Playing above your grade?

You hold:
The bidding starts 1H on your right, raised to 2H and passed round to you.
What do you bid? You are vuln, the opposition aren't.

I suspect most NGS J and above will bid 3C, indeed some will have bid 2C the previous round.
And most NGS 7 and below will Pass.

But of course the bidding wasn't really like that!
Partner has 'hesitated' before passing; the Heart bidders want to reserve their rights.

How do you rule when the bidder was NGS 9?
(A club poll of peers was inconclusive;
but the post-session analysts all bid.)


  • Did you find out why the NGS 9 actually bid? An NGS 9 is an above-average player, remember - and there are many reasons why a player is NGS 9 rather than a higher rank. They could be fully conversant with balancing or never have heard of it.

    "I have a solid six card club suit and my partner obviously has some points or the opponents would have made a game try." would result in a different decision from "Well I knew my parter had a few points because he didn't make an obvious pass"

    Of course at the time you just get an agreement that there was a break in tempo and ask to be called back if the opponents feel they were damaged.

    It is an interesting problem:If you feel that you have to go to a beyond NGS J before most would bid then prima-facie evidence is that passing is a LA. (or rather that bidding is not 'carefully avoiding' taking advantage of the hesitation) However collecting any evidence will help.

  • I don't think you can base your decision on the grades of the players.


  • @16248 said:
    I don't think you can base your decision on the grades of the players.

    You must take some account of the ability of the player (and the NGS doesn't seem a terrible way to do it):
    Law 6B1(b) "A logical alternative is an action that a significant proportion of the class of players in question,
    using the methods of the partnership, would seriously consider, and some might select."

  • When you say "A club poll of peers was inconclusive" what do you mean by that? Might it be that it showed that passing was a logical alternative, or do you mean that only one person passed and that you aren't sure if that met the threshold?

  • The polling could have been inconclusive because a substantial number would have bid 3!c on the first round. If WJO's are in use even at Red, the hand seems to fit the bill. But in many clubs a substantial number will play vulnerable jump overcalls to show stronger hands (and 3!c may commonly be Ghesswhich, of course :) ).

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