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Interesting Ruling Situation

Playing in the second final session of my District NAP yesterday, I ran across a peculiar ruling situation.

Our opponents had the following auction:

1 - 2NT*


*Not alerted, but a Jacoby Raise.

When it was pointed out that the 2 bid was not sufficient, the bidder tried to correct it to 3.  At this point I called the Director (yes, it might have been better to call the Director without giving the bidder the opportunity to correct the bid first, but this is what happened).  The Director consulted with the opener away from the table about his 2 bid and whether he knew that his partner bid 2NT and not 1NT.  After confirming all the facts, the Director announced that given the failure to alert 2NT and the insufficient bid, he cannot allow a correction to 3 without penalty as it is not a comparable bid,  He then asked my partner whether he wanted to accept the 2 bid.  My partner (another lawyer) asked the Director the ramifications of his accepting the 2 bid and the ramifications of his not accepting the 2 bid.  The Director properly explained that if the 2 bid were accepted the auction would proceed without penalty, but that responder could not use the information that the opener was short in spades.  And, if the 2 bid were not accepted, responder would be barred for the remainder of the auction.  My partner, taking it upon himself not to force declarer to guess the final contract, chose to allow the 2 bid.

The auction then proceeded as follows (the first three bids are repeated):

1 - 2NT*

2 - 2NT**

4** - 4NT

5 - 5

All Pass

** Responder explained his second 2NT call as Jacoby again, and took 4 as minimum.  I can't explain why opener chose to bid 4.

Responder had Axx of spades, and knew that they were off 1 key card.  He stated after the hand that he believed that he was being ethical in not using the information that opener had a singleton spade.  12 tricks were duly made when the heart K was offside.


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