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Pard forgets meaning of bid - how to respond?

#1 User is offline   el mister 

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Posted 2021-March-25, 07:11

Say you have a GF auction agreeing hearts, and pard bids 4NT. You've agreed to play 4S as keycard asking for hearts, so almost certainly pard has had a memory lapse and thinks you're playing normal RKCB.
What are your options here? Assuming 4N has no meaning in your system, that would make pass unreasonable so you just have to bid 5H?

Say then pard takes your 5H bid as two without the queen, thinks that looks great so bids 7H which makes. Have the opponents being damaged and are due some level of adjustment?
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#2 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-March-25, 08:45

View Postel mister, on 2021-March-25, 07:11, said:

Say you have a GF auction agreeing hearts, and pard bids 4NT. You've agreed to play 4S as keycard asking for hearts, so almost certainly pard has had a memory lapse and thinks you're playing normal RKCB.
What are your options here? Assuming 4N has no meaning in your system, that would make pass unreasonable so you just have to bid 5H?

Say then pard takes your 5H bid as two without the queen, thinks that looks great so bids 7H which makes. Have the opponents being damaged and are due some level of adjustment?


4N typically DOES mean something in any system, normally "I want to cue spades but I can't because that asks aces" maybe voidwood in spades if a jump.

So you are not required to bid hearts.

If opps ask you may have MI/UI issues depending on whether online/FTF and the alerting procedures.

If you genuinely have no agreement about 4N but are sure 4 is the ace ask it's an interesting issue, are you ethically allowed to select the response that just happens to be your correct blackwood response from among the possibilities when you might not have done otherwise ? And can you be punished for doing so ?

I suspect if there's no MI/UI then there's no redress, it's much more awkward if the opps asked.
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#3 User is online   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-March-25, 08:47

If you play Kickback and have no meaning for 4NT, you probably also don't know what you do when someone's bid spades before heart agreement, or any of the other auctions where Kickback could be ambiguous without discussion. If you're in that case, don't play Kickback. All conventions will bite you when you don't understand them completely; Kickback just tends to be one of the double-digit versions.

Having said that, partner is allowed to misbid, you are allowed to guess (barring experience with partner's misbids that lead to implied understandings, which are disclosable) [Law 40C1], you are allowed to guess correctly - provided there is no unauthorized information around [Law 16, 73]. This applies to both players in the pair. Note that there's lots of opportunities for unauthorized information here - delays, questions from opponents, required partner-Alerts in face-to-face, reactions to same...

In answer to your question, if there is no infraction, there is no damage. Usually, misbids and forgets hurt the bidding side. Sometimes they don't; and sometimes they even help. when they do, it's just as fished as if the C pair led the bare ace into your 6 contract, found a void opposite and lead another for the only set in the room.

Doesn't really apply here, but the opponents are entitled to your agreements about the call, including experience. If 4NT is "we play 4S for keycards, but we just agreed this last month and it's only come up twice since", you're likelier to guess "partner forgot" rather than "partner needed to make a spade cuebid" or "partner needed to say "need spade keycard for slam" (two meanings I've heard for 4NT here). The opponents are entitled to that information when working out the defence, and not providing that could have caused damage.

But "the opponents did something wrong, we're entitled to a good score" is not anywhere in the Law Book.
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#4 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-March-25, 16:46

I would also add....

View Postel mister, on 2021-March-25, 07:11, said:

Assuming 4N has no meaning in your system, that would make pass unreasonable so you just have to bid 5H?

No, I don't think that an undefined bid in our system makes pass unreasonable, particularly if 5H might be more suggested and I have any hint of UI (almost inevitable without physical or virtual screens, as mycroft said).
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#5 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2021-March-25, 16:52

View Postel mister, on 2021-March-25, 07:11, said:

Say you have a GF auction agreeing hearts, and pard bids 4NT. You've agreed to play 4S as keycard asking for hearts, so almost certainly pard has had a memory lapse and thinks you're playing normal RKCB.
What are your options here? Assuming 4N has no meaning in your system, that would make pass unreasonable so you just have to bid 5H?

Say then pard takes your 5H bid as two without the queen, thinks that looks great so bids 7H which makes. Have the opponents being damaged and are due some level of adjustment?

You can bid whatever you like if you have not received any unauthorised information. So you are not constrained in your actions over 4NT - you can decide to simply respond key cards, for instance. Similarly, if partner does not have any unauthorised information about your response, pard can choose any bid without reason for adjustment.

If the opponents ask about 4NT, your answer may provide UI to partner and that may constrain the choices. But you are suggesting that did not happen.
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#6 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2021-March-25, 17:34

Partner is allowed to misbid, and you are allowed to interpret his bid however you want, including catering to a misbid. And he is allowed to interpret your 5 bid however he wants, including catering to you having catered to his misbid. So far no problem.

There can be two issues:
- Do you de facto have the agreement that 4NT isn't RKCB? If partner forgets very often, it may well be that 4NT de facto means RKCB. Especially if you cater to it. Opps are entitled to know this, at least if they ask (or if alerts are in place at the 4-level which will usually be the case in online play). That opps are mislead doesn't in itself warrant an adjustment, but maybe they will say that they would have found a different lead with the correct information. However, you will probably explain the mishap before the opening lead. So this almost certainly won't be an issue.
- Was your reading of the 4NT bid based on unauthorised information? Maybe if he had bid a slow 4NT you would have taken it as something clever (say a spade splinter, now that 4 isn't available for that), and it could be that his fast 4NT bid suggests he means it as RKCB. That said, it is quite rare that a fast bid is deemed to be a break in tempo: break-in-tempo rulings almost always apply to slow bids.

So opps might have a case but probably they don't.
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#7 User is online   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-March-25, 18:53

View Posthelene_t, on 2021-March-25, 17:34, said:

That said, it is quite rare that a fast bid is deemed to be a break in tempo: break-in-tempo rulings almost always apply to slow bids.

True, but IMO this is because players don't look at them that way, and directors don't want to deal with them either. But the fact is that if a player makes a call in a faster than normal tempo, he has broken tempo.
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#8 User is offline   Douglas43 

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Posted 2021-March-26, 01:59

If partner has told opponents what (s)he intended by 4NT, and you tell them what you mean by your response, then how have they been harmed?
One of the advantages of self-alerting is that if you mess up, the opponents can see what has happened, but you don't get UI.
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#9 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2021-March-26, 02:07

View PostDouglas43, on 2021-March-26, 01:59, said:

If partner has told opponents what (s)he intended by 4NT, and you tell them what you mean by your response, then how have they been harmed?
One of the advantages of self-alerting is that if you mess up, the opponents can see what has happened, but you don't get UI.

Are we making up new disclosure rules for online bridge?
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#10 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2021-March-26, 03:34

View Postblackshoe, on 2021-March-25, 18:53, said:

True, but IMO this is because players don't look at them that way, and directors don't want to deal with them either. But the fact is that if a player makes a call in a faster than normal tempo, he has broken tempo.


There was a high-level case a long time ago in which the auction went 2NT-3NT. 3NT by agreement showed five spades and four hearts, but was made without much thought and opener passed it despite having major suit fits. This was adjusted by a top-level TD on the basis that the pass was based on the UI that the 3NT call was fast.
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#11 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-March-26, 04:33

View Postjillybean, on 2021-March-26, 02:07, said:

Are we making up new disclosure rules for online bridge?

About time we did.
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#12 User is online   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-March-26, 09:44

I once warned the opponents after the auction that we played transfer Lebensohl, but it's clear we both forgot (I knew I did, as it was my first time playing it, remembered after I had bid; partner failed to Alert, and enthusiastically raised my "transfer suit"). Didn't affect anything, didn't cause a director call, continued with the match.
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#13 User is offline   Douglas43 

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Posted 2021-March-26, 10:13

View Postjillybean, on 2021-March-26, 02:07, said:

Are we making up new disclosure rules for online bridge?


I don't think so? 4NT will be alerted by partner if they believe it is not natural, and you will be alerting your response as [two aces] if you regard 4NT as RCKB. But you don't know whether partner has alerted and vice-versa.

Under EBU regulations alerts apply throughout online, but there are only limited alerts above 3NT in F2F games (at least as I understand EBU requirements). I think the 3NT threshold was partly to prevent those auctions which went ... 4NT (pass) followed by a long think and a slow alert...
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#14 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-March-26, 10:34

View PostDouglas43, on 2021-March-26, 10:13, said:

I don't think so? 4NT will be alerted by partner if they believe it is not natural, and you will be alerting your response as [two aces] if you regard 4NT as RCKB. But you don't know whether partner has alerted and vice-versa.

Under EBU regulations alerts apply throughout online, but there are only limited alerts above 3NT in F2F games (at least as I understand EBU requirements). I think the 3NT threshold was partly to prevent those auctions which went ... 4NT (pass) followed by a long think and a slow alert...


The NT threshold was partly to prevent a 4N bid which partner then decided whether to alert after looking at his hand, depending on whether 1N-4N-5 was more useful as 2 aces or a 5 card heart suit.

Also depends where you play, I believe what you say is true with self alerts, I play my online bridge elsewhere with normal F2F rules.
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#15 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2021-March-26, 10:39

View PostDouglas43, on 2021-March-26, 10:13, said:

I don't think so? 4NT will be alerted by partner if they believe it is not natural, and you will be alerting your response as [two aces] if you regard 4NT as RCKB. But you don't know whether partner has alerted and vice-versa.

Under EBU regulations alerts apply throughout online, but there are only limited alerts above 3NT in F2F games (at least as I understand EBU requirements). I think the 3NT threshold was partly to prevent those auctions which went ... 4NT (pass) followed by a long think and a slow alert...

We are asked to describe agreements, not what we intend, think or hope the bid means. It's not just online bridge,the trend here is to ask "what do you understand by the 2 bid?" which is often answered with "partner should have..." or "I think partner will have...", rather than their agreement, or NO agreement.
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#16 User is online   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-March-26, 17:21

View Postgordontd, on 2021-March-26, 03:34, said:

There was a high-level case a long time ago in which the auction went 2NT-3NT. 3NT by agreement showed five spades and four hearts, but was made without much thought and opener passed it despite having major suit fits. This was adjusted by a top-level TD on the basis that the pass was based on the UI that the 3NT call was fast.

Good! But then top level TDs generally know what they're doing. B-)
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#17 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2021-March-28, 22:04

View Postjillybean, on 2021-March-26, 02:07, said:

Are we making up new disclosure rules for online bridge?

No, simply applying common sense when enforcing the disclosure rules.

Except in a few specific situations (e.g. the revoke penalty), we only penalize players when violating a law/regulation damages the opponents. Excess disclosure when partner can't see it can hardly ever cause damage, so there's nothing to penalize.

#18 User is online   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-March-29, 13:20

"Never?" "No, never." "Really never?" "Well, hardly ever." -- The Mikado
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#19 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-March-29, 15:33

View Postblackshoe, on 2021-March-26, 17:21, said:

Good! But then top level TDs generally know what they're doing. B-)


Not always, I had an incident where a VERY senior international TD ruled against me for opps not having misdescribed a bid, and failed to notice it was an illegal convention. It was too late when somebody pointed this out on these boards.
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#20 User is online   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-March-29, 15:56

Everybody makes mistakes. And I did say "generally". :)
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