Illegal bid at Gold Cup Semi-Final?

Watching a close semi-final on Saturday on BBO a player opened 2NT (19-21) with Ax Jx Kx KQJ10xxx, winning 10imps reaching 3NT on sub-minimal values. No-one appeared to notice this didn't meet the 16+pts or 5controls regulation for a strong bid. What do you think?........
a) Should the imaginative upgrade be applauded or penalised?
b) If a spectator advises the event director, would he/she be obliged to take action?
c) Should the EBU-specific "Strong" definition be put to pasture? It is interesting to note that Strong clubbers cannot upgrade this hand to a 16-18 1NT (if included in 1C opening), let alone a 2NT opener! My twopenneth would be to adopt the simple WBF regulation stating any hand containing 13+HCP can be treated as "Strong".

Comments

  • a) Players can bid what they like - it is what the agreement is that is important. Provided there have been no previous indications that this player will open 2NT on such a hand then there is no problem. The call should not be penalised as there is no breach in the law - since it gained 10 imps then it should be applauded. Believe it or not I do think that bridge is about tricks, not HCP and this hand has the potential of making lots of tricks. You cannot force players to act against their better judgement (absent UI). In the Gold cup EBU level 5 conventions are allowed.

    (Players may agree that opening 2NT could also show a single suited hand - the suit need not be specified Blue book 7C1biv note 2)

    b) Law 76B5 - A spectator at the table shall not draw attention to any aspect of the game. HOWEVER the director WOULD be obliged to take action. - law 81C3 Director's powers and Duties.

    1. to rectify an error or irregularity of which he becomes aware in any manner, within the
      periods established in accordance with Laws 79C and 92B.

    c) I don't think so - the EBU seem to have the ethos that when players use the word 'strong' it gives the impression that the hand can take tricks both in offence and defence - and thus may deter opponents from competing with otherwise suitable hands. Limiting the use of the word 'strong' affords these players some protection. If strong clubbers find they cannot upgrade this hand to a 'strong' No trump, then they should look for some method whereby they can show this sort of hand. It is not up to me to sort out deficiencies in bidding systems, nor, IMHO, the EBU to protect players against their own failures to work out a fully comprehensive bidding system.

    (There is nothing to stop strong clubbers from redefining their 1NT as : 14-18 - if 14-15 then will have additional playing strength - this hand qualifies as a 1NT bid under those circumstances under level 4 - see definition below.

    "(i) Natural, non-forcing with a continuous defined range. A ‘natural’ 1NT opening has no more than nine cards in two suits, no void, and does not have seven hearts or seven spades. The range must be the same when holding a singleton")

  • The later stages of the Gold Cup are WBF Category 1 events: HUM and Brown Sticker allowed, So EBU level 4 is not the relevant regulation. Even the earlier stages allow EBU level 5 / WBF Category 3, in which regulation a strong 2 level bid is/was 'king above average' (13+ HCP) and there is no restriction on 2-level/3-level bids which show an average hand or better.

    By law, spectators may only on communicate with the director about what happens at the table if asked.

  • Aside from the fact that an agreement to open 2NT on this hand is fine in the Gold Cup as Robin explained, I am pretty confident that the pair did not have such an agreement and partner fully expected 19-21 HCP.

  • @Frances said:
    Aside from the fact that an agreement to open 2NT on this hand is fine in the Gold Cup as Robin explained, I am pretty confident that the pair did not have such an agreement and partner fully expected 19-21 HCP.

    There may even have been an announcement telling oppo what partner expected for the 2NT opening bid.

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