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Unintended splinter

#41 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-April-07, 09:18

Law 16B2: When a player considers that an opponent has made such information available and that damage could well result he may announce, unless prohibited by the Regulating Authority (which may require that the Director be called), that he reserves the right to summon the Director later (the opponents should summon the Director immediately if they dispute the fact that unauthorized information might have been conveyed).

"Such information" refers to information that is unauthorized. Either defender may consider that East has UI when he (East) passes 4NT. At that time either North or South may reserve his right to call the director. Note "may", meaning failure to do it is not wrong.

Law 16B3: When a player has substantial reason to believe that an opponent who had a logical alternative has chosen an action suggested by such information, he should summon the Director when play ends5. The Director shall assign an adjusted score (see Law 12C1) if he considers that an infraction of law has resulted in an advantage for the offender.

5 It is not an infraction to call the Director earlier or later.

Procedurally the proper time to call the director is when play ends. It's not illegal to call him as early as when East passes 4NT or as late as just before the end of the correction period (see Law 92B), but the later he's called the more difficult the ruling will be, and if he is called earlier than the end of play the director is going to say "play on" and "call me back after the play ends" and nothing more so there's not much point.

IMO 16B2 is poorly worded. A player does not need to "reserve" his right to call the director. He has that right whether he reserves it or not. What 16B2 should be attempting to say is that a player who believes an opponent has conveyed UI to his partner should try to get the opponents to concur that this has happened. If they concur, fine, play on, don't waste time with a director call. If they don't concur they should call the director forthwith so that the existence or non-existence of UI can be established by the director.

I suppose a director called before the end of play might take the time to establish at that point whether UI actually exists, but I don't like interrupting a deal in progress any more than is absolutely necessary.
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#42 User is online   pran 

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Posted 2021-April-07, 12:20

View PostZelandakh, on 2021-April-07, 09:13, said:

This is just the wrong question pran and surprising to me from such an experienced TD. I have played in partnerships where my partner insisted that "4NT is always Blackwood". For such a pair West has not made a quantitative raise. The fact that you would play it that way, or me, or indeed every other BBF poster, is neither here nor there. The right question is whether this pair plays a 4NT raise of a natural 3NT call quantitatively. If not then a key card or ace-showing response has to be a LA.

If you accept that East misbid with his 3NT then you must also accept that he is free to again misbid after West 4NT.

A (questionable) fact that the partnership 'always' uses 4NT as Blackwood does not prevent East from either forgetting this agreement and accidentally pass, or from simply making another deliberate misbid.
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#43 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-April-07, 12:30

In the presence of UI, if East forgot, and if for them "4NT is always Blackwood", the second "deliberate misbid" is in fact not legal.

But we check it, sure - in fact, see #19, where I did ask and got the response that for this pair, 4NT isn't always Blackwood. Given that, pran's response is correct. The begged question is not in fact begged, we actually have already confirmed it.

It's a good reminder, though, that we don't use our own judgement or bidding style when making rulings, we use the pair's style and the pair's peers' judgement. In general, Zelendakh is right.
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#44 User is online   pran 

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Posted 2021-April-07, 15:03

View Postmycroft, on 2021-April-07, 12:30, said:

In the presence of UI, if East forgot, and if for them "4NT is always Blackwood", the second "deliberate misbid" is in fact not legal.

But we check it, sure - in fact, see #19, where I did ask and got the response that for this pair, 4NT isn't always Blackwood. Given that, pran's response is correct. The begged question is not in fact begged, we actually have already confirmed it.

It's a good reminder, though, that we don't use our own judgement or bidding style when making rulings, we use the pair's style and the pair's peers' judgement. In general, Zelendakh is right.

I wonder:
If East for some odd reason known only to himself decided to bid 3NT with the intention to deliberately pass at his next turn to call whatever happens in between - under what circumstances (if any) can this be illegal?

(Please do not claim 'UI' without specifying the precise nature of that UI and who provided it.)
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#45 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-April-07, 16:16

View PostZelandakh, on 2021-April-07, 09:13, said:

This is just the wrong question pran and surprising to me from such an experienced TD. I have played in partnerships where my partner insisted that "4NT is always Blackwood". For such a pair West has not made a quantitative raise. The fact that you would play it that way, or me, or indeed every other BBF poster, is neither here nor there. The right question is whether this pair plays a 4NT raise of a natural 3NT call quantitatively. If not then a key card or ace-showing response has to be a LA.


The answer to your own question is that this pair plays a 4NT raise of a natural 3NT call quantitatively, as already stated in this thread. The director was told this, but may not have understood it or accepted it, although he did not question it. The majority of pairs in the tournament would have played 4NT as either plain Blackwood or RKCB for the known major.
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#46 User is online   sanst 

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Posted 2021-April-08, 01:47

View Postpran, on 2021-April-07, 15:03, said:

I wonder:
If East for some odd reason known only to himself decided to bid 3NT with the intention to deliberately pass at his next turn to call whatever happens in between - under what circumstances (if any) can this be illegal?

(Please do not claim 'UI' without specifying the precise nature of that UI and who provided it.)

That is not illegal, but itís far more likely that E forgot the agreement, was informed about that by the alert and explanation from W - which without any doubt is UI - and after some thinking decided to pass the 4NT. If he had deliberately decided to bid as you describe, there would be no reason to think after the 4NT bid. If I as director had to decide between your scenario, assuming that E told me so, and use of UI, I go for the latter. As TD you sometimes decide against a player who then is sad or mad at you because he really, really, REALLY didnít use UI but became aware of his mistake completely on his own.
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#47 User is online   sanst 

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Posted 2021-April-08, 09:28

View Postsanst, on 2021-April-08, 01:47, said:

That is not illegal, but itís far more likely that E forgot the agreement, was informed about that by the alert and explanation from W - which without any doubt is UI - and after some thinking decided to pass the 4NT. If he had deliberately decided to bid as you describe, there would be no reason to think after the 4NT bid. If I as director had to decide between your scenario, assuming that E told me so, and use of UI, I go for the latter. As TD you sometimes decide against a player who then is sad or mad at you because he really, really, REALLY didnít use UI but became aware of his mistake completely on his own.

On second thought, itís illegal, at least over here, since itís a protected psych. Partner is forced to answer, but you have ruled out hearts.
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#48 User is online   pran 

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Posted 2021-April-08, 09:30

View Postsanst, on 2021-April-08, 01:47, said:

That is not illegal, but it’s far more likely that E forgot the agreement, was informed about that by the alert and explanation from W - which without any doubt is UI

Which implies that according to law 16 he may not now change his understanding according to this UI but must continue his own part of the auction according to how he had forgotten the agreements!
(He must, however, give opponents correct information by alerting and when asked about agreements.)

You continued:

View Postsanst, on 2021-April-08, 01:47, said:

- and after some thinking decided to pass the 4NT. If he had deliberately decided to bid as you describe, there would be no reason to think after the 4NT bid. If I as director had to decide between your scenario, assuming that E told me so, and use of UI, I go for the latter. As TD you sometimes decide against a player who then is sad or mad at you because he really, really, REALLY didn’t use UI but became aware of his mistake completely on his own.

I would rule that he had a legitimate reason for thinking whether to continue with his calls according to his mistake or (from now on) according to agreements.
His premises for the continued auction changed completely with the information he received, and it need not immediately be obvious to him in this situation when to keep "forgetting" the agreements and when to begin "remembering" them.

As always it is the duty for the Director to eventually rule on the question of possible damage.
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#49 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-April-08, 09:35

Bidding it, intending to pass any bid, is not illegal. That doesn't mean you won't get an adverse, correct, ruling.

In the presence of UI, if you can not convince the people involved in the decision that that was what you were doing, and not "I forgot and woke up when partner explained the agreement", they will rule based on the latter and you're trying one on. They might even say "What you say may have actually happened, but the Laws require me to...".

This applies whenever you make a deliberate anti-systemic bid, but more so when it is an Alertable one; you are almost certainly going to be in the presence of UI from partner, and then Law 16 applies.

But Law 16 talks about "logical alternatives" and those are defined in terms of peers playing your system and style. If you can convince the ruling people that you decided to psych this call, knowing what it meant, but sure you would survive any call they made (what about 4? 4?), then LAs are determined based on that style. The poll will go "you decide to bid 3NT knowing it means ... Partner bids [call]. What do you do?"

Again, this is much easier with self-Alerts, because you would explain it as a heart splinter when you made the 3NT call, and the director would know whether you psyched or forgot.
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#50 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-April-08, 09:36

View Postsanst, on 2021-April-08, 01:47, said:

If he had deliberately decided to bid as you describe, there would be no reason to think after the 4NT bid.

Does East know that? Did he know that at the table? Or does East know that he has UI, and was thinking about the impact of that UI on his choice?
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#51 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-April-08, 09:41

View Postsanst, on 2021-April-08, 09:28, said:

On second thought, itís illegal, at least over here, since itís a protected psych. Partner is forced to answer, but you have ruled out hearts.

Is it? Was East aware that his bid of 3NT would be characterized as a psych? Because if he wasn't aware, it's not a psych.
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#52 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-April-08, 09:50

In the case being discussed, yes we do - it was stated in #44 that the bid was deliberate, intending to pass any response.

In the general, of course the issue I raise in #49 applies: if they tell the TD "it was a psych, I was just going to pass anything he bid", what is needed for the TD to consider that clearly self-serving testimony correct on the balance of probabilities? Surely not just the statement.
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#53 User is online   pran 

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Posted 2021-April-08, 10:10

View Postmycroft, on 2021-April-08, 09:50, said:

In the case being discussed, yes we do - it was stated in #44 that the bid was deliberate, intending to pass any response.

In the general, of course the issue I raise in #49 applies: if they tell the TD "it was a psych, I was just going to pass anything he bid", what is needed for the TD to consider that clearly self-serving testimony correct on the balance of probabilities? Surely not just the statement.

As the contributor of #44 I must object.
My example was an extract from what we discuss, namely to show a particular situation which demonstrates the failure of many of the arguments in this discussion.
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#54 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-April-08, 10:21

I didn't mean that your #44 was what happened; just that sanst's response was in the context of "this is what East did, intentionally and knowing the system". Blackshoe's "do we know East knew it was a psych?" in general is a very good question, but in the context of that subthread, we do - it was stated by you as part of the scenario.

What sanst concluded is interesting, and I don't know how that argument would be applied in the ACBL - which also has a "psych protected by system" carveout, although reading the new charts, it is very arguable that it doesn't technically apply to this case (the old GCC defined psychic control as "Includes ANY partnership agreement which, if used in conjunction with a psychic call, makes allowance for that psych." The new one states: "Any Bid that conveys that a prior Bid was a Psych." and pass, as we all know, is not a Bid.)
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#55 User is online   sanst 

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Posted 2021-April-09, 02:09

View Postmycroft, on 2021-April-08, 10:21, said:

I didn't mean that your #44 was what happened; just that sanst's response was in the context of "this is what East did, intentionally and knowing the system". Blackshoe's "do we know East knew it was a psych?" in general is a very good question, but in the context of that subthread, we do - it was stated by you as part of the scenario.

Thanks. I did use pranís example, which is as clear as can be, although he doesnít seem to think so. In that example, not in the OP, E deliberately made an alertable call with a intention that contradicts itís systematic meaning. He was going to pass whatever W bid and has excluded a hearts answer from W by systematically stating that he had a singleton or void in that suit. Itís a psych, since it is a deliberate and gross deviation of the system, and itís protected by the system since W has to call and wonít bid hearts. FWIIW, I think that the ACBL Ďclarificationí is obscuring the issue instead of clarifying it.
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#56 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2021-April-09, 09:39

View PostZelandakh, on 2021-April-07, 09:13, said:

This is just the wrong question pran and surprising to me from such an experienced TD. I have played in partnerships where my partner insisted that "4NT is always Blackwood". For such a pair West has not made a quantitative raise. The fact that you would play it that way, or me, or indeed every other BBF poster, is neither here nor there. The right question is whether this pair plays a 4NT raise of a natural 3NT call quantitatively. If not then a key card or ace-showing response has to be a LA.

I've also encountered players who believe that if they're not passing a quantitative 4NT, they might as well show something. This could be aces, or it could be a suit to offer a choice of slams.

#57 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-April-09, 10:13

Well, we don't want to go as far as the GCC did, which basically would have made classic "baby psychs" (2-X-2 with a doubleton spade and three hearts, intending to go back to hearts, or my psych elsewhere knowing I could pass Drury) illegal uses of Psychic controls. I don't think the current definition is sufficient, but "passing a forcing bid shows you psyched" is just logic, not a psychic control. I think the EBU has it closest to right I've seen, where things like "Watson double: double of 3NT saying 'don't lead my suit'" is a legal agreement, but if used in conjunction with a psych is an illegal psychic control.

I'm not sure whether I would like to go down the path as far as you with this one - "oh, I found a bid that partner will make a bid I can pass, and it won't be the one suit I don't really want to play" (although I might want to play it opposite a decent 5=4, with AQ5, and xx as entries for finesses and pitches) - you could correct 4 to 4 to play a contract you were willing to play, Shirley? I can see the argument, though, and for some RAs it might be a valid one. I don't believe, given the text of our regulations, that the ACBL is one of them.

I'm not as certain as you, also, that a pair that plays 1-3NT as "heart splinter", doesn't have a meaning for 4.
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#58 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-April-09, 14:33

When I made my last post, I was thinking in terms of the original problem, not some hypothetical situation that came along later.
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#59 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-April-09, 15:13

View Postmycroft, on 2021-April-09, 10:13, said:

I'm not as certain as you, also, that a pair that plays 1-3NT as "heart splinter", doesn't have a meaning for 4.

They play 1-4 as natural interdictive, says the card.

Thanks all for the interesting twist the thread has taken, even though I hope we all agree that "but explain as if you had never forgotten" is also worthy of discussion. As mycroft pointed out, this is partly solved in modern self-alert bridge, but still significant nonetheless.
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#60 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-April-09, 20:50

Sorry, I was unclear. Sanst was saying that 1-3NT if psyched ("I'm going to pass any response") is a psychic control because the one rebid partner won't make is 4, the suit I don't want to play in, because I've "shown" shortness. I was saying that I wouldn't bet that 1-3NT; 4 doesn't have a meaning and could easily be bid.
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