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Why Zimmermann should not have won the Monaco Winter Games

West
KQ52
Q1032
J94
J6
North
63
AJ98
A10
Q8542
East
J874
K765
KQ632
South
A109
4
875
AK10973
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1
P
2
P
3
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
3NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0

 

During the qualification for the Monaco Winter Games KO, this hand came up. (after 1, i showed hearts)

The 3 bid was very slow and the director was called after the 3NT bid. 

After a while, the director informed the players that the result would stand. After a few questions from my teammates, the director agreed that some further investigation was appropriate.

Here are the facts of the investigation as they were later stated to me by the director who was called to the table:

5 players were asked what they would bid over 3, all 5 players passed. (I can't help wondering why they took this poll.)

8 players were asked whether they felt the hesitation indicated something specific: 4 felt strongly that it implied extra values, 2 were unsure, and 2 thought you might raise to pre-empt a balance. (In my opinion, no ethical player would think for a minute before pre-emptively raising to 3, so I wonder if they asked the right question.) 

All of the players I spoke to agreed that the 3NT should not have been allowed.

 

At the end of the qualifying Swiss our team was in 17th place, a tiny fraction of a VP behind the Zimmermann team (Swiss Team) for the last qualifying spot. We eagerly awaited the final ruling in our case. Alas it was not to be, 3N was allowed to stand and we were out of the main event. Still it was an exciting tournament with top level competitors in the whole field!

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