West (Martel)
North (Coren)
S  K 8 2
H  10 9
D   K Q 10 9 7 6
C   5 3

East (Fleisher)
S  Q 6 4 
H  A Q 8 3
D  8 4 3
C  J 9 6

S  10 9
H   J 6 2
D  A 5
C  A K Q 10 7 4
  South (Garner)
S  A J 7 5 3
H  K 7 5 4
D   J 2
C  8 2


N        E          S        W      
          1NT1    DBL2    P
2D3   3C       P         3NT
P        P          P

1  14-16
2  Clubs or Diamonds or Majors (Meckwell)
3  North to East: Diamonds
    South to West: "I think it's pass or bid major" written note

Lead:  S 5

Spade Q played from dummy

Table Result: NS +50

Director was called after the play. East said that he chose to play the Queen based on a consideration of why South had not led partner’s suit. South’s explanation showed that there was not an agreement about what the bids meant after Meckwell. North said that they had not discussed what they play other than agreeing to play Meckwell.

Director's Ruling:

Since there had in fact been no discussion or agreement beyond “Meckwell”, the explanation of “Diamonds” by North was MI, as it did not convey the actual partnership situation or the assumptions made on the other side of the screen.
7 experts were polled. Asked first with the 2D explanation of “we didn’t discuss it”, 4 played low, 3 played the Queen. When asked with the explanation of “Diamonds”, 5 played the Queen. Five of the 7 said that knowing the explanation that partner may or may not be on the same wavelength does tilt the odds towards playing low. Some said it tilts it entirely, others said tilts it some.

Result was changed to:  7 out of 10 playing low, making 3NT
                                       3 out of 10 playing the Queen, down 1 in 3NT

Appeals Committee Ruling:

We heard testimony from the director concerning what was said at the table and the polling procedures.

The North player (Coren) speaking for the appealing side felt that his explanation was not misinformation because he was not even aware of a different possible interpretation of the 2D bid.

The East declarer (Fleisher) said that given the diamond explanation that the spade lead (in his view) only made sense in the context of South having an extremely strong (AK) spade suit and therefore went wrong at trick 1. If he knew that there was no agreement he might well have played a low spade.

The explanation discrepancy was discovered in the post-mortem since there was no legal opportunity for declarer to have the answers from both sides of the table.

The director’s ruling was based on misinformation (that NS had NO agreement).

The committee discussed the situation at length. A majority of committee members felt that the natural interpretation of the 2 diamond bid was implicit in the agreement to play “Meckwell”.

A minority of the committee was not persuaded that some form of “pass or correct” wasn’t a legitimate interpretation of the 2 diamond bid, with discussion necessary to have an agreement (which obviously didn’t take place).

Since a majority of the committee members felt that there was no misinformation, therefore the committee ruled that there was no infraction. Therefore there was no reason to adjust the table result.

Appeals Committee

Robb Gordon, Chairman
Cheri Bjerkan, Member
Ralph Katz, Member
Beth Palmer, Member
Kerri Shuman, Member