Unintended call

Bidding is opened by W, no interference from N/S. Bidding goes:

1S - 2H
2S - 3C
3H - 4D

At this point S queries the meaning of 4D. W says it is "probably looking for no trumps".

E says, no, I'm just repeating my suit. E had placed 2H but thought they were bidding 2D.

Director is called. E wants to "just play in 4D" but director rules that W must bid as the information about the unintended call is unauthorised and 4D is forcing in almost any system.

W bids 4S. E is void in Spades and contract goes down awarding N/S 100%.

Reasonable outcome? It's troubling as E made an innocent mistake and in some ways the ruling seems harsh - yet you could also argue that it is mild especially since 4H rather than 4S is the logical bid for a weakish hand (the heart fit is 3-2).

What if E now bids 5D (they did not) - which is actually a reasonable contract?



  • Sometimes the law does not arrive at a result commensurate with the severity of the original mistake. Sometimes the law has to be applied as it stands and there is no 'bridge result'.

    West has UI. Probably has UI (who told them they had not bid diamonds earlier?). The auction should either die in a non-making 4M or disappear in to the stratosphere beyond 5D. If all these contracts score N/S 100% then that must be the adjusted score.

  • TagTag
    edited December 2019

    East's contradicting partner's explanation during the auction is probably worth a penalty, certainly a warning and some guidance regarding not doing it again.

    If East bids 5D, I can't see how that could be viewed as natural and West should be bidding again. A pass then by West should bring an adjusted score and another penalty.

  • Thanks. A shame when this happens.


  • The way to think of it is that East bidding 2!h (without realising it) has already doomed their side to a bad result, and East isn't allowed to try to generate UI as a method of digging E/W out of the hole they've already dug themselves into. The penalty for UI in this case may seem to create really abnormal results, but it has to be harsh because the expected result at this point is a very abnormal result, and it's important to prevent the UI giving an advantage (of escaping to a more normal result).

    Just think about what happens if there's no UI and the Director isn't called: the auction probably dies in 4!s or in 6 of something, and E/W get a bottom anyway.

Sign In or Register to comment.