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Review a Regional Ruling

After a brief auction at a regional pairs event at the recent Nationals, the director call was protracted.


My partner accurately announced my weak NT opening as 12 to 14 HCP.  E doubled with no alert (presumably and actually penalty).  With alacrity, S bid 2

We had just reviewed our runouts after penalty doubles of weak NTs, as they are relatively new to my partner.  I was prepared to alert any call by her, and started to say "alert," but stopped myself and said "no alert."  The client, W, asked me the meaning of 2.  I explained it has no meaning in our agreements.  (A)  Had partner redoubled, it would be a relay to 2, which partner could pass or correct to show a single-suited hand.  (B)  Had partner immediately bid a suit, it would have showed that suit and the next higher touching suit.  (C)  If partner wanted to run out with two nontouching suits, she would have passed, forcing me to redouble, and giving her the option of playing 1NT redoubled or bidding the lower of her nontouching suits, if weak. I also explained that we treat s and s as nontouching suits so that we never have to run out to the 3-level.  Holding 4s, I proceeded to pass the 2 bid.

After this explanation and my pass, the pro, E, told me that he thought they were entitled to know what my partner intended 2 to mean.  I said opponents were entitled to an explanation of our agreements, not what was in partner's hand, but that we should probably call a director.  While waiting for the director, my partner volunteered, "I was thinking we were playing strong NT," despite her accurate range announcement.  Holding 5s, E also passed before the director arrived.

When the director arrived, I repeated my explanation of our various runouts, including that 2 had no meaning under our agreements other than natural.  E said he thought they were entitled to know what S intended, and the director initially stated that they were entitled to know our agreements, not S's holding.  E persisted, explaining my partner's statement about strong NT.   The director then asked me what 2 would have meant if I had opened a strong NT, and I explained that we haven't discussed any runouts over the penalty double of a strong NT.  E continued to insist they were entitled to a fuller explanation, and finally the director asked my partner what she meant by 2.  She said it was intended as a relay to s, after which she could pass or correct to s.  (She happened to hold 6s and a stiff .)

I didn't appeal the ruling, because it wouldn't have changed the outcome, but I still question whether opponents were entitled to know what my partner intended her bid to mean.  What say you?

1. The director was right to ask my partner to explain what she intended her bid to mean.
2. The opponents were not entitled to learn anything more than partner's bid had no meaning under our runout agreements.
3. Other (please explain).

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