Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, May 24th, 2020


Jeff SerandosJune 7th, 2020 at 3:56 pm

I have a follow-up question to Ethical Ernie. Partner explains the bid and I realize that he is right and I forgot the convention. On defense, I assume I keep my mouth shut and do my best not to let if affect my play (although in practice, I am not sure what that looks like) and accept whatever penalty is coming our way if misrepresenting my hand cost the opps. As declarer, should I speak up and say, he is right, but here was what I THOUGHT it meant?

Bobby WolffJune 8th, 2020 at 6:06 pm

Hi Jeff,

The reply to your two questions will be:

1.On defense, yes you are basically on target and should seriously attempt to not let his incorrect (or at least his description of his interpretation) affect your play, and in cases of possibly more ways than one of that interpretation allow the TD (if he is called by the opponents) make the decision, but if you think the TD went too far, or the wrong way entirely, do not hesitate to appeal (if that process is available).

Yes, and in the case of you being declarer, and partner giving a correct description, but you incorrectly thinking otherwise, then it is your ethical duty to counter his description as to the way you interpreted it. No more, no less, and again, if you think the TD, upon then or later being called with the above situation applying as to you correcting your partner’s explanation to what you thought it was and the TD then acting on his opinion as to the punishment known, you would then be allowed to take that decision to a committee.

IOW and from a shorter description, the idea is to try and right a wrong which has been committed so that a miss description should not be allowed to hurt the opponents, keeping in mind the luck element which still should be left untouched even if it helps, by chance, the origiinal wrong explaining side.

All the above is to restore equity as to knowledge, never to discount luck and honesty, as to what occurred, not the plus or minus of the correct knowledge, is trump.

I hope the above is understood by all the parties, since so many players think that the verdict needs to be twisted to disfavor the wrongdoers in all cases.

Finally the bad news is that probably more club directors than 50% of them may tend to make the wrong legal bridge decisions.

However, good luck with the above knowledge, which you might try and pass on to the place you play, so that they can apply it and in applicable cases pass it on to others.