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Committee Death; The Flaws

A week ago, I posted a bidding poll.  Passing received the most votes, though the combination of double and spades were not dramatically far behind.

I heard about this hand from good friends.  What happened at the table was the player who held this hand did bid 3, and his partner then raised to 4. They failed by 2 tricks.

It turns out, however, that they were given incorrect information. 2 was not explained correctly as any single suited hand, but rather clubs and a higher suit. The player who bid 3 claimed he would have passed had he been given the accurate explanation.

What then was the director's ruling?  The 3 bid was canceled. The director ruled that they had to play in 3, down 5.  

West
984
J8652
105
KJ9
North
AJ103
K103
KJ
7642
East
Q5
Q94
A86432
A8
South
K762
A7
Q97
Q1053
D
Of course, the ruling included perfect defense, giving the offenders a 2% result on the board - and missing qualification for the next day by a minuscule amount.

The problem, however, is not so much the final ruling, but that critical information was not given to those polled nor to the other directors who considered the hand. That the pair was playing "pass or correct" over bids was left out.  Thus, a more likely scenario is that either the N/S pair would have played 3, or the offenders would have declared 3, etc - as the hand with long diamonds never would have passed 3 had opener passed 3.

Another case - most coincidentally involving me.

Playing against a world class partnership in the NABC Senior Swiss, we have this auction.  

W
N
E
S
1
P
1
2
P
2
3
P
3NT
4
4
P
4
5
5NT
P
6
P
P
P
 The hand is cold; I score it up. Red against white, my team has a pick-up on this hand, as the other pair fails to reach slam on a different auction.

At the table, however, my opponents (friends in addition to WC) ask about my partner's 3 bid. I explain that it is forcing, as we play jump responses in new suits as invitational. They think that the 3 bid should have been alerted as a result; I was not aware that it should be, otherwise I surely would have done so. Nothing more is said.

A bit later, after our session, I am chatting with other friends about my hand. They, too, believe that the bid should be alerted.  

Lo and behold, literally just as we are finishing our discussion, a director stops by. He gives my friends the auction I had in the Swiss, and asks them if they think the bid should be alerted!  Yet he adds this:  "the pair is playing good/bad 2NT, so the 3 bid is forcing."

"Whoa!" I tell the director!  This was my auction from my table - but my partner and I do not play good/bad 2NT.  Not to mention the fact that a director is polling other players, with zero input from my side!

Ultimately, as far as I know, no change was made to the result. I added, as speaking to the director at this point, that my opponents would have to argue that they were damaged by the lack of an alert.  I would argue no; when my partner bid 5NT over 5, surely they might have wondered what was going on - and - could have asked some questions if they still really thought that 3 was non-forcing.

In any case, however, these issues are not my primary point.  My point is this.  Without a committee hearing, it seems that more than a few of the director rulings are being made with inaccurate information and/or relevant information being left out. In my case, a ruling might have been made with zero input from one side!

I am well aware of all the flaws inherent in having committees. Still, I maintain that the two stories above demonstrate that there are greater flaws now with the lack of a committee to hear both sides of the story, and insure that the information upon which a judgement is rendered is indeed accurate.

Bring back committees, please!

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