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Ben Cowling

Reply
UI case ( 12:14:14 MonMar 3 2003 )

hi

I recently played in a big tournament, and this board came up:


T2
AQ82
AKJ43
K6


7 KJ
KJ4 97653
976 Q82
AJT942 873


AQ986543
T
T5
Q5





Auction:

West North East South
1 No 4(1)
No 4NT(2) No 5(3)
No 5 No 5
End

(1) alerted; West asked for explanation and was told it was a splinter, with a good hand, diamond support, and spade shortage.
(2) RKCB
(3) 0 or 3 key cards (after a very long hesitation)

At the end of the auction, we called the director to ask him to record the auction (we weren't really sure what we should do, but we thought we might have been damaged). Anyway, he told us he didn't understand why we had called him, and asked us to call him back at the end of the board, if we felt we had been damaged in any way.

Result: 5S+1 for NS +480 after the A was led.

At the time, NS were very upset with us for calling the director - South showed me his hand, and said that I had no case against them. In any case, on the travelling scoresheet, some NS pairs had reached the making spade slam, so our score was slightly better than average. So I didn't call the director back.

Looking at the hand now, it seems to me that South has the UI that his partner thinks 4S wasn't natural (the alert is UI to him) - and therefore after his partner's subsequent 5D bid, i think he has two logical alternatives - Pass, or bid 5S. I think that Pass is a logical alternative, because South does have ruffing values, and an ace (albeit he has denied it). If his partner, knowing that all he has is a long string of spades, still wants to play in 5D, it must be a LA for this hand to pass.

Is my thought pattern correct -- I am not that familiar with the finer points of the law. If i had called the director back, would he have adjusted the score in my favour?

thanks
Ben Cowling

  
bluejak

427 posts
Forum Host

Reply
Re: UI case ( 17:29:39 MonMar 3 2003 )

if you are not quite sure what you should be doing then always call the Director and ask! I would certainly have called the Director back at the end.

As for North-South, either they were very inexperienced or they were unethical. After UI is given to partner as here calling the Director is quite routine.

Would I have adjusted on the actual hand? I doubt it. If you do not use UI and are totally ethical you will probably bid 6 over 5 because it seems to ask for the Q. Since that makes your side would get a poorer score.

Passing 5 is not really a credible alternative. First, 4NT probably agrees spades, and second, even if it doesn't, players with eight card spade suits do not become dummy! :smile:



---
David Stevenson <laws2@blakjak.com>
Liverpool, England, UK
http://blakjak.com/lws_menu.htm
 
 
Guest

Reply
Re: UI case ( 17:46:14 MonMar 3 2003 )

Thanks for your reply - yes I see why no adjustment is necessary.

I have noticed one further point - why is South lying about his aces, in RKCB? This seems completely unethical to me - it seems he has only lied because he knows the wheels have come off! Interestingly, if he answers correctly, they will reach the making slam!

N.B. the pair are very experienced, being at least EBU Regional Masters.

  
bluejak

427 posts
Forum Host

Reply
Re: UI case ( 17:53:34 MonMar 3 2003 )

Yes, interesting. It could be a player being unethical deliberately, but there are other interpretations. :sad:

With due respect to yourself and my wife, I do not really think Regional Masters are necessarily what I would call very experienced! :smile:



---
David Stevenson <laws2@blakjak.com>
Liverpool, England, UK
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James Vickers

Reply
Re: UI case ( 18:27:39 MonMar 3 2003 )

Country: UK

I agree that South's 5C response is an infraction, as it could have been suggested over and above 5D (the correct reply) by the UI. Whether this would have made any difference to the final result or not is not easy to determine, but South should certainly get his wrist slapped.

What would have happened if screens had been in use (no-one knows about partner's alerts)?

1D - 4S

N: "Partner has diamond support, spade shortage and slam interest"
S: "Let's play in 4S"

4NT (I'm assuming North intended this as RKCB)

N: "Let's see how many key cards South has"
S: "Partner has spade support and slam interest and wants to know how many key cards I have"

South has no reason not to bid 5D.

N: "Partner has one key card, so I'll do whatever it was I planned to do on hearing this response when I bid RKCB in the first place. (Darn, what was it now?)"

North might bid 6D, putting partner with the club A and a spade singleton. Now:

N: "Partner likes the sound of my hand and is making a grand slam try, showing a diamond feature (presumably the king). Shall I accept (7S), decline (6S) or make another try (6H)?"

Well, what would North do? If NS play the sort of methods I am suggesting, the failure of North to cue bid a club feature might point to a second round loser in the suit and persuade South to sign off in 6S. On the other hand, might North not have a likely parking place for this club loser (DQ or HK)? If NS are playing different methods (e.g. rolling king ask), should not North respond to 5D on this basis?

I leave you to decide. This may be rather speculative, but it's not too far fetched, and it does illustrate what kind of mess you can land yourself in after a bidding misunderstanding. I think you should explore the possibility of NS landing in a grand slam.

James

  
Shuffler

Reply
Re: UI case ( 00:28:01 TueMar 4 2003 )

Country: USA

A question about the splinter bid over a minor...isn't a bid of 3S Splinter? If so, the 4S is a premptive spade bid?

Shuffler


  
Henrys

Reply
Re: UI case ( 01:53:40 TueMar 4 2003 )

Quote: Guest [Unregistered

at 18:27:39 Mon Mar 3 2003]N: "Partner likes the sound of my hand and is making a grand slam try, showing a diamond feature (presumably the king). Shall I accept (7S), decline (6S) or make another try (6H)?"

I leave you to decide. This may be rather speculative, but it's not too far fetched, and it does illustrate what kind of mess you can land yourself in after a bidding misunderstanding. I think you should explore the possibility of NS landing in a grand slam.


James has a good point. As the thread appears to agree that there is no reason for south NOT to bid 5d=1/4 key cards, the question would seem to be, 'what would 6d mean after the 5d response'? If I remember it right from one of Eddie Kantar's books, that should be looking for 3rd round diamond control with all key cards known to be held plus the qs. If north needed to know about the sq, he could ask with 5h; if north were interested in locating kings, he could bid 5nt.

IF this would, indeed, be the system agreement, then I think it is absolutely clear for south to bid 7s. North must have at least Kxx spades and be inferring a 10 card spade fit (AJTxxxx or the like) and know that south cannot hold a side king for his preemptive response. Since I know of no way (at least, no common way) for North to ask for side singletons, South's doubleton must be deemed sufficient. Even if north has something like Kxx; AK; Axxxxx; Ax you might be able to pitch the losing diamond on a heart and ruff diamonds good.

So if I were a director, I'd award the adjusted score of 7s down 1. Were I a committee, I'd uphold the director.

  
bluejak

427 posts
Forum Host

Reply
Re: UI case ( 02:15:43 TueMar 4 2003 )

Quote: Shuffler

A question about the splinter bid over a minor...isn't a bid of 3S Splinter? If so, the 4S is a premptive spade bid?


Certainly, and I expect this is the agreement this pair had.

But people make mistakes, and most rulings in bridge start with someone making a mistake! :sad:



---
David Stevenson <laws2@blakjak.com>
Liverpool, England, UK
http://blakjak.com/lws_menu.htm
 
 
John_M,UK

Reply
Re: UI case ( 09:20:15 TueMar 4 2003 )

Country: England

Hi,
If I might just make an observation about the hand and bidding.

North Opens, East passes (no overcall, but maybe values), South Jumps to 4S.

At this point things get a little difficult and West doesn't help matters.

The explanation is a little bit off, admittedly, and all the glaring is a little bit suspect and the subsequent whinging is down right rude.

But West asked a question during the auction, Why?

It would be interesting to know if E/W were vulnerable, onviously N/S weren't.

If West is considering a bid the only one he can possibly be considering is 5C. On West's holding and with a pass from partner a double of 4S is suicide. But after a pass from partner there is unlikely to be game going values between the hands ~ anything West does at this point is guess work.

Unless, of course, the question is for East's benefit to highlight values in Wests hand ie. if they go too high double (UI).

Now I am not saying that N/W were ethical in their bidding or behaviour ~ that would be for others to judge. What I am suggesting is that at that point in the auction West should have kept quiet ~ from the look of Wests hand (ignoring Easts hand) he hasn't got a bid so an explanation at that point of the auction could open West up to a counter accusation of Unethical play.

Perhaps my view is too simplistic, I would be interested in peoples thoughts on my scenario.

Kind regards,

John.

  
Ben Cowling

Reply
Re: UI case ( 09:51:20 TueMar 4 2003 )

The vulnerability was Love All

Yes - I wish my partner hadn't asked what the bid meant. In fact, when the director came, my partner launched into an argument that she might have wanted to bid, if she had been given the correct argument. This is obviously a bit dubious, and confused the director about why I had called him. He said that if she wanted to bid over 4S natural, why would she not want to bid over 4S as a splinter?

I had called the director because I was suspicious about their actions (but i didn't know why), and wanted to record the auction.

Btw asking in itself isn't necessarily bad is it? - some pairs have the agreement that they will always ask about every alert - in that case you would only transmit UI by not asking (thus showing a very poor hand).


  
John_M,UK

Reply
Re: UI case ( 10:17:45 TueMar 4 2003 )

Country: England

Thanks for the update Ben.

No there is nothing wrong with asking questions but, unfortunately, there are times when you are going to help the opposition out ~ Sometimes the opposition may have a choice of responses and can argue the toss that there decision wasn't based on UI ~ I've seen it done numerous times.

I believe that partnerships that have an agreement to ask about every alert would need to make such an agreement known at the start of the match so that they don't fall foul of any accusations of "partnership" agreements.

My understanding is that if something falls outside the "norm" and into a partnership agreement, then the opposition must be made aware of it before play begins.

One question about etiquette remains. What can a TD do about rude players. I have come across all sorts of players where repeatedly calling the TD would only compound a bad situation. Then there is also the fear that those players are going to make "false" accusations about your attitude.

For example, in a fairly recent game, declarer had 5 cards left on table and said discard anything. Dummy discarded the 2 of clubs. when I said please discard the Jack of clubs ~ dummy went "ballistic". "dummy" didn't get their own way and that put them in a bad mood ~ I fail to see what a TD could have done to "make things better".

All the best.

  
James Vickers

Reply
Re: UI case ( 14:11:48 TueMar 4 2003 )

Country: UK


Quote: John_M, UK

No there is nothing wrong with asking questions but, unfortunately, there are times when you are going to help the opposition out ~ Sometimes the opposition may have a choice of responses and can argue the toss that there decision wasn't based on UI ~ I've seen it done numerous times.

I believe that partnerships that have an agreement to ask about every alert would need to make such an agreement known at the start of the match so that they don't fall foul of any accusations of "partnership" agreements.


The problem is that West has a legal right to ask at her turn to call. Most players understand this. What they don't understand and seemingly cannot grasp is that asking demonstrates a need to know at this point and conveys unauthorized information. I think the way this is handled varies according to zone, but my understanding is that in England partner may not take action which could have been suggested over a logical alternative by the interest shown in the auction.

This means that if East had made a questionable double and defeated the contract (on a different layout) the double should be cancelled if it could have been suggested over a pass.

I would do this regardless of whether West belonged to the category of player who "always ask" (I know so many of them). I really think it is beyond the means of directors to garner intimate knowledge of every player's mannerisms. In the same way I throw the book at players who disregard the "stop" procedure. If they bid too quickly after a stop bid, the argument that they never pause anyway cuts no ice with me. Conversely if I know they never (rarely) stop and think for a while on one occasion, that's UI as well.

James

  
AlanW

Reply
Re: UI case ( 16:02:29 TueMar 4 2003 )

Quote: James Vickers

I throw the book at players who disregard the "stop" procedure. If they bid too quickly after a stop bid, the argument that they never pause anyway cuts no ice with me. Conversely if I know they never (rarely) stop and think for a while on one occasion, that's UI as well.


This is something that seems to be impossible to get observed properly - even on our 'county' nights when only the better players in the county are expected to be playing, the majority of players simply will not pause after a stop bid. Of course, we all know auctions where the immediate pass doesn't really convey information, such as 1N (pass) stop 3N, for example. But most players do not pause even over pre-empts, although the director has repeatedly made a general point about how stop bids are supposed to work. It's not that these people don't know what they are supposed to do, they simply don't see why they should be bothered.

My only, slightly forlorn, reaction is to look carefully at their partner's hand each time to see whether they might have a case for bidding on, or a unilateral overcall, or whatever, without the UI and therefore to be able to suggest to the director that they should be conceding 800 or 1100 or whatever. I've never known the score to be adjusted for somebody not bidding in these circumstances, though, even though it's just as logical as adjusting when they do bid after partner's slow pass has given UI.

  
Ed

172 posts
Forum Host

Reply
Re: UI case ( 17:02:45 TueMar 4 2003 )

Quote: Guest [Unregistered

at 10:17:45 Tue Mar 4 2003]
No there is nothing wrong with asking questions but, unfortunately, there are times when you are going to help the opposition out ~ Sometimes the opposition may have a choice of responses and can argue the toss that there decision wasn't based on UI ~ I've seen it done numerous times.


If UI is present (and asking a question about a specific call always gives UI) and a player who has it may have taken advantage of it and damage results, the score should be adjusted. Offender's arguments are relevant, but not conclusive.

Quote: Guest [Unregistered

at 10:17:45 Tue Mar 4 2003]
I believe that partnerships that have an agreement to ask about every alert would need to make such an agreement known at the start of the match so that they don't fall foul of any accusations of "partnership" agreements.

My understanding is that if something falls outside the "norm" and into a partnership agreement, then the opposition must be made aware of it before play begins.


Interesting view. :smile:

If a partnership make an agreement to always ask, then, yes, they have an agreement. But it's not an agreement about the meaning of a call or play, so I'm not so sure it falls under the disclosure rules. However, practically speaking, I don't suppose there's anything wrong with disclosing it at the start of a match, and it might forestall ill feeling, if nothing else. So yeah, disclose it. But I don't think not disclosing it is wrong. I may be wrong about that, in which case I'm sure David will tell us. :biggrin:

Quote: Guest [Unregistered

at 10:17:45 Tue Mar 4 2003]
One question about etiquette remains. What can a TD do about rude players. I have come across all sorts of players where repeatedly calling the TD would only compound a bad situation. Then there is also the fear that those players are going to make "false" accusations about your attitude.

For example, in a fairly recent game, declarer had 5 cards left on table and said discard anything. Dummy discarded the 2 of clubs. when I said please discard the Jack of clubs ~ dummy went "ballistic". "dummy" didn't get their own way and that put them in a bad mood ~ I fail to see what a TD could have done to "make things better".


This one's easy. :wink:

In the specific case, TD rules iaw Law 46B5:
Quote: Law 46B5

If declarer indicates a play without designating either a suit or rank (as by saying, ``play anything'', or words of like import), either defender may designate the play from dummy.


I would also caution dummy, if his displeasure has been made manifest, that he may run afoul of the general case: rudeness is a violation of Law 74. That law says that a player "should" be courteous, which means that an occassional offense would probably not be penalized (except in the ACBL, which has a "Zero Tolerance" policy). Nonetheless, repeated or egregious violations may subject the offender(s) to penalty.

You can't make people be polite - but if TD calmly and clearly explains the law and the possible consequences, most folks will comply, IMO. Sometimes, I admit, drastic action is needed. We had one player locally who had acquired a reputation for rudeness. One day he was rude to the TD. She banned him from the club for 30 days. He's been a paragon of virtue since. :smile:

On alerting and asking in the EBU

Ref: EBU Orange Book, sections 3.4 and 5
Quote: EBU OB

The right to ask questions is not a licence to do so without consequence: if you ask about an unalerted call and then pass, you have shown an interest which may influence your partner. Asking about an alerted call and then bidding reduces this possibility, but in either case if your partner acts in a way that suggests he has taken advantage of your question, then unauthorised information may be deemed to have been given. Similarly, if you ask a question and then pass, thus ending the auction, your partner's choice of lead, from the logical alternatives available, must not be one that could have been suggested by your question. (Law 16A, 73F1)

Note: If, at your turn to call, you do not need to have a call explained, it is in your interest to defer all questions until either you are about to make the opening lead or your partner's lead is face-down on the table.


This doesn't specifically address the question of an agreement to always ask, but it does seem to discourage it.

I would add that asking about an unalerted call, except in search of further information after an explanation of the entire auction, is a violation of Law 20.

  
bluejak

427 posts
Forum Host

Reply
Re: UI case ( 23:38:12 TueMar 4 2003 )

Quote: Ed

I would add that asking about an unalerted call, except in search of further information after an explanation of the entire auction, is a violation of Law 20.


This view is not universal, and is certainly not the English view. It is normal to ask about a single call - bridge would become unmanageable otherwise. The Law concerned can be read in more than one way and we see no reason to go for the reading that ruins the game.

Quote: Ed

If a partnership make an agreement to always ask, then, yes, they have an agreement.


I just do not believe that pairs have such an agreement and stick to it.

Quote: Alan W

I've never known the score to be adjusted for somebody not bidding in these circumstances, though, even though it's just as logical as adjusting when they do bid after partner's slow pass has given UI.


There was a case at Brighton where the bidding went Stop 3 very fast pass 4 passed out. We adjusted to 4 three off because we considered 4 over 4 was a logical alternative so we disallowed the pass. But I agree it is rare.

Quote: John M

One question about etiquette remains. What can a TD do about rude players. I have come across all sorts of players where repeatedly calling the TD would only compound a bad situation. Then there is also the fear that those players are going to make "false" accusations about your attitude.


If you do not report this to the TD it will never improve - give him a chance to do his job. Discourtesy is against the Laws.

Quote: John M

For example, in a fairly recent game, declarer had 5 cards left on table and said discard anything. Dummy discarded the 2 of clubs. when I said please discard the Jack of clubs ~ dummy went "ballistic". "dummy" didn't get their own way and that put them in a bad mood ~ I fail to see what a TD could have done to "make things better".


If the TD tells them their attitude is intolerable, and they will get thrown out of the game if they are so discourteous again they will not get into a better mood now, certainly. But it will improve the game for everyone in future.



---
David Stevenson <laws2@blakjak.com>
Liverpool, England, UK
http://blakjak.com/lws_menu.htm
 
 

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