Should a Non-Forcing Response to an Opening Bid be Alerted?

In 4th seat against a pair playing Precision Club the auction proceeded 1S (5 card suit) NB 2H All Pass

On enquiry I was surprised to be told that the only forcing response in their system was 1NT and wonder whether this non-forcing change of suit should be alerted?

Comments

  • I think it should be alerted. The relevant part of the Blue Book is 4b1(b) which says
    4 B 1 Passes and bids
    Unless it is announceable (see 4D, 4E, 4F and 4G), a pass or bid must be alerted if it:
    (a) is not natural; or
    (b) is natural but has a potentially unexpected meaning

  • My partner and I also play Precision.
    After a 2C opening bid (11-15 HCP) 6 clubs or 5 plus 4 card major, a response of 2H or 2S shows 8-10 points, 5 of the major and is not forcing. We must alert the bid as it is unusual for such a change of suit to be non forcing

  • edited February 15

    The Blue Book says that a non-forcing new suit response by a passed hand is not alertable (4H2 (d)).

    4 H 2 Because they have a potentially unexpected meaning, players must alert:

    (d) A non-forcing new suit response, to a non-forcing suit opening at any level, below game, unless responder has previously passed, bids over a natural NT overcall, or makes a double jump

  • Ah - but responder hasn't previously passed (I misread the OP as well - he is in 4th position after 1!s - pass - 2!h - ?)

  • Clearly alertable. It is much more unusual than some of the other possibilities, such as the traditional 2M response to a Precision 2!c , as played by Legalmagpie, which are alertable under BB 4H2.

    Slightly off topic, but one of my pet peeves is people describing their system as X when they play something fundamentally alien to the traditional understanding of X. The most obvious example is "Acol with 5 card majors". I would prefer people playing the methods in the OP to describe their system as "Strong Club" rather than "Precision". IMO, Precision fundamentally includes 5 card majors with a forcing 1NT response covering (mostly) weak to intermediate responding hands, with 2 over 1s usually played as up to strength and therefore completely forcing by a non-passed hand, although not GF.

    I also hope that the non-forcing responses are prominently highlighted in the appropriate place on the system card, or are you going to tell me there was no system card?

  • Yesterday against me it went 1d - (2c) - 2s, no alert. I passed in 4th seat and was very surprised when opener passed also.

    Although given no longer have any expectations as to what what a Neg X would have meant from RHO, little expectation as to the strength of a new suit, and I only had a few points and a couple of clubs (so never raising partner to 3C), I'm not damaged and am always passing.

    But I'd still expect to see alert there also. Correct?

  • TagTag
    edited February 19

    In a competitive auction, I'm not sure about whether you can necessarily expect a response to be forcing. With at least one of my partners, a response after an overcall is merely competing unless it's clearly a forcing bid, such as a double, jump or cue bid. Maybe we should be alerting, I'm not sure.

    We also have the situation after interference over our opening strong 1C. A bid that's not then clearly forcing shows less than positive values but we do alert that.

  • @Tag said:
    In a competitive auction, I'm not sure about whether you can necessarily expect a response to be forcing. With at least one of my partners, a response after an overcall is merely competing unless it's clearly a forcing bid, such as a double, jump or cue bid. Maybe we should be alerting, I'm not sure.

    The inclusion of "bids over a natural NT overcall" in BB 4H2 quoted earlier by BarkerBridgeTD, demonstrates that 4H2 is intended to apply in competitive auctions.

    I agree with GrahamC that the non-forcing 2!s bid in the sequence he quotes is alertable.

    Clearly some non-forcing sequences are likelier than others, but the alerting regulation does not depend on that.

  • edited February 19

    The problem with this law is the term 'unexpected meaning' - how is the arbiter of that?

    Against low standard/new player opposition I will alert a lot to draw their attention to things (for example I will occasionally play SAYC in a social/mixed ability club night - with some I tell them we are playing SAYC at the start of the round and then do not announce 1C or 1D as this is natural and at least 3 in our version. Against others I will say that we are playing a 'funny system' so if we open a major it will guarantee 5 cards, then alert a C or D open to let them know that this is not what they are used to).

    So, on our strongest night, 1c - 1d - 1h is routinely played as non-forcing. So, should a weaker pair be expected to alert if this is actually a forcing bid (as it is unexpected to their opposition)? Should one of these stronger players visit our social night, should they alert 1h in this sequence as non-forcing?

    If you are playing in a new club/session and have no real idea of their standards or expectations, should one alert the 1h (no matter how you play it) as you have no idea if the opposition expect this to be forcing or not?

  • @Martin said:
    The problem with this law is the term 'unexpected meaning' - how is the arbiter of that?

    (I think you meant "who").

    That is why the L&EC had given certain examples of what they rule to be unexpected.

    Bear in mind that a non-alert usually gives more specific information than an alert (which may be required for one of a number of possible reasons). I think players should be scrupulous in alerting in situations where the unexpectedness has been defined for them by the L&EC. In cases where it has not, it is helpful for players to alert if they think that there is something likely to be unexpected to the particular opponents or in a particular environment, even if they would not alert in other circumstances in which the meaning would not be unexpected. Of course only the more experienced can draw this distinction.

  • Thanks Abbey - I should proof read more :)

    If one alerts a bid that the opposition expect to be alertable because it is not natural, but we play it as natural (and alerted because it is unexpected), then this might mislead them more than a pass?

  • @Martin said:
    If one alerts a bid that the opposition expect to be alertable because it is not natural, but we play it as natural (and alerted because it is unexpected), then this might mislead them more than a pass?

    I think that if you play something as natural when most people would expect it to be artificial and therefore alerted, it is probably unhelpful to alert just because it is natural, the unexpectedness being merely the fact that it is natural. Of course if it is natural and has a potentially unexpected meaning (apart from the naturalness) then it has to be alerted anyway.

    The one situation in which even people who don't ask as many questions as they probably should may well ask about an unalerted bid is when the lack of alert is, to them, surprising.

  • Why are you looking at BB 4B1B?

    4H2 Because they are not natural, players must alert (unless excepted by 4B4 above):

    D
    A non-forcing new suit response, to a non-forcing suit opening at any level, below game, unless responder has previously passed, bids over a natural NT overcall, or makes a double jump.

    4B4 refers to calls above 3N.

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