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NABC Appeal

We had an appeal yesterday which we won, but it was an incredibly silly processs.


I hope I can get the hand to appear properly:







KJT65                 A974


53                       J84

AQT987               K4







S deals, NS vul


1N - 2S - 2N - 3S

P -    4S - All pass


1N is 10-13

2S was explained as spades and a minor, corrected to spades and clubs before the opening lead

2N was lebensohl


The director was called at the time the explanation was corrected.  NS were taken away from the table.  N said he would haven't done anything different but S said that had he known that is partner's lebelnsohl "suit" couldn't have been dlubs, he would have bid 4D, hoping to direct the lead and knowing his side has the safety of a known 9 or 10-card fit.


The opening lead was the heart A, conceding an overtrick.  Declarer played opener for the spade Q, so made 11 tricks.


The director polled 6 players and found that only one would have bid 4D, I think 4D is a thoughtful bid, one that might not immediately occur, especially in a polling situation.  The director did not indicate whether she asked if they would "seriously consider" a 4D bid, nor if any of the polees played weak NT.


Eventually the directors ruled that since only one player bid 4D, we could not find the successful save.  Which was profoundly curious becuase S said nothing about trying to save.  He merely wanted to take a "free" 4D bid to show his hand and direct the defense, and if N had long diamonds then maybe we'd save.


This took place during the afternoon session.  At the end of the evening session, the directors gave us a new appeals form.  They had discussed this with EW, and W said that had S bid 4D, he would have played spades to be 2-2, thus losing 2 diamonds but no spades, restoring the table result of 11 tricks.  This was the ruling the directors made.


To me, this was far more eggregious than the original ruling.  As a matter of bridge judgment, one might say that the 4D bid is not indicated, and clearly the opening lead was somewhere betweeh unfortunate and stupid.  But I couldn't imagine allowing the offending side to change their line of play on a small inference, after seeing all 52 cards.  If you had a situation where, say, a NT opening is explained as 15-17 but in fact shows 10-13, and to get to 15HCP one hand has to or is very likely to have a Q, and you played accordingly, that's different.  But it's a much stronger inference, and you are resolving doubt in favror of the non-offending side.


It really made me long for the days of real committees.

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