Friday, November 30, 2012

Two-way shots: Experts vs. Non-experts

I left a comment on Memphis MOJO's blog post about appeals at the ACBL nationals in San Francisco, but the whole situation stinks so much that I might as well mention it here.

It's this appeal of a Break-In-Tempo (BIT):

You can read the description and ruling on the bulletin (page 12).

The committee ruling seems to be that since East-West do not have special agreements against intermediate 2-level bids (which are played by very few pairs) and are not experts, East was not capable of taking a 2-way shot over 4D (i.e. bidding 4H helps both when 4D makes and just in case 4H makes).

Meanwhile, the expert pair (North-South) were taking a two-way shot of their own. They doubled the 4H contract, and then called the director.  If the contract failed, the result would stand and they would win. If 4H makes, it would get thrown out and their 4D result would stand and they would win.

The plan worked only because East-West said that they had a "2-second pause" probably not realizing that admission of any delay was admission of guilt. So, non-experts out there, beware!  Unlike at your duplicate club, good players don't just shrug and smile about being fixed. Experts who play for money (I hate to call them professionals) will try to take two-way shots and attempt to throw the rulebook at you if you mistakenly land up in a winning spot.


  1. I think you are being unfair to Fantunes, a pair who I've always found to be highly ethical. The real culprits are the Appeals Committee and the apparently poor polling performed by the directing staff.

    And, by all accounts, EW are pretty much an expert pair. Perhaps not the international stars like their opponents, but a good pair who would understand the laws.

  2. Actually, I agree with you on this one (not so much on the one I posted about). I was surprised when I read the write-up.

  3. OK, this also has the other problem. If you look elsewhere in the Bulletin for that day, you will see another story about this hand. 4H was defeated by a nice defensive play on that board. Cash the AK of Clubs, and when partner shows out, play a Spade, not a ruff, now there is no way to avoid 4 losers.

    So the extra problem is that the expert NS did not find the defense to beat 4H, which was found at at least 1 other table. So that should also count against an adjustment.

    I agree though, I did not like either this appeal or the one Memphis Mojo put out. Hope we are not getting back into the effective double shots, that is what the AWMW and loss of deposit is supposed to handle. Maybe that needs to be the assumption on any lost appeal, not the optional extra, lose an appeal and you start with the assumption of AWMW, unless the board feels compelled to revoke it?