Our local 'standardized' system suggests we play Walsh. I wanted to know which of the bids under the following sequences are alertable according to WBF alerting policies, given 1C promises 3 and 1D promises 4 unless 4432:

  1. 1C - 1D - 1S (promise unbalanced distribution)
  2. 1C - 1D - 1NT (may conceal 4-card Majors)
  3. 1C - 1H (may bypass longer Diamond unless GF) - 1S (promise unbalanced distribution)
  4. 1C - 1H - 1NT (bypass 4-card Spade)

The ACBL alert chart explicitly calls out several of these bids as non-alertable. The others (1M rebid promising unbalanced) is covered by the "natural bids not otherwise mentioned" section. So in the US, at least, none of these bids requires an alert.


In "Two Over One Game Force" by Max Hardy (1990), Hardy explicitly states that the responses of 1D, 1H and 1S over an opening of 1C are alertable (pp 297) and that the rebids of 1H, 1S and 1NT by opener after a response of 1D to a 1C opening are alertable (pp 301). This comment on page 301 suggests that opener's rebids over responders 1H call to a 1C opening are NOT alertable:

Very few of opener's rebids require an alert. These are the notable exceptions:

Note that Hardy was an Associate National Director for over 20 hears as well as an accomplished player and author, and arguably the most notable proponent of the Walsh system over the last quarter of the 20th Century.

Hardy notes in the appendix that, while a call may be natural in the meaning of the ACBL Alert and Conventions Charts, if it conveys additional agreement that the opponents cannot infer from the prior auction and a natural interpretation of the call, then SAID CALL IS ALERTABLE.

  • I think not everyone would agree - note the box 'frequently bypass 1D' (in the 1m opening section) is not in red on the ACBL convention card. I am pretty sure at least 25% of ACBL Associate National Directors would disagree with you, and at least 25% of them would agree with you. :( – Alexander Woo Jun 25 '16 at 4:25
  • @AlexanderWoo: My copy of Two Over One is dated - I would be interested in Hardy's thoughts more recently. THe Convention Card had several changes between 1990 and 2000 or 2001, but fewer since. – Forget I was ever here Jun 25 '16 at 5:53
  • If our partnership have already pre-alerted that we are playing Walsh, do we still need to alert on the bid? Also, what should the treatment be if it is general consensus that the whole field is playing Walsh? Should the director do anything about this for the failure to alert any Walsh bids? – petqwe Jun 27 '16 at 5:32
  • 1
    @petqwe: 1) you still need to alert because that is not an option for either you or the opponents. In extended team play only, the opponents have the option of requesting that no alerts and announcements be made - but they cannot pick and chooses, it is an all-or-nothing request What the field is playing is absolutely irrelevant to the rules, so yes, the director is required to enforce all ACBL regulations according to the class of game and conditions of contest.. – Forget I was ever here Jun 27 '16 at 21:28
  • Hardy's advice was correct in 1990 but is now obsolete. The ACBL General Convention Chart and the alert procedure have had several revisions since 1990. None of the one-level responses to 1C require an alert. – kevin cline Sep 21 '16 at 21:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.