South opened 1C out of turn when North was dealer
This incident happened at Benoni Northerns. I was approached the next day about the ruling given. The facts were -
Board 5: North is the dealer, but SOUTH bids 1C out of turn. DIRECTOR!
The ruling given was outdated (it was based on the pre-2017 laws). The revised laws (post May, 2017) dictate as follows :-
- First give West the option to condone the 1C bid. If he does, we simply continue and no penalties apply; If he doesn't, then the bid is replaced in the box, the bid is Unauthorised Information (UI) to North, who will start the bidding with no restrictions
- The bidding will continue to East then South - who can make any legal bid.
- If South's bid is "comparable" (see Law 23 [same meaning]) bidding will continue with no panalties whatsoever.
Examples of comparable bids to 1C are -
- If North opened, say 1H, then South's bid of 2C is deemed comparable; Or
- If it went Pass - 1H by EAST, say, then a 2C overcall is deemed to be comparable also;
- Finally, if it went Pass - Pass then 1C will be repeated.
- If South makes a non-comparable bid (e.g. 3NT response to North's 1D opening, or a 1NT overcall to East's opening of 1D) then the PENALTY is -
- Partner (North) is silenced for one round;
- If N-S become defenders, then there is a LEAD PENALTY as well - declarer can prohibit from offender's partner the lead of a suit not mentioned in the legal auction. Thus, if it went 1D by East - 1NT by South - 2D by West - All Pass, then when North gets the play for the first time declarer can choose to prohibit North from leading a spade, for example.
There is now a trade-off in the new laws -
The laws are less strict to offender's side, but if a comparable bid is not chosen, then there will lead penalties when defending.
Finally, the TD must also mention the conclusion of his ruling -
"If, as a direct consequence of the infraction, N-S gain an unfair advantage the TD is empowered to adjust the scores (Law 23C)."
(posted May 2019)