header                Issue #3              20 September 2014

These pages are an attempt to inform bridge players of  the laws governing our game.  In particular, we will be looking at everyday situations where the TD is called.  These pages will be updated each month, so please come again!  

Always call the TD- do not take the law into your own hands.    A typical situation: Your partner opens 1H and you respond 1S.   Then you are informed that your bid is insufficient since your RHO has overcalled 2C, which you didn't see.  Do you automatically correct to 2S?  The correct procedure is to call the TD instantly.  He will give you various options and may even give you a chance to make a negative double!  Yes, this is allowed now - the Laws have changed somewhat in the last update.

Failure  to  Alert

The hand What happened

hand 3


Before South led, West said that there was a failure to alert the 2   bid.  It was Fourth Suit Forcing.  North interjected, "Does that mean that the spade bid was artificial?"  West called the TD immediately.

West said that she thought the questioning by North was inappropriate as the tone suggested that South leads a spade, which in fact, he did.  

North contended that that the failure to Alert changed the situation and gave her the right to ask before South led.

The TD looked at the hand and ruled:  "Yes, there was unauthorised information passed by North, but in order to award an adjusted score, there must be resultant damage.  This was not the case here as a spade lead is quite normal from South, without the 'suggestion' by North.  The result stands."

"I might add," the TD continued, "that it was indeed correct for West to correct a failure to alert or misinformation during the auction, before the lead has been selected.  This is necessary if you should become declarer or dummy."

"All happy?" concluded the TD.

When you are defending, you may not correct any misinformation/failure to alert until the end of the hand.  
This is so to prevent unauthorised information being passed to your partner during the hand.


Please feel free to write in regarding the bridge laws, to   webmaster [at] gbu.co.za


Sid Ismail
National Director


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