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February 2018 English Bridge

There have been a number of recent enquiries on

this topic. The recommended timings for clubs are

in the Club Management Handbook (available to

affiliated clubs). The relevant page says:

Some clubs play at a faster pace while others take

things more slowly but, normally, a board should be

played in about 7-7½ minutes. So two-board

rounds should take 15 minutes, which means that

the usual club duplicate of 24 boards can be played

in about three hours. For rounds of three boards 22

minutes per round should suffice since less time is

taken up with moving.


lison Minns asked, 'My bridge club has just

changed one of its evenings to level 2

systems and my partner and I are putting

together our bidding card. Could you tell me

please whether we can use: Roman Key Card

Blackwood, Jacoby and CRO?'


ave Edwards asked, 'A pass out of turn is

not accepted by LHO who passes and

offender's partner opens 1NT. Offender

wants to bid 2® Stayman but because it is limitless

like a change of suit, I guessed that it was not

allowed but I was unsure. What is the position?'


rian Lupton asked, 'I have heard that we

should play a board in about 7.5 minutes

but searching through the rule book and

the white book, the only reference I can find is in

the White Book [8.81.4 Slow play]. From that I

deduce that it is 7.5 minutes for a two board

round and possibly just 7 minutes (21 minutes in

total) for a three board round. What should we do

on an ordinary club night?'

You can use Roman Key Card Blackwood because

all bids are permitted after the first round.

Jacoby is permitted because it is not a weak


CRO is permitted because two suited overcalls are

permitted if one or both suits is specified. But note,

some partnerships play (say) 2NT over 1-of-aminor,

as either the minors or the majors, but this is

not permitted - 2NT must show the majors.

I suspect the only comparable call (other than Pass)

is a natural 2NT response. Almost all artificial

responses to 1NT could have game-going values,

and so are not a 'subset' of an original Pass.

Note that if responder does make a comparable

call (for example 2NT), opener can bid freely,

including rebidding a suit when they would

normally just pass or bid 3NT. Having made a

comparable call to keep the auction open, the

offending side is allowed to try and find the best


Knowledgable TDs might expect me to mention

Law 23C at this point (non-offending side

damaged), but in practice that law will not apply.


hris Purvis asked, 'An opponent in a teams

match opened 2® (I think alerted rather

than announced), his partner responded

2t (alerted), he rebid 2NT, and his partner bid

3®, which he announced as 'Stayman'. 2®-2t2NT

shows opener as having a balanced hand with

a specific (strong) point range. Should the

Stayman 3® bid have been announced or alerted?'

Announcements only apply to opening bids and to

responses to NT opening bids. On your auction:

2® opening is artificial, and is alerted (only natural

bids at the 2-level are announced).

2t response is artificial, and is alerted.

2NT rebid is natural, and is neither announced nor


3® Stayman is artificial, and is alerted (as are

3t/3™ transfers).


obin;s Deputy Chief

Tournament Director. He is editor of

the White Book and looks forward to

answering your questions. Please email

him -

The author, English Bridge and the EBU are

not responsible if the information provided is

incorrect or incomplete.


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