Bd 3 N: Zur Campanile
Vul: EW K105
Dealer: S 843
W. Glasson E. Sprung
S W N E
1 P 2* DBL
P 3 All pass
Statement of Facts
North alerted East that 2 was "constructive, usually 8 to 10." South did not alert West. West thought she was in a lebensohl-type auction and bid what she intended as a forward-going 3, hoping to be able to reach 3NT. (In fact, West had misconstrued her system and 3 carried no strength implications.) West stated that had she been alerted as East had been, she would not have thought game was possible and would probably have bid 2 (again, thinking that 3 would show values.)
South stated that she did not think an alert was required to 2 when playing forcing notrump. N/S said that their "constructive" raises could be 8 to 10 balanced or less if distributional. E/W said that even playing forcing notrump constructive raises are not necessarily standard, since they play one without the other. South contended that 2 was more likely to get East excited than 3 so that even given her system confusion West had misjudged.
Table result was 3-1, 100 to NS.
The director ruled that South's failure to alert constituted misinformation that caused West damage. The result was adjusted to 2 making 3, based on the fact that there were only 4 top losers and the Deep Finesse analysis.
Appeals Committee Ruling
The committee asked the director why she felt an alert was required, and she stated that she thought it was information that E/W were entitled to and could not necessarily assume on their own. At the committee's request, the director consulted with the other directors and reported that they did not feel an alert was required. Therefore, she stated that her ruling had been in error and no adjustment should have been made. The committee agreed that single raises do not require an alert, whether encouraging or not, and restored the table result. They also instructed N/S to be more specific if asked to explain their single raises, since "constructive" is a historical misnomer and "usually 8 to 10" does not convey the lesser distributional possibility. A subsequent reference to the ACBL convention chart indicated that a single raise is not alertable, being a natural bid where neither common treatment is unusual.
Ron Gerard, Chair