A funny thing happened as I was vigorously pursuing yet another bottom board. It is match point duplicate, we are red and they are white. Your author sitting East is the dealer and passes. South bids 1 diamond, my partner passes, North bids 1 heart, another pass by me, south now bids 1 No Trump. My partner then makes a balancing double, but I do not see his double card go down. North passes the double and I reach down and pick up the pass cards sitting in front of me thinking that the auction is over and that I do not have another bid. At that point south looked at me and said “you’re passing?”
It was like somebody kicked my leg, so I looked around quickly wondering why she said that. I then saw my partners double of 1NT and indicated that I had missed his call in error and that I wanted to bid. The director was called and confusion reigned. IT WAS RULED THAT I HAD PASSED SINCE I PICKED UP MY CARDS EXPRESSING AN INTENTION TO PASS.
Steam was coming out my ears as 1 No Trump Doubled made 4
(-480). Now it’s your turn to rule. Your choice: (a) the director was correct (b) the director was wrong and I was abused (c) it doesn’t matter since we got what we deserved for making such a crappy balancing double.
Since there was no committee, there was no appeal. Still frustrated, I wrote to Mike Flader at the ACBL (Rulings Director) and asked if the ruling was correct. In a written opinion Mike said:
“According to ACBL regulations, a call is made by placing a card on the table So, tapping the table or picking up the cards on the table do not measure up to the requirement for making a call. If the director judges that you think the auction is over and that you do not have another call coming, he should allow you to make a call and continue the auction. If not, then the auction is over. In the facts stated in your letter, you thought you did not have another call coming. If that is the case, then, you should be allowed to make another call and continue the auction.
What’s the point? The point is that I was right, something that rarely happens in bridge. Much more satisfying than 1.5 black master points to a bridge career boarding the “Last Train to Clarksville!!”