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What does the Appeals Committee mean?

by David Stevenson, England

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In Appeal No. 5 (Norway v Latvia) the Committee's decision was described as:

Score adjusted to
50% of 2H= by North, NS +110, 20% of 2S+2, NS 170, 30% of 4S=, NS 620 to both sides

Enough people have suggested I learn the English language that I think I had better explain a bit better! First of all, let me express it more clearly: it would be clearer (I hope) if I had written:

Score adjusted to:
Both sides receive:
50% of 2H making by North (NS +110) plus
20% of 2S plus two by West (NS 170) plus
30% of 4S making by West (NS 620)

The first thing to note is that an Appeals Committee does not always give the same score to each side, but here the 'Both sides receive' indicate this is not one of those cases. The Appeals Committee has 'done equity' (as the Law book puts it) by considering what would have happened without the infraction. In this case they believe that North would be left in 2H (which makes) about one time in two, and the rest of the time West would bid 2S. They also think that when West bids 2S they will reach game about three times in five. Note that these percentages include a slight bias towards the non-offenders to make sure that they do not suffer from any doubt but they do not include any punitive element.

Why do the Appeals Committee not issue a figure calculated from the above, for example saying their decision is to give a score of NS 165 (ie NS +110x0.5 170x0.2 620x0.3)? Because that is not the way the decision is applied. While it may not make much difference when imps are in use, to do the above calculation leads to some very strange and unfair results at matchpoints. Each score is imped against the score in the other room, and then the percentage (the "weighting") applied to those imps. Appeals Committees are not there to do such calculations, which are the province of the Chief TD.

However, to see how the procedure works, let us calculate this weighting. In fact the score in the other room was 4S making by West (NS 620). So we can calculate the final score for North/South in this room thus:

This room Other room Imps Weighting Nett Imps
NS +110 NS 620 +12 50% +6.0
NS 170 NS 620 +10 20% +2.0
NS 620 NS 620 0 30% +0.0
TOTAL +8.0

This compares with the score obtained at the table of 2H making by North (NS +110) which resulted in +12 imps.

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Editor's note:

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