2♦ was alerted by West and, upon enquiry prior to South's initial pass, described as "24-25hcp".
2♥ was alerted by East, but no explanation was sought until after East's pass with the description given of "negative less than 7hcp no interest in slam".
The table result was 2♥W-4 for NS +200.
East-West had two hand-written ABF Simple System Cards (the shorter version that doesn't include responses to first round openings) at the table, both of which had "24-25 points" recorded against 2♦.
East-West also play weak twos in the majors and represented to the TD that the auction 2♥:2♠ is by agreement non-forcing in their methods.
The TD applied Law 21B1(b) as he was not persuaded by the System Card and representations by East-West as to their agreements and therefore decided to treat the case as a misexplanation rather than a misbid. The TD went on to apply Law 21B3 and issued an adjusted score of 4♥S= for NS +620 taking the view that the defence available to defeat the contract was most unlikely to be found in practice at the table.
East-West appealled on the basis that they believe they would've defeated 4♥ and the awarding of a vulnerable game to North-South in an auction clouded by an innocent misbid, not misexplantion, was unfair and unreasonable. East-West further maintained that their completed ABF Simple System Card was more than ample evidence that 2♦ was a mistaken call not a misexplanation.
The Appeals Committee agreed that this was not a misexplanation, but believed that East had unlawfully taken advantage of the UI from West's alert and explanation of 2♦ in passing 2♥ with 3♥ being a clear logical alternative holding a void and AQx support for partner's apparently natural and non-forcing 2♥ call.
The Appeals Committee also considered whether or not South's pass of 2♥ in the balancing position was a SEWoG under Law 12C1(b). South maintained that he felt that with West and North holding yarboroughs it was still plausible for East to have the strong hand. The AC felt that when 2♥ came back to South it was obvious that East did not hold 24-25hcp and it was borderline "wild or gambling" to pass knowing LHO is <7hcp and RHO is a weak two in ♦; however having regard to South's relative inexperience and the confusion caused by the mistaken call, the AC decided that the damage ought not be attributed to a SEWoG.
The Appeals Committee considered whether or not there had been a breach of ABF System Regulation 9.6 which prohibits the psyching of a conventional bid which is unequivocally forcing and systematically indicative of the strongest possible opening hand. The AC was satisfied that East did not open 2♦ with the intent to deceive her opponents and the call could therefore not be considered psychic.
The Appeals Committee concluded that had East called 3♥, East-West would have finished in 4♥ undoubled and awarded an adjusted score of NS+300. In addition, the AC fined the offending team 1VP for flagrant use of UI.
Do you think the Appeals Committee got this right?