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WBF alert procedure

For everyone going to Wuhan in a couple of weeks, here's a deep dive into the WBF alert procedure. It was written in 2002 and according to the Secretary of the WBF Laws Committee, Laurie Kelso, it relies on the definition of conventional in the 1997 Laws


"The following classes of calls should be alerted:

  1. Conventional bids should be alerted, non-conventional bids should not.
  2. Those bids which have special meanings or which are based on or lead to special understandings between the partners. (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). See Law 40(b).
  3. Non-forcing jump changes of suit responses to opening bids or overcalls, and nonforcing new suit responses by an unpassed hand to opening bids of one of a suit.

If screens are not in use, do NOT alert the following:

  1. All doubles.
  2. Any no-trump bid which suggests a balanced or semi-balanced hand, or suggests a no-trump contract.
  3. Any call at the four level or higher, with the exception of conventional calls on the first round of the auction.

Nevertheless, players must respect the spirit of the Policy as well as the letter."

Re: alertable 1:

The definition of a bidding convention is:

"A call that, by partnership agreement, conveys a meaning other than willingness to play in the denomination named (or in the last denomination named), or high-card strength or length (three cards or more) there. However, an agreement as to overall strength does not make a call a convention."

Re: alertable 2: 

My read is that you are expected alert any non-conventional bid that might not be reasonably expected to be understood.

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