Slow Play, Alerts and
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RICK WATERS, Suffolk says: Slow SALLY IZOD, Cheltenham asks: I am
play is an issue that irritates a lot of writing to find out if using an EBU
people, so anything that speeds up a 0021 Score and Convention Card is a matter of regulation, the pass after the
round of bridge should be tried. We acceptable at Level 3, playing dupli- double of 1NT is alertable and if there is an
now have to shuffle the hand after cate bridge at friendly club regular enquiry your side is required to explain
every board. Wouldn’t it be better to sessions. what it means. In my opinion to say
sort the hand for the next player? I I do not any longer play in Con- something like: ‘It forces a redouble’, is not
have calculated that over the course of gresses or Tournaments. The EBU good enough. Experienced opponents
an evening, when playing 24 boards, 0021 card is quick and simple to fill would know to ask more but less experi-
players take an average of 40 seconds in and contains all the information enced ones might assume it was a good
to sort their hands, so you would be needed. Someone suggested that I fill hand. You should tell your opponents what
saving over 15 minutes (23 x 40 = 15 in an EBU 20B which, frankly, reminds you know. The game allows you to play
minutes 20 seconds). Are we allowed me of struggling with maths and your method but it also requires a level
to do this as a club rule? or are we algebra problems when I was at school. playing field of information, so I would say:
forced to follow EBU regulations? ‘It forces a redouble after which pass with a
Allright, I concede that basically we good hand and bid the lowest of my four-
are only saving the shuffle time, but Yes, it is perfectly acceptable to use 0021 (a card suits with a bad hand.’
any time saved would be appreciated standard scorecard with convention card) Any redouble that is not from strength
by the faster players. when you are playing a relatively simple should be alerted, even though we all
system in a club session unless the club know some that are clearly SOS.
rules state otherwise.
In the 2007 laws a requirement was added The EBU20B is more designed for con-
to return cards to the board and that they gresses and matches. I imagine you may PHIL COOK from Bath asks: I know
should be shuffled. You can find the detail well go through a whole session with no- that if no-trumps are bid naturally
in Law 7C. As it is a law, not an EBU one taking much interest in your card at all and I double, then that is penalty
regulation, your club cannot choose to provided you announce as you should. unless alerted but what about the
ignore it or do something else. The Law situation where the auction goes 1´ –
says ‘should shuffle’ rather than ‘must Pass – 1NT – Double?
shuffle’ in order to give the director leeway JOHN HIBBS has an alerting enquiry. This is not always natural and
in the event that someone has difficulty in He says: My partner and I play Exit balanced, so should a double be
sorting their cards at the next table. It Transfers. If I open 1NT and my LHO alerted or not?
would be just as sensible to have a rule doubles, partner will pass with a weak
saying all hands must be sorted. What is hand and no five-card suit, or a strong
important is consistency because infor- hand. This is forcing me to redouble, You are right that a double of a natural
mation can be given to players at other which she will pass with a strong hand no-trump bid is only alerted if it is not
tables by whether cards are sorted or not. hoping to make 1NT redoubled, or for penalties. A 1NT response to a suit
Imagine a board coming from another bid her lowest four-card suit with a opening is typically 6-9 points without
table in a teams match. You are in fourth weak hand. We have decided that her support for the opening suit. For sure it
seat and there are three passes to you. If the original pass should be alerted, but will include some awkward hands that
hand is sorted and the other hands were how much information should we be are not worth a two over one bid (hence
not you will be able to draw an obvious disclosing to our opponent? its name as the ‘dustbin bid’) but when
conclusion. Whilst I entirely agree that slow deciding whether to respond to it the
play can put players off, this is not a primary opener assumes 6-9 and fairly balanced.
cause and fewer pointless, ill-informed post Anytime your side has information Thus it is considered natural and is not
mortems might lead to a speeding up of the because of an agreement, you should an exception. You should alert if the
whole process. make that available to your opponents. As double is not for penalties. r
www.ebu.co.uk October 2011 English Bridge 21