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Evaluate this ruling

West
K983
A5
Q1094
J65
North
64
10642
A65
Q742
East
AQJ1052
KQ
82
K98
South
7
J9873
KJ73
A103
D

East opened in third chair with 1.  North and South were silent throughout.  West responded 2.  East rebid 2 and three passes followed.

Before South had led, West announced that East had failed to alert 2, which was a limit raise with four trumps.

The director was called and drew North away from the table to ask if he would have bid over 2 had 2 been alerted.  North said "no".

The director then drew South away from the table to ask if he would have bid over 2 had 2 been alerted.  South stated he would have bid 3.

The director returned to the table and removed the final pass by South and substituted 3.  West then bid 3 and East raised to 4.  The director was called again and instructed play to continue, asking NS to call him back if they felt they were damaged.

South led a heart, won by declarer's queen.  Declarer drew trumps in two rounds ending in his hand and led a diamond toward dummy.  South rose with the K, cashed the A, and continued with the 3, which was won by the 8.  +620 for EW.

NS called the director to the table for the third time, explaining that East evaluated his hand as not worthy of a game try before hearing from West that he held four trumps, but that then East later bid game when the alert was explained to him.  West, in answer to a question by the director, indicated that he had not been aware of the meaning of 2.  The director then informed East that he was "not allowed to hear" the alert and explanation.  The director said he would look at the hand record and report his ruling.

When the director returned, he ruled no adjustment, explaining his reason as follows: When West bid 3 over the 3 balance, East knew that his partner held spade support and invitational values.  Accordingly, he was entitled to bid 4.

The director made no mention of the N-S defense or auction, and did indicate that he would "shop" the hand (meaning ask peers of East how they would bid the cards under the stated conditions?).  No report of the result of this effort was reported to the affected pairs and the board was scored as making 4.

How do you evaluate this ruling and the actions of the director?

 

Late addition about the conditions:  The hand arose in a club Swiss event (4 matches of 6 boards duration); the EW pair are Flight B players.

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