Damaged or self inflicted damage?

South opens 2C, alerted and described as 'big hand' (or words to that effect)
West overcalls 2H, North Bids 2S. and the bidding staggers on until N/S reach 5D.
East holds AQxx spades (over N) A clubs and Qxxx diamonds (under S).

It turns out that N/S had recently changed their system to 2C = 'Big OR weak 2D.
North had forgotten, and hadn't amended his convention card.
South had a corrected CC. And surprise, surprise did have a weak 2D!

5D was defeated by 4 tricks. East called TD and claimed mis-information and said he would have Dbld.

It seems clear that E/W have been mis-informed, and thus damaged.
The Director adjusted the score to 5DX -4.

However NS contended that East is the architect of his own misfortune.
And it is difficult to see why East didn't double anyway.
He seemingly has 3 or 4 tricks, and his partner has bid, but he wasn't a strong player.

Is there any provisions within the Laws to cover NS contention?

Comments

  • Law 20F5 is in point. At the end of the auction S, whose partner had given a misleading explanation, should have called the director and explained the incorrect explanation. The director would then have applied Law 21B and offered E/W their last pass of the auction back. If E was in the pass-out seat, then he could (and presumably would) have changed his last pass to double. If E was not in the pass-out seat then the adjustment seems correct on the face of it.

    The standard in Law 21B is not particularly high. Law 21B1 uses the words "the Director judges that the decision to make the call could well have been influenced by misinformation given to the player by an opponent" (my emphasis). In my view the Director should be very reluctant to rule "no damage because the player ought to have doubled anyway", particularly in the case of an inexperienced E.

    Failure to double is a huge distance off the standard required to deny redress (for E/W only) under Law 12C1(e).

  • I wasn't TD, but I think the weak Diamond option only came to light during the play.
    So it looks like S didn't correct the mis-explanation.

  • TagTag
    edited March 9

    My first instinct is to rule that there had been misinformation and that EW were damaged due to it and give the result from 5Dx-4, unless it's clear that NS might have gone to a making slam with the correct information.

    As TD, I would also like to know what the auction was, to judge whether South had taken advantage of the unauthorised information from North's explanation. It's possible that at some point South continued to bid diamonds simply because he knew, from the explanation, that his partner was unaware that he had, or might have, a weak-2D opener. If this were so, then a penalty, warning or quiet word might also be appropriate.

    It's also possible that the result from 6Dx-5 and 7Dx-6 should be factored in, if it becomes clear that South passed 5D only because of that same UI after North's very strong bidding in the face of his weak-2D. Of course, to look further into that we'd need both the auction and the hand record.

  • The reason I raised this is seems to have similarities to a case many years ago.

    Once upon a time, before Alerts and Announcements (or BB@B)
    playing in a County event we arrived at a new table; all Vul.
    While I was scrutinising the magnum opus that was the oppositions convention card, N opens 1NT.
    It took me some time to find what this was: it was strong.
    I had hesitated.
    I passed, as did S. My partner bid.
    They doubled, my partner made the contract. And now they called the TD to complain about UI.

    TD made what I have always thought was an excellent ruling.
    (Unfortunately I can't remember the precise details!)
    He dis-allowed my partner's bid, fair enough.
    But didn't allow NS full redress on the grounds that the Dbl was 'cake and eat it'
    Ie if they had defeated the contract, they wouldn't have worried about UI because they had a good score.
    If, as happened, the contract made, then they would claim UI.
    But I have never been sure which, if any, Law TD used!

    It seemed to me the could be parallels here.
    East probably thinks 5D is going off.
    But if there is some freak distribution and it makes, he doesn't need to risk a Double,
    because he can always have that option afterwards.

    The similarities end here though.
    In last night's case East is not given to such machinations.
    The N from my story was a notorious 'difficult' player.

  • In response to Tag's comments.

    I believe S did continue to bid D, but I think that is exactly what he should do.
    He is the one playing the 'correct' system.
    If this had been played with screens, he would have continued in D.
    He is in receipt of UI, so to not bid D would be taking advantage.

  • Not necessarily, MikeK. Once he has expressed that he has a weak-2D opener to his partner through the bidding, he has bid his hand. If partner then starts to drive for slam, there could be issues as to logical alternatives for South and the TD might rule that South's bids were influenced by the knowledge that North was unaware that he held a weak-2D opener, solely from the explanation that partner had earlier given. He has to bid on as though his partner knows he has a weak-2D and is still driving for slam.

    I'm not saying that he did take advantage of UI from the mis-explanation but it is something for the TD to consider.

  • @Tag said:
    I'm not saying that he did take advantage of UI from the mis-explanation but it is something for the TD to consider.

    Correct - it should be routine for a TD called to adjudicate on a MI issue to consider whether there is a UI problem as well.

  • @MikeK said:
    The reason I raised this is seems to have similarities to a case many years ago.

    Once upon a time, before Alerts and Announcements (or BB@B)
    playing in a County event we arrived at a new table; all Vul.
    While I was scrutinising the magnum opus that was the oppositions convention card, N opens 1NT.
    It took me some time to find what this was: it was strong.
    I had hesitated.
    I passed, as did S. My partner bid.
    They doubled, my partner made the contract. And now they called the TD to complain about UI.

    TD made what I have always thought was an excellent ruling.
    (Unfortunately I can't remember the precise details!)
    He dis-allowed my partner's bid, fair enough.
    But didn't allow NS full redress on the grounds that the Dbl was 'cake and eat it'
    Ie if they had defeated the contract, they wouldn't have worried about UI because they had a good score.
    If, as happened, the contract made, then they would claim UI.
    But I have never been sure which, if any, Law TD used!

    It seemed to me the could be parallels here.
    East probably thinks 5D is going off.
    But if there is some freak distribution and it makes, he doesn't need to risk a Double,
    because he can always have that option afterwards.

    The similarities end here though.
    In last night's case East is not given to such machinations.
    The N from my story was a notorious 'difficult' player.

    @MikeK said:
    The reason I raised this is seems to have similarities to a case many years ago.

    Once upon a time, before Alerts and Announcements (or BB@B)
    playing in a County event we arrived at a new table; all Vul.
    While I was scrutinising the magnum opus that was the oppositions convention card, N opens 1NT.
    It took me some time to find what this was: it was strong.
    I had hesitated.
    I passed, as did S. My partner bid.
    They doubled, my partner made the contract. And now they called the TD to complain about UI.

    TD made what I have always thought was an excellent ruling.
    (Unfortunately I can't remember the precise details!)
    He dis-allowed my partner's bid, fair enough.
    But didn't allow NS full redress on the grounds that the Dbl was 'cake and eat it'
    Ie if they had defeated the contract, they wouldn't have worried about UI because they had a good score.
    If, as happened, the contract made, then they would claim UI.
    But I have never been sure which, if any, Law TD used!

    It seemed to me the could be parallels here.
    East probably thinks 5D is going off.
    But if there is some freak distribution and it makes, he doesn't need to risk a Double,
    because he can always have that option afterwards.

    The similarities end here though.
    In last night's case East is not given to such machinations.
    The N from my story was a notorious 'difficult' player.

    I don't think it was necessarily an excellent ruling. Digging out the facts might suggest that the break in tempo did not demonstrably suggest bidding. You seem to have become a victim of the "If it hesitates shoot it" school. I can understand and agree with the 2nd part of the ruling though.

    The director has ruled under law 12Ce (at least that is what it is now)

    (e) If, subsequent to the irregularity, the non-offending side has contributed to its own
    damage by an extremely serious error (unrelated to the infraction) or by a gambling
    action, which if unsuccessful it might have hoped to recover through rectification, then:
    (i) The offending side is awarded the score it would have been allotted as the
    consequence of rectifying its infraction.
    (ii) The non-offending side does not receive relief for such part of its damage as is selfinflicted.

    So the TD has ruled that double was a 'gambling action'

  • @MikeK said:
    East probably thinks 5D is going off.
    But if there is some freak distribution and it makes, he doesn't need to risk a Double,
    because he can always have that option afterwards.

    For the sake of completeness I should perhaps say that had the MI come to light in time so that the TD could offer E his last pass back (assuming that E was in the pass-out seat), then E has a bridge decision to make, the consequences of which bind his side. In other words he doubles or he doesn't and that is the end of the matter as far as any adjustment for MI _**at that point **_is concerned.

    Of course it is theoretically possible (although not likely in practice) that the TD could consider that an adjustment on the basis of E/W taking different action at an earlier stage with the correct information would give them a better score.

  • I don't really see the problem. Would he have doubled with the correct information? If so then adjust, at least for the other side. Was the failure to double 5D anyway an extremely serious error (ESE) or gambling? Well, it certainly isn’t an ESE given what we have been told, but gambling is a different matter. Read L12C1E carefully, look at the actual hand an auction, and decide. But as someone who does not double enough, it sounds like a misjudgement to me

    However, remember one point. When adjusting you assume the player had the correct information but you do not assume he knows that they did not know what they were doing. Without seeing the whole hand I feel less sure that a adjustment is in order.

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