Another "is this alertable?" question

(Prompted by a discussion on Usenet.) In each of the following sequences, dealer opens, and there's no interference from the opponents. In which of these sequences is opener's rebid alertable?:

  • 1!h, 1!s; 3!c (at least about 16 points, 5+ hearts 4+ clubs, forcing 1 round)
  • 1!h, 1NT; 3!c (at least about 16 points, 5+ hearts 4+ clubs, forcing 1 round)
  • 1!h, 2!d; 3!c (at least about 16 points, 5+ hearts 4+ clubs, forcing 1 round)
  • 1!c, 1!s; 2!h (at least about 16 points, 5+ clubs 4+ hearts, forcing 1 round)

In each case, the opening bid and response to it have the typical Acol meaning.


  • Law 40B5

    1. (a) When explaining the significance of partner’s call or play in reply to an opponent’s
      enquiry (see Law 20) a player shall disclose all special information conveyed to him
      through partnership agreement or partnership experience [b]but he need not disclose
      inferences drawn from his knowledge and experience of matters generally known to
      bridge players[/b]

    The only question: is the fact that the bid is forcing for 1 round alertable? So IMHO

    Option 4: General knowledge is that a reverse at the two level is not necessarily forcing - alertable.
    Option 3:General knowledge is that a new suit at the three level is uncondiitionally forcing - non-alertable
    Option 2: General knowledge is that a new bid after a limit response is not 100% forcing - alertable
    Option 1: General knowledge is that a new suit at the three level is unconditionally forcing - non-alertable. (In my experience it is often a transfer to 3NT - TIC).

    Mind you - I have never come accross a situation where failure to alert has had any effect - but I am young and inexperienced.


  • I would understand that number 4 is always absolutely forcing in Acol.


  • Option 2: General knowledge is that a new bid after a limit response is not 100% forcing - alertable

    General knowledge is that a new suit at the 3 level is forcing - not alertable

  • Does 'generally known' refer to all Bridge players or is it interpreted in the local context of the session or tournament concerned?


  • Would the difference between a 1-round force and a game force be relevant for alertability purposes? (For example, with the fourth sequence, presumably at least one of (1-round force, game force) is not alertable; would they both be non-alertable?)

  • The thing that worries me is the "at least about 16 points". There can't be any half measures, does it mean 16+ or can it be anywhere from 13 +?. I can't see any "Special meanings" in the bids. Effectively the EBU ACOL teaching says that a bid above "the Barrier" a reverse "forces your partner to bid again". In the opening posting they are all 1 round forces. As ais523 has indicated what situation would a game force or a 1 round force indicate a special meaning that is not assumed to be known by the bridge community? We seem to be moving towards the situation where every bid is alerted because we don't know what we don't know (Donald Rumsfeld territory). I don't think that the WBF or the EBU would wish us to go that far.


    P.S. is General Knowledge the "brother" of common sense?

  • Oh well - I was taught, many years ago, that a reverse needed 16 points because partner might have to give preference to the original suit at the three level. The inference being that he could pass the bid of the other suit at the two level. If it is a 1-round force then you could be at the three level with no fit on 22 points (or even less the way people respond on tram tickets these days). Not my cup of tea.

  • I'm afraid it wouldn't occur to me to alert any of them. Bear in mind that the old rule that you alert if something is natural but unexpectedly forcing or non-forcing has been abandoned. But something that is forcing or non-forcing is a _very _ unexpected way can make it a potentially unexpected meaning, and therefore alertable.

    All of these sequences show what are traditionally referred to as "reversing values". That is what they are generally expected to show. I would expect virtually everyone to play sequences 1 and 3 as forcing, and would alert if they were played as non-forcing because I consider that a potentially unexpected meaning. Sequence 2 is perhaps theoretically not necessarily forcing, although rarely passed (if you have a good fit for clubs, you might try 3NT; if you don't you usually put opener back to hearts or try 3NT; you might bid 3!d if 1NT was based on long diamonds), but I wouldn't find it at all surprising if opponents played it as forcing. Sequence 4 is commonly played as forcing these days, but it is not particularly surprising to find pairs playing it as non-forcing.

    If I needed to know whether opponents played sequences 2 or 4 as forcing (which wouldn't happen very often), I would ask.

  • I agree with Abbeybear. Sequences 1 and 3 are normally game-forcing, so should be alerted if non-forcing (but not if played as only a one-round force). Sequences 2 and 4 are variously played as a one-round force or strong but non-forcing (2 may be game-forcing for some). I wouldn't regard any natural and forcing meaning of these bids to be unusual enough to warrant an alert.

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