Questem-misbid by East. However, partner answers convention correctly . How should the TD rule ?

South opens 1C
West bids 3C* (partner East alerts + when asked announces correctly- '2 suiter Spades and Diamonds')
North passes
East bids 3D
South bids 4C
West passes
North bids 5C end of auction and all pass . South plays the contract in 5C

N/ S make 11 tricks.
At the end of the hand all is revealed and West apologises for an incorrect bid on his part.
The Director is called as North asserts they have been damaged.
North states she would have bid Spades or Clubs without an intervening bid of 3C by West.

West again apologises and declares his correct bid should have been 2NT* showing Diamonds and Hearts.
West however, states that partner East correctly announced the meaning of the 3C bid; before bidding 3D
West and East's identical system card confirmed the above conventional agreements.

The TD said he would review the biddding and come back at the end of the session and give a ruling.
The TD 's ruling was 5C + 1. Thus ruling in favour of Norths claim of being damaged.
(2 other N/S pairs had bid 4S making 11 & 12 tricks; 1 pair had also bid 5C making 12 tricks. No slams were bid)

Was the TD correct to increase the original result of 5C making by 1 trick ?
Or should he have allowed the 5C, 11 tricks only original result to stand?


  • If all the details above are correct, I'd say the director was wrong and should have let the score stand. NS are entitled to a correct explanation of the opponents' system, and by all accounts that's what they got. They are not entitled to redress from their opponents' misleading bidding, whether this was deliberate (a psyche or deviation), unintended (a misbid), or forgetful (couldn't remember the system).

    In all these cases the TD has to look carefully at what East does: have they done anything odd that could protect themselves from a possible misbid or psyche (known as "fielding"), e.g. have they dropped the bidding earlier than you would expect if partner's call was genuine. Even then there's no automatic redress. It would also be a good idea to check there were no reactions at the table by EW at the surprising answers to explanations.

    The decision to give declarer an overtrick could be based on what the TD thinks declarer might have done with a different explanation, but they are not entitled to this.

  • Vix has alluded to another aspect with this type of ruling, even though it is very unlikely to be relevant on this particular occasion, and that is that West has received Unauthorised Information by the explanation given by East. While it is extremely unlikely to be of concern in this case, in general we would also look at Law 16B to check that we are happy with West's actions as West is expected to continue as if he had not heard East's explanation.

    Barrie Partridge - Senior Kibitzer in Bridge Club Live - Pig Trader in IBLF

  • TagTag
    edited November 2017

    Did the TD give any explanation as to why he thought that declarer had missed out on a trick? Note that the result at other tables should not be relevant.

  • Pierre will be laughing in his grave at the issues his ‘Ghestem’ Convention causes.

    Well it is subtitled ‘The Convention You Shouldn't Play’.
  • David Burn has a hand where Ghestem himself misbid a 3!c overcall

  • TagTag
    edited November 2017

    I had my first Ghestem "forget" a few days ago after partner overcalled 3C. He played it beautifully, making all four of our trumps plus a couple of AKs in his majors for just one off... and a bottom.

    I remember that I'd been thinking about jump overcalls from the previous hand and my mind accepted his bid as natural.

  • @BarkerBridgeTD said:
    David Burn has a hand where Ghestem himself misbid a 3!c overcall

    It's at

    Anything by David Burn is recommended reading!

    Barrie Partridge - Senior Kibitzer in Bridge Club Live - Pig Trader in IBLF

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