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Puzzled by Evening Swiss Ruling in San Francisco

I am still puzzled by a ruling from the recent NABC in San Francisco.

In a match in a one-session Swiss, our opponents bid as follows (my partner and I were silent throughout):




4/ . . . (Hesitation)

After my LHO hesitated for approximately 15 seconds, my RHO (Opener) stated that she wanted to speak to the Director.  She left the table to speak to the Director.

The Director then came, and stated that RHO had misbid, and was permitted to change her bid.  Instead of 4, she now bid 4.

That seemed to clear up my LHO's confusion, and he promptly bid 6.  Making.

My partner and I did question whether or not, after an opponent passes subsequent to a bid, and partner has been thinking for more than 10 seconds, a player is allowed to change his or her bid.  We were informed that yes, that is permissible if the next opponent has passed rather than bid, and the player's partner has not yet bid.


Later, after consulting with a Director who was playing (not directing), who looked at the hands involved (the player who changed her bid had the stiff A and Axxxx), we decided to appeal the ruling.

At the end of the session, the Director whose ruling we had decided to appeal, approached me and gave the explanation of the opponents about the meaning of their bidding (this is the first we learned of it -- but we could have asked.  I had led a  against 6, and we got one trick, which was the maximum on defense).

The Director explained that 4 was an Ace-asking bid, and the player who changed her bid had responded incorrectly.  At that point, I was tired, and accepted this explanation and decided not to appeal.

So, my question is:  is a player permitted to respond incorrectly to a version of Blackwood, and, after the player's LHO passes and partner thinks for more than 10 seconds, then change his or her bid?  I just think that we should all be on the same page about what the rules are.

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