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ACBL Tech File Alerts

 

This document is provided courtesy of the
American Contract Bridge League

2990 Airways Blvd. S Memphis TN 381163847
9013325586
S Fax 9013987754

     NOTE: to view the latest revision of the handbook,
download the latest version of ACBLScore

      Rev.(2/21/02)                                     ALERTS.033 (PAGE 1) 

                                                                    ___________________ 

     ACBL ALERT PROCEDURE

     INTRODUCTION

     The objective of the Alert system is for both pairs at the table to

     have equal access to all information contained in any auction. In

     order to meet this goal, it is necessary that all players understand

     and practice the principles of Full Disclosure and Active Ethics.

     Ethical bridge players will recognize the obligation to give complete

     explanations. They will accept the fact that any such information is

     entirely for the benefit of the opponents, and may not be used to

     assist their own partnership.

 

     This procedure uses the admittedly "fuzzy" terminology of "highly

     unusual and unexpected" as the best practical solution to simplifying

     the Alert Procedure. "Highly unusual and unexpected" should be

     determined in light of historical usage rather than local geographical

     usage. To ensure full disclosure, however, at the end of the auction

     and before the opening lead declarers are encouraged to volunteer to

     explain the auction (including available inferences).

 

     According to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge:

     Law 40.B. Concealed Partnership Understandings Prohibited

     A player may not make a call or play based on a special partnership

     understanding unless an opposing pair may reasonably be expected to

     understand its meaning or unless his side discloses the use of such

     call or play in accordance with the regulations of the sponsoring

     organization.

 

     BRIDGE IS NOT A GAME OF SECRET MESSAGES; THE AUCTION BELONGS TO

     EVERYONE AT THE TABLE.

     Remember that the opponents are entitled to know the agreed meaning of

     all calls.

 

     THE BIDDING SIDE HAS AN OBLIGATION TO DISCLOSE ITS AGREEMENTS

     ACCORDING TO THE PROCEDURES ESTABLISHED BY ACBL.

 

     When asked, the bidding side must give a full explanation of the

     agreement. Stating the common or popular name of the convention is not

     sufficient. THE OPPONENTS NEED NOT ASK EXACTLY THE "RIGHT" QUESTION.

 

     Any request for information should be the trigger. Opponents need only

     indicate the desire for information - all relevant disclosure should

     be given automatically.

 

     THE PROPER WAY TO ASK FOR INFORMATION IS "PLEASE EXPLAIN."

     Players who remember that a call requires an Alert but cannot remember

     the meaning must still Alert.

 

     IN ALL ALERT SITUATIONS, TOURNAMENT DIRECTORS SHOULD RULE WITH THE

     SPIRIT OF THE ALERT PROCEDURE IN MIND AND NOT SIMPLY BY THE LETTER OF

     THE LAW.

     Players who, by experience or expertise, recognize that their

     opponents have neglected to Alert a special agreement will be expected

     to protect themselves.
 

                                                       ALERTS.033 (PAGE 2) 

                                                       ___________________ 

     ADJUSTMENTS FOR VIOLATIONS ARE NOT AUTOMATIC.

     There must have been misinformation.

     An adjustment will be made only when the misinformation was a direct

     cause of the damage.

 

     Note also that an opponent who actually knows or suspects what is

     happening, even though not properly informed, may not be entitled to

     redress if he or she chooses to proceed without clarifying the

     situation.

 

     When an Alert is given, ASK, do not ASSUME.

 

     ANNOUNCEMENTS

     An announcement is one word or a short phrase which tells the

     opponents directly the meaning of partner's call.

 

     When bidding boxes are used, the "Alert" strip is tapped also.

 

     Announcements are required in the following instances:

     1. After a natural one notrump opening bid.

 

     EXAMPLE: A 15-17 1NT opening bid is made. The partner of the bidder

     will say aloud, "fifteen to seventeen."

 

     2. After a diamond or heart transfer response at any level to any level

     natural notrump opening, overcall or rebid.

 

     An Announcement also is used for those methods that initially treat

     the bid as a transfer even though rarely the bidder will have a strong

     hand without the next higher suit. When the message is sent that the

     transfer was not a transfer, just the first step in showing another

     type of game-going hand, the call that sends that message must be

     Alerted.

 

     EXAMPLES: 1NT-P-2D and 1D-1NT-2D-4H

     The 1NT bidder will say aloud, "Transfer."

 

     3. After a 1NT forcing or semi-forcing response to a 1heart or 1spade

     opening bid with no interference.

 

     EXAMPLE: 1H-P-1NT

     The opening bidder will say aloud, "Forcing" or "Semi-forcing," if

     there was no other meaning attached to the agreement (such as showing

     four or more spades).

 

     4. After a non-forcing opening 1C or 1D for which the opener could have

     fewer than three cards in the suit opened.

 

     After the opening bid, the opening bidder's partner says, "May be

     short."

 

     HOW TO ALERT

     Using spoken bidding, the partner of the player making an Alertable

     call says "Alert."
 

                                                       ALERTS.033 (PAGE 3) 

                                                       ___________________ 

 

     Using bidding boxes, an Alert is made by tapping an Alert card on the

     table or by tapping the Alert strip on the side of the bid box. In

     addition, the Alerter must say "Alert."

 

     Using screens, ALL Alerts are immediate - there are no delayed Alerts.

     All Announcements become Alerts.

 

     HOW TO ANNOUNCE

     When Bid Boxes are not in use, the partner says aloud the required

     spoken statement. When Bid Boxes are being used, the Alert strip is

     tapped and the appropriate spoken statement is made.

 

     IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE ALERTER OR ANNOUNCER TO ENSURE THAT

     THE OPPONENTS ARE AWARE THAT AN ALERT HAS BEEN MADE.

     WHEN IN DOUBT WHETHER TO ALERT OR NOT, ALERT!

 

     FAILURE TO ALERT OR ANNOUNCE

     If partner fails to Alert or Announce, a player may not make any

     indication during the auction. Showing surprise or discomfort may

     awaken partner to the error and would be a violation of Law. In

     addition, a player may not make allowances for partner's error. The

     auction must continue as if partner had acted properly.

 

     When the auction is over, the declaring side MUST reveal to the

     defenders, after first calling the Tournament Director, any errors of

     explanation (including Alerts or Announcements that were omitted)

     before the opening lead is faced. A defender MUST reveal any of his

     partner's errors but may NOT do so until after the play has been

     completed. A defender (or any other player) who becomes aware of his

     own error or omission should correct it immediately. Again, in either

     case the Tournament Director should be called first.

 

     TYPES OF ALERTS

     PRE-ALERTS

     Pre-Alerts are given before the auction period begins on the first

     board of a round. Pre-Alerts are designed to act as an early warning

     of any unusual methods for which the opponents may need to prepare.

     (See Part III.) Additionally, a pre-Alert is required when playing

     methods permitted by the ACBL Mid-Chart or SuperChart in an event

     conducted using that chart. Pre-Alerts are given aloud by saying what

     the systems or methods are.

 

     IMMEDIATE ALERTS

     Immediate Alerts are given at the time partner makes a call which

     requires an Alert. These Alerts are given in the form described under

     How to Alert above.

 

     DELAYED ALERTS

     Alerts given after the auction is completed for Alertable calls above

     the level of 3NT starting with the opening bidder's second turn to

     call. The dummy or declarer Alerts the defenders before the opening

     lead. The defenders Alert after the opening lead has been made but

     before it is faced. (See Part X.)


 

 

                                                       ALERTS.033 (PAGE 4) 

                                                       ___________________ 

     PART I: NATURAL CALLS

     Most natural calls do not require Alerts. If the call promises about

     the expected strength and shape, no Alert is necessary. Treatments

     that show unusual strength or shape should be Alerted.

 

     As to length, ACBL accepts as NATURAL any offer to play in a suit for

     the first time that shows:

     (1) Three or more cards in a minor suit.

     (2) Four or more cards in a major suit.

     (3) Four or more cards for an overcall in a suit at the one level.

     (4) Five or more cards for a weak two-bid.

     (5) Six or more cards for a three-level preempt.

 

     NOTE: Partnerships whose systems include extremely aggressive methods,

     such as frequent use of four-card overcalls at the two level or

     higher, weak two-bids with bad five-card suits, or three-level

     preempts with bad six-card and/or most five-card suits must pre-Alert

     the opponents before the round begins.

 

     A treatment is a natural call that carries a specific message about

     the suit bid or the general strength of the hand. Agreeing to open

     five-card majors is a treatment - when you open 1H, partner "knows"

     you have five or more. This is indeed a message but not an unexpected

     one, so no Alert is required. Weak jump shifts, on the other hand, are

     unexpected and therefore Alertable.

 

     EXAMPLE: 1C-P-2S

     If the 2S bid promises a spade suit of five or more cards, it is a

     natural call. The treatment involves the strength that the bid

     promises. If the call is forcing to game, no Alert is required. If it

     is weak or invitational, then it must be Alerted.

 

     Natural bids that convey an unexpected meaning must be Alerted. This

     includes strong bids that sound weak, weak bids that sound strong, and

     all other bids that, by agreement, convey meanings different from, or

     in addition to, the expected meaning ascribed to them.

 

     EXAMPLE: 1S-P-2C

     If 2C is natural and forcing, promising three or more clubs and 10 or

     more HCP (including those that are forcing to game), it requires no

     Alert. This is the expected strength and shape of such a bid. If 2C is

     non-forcing, it must be Alerted.

 

     In general, when the use of conventions leads to unexpected

     understandings about suit length by negative inference, a natural call

     becomes Alertable. Some such agreements have become expected and are

     fairly common, therefore no Alert is required.
 

                                                       ALERTS.033 (PAGE 5) 

                                                       ___________________ 

     EXAMPLES: 1H-P-1S

     If 1S promises a five-card suit (when playing an opening 2D bid as

     five hearts and four spades), no Alert is required.

 

     1C, 1D, or 1H-P-1NT

     If the 1NT bidder could or could not have four cards in one or both

     majors, again no Alert.

 

     1C-P-1H or 1S

     If the major-suit bidder could be passing up a four-card or longer

     diamond suit, no Alert is required.

 

     If, however, your 1NT response on an auction of, 1C, 1D, or 1H-P-1NT,

     shows a hand of 10-12 HCP, for example, an Alert is required.

 

     PART II: CONVENTIONS

     A convention is defined as any call which, by partnership agreement,

     conveys a meaning not necessarily related to the denomination named

     or, in the case of a pass, double or redouble, the last denomination

     named.

     Examples of calls deemed to be conventional are: showing support for a

     previously bid suit and shortness in the bid suit (such as a splinter

     bid) and bidding your worst suit for takeout.

 

     ALMOST ALL CONVENTIONS MUST BE ALERTED.

     In general, conventional calls require an Alert. In ACBL-sponsored

     events, however, there are some common conventions that do not require

     an Alert during the auction: Stayman, ace-asking bids, most meanings

     of cue-bids, strong artificial 2C openings and most doubles, redoubles

     and passes. Some Alerts are delayed until the auction is completed.

     (SEE PART X: DELAYED ALERTS.)

 

     1) STAYMAN

     No Alert is required for any bid of 2C over partner's 1NT opening or

     3C over a 2NT opening if it requests opener to bid a four-card major,

     regardless of whether the Stayman bidder promises a four-card major.

     Likewise, a 2D response to Stayman (or a 3D response after 2NT-P-3C)

     is not Alterable if it denies a four-card major.

 

     EXAMPLE: 1NT-P-2C and 2NT-P-3C

     Partnerships do not need to Alert their Stayman bids in order to

     differentiate between those that promise a four-card major and those

     that don't. Opponents may assume that an immediate bid of clubs over a

     natural notrump opening is conventional, asking opener to bid a

     four-card major, with no guarantee that responder has a four-card

     major suit.

 

     However, when it becomes evident that the two-club bidder either does

     not have or tends not to have a four-card major, an Alert is required

     at that time.

 

     EXAMPLE: 1NT-P-2C-P-2(x)-P-2NT

     If the 2NT is or is most likely a raise in notrump without a four-card

     major, an Alert is required at the time of the 2NT bid.


 

 

                                                       ALERTS.033 (PAGE 6) 

                                                       ___________________ 

 

     NOTE: A 2NT rebid after a response to a strong 2C opening is deemed to

     be a strong notrump opening for the purposes of this regulation, as is

     a 1NT or 2NT rebid after a strong, artificial 1C opening and response.

 

     EXAMPLE: 2C-P-2D-P-2NT-P-3C

     3C is not Alertable if it asks opener to show a four-card major. If,

     however, 2 or 3 ask opener to bid a five-card major (commonly referred

     to as "Puppet" Stayman) an Alert is required.

 

     Alerts are still necessary when the bid is not obviously asking for a

     major, such as a "checkback" auction where the club bid may be

     mistaken for one showing a club holding.

 

     EXAMPLE: 1C-P-1D-P- 1NT-P-2C

     If the 2C call is artificial such as asking partner to show a

     four-card major, it requires an Alert.

 

     2) STRONG, ARTIFICIAL TWO CLUBS

     Forcing 2C opening bids, either natural or artificial, do not require

     an Alert. Intermediate 2C openings, such as those used in Precision

     systems, must be Alerted.

 

     After a strong, artificial 2C opening, an artificial 2D response which

     is either negative or waiting is not Alertable. Those who play a

     "semi-automatic" 2D bid do not need to Alert. If 2D guarantees the

     values for game, or has any meaning other than negative or waiting, it

     must be Alerted.

 

     3) ACE ASKING BIDS

     4NT Blackwood (any variety over suits) and 4C Gerber (any variety over

     notrump) and expected responses thereto do not require an Alert of any

     kind. All other ace-asking bids and responses require an Alert, but

     some of these Alerts must be "delayed."

 

     Ace-asking bids at the level of 3NT or below and usages on the first

     round (other than Blackwood and Gerber as described above), require an

     immediate Alert. Unusual ace-asking bids above the level of 3NT

     starting with opener's second turn to call require a delayed Alert.

 

     EXAMPLES: 1S-P-4H-P-4S

     If you have agreed to play 4S as an ace-asking bid, make a delayed

     Alert! Furthermore, the responses to 4S and to subsequent asking bids

     require a delayed Alert.

     1C-P-4C

     If this is Gerber, the 1 opener should say "Alert" immediately after

     the 4C bid.

     1H-P-4NT

     If this 4NT is Blackwood, no Alert or delayed Alert is required.

     Normal responses to any variety Blackwood do not require an Alert.

 

     REMEMBER! THE DEFENDERS ALSO HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE DELAYED

     ALERTS.


 

 

                                                       ALERTS.033 (PAGE 7) 

                                                       ___________________ 

     4) CUEBIDS

     Most cuebids are not Alertable. However, any cuebid which conveys a

     very unusual or unexpected meaning still requires an Alert.

 

     EXAMPLE: 1S-2H-P-2S

     If the 2S bid is a heart raise with values or some constructive hand,

     no Alert is required. If the 2S bid is a transfer to clubs, an Alert

     is required.

 

     EXAMPLE: 1D-2D

     If the 2D bid shows the majors (Michaels), clubs and spades

     (top/bottom) or some other two-suiter (not including diamonds, no

     Alert is required.

 

     PART III: PRE-ALERTS

     Pre-Alerts are designed to act as an early warning system of any

     unusual methods for which the opponents may need to prepare.

     Pre-Alerts must be given before the auction period begins on the first

     board of a round or match.

 

     1) "TWO-SYSTEM" METHODS

     Some pairs vary their system by position, by vulnerability, or a

     combination of the two. While this is legal, it is also something the

     opponents may need to know ahead of time. One example of this is

     agreeing to play a forcing-club system not vulnerable and "two over

     one" vulnerable.

 

     Minor variations such as varying notrump range or jump overcall

     strength by vulnerability do not require a pre-Alert. These methods

     still require normal Announcements (notrump ranges; transfers) or

     Alerts (forcing Stayman over some notrump ranges) when appropriate.

 

     As an aside, please note that it is not legal to vary your system

     during a session for subjective reasons, such as the skill level of

     the opponents which you happen to be playing at the time or which

     member of the partnership is making the call. You may, of course,

     alter your defenses in response to the opponents' methods.

 

     2) SYSTEMS BASED ON VERY LIGHT OPENINGS OR OTHER HIGHLY AGGRESSIVE

     METHODS

     If it is your partnership style to routinely open hands with fewer

     than 11 HCP, preempt with very weak (frequently worse than Qxxxxx)

     suits, and/or overcalls with fewer than 6 HCP at the one level, the

     opponents must be pre-Alerted.

 

     3) SYSTEMS THAT MAY BE FUNDAMENTALLY UNFAMILIAR TO THE OPPONENTS

     Players are expected to be prepared for the vast majority of systems

     that they may encounter at the bridge table. Common methods include

     either strong or weak notrumps with or without five-card majors. The

     forcing opening bid will most often be an artificial forcing opening

     of 1C or 2C.


 

 

                                                       ALERTS.033 (PAGE 8) 

                                                       ___________________ 

 

     When you play a system structured along different agreements than

     these, you should draw the opponents attention to your convention card

     before the round begins. In short, if you play a system that most

     players would not immediately recognize (such as a canap system) or

     one the opponents may wish to discuss before the auction begins (a

     10-12 1NT range with distributional requirements for minor-suit

     openings, for example), you are required to pre-Alert the opponents.

 

     PART IV: DOUBLES, REDOUBLES AND PASSES

     Except for those doubles with highly unusual or unexpected meanings,

     doubles do not require an Alert.

 

     1S-P-4C (splinter bid)-Dbl

     If this double asks for the lead of any suit other than clubs, an

     Alert is required.

 

     1H-Dbl or 1D-P-1S-Dbl

     If either double is penalty or lead directing only, an Alert is

     required.

 

     3H-Dbl or 3H-P-P-Dbl

     If either double is penalty, an Alert is required.

 

     Passes or redoubles with highly unusual or unexpected meanings require

     an Alert.

 

     1C-P-1S-Dbl- Rdbl

     If redouble shows three-card spade support rather than a good hand, an

     Alert is required.

 

     1S-P-2C-2S- P

     If the second Pass says, "I do not want a spade lead on defense," an

     Alert is required.

 

     PART V: NOTRUMP OPENINGS, RESPONSES AND REBIDS

     Conventional notrump openings and overcalls require an Alert.

     Systemically unbalanced or conventional 1NT openings or overcalls by

     an unpassed hand, when permitted, and openings at the two level or

     higher with an unusual range or conventional meaning require an Alert.

 

     EXAMPLE: 1C-P-1S-1NT

     If this shows the other two suits, an Alert is required.

 

     However, after P-1C-P-1S-1NT no Alert is required.

 

     Natural 1NT opening bids require an Announcement.

     EXAMPLE:

     1NT (showing 12-14 HCP)

     Partner says immediately, "twelve to fourteen."

     or

     EXAMPLE:

     1NT (showing 15-17 HCP)

     Partner says immediately, "fifteen to seventeen."


 

 

                                                       ALERTS.033 (PAGE 9) 

                                                       ___________________ 

     EXAMPLE:

     1NT (showing 14 HCP with a five-card suit to 17- without a five-card

     suit)

     Partner says immediately, "fourteen plus to seventeen minus."

 

     Natural 1NT overcalls in the range of 14 to 19 HCP require neither an

     Alert nor an Announcement. If the top or bottom limit of the natural

     notrump overcall is out of that range or conventional by an unpassed

     hand, an Alert is required.

 

     RESPONSES TO ONE NOTRUMP OPENINGS

     1) 2C:

     If it requires partner to bid a four-card major it is not Alertable;

     all other uses must be Alerted.

     2) 2D:

     If natural and non-invitational, it is not Alertable. A transfer to

     hearts is Announced. All other uses must be Alerted.

     3) 2H:

     If natural and non-invitational, it is not Alertable. A transfer to

     spades is Announced. All other uses must be Alerted.

     4) 2S:

     If natural and non-invitational, it is not Alertable. All other uses

     must be Alerted.

     5) 2NT:

     If invitational to 3NT, it is not Alertable. All other uses must be

     Alerted.

     6) 3C,D,H,S:

     If natural, they are not Alertable. All other uses must be Alerted, or

     7) 3D,H and 4D,H:

     If transfers to hearts and spades, respectively, must be Announced.

 

     PART VI: OPENING SUIT BIDS, RESPONSES AND REBIDS

     1) 1C:

     Not Alertable if natural (three or more cards in minor) and

     non-forcing. Announceable if fewer than three cards is the only

     unnatural meaning. Any other meaning must be Alerted (e.g., a

     Precision opening 1C).

     2) 1D:

     Not Alertable if natural (three or more cards in minor) and

     non-forcing. Announceable if fewer than three cards is the only

     unnatural meaning. Any other meaning must be Alerted.

     3) 1H,1S:

     Not Alertable if natural (four or more cards in major) and

     non-forcing. (Note that canap systems must be pre-Alerted and canap

     bids must also be Alerted during the auction.) All other meanings are

     Alertable.

     4) 2C:

     Not Alertable if strong and forcing, whether natural or artificial.

     All other meanings are Alertable (e.g., natural and weak or

     intermediate).

     5) 2D,2H,2S:

     Weak, natural, non-conventional uses do not require an Alert. All

     other natural or conventional meanings are Alertable.


 

 

                                                      ALERTS.033 (PAGE 10) 

                                                      ____________________ 

     RESPONSES TO SUIT BIDS

     1C-P-1D:

     Not Alertable if natural, forcing one round, and does not deny a four-

     (or five)-card major. All other uses must be Alerted.

 

     1C-P-1H or 1C-P-1S:

     Not Alertable if it shows four or more cards in the suit bid and is

     forcing for one round. Note that the fact that you might bypass a

     longer diamond suit is NOT Alertable.

 

     1C-P-1NT or 1D-P-1NT:

     Not Alertable if it shows a limited (maximum 11 HCP), balanced hand.

 

     1D-P-1H or 1D-P-1S:

     Not Alertable if it is natural (four or more cards in the suit) and

     forcing one round.

 

     1H-P-1S:

     Not Alertable if it is natural and forcing one round. Alertable if it

     is conventional.

 

     1H-P-1NT:

     Not Alertable if natural and non-forcing. Announceable if it is

     forcing or semi-forcing. Alert if it: 1) promises spades or 2) has

     some other conventional meaning.

 

     (Note: Semi-forcing in this case means that opener may pass with a

     minimum and 5-3-3-2 distribution but otherwise will treat it as a

     forcing notrump. Passed-hand 1NT responses, unless they cannot be

     passed, do not require an Announcement.

 

     1S-P-1NT:

     Not Alertable if natural and non-forcing. Announceable if it is

     forcing or semi-forcing. Other conventional agreements require an

     Alert.

 

     2C-P-2D OR a 2NT response to a natural, strong two bid:

     Not Alertable if negative or temporizing (waiting).

    

     2D,H,S-P-2NT:

     Not Alertable if it asks for further clarification. Natural,

     non-forcing 2NT responses to opening two bids must be Alerted.

 

     NOTE: A non-forcing suit response to a weak two-bid requires an Alert.

     A simple raise (2H-P-3H, for example) of a weak two-bid that is

     invitational or better requires an Alert.

 

     Game-forcing natural jump shifts are not Alertable. Other jump shifts

     (either conventional or natural and weak or intermediate) not in

     competition must be Alerted. A natural jump shift in competition does

     not require an Alert regardless of strength.

 

     A natural 2NT response which is invitational or better does not

     require an Alert.


 

 

                                                      ALERTS.033 (PAGE 11) 

                                                      ____________________ 

     Two-over-one bids are not Alertable if they are natural and forcing

     for at least one round. Note that natural two-over-one game-forcing

     bids are not Alertable.

 

     In general, responses by a passed hand are considered non-forcing and

     do not require an Alert or Announcement.

 

     OPENER'S REBIDS

     A 1NT rebid if strong (may have 16 or more HCP) requires an Alert.

 

     A rebid in a suit that tends to be longer than the opening bid suit

     (canape) requires an Alert.

 

     Opener's rebid of two of a minor over partner's forcing or

     semi-forcing notrump response to a major does not require an Alert if

     it shows three or more of the suit bid (4-5-2-2 does not require an

     Alert as long as responder expects three or more cards in the minor).

 

     PART VII: HIGH-LEVEL OPENING BIDS

     3C,3D,3H,3S:

     Natural and preemptive (weak) opening suit bids at the three level are

     not Alertable. If you commonly preempt at this level with very weak

     suits (worse than Qxxxxx) or suits of fewer than six cards you must

     pre-Alert your methods. Intermediate, strong or conventional usage

     must be Alerted.

 

     3NT:

     A 3NT opening that promises a strong, balanced hand is not Alertable.

     Gambling 3NT openings and all other conventional uses must be Alerted.

     Natural opening bids at the three level or higher which convey an

     unusual message regarding HCP range or any other information which

     might be unexpected to the opponents must be Alerted.

 

     EXAMPLE:

     4H,4S openings which are natural but are weaker than might be expected

     because the partnership has some other method (an example is the

     Namyats convention) for showing a good 4, opening.

 

     EXAMPLE:

     1H-P-4H when playing a forcing club where the 4H call may have, by

     agreement, values for game but not slam.

 

     EXAMPLE:

     A natural 3C opening which is stronger than expected since the

     partnership has agreed to open 2S (a Mid-Chart agreement so the

     Mid-Chart has to be in effect) with weak minor-suit preempts.

 

     REMEMBER! Below game, non-forcing natural suit responses to preemptive

     openings require an Alert.

 

     PART VIII: OTHER CONSTRUCTIVE CALLS

     Natural jump raises in competition are not Alertable regardless of

     strength. In the same vein, natural jump shifts in competition do not

     require an Alert regardless of strength.


 

 

                                                      ALERTS.033 (PAGE 12) 

                                                      ____________________ 

     PART IX: DEFENSIVE AND COMPETITIVE CALLS

     A jump to 2NT to show the minors or the lower unbid suits is not

     Alertable. A bid of 3NT as unusual must be Alerted. A bid of 4NT is

     not Alertable as long as the prior bid was by an opponent. Non-jump

     unusual notrump bids below 4NT, except those made by a passed hand,

     must be Alerted.

 

     Natural jump overcalls that are weak do not require an Alert. All

     other natural and conventional meanings are Alertable. Unusual

     overcalls, including the tendency to overcall at the two level

     frequently with a suit of fewer than five cards or with less than

     two-over-one values (approximately 10 HCP), must be Alerted.

 

     PART X: DELAYED (or POST) ALERTS

     ALERTABLE CALLS ABOVE THE LEVEL OF 3NT STARTING WITH OPENER'S

     SECOND TURN TO CALL

     Once the auction has progressed to the point that the opening bidder

     has had the opportunity to make a second call, conventional calls at

     the four level or higher are not Alerted until the auction is over.

 

     These DELAYED ALERTS are REQUIRED to be made by the DECLARING side

     before the opening lead. The DEFENDERS are REQUIRED to Alert declarer

     AFTER the OPENING LEAD but BEFORE declarer makes a play from dummy

     (Alerting before the lead is turned face-up and the dummy is spread is

     best).

 

     The declaring side must make their Delayed Alerts before the opening

     lead. Defenders wait until they have made the opening lead before they

     explain calls requiring a Delayed Alert. As with normal Alerts, the

     partner of the person making the Alertable call is the person who

     makes the Delayed Alert and explains the agreement.

 

     EXAMPLES: 1H-P-1S-P-4D (splinter)

     There is no Alert at the time for the 4 bid. After the auction, the 1S

     bidder must Alert and explain as required the meaning of the call.

 

     1C-P-1H-P- 2H-P: 4C,4D or 4S

     If there was a conventional meaning attached to any of these calls

     ace-asking, splinter or something else the Alert takes place after the

     auction.

 

     UNUSUAL CARDING AGREEMENTS

     Except for leading low from a doubleton which requires a pre-Alert,

     carding agreements do not require an Alert of any kind. However, the

     box on the card in the middle of SPECIAL CARDING [ ] PLEASE ASK must

     be checked when playing a completely unexpected method or one that is

     not easily or clearly described by simply checking a box.

 

     EXAMPLES:

     Leading low from a doubleton (also requires pre-Alert)

     Carding which changes during the hand

     Obvious switch agreements

     DECLARER IS EXPECTED TO EXAMINE AN OPPONENT'S CONVENTION CARD

     WITHOUT PROMPTING IN ORDER TO ASCERTAIN THEIR DEFENSIVE METHODS.


 

 

     (Rev.NABC021)                                    ALERTS.033 (PAGE 13) 

                                                      ____________________ 

     ALERT CHART

     The new Alert procedure includes a number of definitions whose purpose

     is to clarify important concepts and create a standard terminology.

     This procedure uses the admittedly "fuzzy" terminology of "highly

     unusual and unexpected" as the best practical solution to simplifying

     the Alert Procedure.  The "highly unusual and unexpected" should be

     determined in light of historical usage rather than local geographical

     usage.  To ensure full disclosure, however, at the end of the auction

     and before the opening lead declarers are encouraged to volunteer to

     explain the auction (including available inferences).

 

     DEFINITION OF EXPECTED LENGTH FOR NATURAL BIDS FOR THE

     ALERT PROCEDURE ARE:

     SUIT BIDS:

     1. 3+ in a minor and 4+ in a major for opening bids, rebids and

     responses.

     2. 4+ for an overcall at the one level, 5+ for higher levels.

     3. 5+ for a weak two-bid.

     4. 6+ for a weak three-bid.

 

     NOTRUMP OPENINGS AND OVERCALLS:

     A notrump opening or overcall if not unbalanced (generally, no

     singleton or void and only one or two doubletons) is considered

     natural.

 

     DEFINITIONS:

     ALERT:  A manner specified by the sponsoring organization by which

     opponents are notified of your pair's special agreements.  These may

     be given aloud, in writing and/or by using an Alert card or strip.

 

     CONVENTION:  A bid which, by partnership agreement, conveys a meaning

     not necessarily related to the denomination named or, in the case of a

     pass, double or redouble, the last denomination named.  In addition, a

     pass which promises more than a specified amount of strength, or

     artificially promises or denies values other than in the last suit

     named.

 

     TRANSFER: A bid of a suit to show another specific suit (e.g., a

     diamond bid showing hearts).

 

     CUE-BID: A bid in a suit which an opponent has either bid naturally or

     in which he has shown four or more cards.

 

     CONTROL-BID: A bid, not intended as a place to play, which denotes a

     control (usually first or second round).  The control need not be in

     the denomination named.  These bids are usually used to investigate

     slam.


 

 

                                                      ALERTS.033 (PAGE 14) 

                                                      ____________________ 

     DOUBLES (in increasing order of penalty orientation):

     TAKEOUT: Partner is requested to bid.

     COMPETITIVE: Shows a desire to compete further; partner normally bids.

     OPTIONAL: Shows extra high-card values; offers partner a choice

     between bidding or passing.

     PENALTY-ORIENTED: Partner normally passes but occasionally bids.

     PENALTY: Partner is requested to pass.

 

     OTHER USEFUL DEFINITIONS:

     TREATMENT: A natural call which, by partnership agreement, carries a

     specific message about the suit bid or the general strength or shape

     of the hand.

     RELAY: A bid which does not guarantee any specific suit; partner is

     requested to make the next-step bid (usually) or make another

     descriptive bid if appropriate (e.g., a diamond bid which usually

     shows hearts but may not have hearts in some cases).

     PUPPET: A bid which requires partner to make a specific bid (e.g., a

     2NT bid which requires partner to bid 3clubs).

 

     ALERTS: Many previously Alertable calls no longer require an Alert.

     However, when in doubt Alert (there is no penalty for Alerting

     unnecessarily but there may be one for failing to Alert when one is

     required).

 

     PRE-ALERTS (Alerts before hands are removed from the first board of a

     round or match segment):

     1. Two-system methods (e.g., strong club when equal or favorable

     vulnerability; a natural two-over-one when not).

     2. Systems based on very light openings or other highly aggressive

     methods or preempts.

     3. Systems which may be unfamiliar to opponents, such as canape.

     4. SuperChart and Mid-Chart methods.

     5. Leading low from a doubleton.

 

     DELAYED ALERTS: Beginning with and including opener's second call, an

     Alertable bid above the level of 3NT bid is a delayed Alert.

 

     PASSES, DOUBLES AND REDOUBLES REQUIRING AN ALERT MUST ALWAYS BE

     ALERTED IMMEDIATELY.

 

     A Delayed Alert is made as follows:

     DECLARING SIDE:  The partner or the person making the Alertable call

     Alerts after the auction is completed and prior to the opening lead.

     DEFENDING SIDE:  The partner of the player making the Alertable call

     Alerts after the opening lead is made face-down and before the dummy

     is tabled.


 

 

                                                      ALERTS.033 (PAGE 15) 

                                                      ____________________ 

     NATURAL BIDS NOT SPECIFICALLY NOTED:

     NO ALERT  About expected strength and shape

 

     ALERT     Highly unusual strength, shape, etc.

 

     CONVENTIONAL/ARTIFICIAL CALLS:

     NO ALERT  1. Stayman (next higher level of clubs

               2. Blackwood(4NT) and expected responses

               3. Gerber(4clubs)/

               4. Conventional 2NT response to an opening two-level suit

                  bid

               5. 2diamond response to strong artificial 2club opening

                  which is waiting or negative

 

     ALERT     All other conventional and/or artificial bids (SEE DELAYED

     ALERTS ABOVE FOR WHEN TO ALERT)

 

     NOTRUMP OPENINGS:

     ALERT     Conventional

     ANNOUNCE  State range, if natural for all 1NT openings.

 

     NOTRUMP OVERCALLS

     NO ALERT  1. Convention overcalls by a passed hand.

               2. Jumps to 2NT or any four-level or higher notrump bid that

                  is unusual.

 

     ALERT     1. Jump to 3NT that is unusual.

               2. Other conventional notrump overcalls.

               3. A natural notrump overcall with an expected lower limit

                  of less than 14 HCP and/or upper limit of more than

                  19HCP.

               4. Natural jumps to 2NT, except in balancing seat.

 

     RESPONSES TO NOTRUMP OPENING BIDS AND OVERCALLS:

     NO ALERT  1. Stayman (next higher level of clubs) asking for four card

                  major. (Also, Stayman after the NT opening has been

                  doubled.)

               2. Natural signoffs at the next higher level in diamonds,

                  hearts and spades.

               3. Three-level natural responses whether a jump response or

                  not.

 

     ALERT     1. Stayman (next higher level of clubs) if other than asking

                  for four card major and rebids.

               2. Transfers, except for those which are announced, and other

                  artificial responses above next higher level of clubs.

 

     ANNOUNCE  1. State transfer anytime a diamond response to a natural

                  notrump bid at any level is a transfer to hearts.

               2. State transfer anytime a heart response to a natural

                  notrump bid at any level is a transfer to spades.


 

 

                                                      ALERTS.033 (PAGE 16) 

                                                      ____________________ 

 

     If the transferer may occasionally hold a Game Forcing hand without

     the next higher suit, state Transfer and Alert the subsequent bid

     which cancels the transfer meaning.

 

     NOTE: ANNOUNCEMENTS OF TRANSFERS AS ABOVE APPLY AFTER A NATURAL NT

     REBID BY OPENER.

 

     OPENING SUIT BIDS AT THE ONE LEVEL:

     NO ALERT  Natural non-forcing openings with an agreed range of

               somewhere between 10-21+ HCP.

 

     ALERT    1.  Convention and/or artificial openings which do not     

                  require an Announcement such as a strong/artificial    

                  forcing club.

              2.  Frequent very light openings (fewer than 10 HCP by

                  agreement).  ALSO, PRE-ALERT ANNOUNCE  State "may be

                  short" for non-forcing 1club and 1diamond calls which may

                  be shorter than three cards.

 

     RESPONSES TO ONE LEVEL OPENING BIDS IN A SUIT:

     NO ALERT 1.  Non-forcing 1NT response whether four-majors are bypassed

                  or not.

              2.  Forcing natural 2NT response that may bypass four-card

                  majors.

              3.  A one-level major- suit response to 1club that may bypass

                  longer diamonds.

              4.  2/1 which shows at least game invitational values.

              5.  All jump raises in or out of competition except a weak jump

                  raise after a pass by RHO (no competition).

 

     ALERT    1.  Conventional 1NT response which is not announced.

              2.  Non-Forcing suit bids by UPH.

              3.  A weak jump raise after a pass by RHO(no competition).

              4.  A natural, non-forcing jump shift after a pass by RHO (no

                  competition).

              5.  All conventional responses not listed under no alert.

 

     ANNOUNCE 1.  State "Forcing" if a 1NT response to a major is simply

                  forcing

              2.  State "Semi-forcing" if a 1NT response is forcing except

                  when opener has a balanced minimum.

 

     OPENER'S AND RESPONDERS REBIDS:

     NO ALERT 1.  Two of a minor after a forcing NT or semi-forcing 1NT

                  response.

              2.  A 1NT or 2NT rebid that implies a balanced hand (may

                  contain one or two four-card majors).

 

     ALERT    Opener's 1NT rebid, if strong.

              Responder's artificial third- or fourth-suit hands.

              Responder's "checkback" bids (of 2 or 3 clubs or diamonds).


 

 

                                                      ALERTS.033 (PAGE 17) 

                                                      ____________________ 

     OPENING TWO-LEVEL BIDS IN A SUIT AND RESPONSES:

     NO ALERT  1. 2clubs strong, artificial, and forcing.

               2. Weak, natural 2diamonds, 2hearts, or 2spades.

               3. Conventional and/or forcing 2NT responses.

               4. Natural, forcing responses in a suit.

 

     ALERT     1. Other conventional and/or artificial bids.

               2. Natural 2diamonds, 2hearts or 2spades, if intermediate or

                  better

               3. Natural weak or intermediate 2clubs.

               4. Natural and non-forcing 2NT responses.

               5. Natural, non-forcing responses in a suit.

 

     DOUBLES AND REDOUBLES:

     NO ALERT  Most doubles and redoubles *SEE ALERTABLE DOUBLES*

 

     ALERT     Doubles and redoubles with highly unusual or unexpected

               meanings.

 

     CUE-BIDS

     NO ALERT  Most cue-bids *SEE ALERTABLE CUE-BIDS*

 

     ALERT     Direct cue-bid of natural opening bid played as natural.

 

     PASSES

     ALERT     Passes with highly unusual or unexpected meanings.

 

     OTHER CONSTRUCTIVE CALLS:

     NO ALERT  Over suits, 4NT ace-asking and responses.

               Over NT, 4clubs ace-asking and responses.

 

     ALERT     Ace-asking calls and responses at or below the level of 3NT

               or any opening ace-asking call and response.

 

     DELAYED ALERTS

     Ace-asking calls and responses above the level of 3NT beginning with

     opener's second call except for those listed under not Alertable.

 

     DEFENSIVE BIDS:

     NO ALERT  1. Weak jump overcalls (two or three level).

               2. All constructive or better jump-shift advances.

               3. All natural jump raises of an overcall.

 

     ALERT     1. Very light overcalls (fewer than 6 HCP) ALSO PRE-ALERT.

               2. Intermediate or better jump overcalls (two or three

                  level).

               3. Weak Jump shifts after partner's overcall.

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