Join Bridge Winners
Unusual UI Situation

During the recent NABC in Vegas, I was victimized by an unusual UI situation. My RHO opened a Flannery 2D in first seat. After I passed, his partner tanked for at least 60 seconds before jumping to 4S. Playing Flannery, that's obviously a closeout bid, but it could be based on a wide range of hands: (a) preemptive; (b) GF but not enough for slam; (c) an invitational hand that decided to bid game and hope that by not giving us any extra info about declarer's hand, it has a better chance of making; or possibly even (d) tactical, hoping we'll bid 5m which he can double.

Shockingly, instead of passing, RHO rolled out Blackwood and then bid 6S. Of course he caught his partner with a GF hand that probably should have tried for slam instead of jumping to 4S, so the slam made. RHO had a near max for his 2D opening, but nothing out of range for the version of extended Flannery they were playing: AKxx, Qxxxxx, x, Ax (so 13 HCP in a 10-15 range, and one extra heart).

The directors were appalled that RHO bid over his partner's signoff after the long BIT, and they stated that they wanted to roll the score back and/or impose a procedural penalty. However, after studying the issue carefully and polling multiple players, they concluded they were powerless to award any relief under the laws, and I fear they may be right. Why? Since the BIT could have been based on a wide range of hand types, several of which weigh AGAINST bidding more than 4S, the BIT did not demonstrably suggest that RHO try for slam.

I agree with the directors that under an ordinary BIT analysis, this BIT does not demonstrably suggest bidding slam, as doing so would be wrong if partner has any of the preemptive, invitational, or tactical hand types; it's only right when he has the GF+ hand type and was debating whether he should employ asking bids to try for slam. However, this was an experienced partnership, and there's no way a rational RHO would ever bid over 4S in this type of auction unless he was able to read his partner's body language as indicating he had extras (subconscious body language; I'm not suggesting there were any intentional signals). So, we're dealing with a situation where it's not UI from the BIT itself that demonstrably suggests bidding over 4S, but rather one where the only logical explanation is that RHO correctly interpreted his long-time partner's body language. In other words, the UI comes not from the BIT itself, but rather from partner's body language (which just happens to coincide with a BIT).  I believe this is why the directors said they wanted to impose a procedural penalty and looked into a "second law that might apply," but ultimately concluded they were powerless to grant any relief.

Was this ruling correct under the laws as they currently exist?  If not, what Law(s) warrant adjusting the score or imposing a procedural penalty? 

Please note:  I'm not asking if this was a "fair" or "just" outcome -- I'm sure the vast majority of us would agree that something sleazy happened here, so the Laws SHOULD provide some way of awarding relief.  I'm only interested in whether the Laws as they currently exist actually do provide for a remedy.  

The score stands; under the existingt Laws, there's nothing the directors could do about this
The directors should have adjusted the score and/or imposed a procedural penalty

Sorry, to answer polls. Registered users can vote in polls, and can also browse other users' public votes! and participate in the discussion.

Getting results...
loading...
53 Comments
Getting Comments... loading...
.

Bottom Home Top