TD Training (part 1)

A couple of weeks ago, I organized a training for 60 club directors in the district. As I wanted to avoid that everybody just sat and listened for an afternoon, I included some live directing using interesting hands that I ran across in the district over the last months. Live directing simply means that you make groups of about 8 players: 2 of them are sent away as Tournament Directors (TD) minding their own business elsewhere, 4 others take a deck of cards, read the script and play the hand up to the point where the TD is called, at which point one of the players that was sent away is called to make a ruling. The two others take notes about how things ran at the table. This is a useful way to practice directing and get feedback on how you did.

As these were TD’s directing games in the district, the hands are from events in the district in order to get roughly the right level of the hands. It was a success, though with the usual complaints that the hands were harder than one would normally get at the club.

For those of you who want to try this themselves, here are the hands. Note that some of them have been posted elsewhere with slightly different descriptions of what actually happened. If you recognize the hand, just ignore that. So, here we go:

Pierre Ghestem is still alive

South asked for an explanation of 3before bidding 3. North explains it as“Intermediate”, or an opening bid with a 6 card suit. After 4, north says that he forgot that NS are playing Ghestem and 3shows a major 2 suiter. The TD is called, nobody wants to change his bids and 4is played, making with 2 overtricks. EW are not happy with the result and call the TD back. When asked, NS will claim that they have been playing this convention for a couple of years and the convention card supports the claim. Director!


6, 7, 12, or 13?

3NT showed 12-15 points with 3-card-support. 4NT asked for keycards. There was an agreed break in tempo of about 2 minutes before the 6bid. EW object against the 7bid but the TD tells them to play the hand first. West led the9 and declarer shows his hand, I draw all the trumps, then have 4-tricks,AK and theA for a total of 13. Everybody agrees with the claim and the TD is called back. He establishes that a double of 5would have shown 0 or 2 keycards, and a pass 1 or 3. North says that he couldn’t remember the agreement and took a couple of minutes to (incorrectly) reproduce it. South says that 6systematically doesn’t exist and he gambled something. NS are long time established pair.

The TD takes the board away and tells the players to play the next boards, a hand or 2 later, EW realize that the claim is wrong and call the TD back. So, a score has to be entered: 6,=, 6,+1, 7,-1, 7,= or something else?

Only 2 cards

With 2 cards left, there usually isn’t much that can go wrong but look at this board.are trump, west has won trick 11 and is considering his next move. He doesn’t have a full count on the hand, the4 and3 could have been swapped. At that point, the following happens:

  • Declarer says “it doesn’t matter what you play, I’ll take the last 2 tricks”.
  • “No”, says east, “it really does matter, let him play a card”.
  • “Shall we just play on?”, says dummy.
  • “That is probably best”, says west and puts theJ on the table.

Declarer ruffs with the9. Half a second later, EW realize that theJ instead of theJ would have given east an overruff. Director!

Solutions, or at least my opinion on the solution, in a couple of days.


Henk Uijterwaal 2019