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2D Multi again - only in the ACBL.

At the recent Philadelphia spring NABC, in a regional compact KO, we encountered a married, very experienced couple (yes, you probably know who they are), who were playing the Multi 2D. They were providing the mandatory pile of papers from the ACBL database. My partner and I didn't really pay any attention to this, i.e. discussing defence etc. as we're used to Multi from day 1 of our 'bridge lives' over in Sweden.

This may have been unexpected behaviour, so finally the wife asked me what "defence option" we play? I said I don't know, we don't care about those. Well she persisted, and I was maybe slow to catch on, so finally I said I guess it's something like option 2, we double with medium balanced or any strong. OK she said, then we'll use those pages!

What!? We can read and consult the pages for option 2 to see how to bid, she said. I'm sure we're allowed to do that, she declared. Well I didn't really care, it didn't come up (we won easily), but this seemed really weird so I did check with a TD later and she confirmed that those really were the ACBL rules.

For me this really enters an absurd bridge reality. They play a convention, we don't play anything conventional. They can 'force' us to choose a 'defence option' and now they can consult several written pages. Is that really the intent of the rule book? 

I guess I could have sparred and ducked, but I was unprepared and didn't care at the moment. What would have happened if I refused to choose a defence? I afterwards checked option 2 in more detail and saw that there were some artificial agreements that we certainly did not have. So did we or didn't we play option no 2? Technically?

Next time I'll go the distance... just for fun :-)

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