[BLML] Do Alert rules need to change ? [SEC=UNOFFICIAL]

Alain Gottcheiner agot at ulb.ac.be
Tue Mar 20 14:56:10 CET 2012

Le 19/03/2012 22:31, Nigel Guthrie a écrit :
> [Sven Pran]
> Opening bids in the range 1NT - 2Sp are never to be alerted, but the
> opener's partner shall immediately (without being asked) "announce" the
> meaning of that bid. The announcement shall include all important features
> of the bid. With for instance ("natural") 1NT opening bids this includes the
> HCP range and possible special distributional features like "may contain a
> singleton" or "may contain a 5-card major" etc.
> [Nige1]
> I agree with what Sven says but go a little further...
> - For *all* partner's calls (not just 2-openers), you *announce* the meaning
> (*No alert, no question*).
> - Each table has a card with a matrix of common explanations (e.g. Natural,
> Take-out, Penalty, Negative, Lead-directing, Responsive, Competitive,
> Action, Support, Game-try, Weak, Sign-off, Constructive, Invitational,
> Transfer, FQ, FG, Transgfer, relay, Asking, Splinter, Fit, Mixed, and so on,
> and so on). When partner makes a call with a simple explanation, instead of
> announcing, you point to the appropriate cell.
AG : I used this with some success. It is still used by some pairs in 
However, the matrix would need to be the same for all, else it might 
serve as a reminder.

> - Opponents can stipulate whether or not you announce calls. If opponents
> switch off announcing and you still announce, alert, or whatever, then the
> director treats it as unauthorised information.
> - If opponents have switched off announcements, at the end of the auction,
> (i) The declaring side must explain their calls, unprompted (ii) On request,
> the defending side must also explain their calls.
> - An opponent may ask "from your partner's calls, what do you know about
> partner's hand". Then you must collate all the information from partner's
> calls into a description of likely shape, strength, etc.
AG : this is difficult.

- if you aren't able to do this synthesis, what happens ?  Bridge 
players are requested to be honest, not clever.

- it might lead to all sorts of SBing. Especially as "likely" would be 
understood differently by different persons.

- it might lead to embarrassing situations at the table. One live case :

1NTa        Dbl        Rdbl        pass
2Sa         Dbl        3D           pass
pass        ask

Partner's answer : "he has 1444 pattern with a lone spade honor"
Opponent : "Director, they're making fun of the alert procedure !

Now if we had to explain every single bid, opponent would have heard :
Rdbll : "any long suit, signoff or game force"
2S : "as he bypassed all other suits, he has 4 cards in each of them 
(Multi style), whence 1444"

- Reduces unauthorised information (If, like many players I know, you 
would normally take the "switch-off" option

AG : agreed, but you should also be allowed to ask. (yes, UI, but when 
you play different defenses to strong and weak NTs ...)

Best regards


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