Misinformation

Law 21 B 1 (a) states:

Until the end of the auction period and provided that his partner has not subsequently called, a player may change a call without other rectification for his side WHEN THE DIRECTOR JUDGES THAT THE DECISION TO MAKE THE CALL COULD WELL HAVE BEEN INFLUENCED BY MISINFORMATION GIVEN TO THE PLAYER BY AN OPPONENT......’

How is the Director to make this judgement, other than by simply asking the player concerned? You can take him away from the table and ask him whether he wishes to change his call and if he says yes, then should you question him further? How can you make this judgement without looking at the player’s hand, which you are not supposed to do unless as a last resort?

I can imagine that a TD would be very very reluctant to deny the player the opportunity to change his (last) call.

Comments

  • TagTag
    edited May 25

    One of the most common situations I find for this is where there is a delay in alerting. A player bids and his partner does nothing. The next player bids and then, finally, the first player's partner alerts. I'd always allow them to take their bid back.

    If it's at my own table then I don't bother to ask them, I simply let them know that they may take their bid back. If I've been called to another table, often one of the first things you hear is, "I wouldn't have bid this if I'd known...". As such, a need to ask them whether they might have bid differently rarely arises.

    If the knowledge of the misinformation comes during the clarification period then all you can really do, at that point, is to re-open the auction and allow the person who last passed on the non-offending side to change their call. Of course, you can still adjust the score later.

  • You ask them and stress that it has to be as a result of the misinformation.

    One time when you might well not allow them to change is if they want to double a contract having now discovered that the opponents appear to have had a misunderstanding. If they wouldn't have doubled with the correct information (only) they shouldn't be allowed to based on the knowledge of the misunderstanding.

    Consider 2H - 4H
    2H announced as strong and natural. 4H is therefore a very weak raise. If opener corrects the explanation before the opening lead, I'd be unlikely to allow the defenders to be able to double now.

  • For me, that is a perfect example to allow them to double?

    2H corrected to be weak and as such 4H is also weak and so both are now weak. Why should the ops not be allowed to correct their pass to a bid now knowing that both hands are weak?

  • I think Gordon's point is that responder could have quite a strong hand if opener is known to be weak, so they'd be unlikely to want to double the final contract. They are entitled to know their opponents' agreements, but not that one of them has misunderstood their partner's bid, unless that's already been revealed by other means.

    I don't try to stop players taking any action they want to here, but I stress when I give the ruling "If you would have made a different call with the correct information you may retract your call and replace it with the one you would have made" or words to that effect.

  • I guess we all do as Tag and VixTD have said, but it sidesteps the requirement in the law for the Director to exercise judgement; which as I said in my post is probably impractical. I was looking to see if I had missed something, but it seems I haven’t, that we allow the player concerned to decide whether he wants to replace his last call and if he does, then we let him.

  • If they had been told that 2H was weak and heard this auction, they would have no knowledge that responder was also weak. So if they couldn't double the original auction, it's unlikely they would be able to do so with the correct information.

  • Please forgive the questions, I am relatively new to this stuff...

    Isn't it the decision of theirs whether to double or not, and not ours as TD?

    On a side note, is it AI for them that 1 half thought (and bid) as though 2H was strong and the other weak. So, they are now in the correct position of knowing that the 2H bid was weak and that 4H was a weak raise? As such they are now in a position to know that both opener and responder are weak.

    They can now know that they both probably have 10-15 points each so competing/doubling is sensible?

    Or, are you saying that they cannot correctly bid now and essentially have to guess at a game overcall and hope that the TD does not see this as a gambling action if it goes badly, or pass and have a TD assess for potential damage later.

    Another question, same auction and error but corrected before the end of the auction...

    2H (announced as strong) - Pass - 4H - Pass
    *Correction, just remembered that we have started paying weak 2s...
    can the last pass be a double now?

    How about if it was
    2H (announced as strong) - Pass - 4H - before the 4th seat passes, a correction now - ah, just remembered we are playing weak 2s...

    Can the last pass be corrected to a bid (including a double)? If so, does the 4H bid have to be repeated (assuming that there is not an overcall of 4H or higher now, or can this be corrected to a pass?

  • You are entitled to the knowledge of your opponents agreements, but not whether or not they have departed from them, so you aren't entitled to know that they have had a bidding misunderstanding.

    This is the reason for the change in this law: formerly you were required to call the TD as soon as you realised that you had given an incorrect explanation and this might well give the opponents the knowledge that you had had a misunderstanding, at a time when they might take advantage of it. That gave players an incentive to delay their realisation until the auction was over.

    Now that they are not required to call until the Clarification Period means the opponents can't take advantage in that way.

  • So, there seems to be an incentive to not tell the ops until the end of the auction period that you realised that you gave incorrect description. From your previous comments, this would preclude them from doubling a 4H contract when you realised part way through that your partner had a weak 2H and not a strong 2.

    Surely this then means that the TD has to then correct to 4S +1 (or whatever) when 2nd seat has a clear take out double over a weak 2H and that 4th seat has opening values and 5 spades?

    Also, you are saying that they are not required to call the TD, but what happens in those 2 examples:

    2H (announced as strong) - Pass - 4H - Pass
    *Correction, just remembered that we have started paying weak 2s...
    can the last pass be a double now?

    How about if it was
    2H (announced as strong) - Pass - 4H - before the 4th seat passes, a correction now - ah, just remembered we are playing weak 2s...

  • In general, you still have to call the TD before the end of the correction period - so the TD can still re-open the auction if it turns out that a player would take action instead of making the last pass (without further rectification of course). If he doesn't want to then you have to find out whether either player in possession of the correct information would have changed their calls during the auction.

    In the example given 2H - P - 4H (oops I forgot), then the director finds out whether the 2nd player would have taken action over a weak 2H that he wouldn't over a strong 2H. If so he lets the 2nd player change the call (his partner hasn't made a call). If the 2nd player DOES change his call then the 3rd player can change his (he has no UI or whatever) BUT the cancelled call is UI for his side (and AI for the other). PS Don't forget law 26 (lead restrictions) may apply, although it is not directly referenced.

  • Martin, your questions identify precisely the issue: in the first case the second pass can only be changed if it might have been influenced by the misinformation. In the second case, the player gets to do what they like and they are allowed to use the inference, to which they had no entitlement, that the opponents appear to have had a misunderstanding.

  • TagTag
    edited May 27

    If a player opens 2S and it is incorrectly described, as either weak or strong, then opponents are very likely to have been damaged by misinformation.

    Here we have self-admitted misinformation. That their misunderstanding has taken them higher than they might have cared to get surely does not take away the opponents' right to have the auction re-opened, so that they may double the contract or bid on. After all, the non-offending side might be missing out on their own game or slam.

  • @Tag said:
    If a player opens 2S and it is incorrectly described, as either weak or strong, then opponents are very likely to have been damaged by misinformation.

    They will only have been damaged by the misinformation if they would have done something different with the correct information. The correct information does not include knowing that they have had a misunderstanding, nor does the correct information necessarily match the content of a bidder's hand.

  • There's a distinction here which may very well be understood by everyone, but it hasn't been brought out, unless I've missed something.

    Scenario 1: the TD is called; the OS fess up to misinfo and the TD says to the NOS: if you (the last player on the NOS to call) would have taken some different action with the correct information, you may now change your call. In that event:

    (a) the NOS are now bound by the player's decision: they cannot get an adjusted score on the basis of a different action at that turn if the choice (whether it be to change or not to change) doesn't work out well for them.
    (b) whilst they are not specifically entitled to know that the OS are having a misunderstanding, they are entitled to any inferences that can be drawn from the explanations given and corrected, entirely at their own risk.
    (c) it would be unusual for the TD to rule that the action taken by a non-offending player when offered a change of call did not fall within the wording of Law21B1 (which is very widely drawn - the use of the words "could well have" and "influenced" do not require the construction of a detailed and highly-persuasive chain of causation), but I guess is it possible. The one thing the TD does not do, of course, is look at the player''s hand at the time.

    Scenario 2: the TD is called and the player offered the choice of change of call makes some choice, but when the TD is called back at the end of the hand the NOS claim that they would have got a better result if they had taken some different action at a stage earlier than the limited wind-back of the auction allowed. Now the question of an adjusted score comes into play, and the TD consults, and uses the best of his judgement to arrive at a decision as to whether to adjust, and if so to what. As before, the wording is liberal, so the TD does not have to be convinced that the NOS would definitely have done something different, more that it is plausible that they might. Weighted scores will often be given in these situations, both in terms of the different action the NOS claim they would have taken with the correct information, and in terms of the subsequent potential happenings on the board.

  • This is a bit of shades of grey - if you are asked if you want to change your call and it is the next call after the MI i.e. there is no chance of partner being affected and you elect not to - does this count as 'gambling'? I think this is the only situation when that could be applied as partner might have done something earlier if he had been misinformed.

  • @weejonnie said:
    This is a bit of shades of grey - if you are asked if you want to change your call and it is the next call after the MI i.e. there is no chance of partner being affected and you elect not to - does this count as 'gambling'? I think this is the only situation when that could be applied as partner might have done something earlier if he had been misinformed.

    So the scenario is that RHO bids something, you make your call over it, then LHO says "sorry I should have alerted", the misinformation comes to light and the TD offers you your last call back?

    You now have the correct information and need to make a bridge judgment as to what to do. My point was that you have to make the decision for your side, as you will not get a second bite of the cherry via a possible adjustment by the TD. (Law 21B3 refers to "when it is too late to change a call").

    I don't see, therefore, where gambling comes into it. You are not going to get an adjustment whatever you do, so the provisions of Law 12C1(e) are not engaged.

    Or have I misunderstood your point?

  • Probably not - I was thinking out loud. It does seem clear that if your call is the 1st (and last) made by your side after MI comes to light then you correct it - and that is that. So I agree with your logic.

  • There was a case at Spring Bank Holiday congress. 1C(1S)X(3C);X(3S)3NT(4S). 3C was explained a "fit, I think" but was corrected by the 3C bidder as "mixed raise". I just gave responder the chance to change his final pass (without saying much more) and when he doubled I wondered if I should have.

    This became an unauthorised information case (4SX=) and now I had to worry that I had allowed responder to make a gambling action.

  • @BarkerBridgeTD said:
    There was a case at Spring Bank Holiday congress. 1C(1S)X(3C);X(3S)3NT(4S). 3C was explained a "fit, I think" but was corrected by the 3C bidder as "mixed raise". I just gave responder the chance to change his final pass (without saying much more) and when he doubled I wondered if I should have.

    This became an unauthorised information case (4SX=) and now I had to worry that I had allowed responder to make a gambling action.

    Would it be of interest to post that hand on a new thread? I don't imagine that it's sub judice in any way as I understood there was no appeal.

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