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FEB_08_EB p35 Jeremy 14/1/08 3:06 pm Page 31

Alerting and suit-play



E-mail your questions to Jeremy Dhondy at

or write to the editor, Elena Jeronimidis, at 23 Erleigh Road, Reading RG1 5LR.

Please include your name and address.

not have done which, perhaps, might have

BILL White of Cheshire writes: At a made the board unplayable? It is quite hard

recent club duplicate my partner and I to imagine what North was doing and

arrived a little late at a table. North unfortunate that he did it after hearing your

South at the next table were still talking side ask the next table to be quiet. Jeremy Dhondy

loudly and were told by my partner that

they could be clearly heard. We then

proceeded to bid the following deal: PW by e-mail says: One of the

changes made last year was the

abolition of alerting over 3NT but SIMON Cochemé of London asks:

♠ 532 recently I have been told that is isn’t a Declarer says to dummy, ‘Run the

♥ 10 5 3 complete ban. What is the situation? diamonds’ (the suit in question was

♦ Q 10 8 7

♣ 964 A-K-Q-J-10-2, the contract was 3NT).

♠ A K Q 10 8 6 4 ♠ J97 Can (s)he countermand the instruction

♥ 97 N

♥ 862 When the changes were made to alerting after, say, the ♦J has been played and

♦ A4 W



♦ K32 rules in 2006, there was the removal of won the trick? I held ♦9-8-6-5-4-3,

♣ 10 5 ♣ KJ82 most alerting over the level of 3NT, which but (luckily) declarer didn't notice.

♠ Void

♥ AKQJ4 is similar to many other countries. There Not sure about dummy; I thought I

♦ J965 are three exceptions to this rule (noted on detected a slight flicker before he

♣ AQ73 Page 25 of the Orange Book) and they are: reluctantly played the ♦2.

1. Any artificial opening bid must still be

South opened 1♥ in third seat and I alerted. An example would be 4♦ to

jumped to 4♠ which was doubled by show a good 4♠ opening. When declarer says this, it is a statement of

North, ending the auction. Virtually 2. Any double or redouble which is lead- intent but he cannot be held to it. In the

everyone was in 4♠ but no-one else directing but not for the suit bid. For situation above, if declarer had noticed that

was doubled. Given that North had a example, the opponents open 1♠ and both he and one opponent showed out,

completely flat 2-count, it did occur to respond 4♦ splinter. You now double then he could change his mind. Law 46

me that he had overheard something. to ask for a heart lead. covers this. It is, perhaps, unwise to use this

I didn’t call the director as it was an 3. Any lead-directing pass. e.g. passing a phrase because if you do change your mind

ordinary club duplicate and it would 5♥ response to Blackwood to tell part- and partner is not paying much attention

have caused some embarrassment but ner to lead a spade. he may play before you want him to. Better,

I did feel aggrieved. Would I have been The idea of alerting here is that although in my view, to instruct trick by trick.

justified in seeking a ruling? the desire to reduce alerting is strong, these

are positions where it would be difficult to

guess what might be going on without an ASB of Northolt asks: How should you

I am slightly surprised that no-one else was alert. Some players think that a sequence play J-x-x opposite K-9-8-x for two,

in 4♠ doubled because even if no other such as (2♥ Weak) – 4♦ (showing dia- three, or maximum number of tricks?

North found the imaginative double, some monds and spades) is another example. At

in South’s position might have re-opened present it isn’t alertable.

leaving North to consider whether pass Perhaps the biggest advantage of redu- For three tricks run the jack to pin a

might be his cheapest option. I would, at the cing the amount of alerting over 3NT is that singleton ten, but for two tricks, or the

very least, have wondered why North had players can no longer help their own side by maximum, play low to the nine which gives

doubled and if you ask him it might easily resolving difficulties over whether 4NT is you a 74% chance of making two tricks.

cause offence even if done in your most Blackwood, or 4♣ Gerber. In a recent event Suitplay is a small and free computer pro-

tactful manner. Yes, you would have been one of our opponents failed to bid a slam. gram which will help you work out all suit

within your rights to call the director but Not worthy of note, you might think, but combinations, and is invaluable when you

when your partner asked the next table to when the explanations were given at the end get home with the nagging feeling that you

be quiet, as they could be ‘heard clearly’ of the bidding it turned out that between didn’t play the trumps correctly! Putting the

might he not have summoned the director them they thought they had used both word into Google will give you no end of

if he had overheard something he should Gerber and Blackwood on the same hand! sources for obtaining the program. February 2008 English Bridge 31


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