August 2018 English Bridge
Alert if the responses are different or show 5-card
suits, so you should alert your 'modified stayman'.
West North East South
2NT Pass 3t/3™ (transfer)
If the suit transferred to is 5+ cards the correct
announcement is hearts/spades after 1NT or 2NT,
not transfer. It does not mean that all responding
hands with 5+ cards in a major will bid the transfer.
teven Bliss asked, 'Lots of players open rather
light in third position, especially when not
vulnerable, and their partners know that
they do. If the opening bid in third seat could be
well below the normal level of an opening bid,
should it be alerted? This week a player opened
one heart with ´8 ™K7432 tJ42 ®A963. Eight
points, a poor suit, no exceptional distribution
and well below the rule of 19. Should partnerships
that could open as light as this alert the opening
bid? PS they didn't stop us getting to 4´!'
inda Souter asked, 'I thought that the
Director couldn't cancel a board once the
cards had been removed (eg in cases of slow
play) but I cannot find the rule in the rule book.' K
eith Goswell asked, 'In Law 30B of the
2018 code the penalties for an opening bid
out of turn appear to have been relaxed
'Playing at a recent congress I stupidly opened
the bidding when my partner was dealer. We called
the TD who applied what I believe was the old
sanction after LHO declined to accept. I was
allowed to change my bid but partner was silenced
for the rest of the auction so I punted something
and the bidding finished there.
'I later quietly and politely queried ruling with
the chief tournament director who confirmed it
was correct. Were they right under the current
There is nothing in the Blue Book which says that
light opening bids should be alerted. There is a
requirement that lighter opening bids in
third/fourth position be disclosed on the system
card; and there are tick boxes on the EBU 20B card
encouraging disclosure of any special agreements
involving different values in particular positions (eg
light openings in third seat). The expectation is that
players are not surprised that third-in-hand openers
may be light. The regulations allow an agreement to
open on 8 HCP.
obin Barker is the EBU's Deputy Chief
Tournament Director. He is editor of
the White Bookrobin@ebu.co.ukard to
answering your questions. Please email
him - email@example.com.
The author, English Bridge and the EBU are
not responsible if the information provided is
incorrect or incomplete.
I understand that yours was the first call but your
partner was the dealer, and your LHO did not
accept your bid. So the bid was cancelled and the
auction reverted to dealer.
Under the old laws, your partner would be
silenced for the entire auction, starting with their
initial action as dealer, and you would be free to bid
but you would likely have to guess a final contract.
Under the 2017 laws, your partner (dealer) makes
their normal initial call - but is not allowed to know
about your bid; then if (at your turn) you make a
comparable call the auction continues without
penalty; if you do not make a comparable call, your
partner is silenced for one round.
I am sure that you (having looked up the laws)
can tell which set of laws the TD was applying!
All you could have done more is to ask the TD (or
the Chief TD) to read you the law they applied from
the law book (and check the date on the cover).
Unfortunately, many TDs continue to rule in
accordance with the laws they first learnt - all we
can do is to try to re-educate them when we can.r
Although it is generally considered undesirable for a
TD to do this, the power to ensure the orderly
progress of thegame (Law 81C1) allows the director
to cancel a board in extremis. If it is 10:59pm and
the caretaker is turning out the lights then the TD
will have to cancel any boards in play.
Also, if the TD announces that no boards are to be
started and a table nevertheless starts to play a
board, then the TD may cancel the board.