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An Embarrassing Unintended Pass

Club Game matchpoints vs. frequent but less experienced players who are passing but inquiring throughout our abbreviated auction.


Partner opens 1.  Alert!   RHO asks.   I state "strong artificial and forcing"

I bid 1.  Alert!  LHO asks,  partner states "0-7hcp".  I chime in "weak, artificial, and forcing".  Everyone laughs

Partner bids 1.  Alert!   RHO asks.   I state that "1 promises either a stronger balanced hand or a two suiter with hearts and another suit and asks me to bid 1"

I inadvertently pull out a green card and, simultaneously realized that was not, of course, my intention. LHO quickly passes.


I call the director.  He sees three green cards after a bid and says the auction is over.  Had the opponents not been inquiring of each of our calls there would have been no possibility of my failing to bid 1.


If I was sitting in my LHO's seat I would certainly let my RHO make the call that he said he was about to make, but that is not the issue. I would have asked my RHO if he'd lost his mind.  

The auction period ends when the opening lead is faced.  No lead was made.

The relevant law:

A. Unintended Call

1. If a player discovers that he has not made the call he intended to make, he may, until his partner makes a call, substitute the call heintended for the unintended call. The second (intended) call stands and is subject to the appropriate Law, but the lead restrictions in Law 26 do not apply.

2. If the player’s original intent was to make the call selected or voiced, that call stands. A change of call may be allowed because of a mechanical error or a slip of the tongue, but not because of a loss of concentration regarding the intent of the action.

3. A player is allowed to replace an unintended call if the conditions described in A1 above are met, no matter how he may have become aware of his error.

4. No substitution of call may be made when his partner has made a subsequent call.

5. If the auction ends before it reaches the player’s partner no substitution may occur after the end of the auction period (see Law 17D).

I had said that I was going to bid 1 and was quite surprised to see the green card.  I have no idea how it got there.  Can a mechanical error only be when the wrong bid is pulled from the box or can it also be a call when a bid was intended?

My intention was clear... and verbalized.  My action...mystifying.

Where is the line to be drawn between mechanical error and "loss of concentration"?  There was no loss of concentration re the intent of the action, but it could certainly be said there was loss of concentration in the physical action of picking the wrong call.

Was I wronged... or just wrong?


Greetings of the season to all in BWland

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