mistaken bid correct system explanation

Should defender be advised before lead by the player that he forgot their system and what was intended?


  • No, they are only entitled to a correct description of your agreements.
  • Therefore no redress 'rub of the green' if the mistake gives the innocent party an outright bottom as the information given deters normal lead. That seems to go against the spirit of the game. This would be eliminated if explanation of the situation given before opening lead made.

  • Law 40C. Deviation from System and Psychic Action

    1. A player may deviate from his side’s announced
      understandings, provided that his partner has no
      more reason than the opponents to be aware of the
      deviation [but see B2(a)(v) above]. Repeated
      deviations lead to implicit understandings which
      then form part of the partnership’s methods and
      must be disclosed in accordance with the
      regulations governing disclosure of system. If the
      Director judges there is undisclosed knowledge that
      has damaged the opponents he shall adjust the
      score and may assess a procedural penalty.

    2. Other than in C1 above, no player is obliged to
      disclose to the opponents that he has deviated from
      his announced methods.

  • If someone forgot their system then usually (unless they happen to be The Rueful rabbit) they will end up with a poor score.

    It should be noted, of course, that there may be unauthorised information available, due to the partner of the player who mis-bid giving a (to the player who made the mistake) surprising alert/ explanation. The TD should naturally, if called due to someone querying why a hand did not meet the explanation proffered, investigate the UI as well as the MI implications.

  • We had one of these in a match at the weekend. Oppo were playing different defences against strong and weak NT openings. My partner opened a 14-16 1NT and after an overcall we were given the alert and explanation appropriate for the defence against a strong NT. The partner of the overcaller became declarer, and after my partner had led, dummy put down his hand, commenting that he thought they treated a range that included 14 as a weak NT. When I suggested that in that case it would have been better to correct the explanation before the opening lead, he was adamant that his partner had given the correct explanation, but he himself had got it wrong.

    This is perhaps a slightly tricky situation, particularly if they have indeed agreed at some point in the past that 14-6 should be treated as a strong NT, but it felt like a more accurate description of their actual agreement at the time was that they had no agreement!

  • If the players are of a standard to play different defences then they should really know when each is applicable. I can't think that 'no partnership agreement' is acceptable - if the player is not sure; then both defences should be described (without letting on how he 'will take it') eg if 14-16 is strong then ...... and if it is weak ...... but I don't know which it is!!
    Of course if one player thinks it is strong and the other weak then the Director will apply the clear Law 21 B 1 (b) and presume mistaken explanation unless the pairs convention cards make it very clear what the true understanding is.

  • I think that you mean that "No agreement" is not sufficient on its own in this case, as it should be followed by mentioning both the agreed defences, and I would agree. It does sound in Alan's case that there may well have been mis-explanation rather than mis-bid, but further enquiry would be needed to be sure

    Barrie Partridge - Senior Kibitzer in Bridge Club Live - Pig Trader in IBLF

  • @Ingjerd said:
    Therefore no redress 'rub of the green' if the mistake gives the innocent party an outright bottom as the information >given deters normal lead. That seems to go against the spirit of the game. This would be eliminated if explanation >of the situation given before opening lead made.

    The spirit of the game is to play fairly to win making as few mistakes as possible. But mistakes at bridge are a major part of the game and it is unnecessary and fairly unworkable to tell your opponents you have made a mistake.


    1 Declarer leads a suit from dummy. You play a high card to show an even number and then find you had an odd number. Do you want to say "I am sorry I have accidentally false-carded"?

    2 You miscount oyur spades and open 2S, weak, which guaranbtees six spades in oyur methods, but you have only five. Do oyu think oyu shoud be telling opponents?

    The spirit of the game is met well by playing to the rules and ethics.

  • My apologies for the look of the last post. Goodness knows what I did. Also my spellchekka took a short holiday!

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