[BLML] Do Alert rules need to change ?

Alain Gottcheiner agot at ulb.ac.be
Mon Mar 19 15:39:53 CET 2012

Le 18/03/2012 19:49, Vigfús Pálsson a écrit :
> Hello all.  Vigfus Palsson from Iceland here.
> In Iceland, I have problems about Alert rules.  2 large ones.
> More that 90% of Players in Iceland use transfers over 1NT and 2NT.  Recently, one expert pair , starting new partnership, decided to use new partnership agreement.
> They decided not to use transfers of 2D for Hearts,  or 2H for Spades.  And they started playing.
> And they sure did not alert their 2Diamonds or 2Hearts.  To play 5+ over 1NT.
> The problem was that everyone thought they were using transfers.  Sure they did not obey any Alert rules, but made confusion. (And opp's sometimes got bad score because of it.)
> Can we do something to make things more clear in those situations ?

Yes. As one of those meanings (transfer or natural) is standardized and 
not alertable ; the other one is alerrtable, even if it's the natural 
one (this is the case in France).  If transfers are still alertable, 
then the non-alert is understandable.

> The second problem is that it is not supposed to alert on any doubles  ( including redoubles )
> I think this rule was made about 40 years ago because of the "sputnik" double which was getting common, and common to be forgot.
> Today in Iceland,  the double has often turned out to have a special meaning in some situations.  And many players have come to me
> and asked me what to do, because they want to inform the opp's about the special meaning, but can not, because of the rules.

We have the same rule in Belgium, and it is silly. The right rle IMHO 
woud be : do not alert any doubles with general meaning (takeout, 
sputnik, values, optional ...) ; do alert any special doubles (with 
meaning related to a suit / suits beyond takeout context) ;  ex : 1C - 
1D - X (4+ hearts, T-Walsh) ; 2D (Multi) - Dbl (spades and another suit) 
In Belgium, the non-alertability enxtends to redoubles, which means that 
e.g. 1C - Dbl - Rdbl (5-7 HCP, no 5-card major), as I play it in one 
partnership will obviously mislead them, especially as a double by 
opener (1C D RD 1Y D) would then be sputnik.

Some have the problem which you mentioned (as I do) ; some devise very 
special doubles because they know  they wouldn't be detected.
When it goes this far, something is rotten.

Best regards


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