›

Bid showing a stopper alertable?

E/W bid to 3NT via the sequence 1C - 2C*, 2H - 3NT.
2C was alerted as inverted minor raise; no subsequent alerts.
In the explanation after the auction, 2H was described as 'showing a stopper, maybe I should have alerted.'
When dummy tabled Kx of Hearts as 'the stopper' , TD was called: NS believe they have been damaged.

Well they have! A Heart lead defeats 3N: it made on the actual S lead.
The questions that arise are:
1) should 2H be alerted anyway, or is that only the case if it may be made on fewer than 3 card suit?
2) have NS been damaged by the failure to alert, or damaged by the psyche/deviation of 2H?

I was TD, and ruled that the damage was caused by the bid, not the failure to alert; so result to stand.
North says he would have doubled 2H for the lead, and appeals the decision.

By the time the Appeal was held the participants had left.
Incomplete discussion, but panel believes 2H should have been alerted.
However, subsequently East says he wouldn't have bid 3N if 2H had been Dbld.
EW may then find their way to 4S, (always 1 off).
Or 3N by West; N will need to lead a D to defeat this.

On reflection, and noting the appeals panel outcome, looks like this should be a weighted score.

Comments please.

Comments

  • If it isn't natural (defined as showing 3+ cards) then it is alertable. Assuming that this was their system - i.e. the bid showed a stopper which could be Ax/ Kx rather than length, then yes it should have been alerted.

    The TD/AC have to consider - would North really have doubled 2H? (Depends on his hand...)
    South knew that there may not be length in dummy before he led, but didn't lead a heart.

    And then, as you say, what would the auction have been if North had doubled?

  • @Frances said:
    If it isn't natural (defined as showing 3+ cards) then it is alertable. Assuming that this was their system - i.e. the bid showed a stopper which could be Ax/ Kx rather than length, then yes it should have been alerted.

    The TD/AC have to consider - would North really have doubled 2H? (Depends on his hand...)
    South knew that there may not be length in dummy before he led, but didn't lead a heart.

    And then, as you say, what would the auction have been if North had doubled?

    What she said.

  • When I was called to the table, N/S complained that W should have 4+ hearts!
    East knew it might only be three, which might have explained the 'maybe I should alert.'
    It wasn't clear whether he thought it might only be two.
    That was why at the table, I was minded to treat 2H as a deviation.
    However the the subsequent contention by E that he wouldn't bid 3N may indicate he has seen his partners 'stoppers' before!
    So even if they have never discussed the minimum length in the suit, I guess the bid should be alerted.

    North is an aggressive bidder, indeed he opined that he would have doubled before he knew whether declarer had anything in Hearts.

    So as I suspected, it seems to come down to how the auction might have proceeded after ...2H*, Dbl...

  • @MikeK said:
    By the time the Appeal was held the participants had left.

    Players are often unable to hang around after the ends of sessions and It can often be unsatisfactory for an appeal to be conducted without the players (and I have even heard horror stories of appeals being conducted without the knowledge of the non-appealing side).

    One method which I have used very successfully is to conduct an appeal of a TD ruling at a bridge club by e-mail. It gives all the players their chance to converse with the appeal committee, and it avoids rushed decisions.

    Barrie Partridge - CTD for Bridge Club Live

  • A rebid that shows three cards in the suit is not alertable, unless there's unexpected extra information conveyed by the bid. Showing that the suit is stopped is borderline, I think, and I'm not sure whether you'd alert it or not. (In one system I'm working on, one fairly low-level bid shows a 3+-card suit and specifically denies the Queen; that's weird enough that it needs an alert. But plenty of natural systems don't bid weak suits, and agreeing that a bid shows a stopper is similar to agreeing not to bid weak suits, so it's unclear if the alert is needed.)

    If Kx is considered a valid stop, though, the stopper bid definitely needs alerting, because a new-suit rebid (below 3NT) that does not guarantee three cards in the suit bid is always alertable. (I think most partnerships would consider AK tight a valid stop, and thus would need to alert stopper bids on the basis that they could be showing AK.)

    N's arguments seem a bit inconsistent here (if a "stopper" in dummy's hand is expected to be strong enough to discourage a lead, you'd expect the bid showing the suit to not be alertable; stoppers work much better in declarer's hand). That said, you either have to rule that Kx was a deviation (which would need system notes to prove it, I think), or that the bid should have been alerted as potentially short. I think reaching 3NT by E after a stopper bid is doubled is unlikely; it's worth asking EW if they had any route to 3NT by W, because in some systems that would be highly likely, and in others almost impossible, so it's going to matter a lot for determining the weightings. (Of course, there should be some weighting for the table result, unless N would certainly double if the bid were alerted…)

    Anything beyond that is probably going to require polling, and the hands in question. E's, W's, and N's actions are all likely to be relevant (S's probably won't be), so that might need three polls.

Sign In or Register to comment.