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A "strong" 2C ruling in SB's favour

West
873
9
AJ53
AJ973
North
KJ106
J72
Q10842
6
East
AKQ108643
KQ1054
South
AQ9542
5
K976
82
W
N
E
S
 
P
2
P
2
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
4
P
5
P
5
P
7
P
P
P
D
7 East
NS: 0 EW: 0

East-West, two of Middlesex's finest players, had a good auction to the cold grand slam here as EW, and there was nothing to the play. But the Secretary Bird, North, was not finished.

"You should have overcalled 2♠, RR, then we can save in 7S doubled for only 800, cheap against even a small slam".

"I thought it was too dangerous", replied the Rueful Rabbit, South, "East might have had a balanced 23-24."

"Right, but you have to take chances sometimes," replied SB. "And you should not be put off by the word 'strong'," he continued. "And that East hand does not look strong to me. DIRECTOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOR", he bellowed.

Jeremy the Jaguar arrived. "How can I help you?" He asked.

SB began. "The East opening bid was alerted and explained as strong, but it fails to comply with Blue Book 5C3", he began. "That states:

To be considered a ‘Strong’ opening bid or overcall, the minimum allowed by agreement is either or both of: (a) any hand of at least 16 HCP (b) any hand of at least 12 HCP with at least five controls [only aces and kings counting]. Partnerships who agree that an artificial opening (such as 2♣) may be made with a hand with a lot of playing strength but limited high cards must disclose this clearly. For example, the opening could be described as “Either a strong hand or eight playing tricks in a major” (in this case the major suit options do not have to satisfy the criteria above as they are permitted under 7 C 1 (b)). The need for complete disclosure applies even if the minimum agreed strength is in line with (b) above."

He paused for breath. "Had there been full disclosure, RR would have overcalled 2♠, and we would have saved."

"Yes, you are right", JJ concluded, peering closely at the Blue Book. "That is 3 IMPs to the non-offenders."

Do you agree with JJ's ruling?

(Moderator's note: Link to a real-world hand record removed as it implies (wrongly) that a specific person performed the actions described in this article. The author has since issued a public apology, as can be seen in the thread below.)

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