Disclosure by declarer to defenders : required or not?
NS Vul EW Non Vul
N opened 2D which was alerted by S who described it (when asked) as a Multi showing a weak 2 in a Major OR a strong 4441 hand
W overcalled 2S with JT76432
S bid 2N which would be an asking bid in the system without the intervention.
N did not alert this. Although the system is described on the CC there is no mention of whether it is on or off in competition.
N bid 3NT which S alerted.
W passed and S bid 5D
W asked S about the alert and was told that "in our system it shows a strong 4441 hand with a singleton Club.
North knew that his hand didn't fit S's description but considered that having not alerted S's 2N bid it should be clear that he had taken it as natural. S had obviously missed this subtlety as had E and W.
S's had given a correct explanation of the system (without intervention) and he (S) believed it was accurate.
However, N knew that he had bid 3N to play and although his hand didn't fit the explanation he believed that S had been incorrect to alert in the absence of an alert from N of S's 2N bid.
White Book 8.40.5 requires experienced players to protect themselves. So should W have asked S whether the explanation of the alert was still correct considering that N hadn't alerted the 'so called' asking bid (which hadn't been explained by either N or S in the absence of any question from E or W about it).
EW failed to defeat 5D after JS lead to N's singleton Ace and E's singleton 8. N then drew trumps in 3 rounds and ran QH to E's K but E, relying on S's explanation did not follow up his switch to AC with KC but switched again to a H enabling N to dump his losing Club in dummy on QH, ruff a Club in dummy and dispose of his last two Clubs in hand on KS & QS.
NS got a joint bottom for 5D making, with every other pair in the room in 3NT. 3 made 10, 4 made 11 and two made 9.
E was aggrieved that N had not corrected his partner's explanation knowing that is was an inaccurate description of the actual hand he held.
N's reason for not doing so was that he felt that his partner had bid the system correctly as he (S) understood it but should have realised that 3N was to play and was not a response to the 2N enquiry. As such it was not up to N to describe the hand that he felt he had bid correctly just because it didn't match partner's explanation when partner's explanation was technically correct within the context of the system bid which S thought that N had made.
There had been no fielding by either player and NS had, in any case, landed themselves in a vastly inferior contract to the optimum 3NT.
The TD agreed to examine it at the end of the evening at which point she felt unable to know how to rule but, considering that an adjustment to 5D-1 would result in only 2 more MPs for EW she allowed the result to stand. The transfer of the 2MPs would not have affected either pair's position in the results. That however doesn't actually make it correct for the TD to fail to rule.
What are the views on this forum of N's actions?
Should the TD rule that N does not have to disclose anything about his hand to EW in these circumstances or should he declare before W makes an opening lead that whilst his partner's explanation is systemically correct, N's decision not to alert S's asking bid indicates that he may not necessarily have the hand which S has described?
The NS hands are reproduced below.