Nigel Guthrie g3 at nige1.com
Tue Nov 5 19:39:14 CET 2013

[Richard Hills quotes David Burn, 20th December 2008]
“The trouble with this kind of discussion is that the Laws of bridge
and the accompanying regulations are for all bridge players, not
some tiny minority who play 25 different kinds of double, none of
them penalty and (if the above contribution is anything to go by)
most of them stupid. It is obviously in the interests of people who
play obscure doubles that they should not be alerted. It is not in
the interests of anyone else.”

IMO, as usual, David Burn gets to the nub of the issue. Defining doubles as 
self-alerting is inconsistent -- you might as well define all calls as 

A simple compromise (suggested years ago):
- Announce partner’s “Penalty” and “Take-out” doubles.
- Alert all other doubles.

(In theory, it isn't be necessary to alert all other doubles -- because the 
absence of an announcement is equivalent to an alert -- but the alert would 
save time as opponents wouldn't need to wait for a possible announcement).

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