a lot of 'If's in that Law, but I took it to mean that because the insufficient 3♣ bid which East withdrew specified the same suit — i.e. clubs — as East had already bid (in her 2♣ overcall), there were no lead restrictions on West.
I was called to the table at the end of the hand. As far as I could tell, everyone was agreed as to what had happened: in the course of enjoying dummy's long diamonds in a 3NT contract, declarer had played a small black card when he still had a small diamond left.
Law 64A2 is clear on this matter: When a revoke is established ... and the trick on which the revoke occurred was not won by the offending player then, if the offending side won that or any subsequent trick, after play ends one trick is transferred to the non-offending side. (A trick won in dummy is not won by declarer for the purposes of this Law.)
N-S must deduct one trick from their total, because the trick on which the revoke occurred was won by dummy.
After a quiet morning session, players began to step up their director-calling rate following the lunchtime break. I was called to a table where East believed that South should not have bid after his partner had hesitated for some time before passing.
With West as dealer on hand #32, the bidding had gone:
(1NT) : Pass : (2♥)1 : 3♥
(3♠) : Pass2 : (Pass) : 4♥
1. Transfer to spades.
2. After a long think.
This is much the most complex judgement ruling I have been required to make in my short career as director. It was not helped by the aggressive nature of East, who had called me in the first place. He had 1 HCP, and knowing that his partner had at most 14 HCP for her 1NT bid, he knew that N-S should have game on.
Everyone agreed that North hesitated — "I need time to think," she said once I had been called — and it was unfortunate with her 11 HCP that she had not doubled or bid 4((Hs}} herself. She must have realised her partner held a strong hand with good hearts for his 3♥ bid. (If he had held a mediocre hand with top heart honours, he could have doubled the 2♥ bid.) N-S were an occasional partnership, and I do not believe they had a sufficient detailed system card which would have described their approach to this situation.
North's think-then-pass behaviour did let her partner infer that she had some values, whereas a pass in tempo, and East's subsequent pass, might have meant that East had up to 10 HCP and therefore that, with West having up to 14 HCP and South having 16 HCP, North had 0 HCP.
Mathematically North could have from 0 to 14 HCP, but her unalerted second round pass suggests fewer than 10 HCP to me.
Law 16A3 says that 'No player may base a call or play on extraneous information — for example an unmistakable hesitation.' This was such a case of extraneous information.
Law 16B2 states that 'When a player considers that an opponent has made such information available and that damage could well result he may announce, that he reserves the right to summon the Director later. The opponents should summon the Director immediately if they dispute the fact that unauthorized information might have been conveyed.' As all the players agreed North had hesitated, there was no need for East to call the director immediately. He could have said he reserved his rights and called me at the end of the hand.
Law 16B1(a) stipulates that: 'After a player makes available to his partner extraneous information that may suggest a call ... for example by a remark or unmistakable hesitation ... the partner may not choose, from logical alternatives, one that could have been suggested by the extraneous information.'
Law 16B1(b) defines the term thus: 'A logical alternative action is one that, among the class of players in question and using the methods of the partnership, would be given serious consideration by a significant proportion of such players, of whom it is judged some might select it.'
South has 16 HCP and a 4.5-loser hand. What were his logical alternative actions?
Law 16B3 states that 'When a Director believes that a player who had a logical alternative has chosen an action that could have been suggested by extraneous information, he shall assign an adjusted score if he considers that an infraction of law has resulted in an advantage for the offender.'
Pass seems to be the only action suggested by North's pass alone, unaided by the unauthorised information of the hesitation. 3♠ undoubled makes six tricks for NS +300. I should have awarded NS this score rather than the 420 for 4♥ making.
The discussion disintegrated due to the time pressure and my lack of firm control caused by inexperience. East threw his cards in, telling me to award NS 4♥ making. I looked at the traveller and saw 4♥ had already been made several times. 4♥ making was entered on the traveller, and I left the table a little shaken.
E-W still came top overall, despite my mistake, and their award of EBU masterpoints was unaffected by my misjudgement.
Over halfway through the evening, I was called to a table where North believed that East had revoked. East disagreed. The main problem was that play had ended, and all the hands had been shuffled and replaced in the board. North claimed she could recall what she and East, at least in the tricks relevant to the revoke, had played.
Law 66 rules that if, after a claim of a revoke has been made, a player mixes his cards in such a manner that the Director can no longer ascertain the facts, the Director shall rule in favour of the other side. In this case all four players had mixed their cards — albeit before anyone had claimed a revoke — but preventing me from establishing the facts. The side claiming the revoke should have made their claim before mixing their cards and returning them to the board.
I decided I was unlikely to get agreement from all the players as to precisely what cards had been played. It would also have been time-consuming, on an evening in which my primary focus was on my time-keeping. I therefore told the players it was too late to dispute what had happened and that the previously agreed number of tricks should stand.
Declarer called for a heart to be played. Absent-mindedly, dummy played the ♥A when there were at least three lower hearts he could have chosen from. Almost equally absent-mindedly, declarer then played her ♥K on the trick, when she had at least three lower tricks. Realising the error, they then called for the director.
Under Law 46B2, when declarer calls for a particular suit in dummy without stating which card, he is deemed to have called for the lowest card in the suit. Therefore dummy pulled out the incorrect card.
Under Law 45D, the card must be withdrawn if attention is drawn before each side has played to the next trick.
There were several players on the holiday who would stare intently at their partner when they had played an important card — for example, an attitude signal or suit preference indicator.
There were others who clearly watched for their partner's reaction to particular cards.
This is all clearly wrong. 'Extraneous' information is defined in the Laws as not part of the lawful procedures of the game. Under Law 16, 'No player may base a call or play on extraneous information — for example a remark, a question, a reply to a question, an unexpected alert or failure to alert, or by unmistakable hesitation, special emphasis, tone, gesture, movement, or mannerism. After a player makes available to his partner extraneous information that may suggest a call or play — for example by a movement — the partner may not choose, from logical alternatives, one that could have been suggested by the extraneous information. When a Director believes that a player who had a logical alternative has chosen an action that could have been suggested by extraneous information, he shall assign an adjusted score if he considers that an infraction of law has resulted in an advantage for the offender.'
Some players on this holiday would routinely move the board to one side of the table immediately after the opening lead had been faced.
Under Law 7A, the board has to stay in the centre of the table.
Is it worth getting picky about this? Not if declarer has some health reason — e.g. poor vision — for needing dummy closer to her.
I was called in the middle of the auction, along the lines of (No):No:(No):1♥, (2♣):2♥. South had bid 2♥, and then, after some reflection, said "Oh, I didn't mean to bid that."
By her remark, South had made unauthorized, extraneous information available to her partner. North must not base her subsequent bids on that extraneous information. (Laws 16A3 and 16B1)
Nor, under Law 16A3, may the opponents base their subsequent calls and plays on this extraneous information. (Although a non-offending side can use information arising from a withdrawn call or play, under Law 16D1, they cannot use extraneous information from any source, even if it comes from their opponents.)
After I told South that the bid should stand, West passed, and North said "I was going to bid this anyway" as she laid down her 4♥ bid, which ended the auction. But they made 12 tricks, as most did, so I don't believe anyone felt particularly hard done by.
South had not revealed the bid that she had wanted to make. North had, in my opinion, not chosen her 4♥ bid on the basis of her partner's unfortunate remark. So I did not believe the remark had resulted in an advantage for the offending side, and I therefore did not adjust the score under Law 16B3.
With about three cards left to play, South, a defender, announced: "Well, they're all good." Declarer East said this announcement had disturbed her train of thought. I was then called.
Under Law 68B, no concession had occurred because North had immediately objected to South's concession. The board should have been played out subject to the conditions stipulated by Law 68B2.
Dummy's holding consisted entirely of top cards, but North held the final trump. Everyone was content to have N-S win one trick and E-W win the other two.
Under Law 69A, the board was scored as though the tricks conceded had been lost in play.
Last night I was called to adjudicate on two similar situations in which declarer had not followed suit. The judgements were quite different, even though in both cases declarer had clearly played their card, and had intended to play that card, and my attention had been sought before any revoke had been established.
In the first case, declarer was third to play to a trick. Even though the lead had come from dummy, and declarer had no doubt chosen that lead, when the defender played a card from a different suit -- because she had run out -- declarer decided to follow the defender’s suit rather than dummy’s.
This was a revoke, because declarer had failed to follow suit when she could. (Law 61A)
The revoke had not been established (Law 63A1) because the revoke had been noticed before the next trick had commenced.
Law 62A instructs declarer to correct her revoke whenever she becomes aware of it before it is established.
Law 62B2 says that to correct her revoke, declarer simply withdraws the card she played and substitutes a legal card. No further rectification is required.
This ruling may seem a little tough on the defenders, who may have hoped to gain from declarer’s error, but these are the rules. Law 16D1 says that all information arising from a withdrawn action is “authorised” to the non-offenders, so the defence could try to exploit that advantage.
In the second case, a defender had led a diamond, and declarer had thought the card was a heart, so pulled out a heart herself and produced it face up before realising the card led was actually a diamond.
There was uncertainty at the table as to whether declarer had to play the card. But Law 45C2(a) insists that declarer must play the card if it is held face up nearly touching the table.
This was not a ‘mechanical’ error. Declarer had intended to play the card she chose. It was only after pausing for thought that she wished to withdraw the card she had played. Law 45C4(b) does not allow her to change the card.
This was not a revoke because declarer no longer possessed any of the suit led (diamonds). Law 44D entitled any card in her hand to be played.
So declarer’s card had to be played.