I don't speak Spanish!

Interesting situation at the Plymouth Congress.

North wanted to change her bid. I wanted to ascertain why North bid as she did in order to determine if there was mechanical error.

North speaks little English. Her partner usually translates for her. I was unhappy about using him as a translator for obvious UI reasons.

There was one other person in the room who could translate - East at the same table.

Limited in options, I allowed East to translate (away from the table).

Should / could I have done anything different?

(Incidentally she claimed mechanical error but I disallowed it - 2D (her "intended" bid and 2NT not being close enough in the bidding box).


  • Some players speak far better English when they think they can persuade the director to rule in their favour than when they think anything they say will cause the director to rule against them.

    Anything you do which will not disadvantage the opponents will be ok.

    You might rule without testimony from North and be prepared to investigate at the end of the hand (with the partner translating) and reverse the decision if appropriate, adjusting the score as 'director's error' - being generous to both sides.

  • I have a thought, way back in the recesses of my memory, that says "all discussion at the table shall be in English".
    Is this a false memory or was it once the case that English, at the table, was a requirement?
    It can't have been a law because the laws are international, was it an EBU requirement?

  • It is EBL and WBF regulation but there is also the need to be accomodating
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