Board 13
Vul: Both
Dealer: N

West (Cheri Bjerkan)

North (Michael Rosenberg)
S  4 3
H  J 6 4 3
D  8 7 6 3  
C  5 4 3

East (Larry Robbins)
S   J 10 8 2
H   Q
D   9 4 2
C  A K 8 7 6

S  A 9
H  10 7
D  A K Q 5
C  Q J 10 9 2
  South (Zia Mahmood)
S  K Q 7 6 5
H  A K 9 8 5 2
D   J 10


N        E         S       W      
P       1NT    2Cool*   3NT
P        P       4Cool     DBL
4Embarassed    P        P        DBL**
P        5Cool    DBL   P
P        P

* Majors

**Break in Tempo

Table Result: 5CoolX making 5

Director's Ruling: NS play 4Embarassedx making 4

Directors: Matt Smith & McKenzie Myers

Directors' Statement:

The directors gave the hand to many players. Some woud never defend 4Embarassed and in fact would have acted directly over 4Embarassed, because they believed that the DBL of 4Cool showed clubs. Other players thought that the DBL of 4Cool showed a willingness to defend. Those players thought that it would be normal to Pass 4Embarassed and 4Embarassedx. Those players also thought that the slow DBL of 4Embarassed suggested pulling. The directors decided that since in this partnership the DBL of 4Cool was undiscussed, the slow DBL of 4Embarassed made it easier to conclude that this sequence showed clubs and to pull the DBL of 4Embarassed. A player with the other type of hand (defensively oriented), would have DBLd 4Embarassed in tempo. The players and directors all concluded that it was clear that the break in tempo was by West, not East.

The Hearing

Bjerkan indicated she intended the double of 4Cool to mean clubs. Pass then double of 4Embarassed would be to play. The partnership had no Lebensohl agreement re stopper-showing calls over 2Cool. the partnership had no detailed agreements about ‘double then double’ or ‘pass then double’ in similar auctions.

Robbins indicated the partnership was occasional rather than regular with some detailed system notes, but that they had only played a few regionals together recently. They played GNT.

Rosenberg indicated that a partnership who didn’t have detailed methods should not have ascribed to them agreements in complex auctions re the x of 4Cool. A fast or in-tempo double of 4Embarassed would always not be pulled.

Appeals Committee Ruling

The committee discussed whether the x of 4Cool should or could be interpreted as clubs by an unpracticed partnership. Everyone agreed that the slow double made the removal to 5Cool more attractive. The only question was whether there was a logical alternative to bidding 5Cool. If the double of 4Cool showed clubs then it was agreed the removal (immediately or later) was clear enough that the slow double should not inhibit it. But the committee was not willing to allow an unpracticed partnership to be assumed to have that agreement. An alternative treatment – that the double of 4Cool simply indicated the desire to defend at least one of the majors was equally common and equally plausible.

The question of whether North’s 4Embarassed call instead of a 4Cry "punt" implied that N/S had found a real fit was also raised and dismissed.

After consideration of whether it could ever be right for East to pass and wait for partner to bid 4NT (they would never do this and it could almost never be critical to play that contract as opposed to 5Cool) the committee unanimously upheld the director ruling and left the score at 4Embarassed x made ten tricks.

Appeals Committee

Barry Rigal, Chairman
Larry Cohen, Member
Peg Kaplan, Member
Venkatrao Koneru, Member
Kerri Sanborn, Member