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
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
obin Barkerrobin@ebu.co.uk;s Deputy Chief
Tournament Director. He is editor of
the White Book and looks forward 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.