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Why is it worth taking part in an appeal committee?

Normally it is not at all. I always try to avoid being in them, because any way we decide someone will hate us :)

Last week I played almost every day. From Wednesday to Sunday on the annual International Budapest Bridge Festival.Unfortunately, after the last round of the teams championship I did not leave quickly enough, hence I was asked to be a member of the appeal committee. Of course I refused, but no-one cared, there was nobody neutral participant there any more, thus I got my appointment.

The tournament was played on tablets, so you can check the case here:

4 was Kickback RKC,

5 promised 2 keycards and the Q.

5 was spiral scan,

5N denied the spade king.

The problem was that the 5 and the 6 bids took 2 minutes each. The software measures thinking times exactly, and shows it to the directors, what a great tool! Of course East-West called the director and after asking one player whether pass of 6 was a logical alternative, they decided to restore the result to 6+1. North-South appealed saying that any bid above 5 (and below 6) promises all the keycards (common treatment, we believed it) and try for something higher. East-West asked why did not North bid 7 directly on 5 then, if he liked his hand that much. North said that he automatically bid the systemic response.

We had to decide something. Although we hated the more-than-2-minute thinkings, we all thought that if we were asked what to bid without mentioning the thinking times, we all (2 pro player and me) would have bid 7, because we will have plenty of tricks unless partner has exactly xxx in clubs which has not much chance having 6+ . In short we did not agree that passing 6 was a logical alternative.

You are welcome to tell your opinion regarding this if you feel like.

But that's not the whole story, only the (too long) introduction. Next evening, on the pairs tournament I got this hand:

Q9, Q2, AK9865, A54.

I opened 1NT, and magic happened: It went

1N - 4 ()

4 - 4N (RKC )

5 - 5N (asking kings)

it was my turn. We did not play spiral scan, but my hand resembled so much the above hand that I decided to simply bid the grand to avoid any later problem. In fact I bid 7 just in case partner has some support and lacking the spade jack. Partner corrected back to 7, we scored a 96% board.

That was the whole board with the frequencies:

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