Dear Dr. Robert:
I love your column and read it religiously! Could you please tell me, is a Bones Principle double alertable?
–Buffaloed in Buffalo
Excellent question! The recommended procedure is not quite the same on OKBridge as it is in an ACBL-sactioned event, but since Gerard is understandably reluctant to play in ACBL tournaments, perhaps because of the well-known shortcomings of his partners, let’s limit our discussion to OKBridge. Clearly players are entitled to full disclosure of all information imparted in their opponents’ bidding, and this is no exception. Bones doubles should be alerted with an explanation similar to “doesn’t promise any particular defensive values of any kind.” It is a common mistake to assume that Gee’s superior table presence and command of modern expert bidding eliminate the need to alert him to what should clearly be a standard treatment at his table, but one must nonetheless alert, just as one would for Garozzo, or Soloway. Besides, Gee’s partner should have the information too, so he can prepare his apologies for overbidding in advance while Gee is holding the loss on the hand to 1100.