BIT

edited June 12 in EBU TDs
Good evening all

Playing with my wife tonight the bidding went 1S - pass (from me) - 2S - pass (from the misses - pass
Pass and i double

Mrs bids 3H and passed out

Ops ask to reserve their rights due to a hestitation.

I say that there was no hesitation and partner paused a usual couple of seconds. So said cannot reserve rights and best to call the director... so director called.

Director comes and now this hesitation is described as 10 seconds! Haha says I. Director has a difficult decision. We play and my hand is 8 or 9 points doubleton spade and 4 hearts.

I say that my system is based on a klinger book... never let the ops play at the 2 level with a fit. So i had no choice but to bid, even had there been a hesitation... otherwise partner could hesitate to stop me fromm bidding.

Am i right?

The decision was score stands, as the reslut was better for them (although that was the second time of playing).

They are not an ebu member club so it does not matter. Nothing against the director either. Just the attitude of the oposition really

Comments

  • I think it is normal to double with 13 cards in this situation.
    Having 8 or 9 points and 4-card Hearts is a slight bonus that can help justify your action.
    Seriously, though, I rarely accept an opponent's reservation of rights, preferring to call the Director at the time of the allegation rather than allow the hand to be played, suffering from the pressure of reserved rights that may or may not work out detrimentally. It has happened so many times … reserve rights - get good result, don't call TD or … reserve rights - get bad result, call TD and try to get result adjustment.
    I am more than a little cynical of so many opponents.

  • OK... quick update, now back home... this is my hand:

    74
    K432
    KJ54
    J82

    In the end it was a little better for us at 67% as 2 hands were worse and 1 better (there was just 4 1/2 tables)

    Is this a normal hand for a double in that situation, particularly as the policy is to not let the ops play at the 2 level with a fit?

    This is something that I have an interest in as a director also - how to rule when there is a dispute over a hesitation, one party saying 10+ seconds and the other saying at max 3 seconds.

  • I suspect that we've all had situations where the opponents grossly overstate the time taken to bid. As a TD, the usual question to the alleged hesitater is "what did you have to think about" or "what were you thinking about". The response will often give a good indication of whether they did hesitate or whether it was just a normal in-tempo bid.

    Regarding your obligations after a break in tempo. You must carefully avoid taking advantage of any UI transmitted. If you feel that your bid is obvious then maybe there is no logical alternative to it. Make your bid and then allow the TD to do his job if the opponents complain.

    By the way, I'm glad for your 67%. It's a good general principle to butt in when they're happy to settle in a fit at the two-level. Of course, every exception breaks the rule. :-)

  • One other aspect to this... when you disagree with an opponent's suggestion that your side has broken tempo and they wish to reserve their rights, it's your responsibility to call the director - Law 16B2.

  • Thanks to both for the replies - this was along my thinking too. But it is difficult to be impartial when it involves yourself and spouse!

    It is, as is normally the case from what I have seen, not the alleged infraction nor the director that causes the issue, but rather the attitude of the person(s) doing the accusations.

    All the 'I reserve my rights' and 'learn the rules' comments, even after stating that I was aware of the rules simply disagreed that there was a hesitation. Hence the need to call the director rather than reserve rights.

    I did make the point that with my bid being a system bid, then had a hesitation occurred, I cannot not bid the bid I made. Otherwise partner could hesitate to stop me from bidding and essentially cheat if she wanted them to play in 2S. It was somewhat wasted on this person, but hey ho, we did okay on that hand regardless and we won on the night :)

  • @Tag said:
    I suspect that we've all had situations where the opponents grossly overstate the time taken to bid.

    I think I see more cases where players do not realise how long was their break in tempo - after all, they were thinking during it, not measuring how long it was.

  • Did you lor your misses let your opponents know that you had an agreement to take action over the 2!s call? Once the bidding goes 1!s - P - 2!s then you should alert your miss's pass as 'forcing'.

    They might then bid 1s - 2S on much stronger hands knowing you will double. In fact they might consider doubling 3!h on other hands if they know your system forced you to protect.

    That being said, if you can show that this is your agreement then obviously there is no LA under 16B - since it expressly states "using the methods of the partnership" in the definition of a LA.

  • The pass is not forcing.... i paraphrased the rule last night on my phone...

    Dont let the the oposition play at the 2 level with a fit, unless you are happy for them to play there. So partner will overcall/double with a normal hand that would do so.

    At the last seat, I would ballance with 7ish plus points. With less i would think that the ops may have missed a game and pass. As partner would be limited and so am I and would take a view that responder may have a maximum 2S raise (say 9 points) and opener may have a maximum pass (say 16).

    I could also be sat with 5 or 6 spades (it is common here to raise to 2 with 3 card support).

    So partner cannot pass with 20 points "knowing that i have to bid". She will pass with a ballanced hand with 14 points though, safe in the knoedge that i will ballance if appropriate.
  • @gordonrainsford said:

    @Tag said:
    I suspect that we've all had situations where the opponents grossly overstate the time taken to bid.

    I think I see more cases where players do not realise how long was their break in tempo - after all, they were thinking during it, not measuring how long it was.

    Yes, I agree. More often than not, there was a BIT and the bidder just didn't realise. Equally, there are a small few who will call "Hesitation!" at any brief pause in bidding. I remember being called out once, as I passed after counting to ten over a jump-bid. Of course, the stop card had been briefly flashed and put back into the box.

    With one partner we play a Fibonacci relay system which doesn't come up often and we typically have to rebuild the 12-entry table in our heads. After partner gets called for hesitating, I often tell the opponents that "Yes I acknowledge the break in tempo and I can tell you exactly what he's thinking about".

  • I would expect that balancing on a hand that weak is very unususal in a non-EBU club (unless it is very strong) and the opponents have every reason to think pass is a LA (but no right at all to be rude about it).

  • They used to be in the EBU but left over Pay To Play costs.

    This was their main and strong evening and many members play in my own main club that is EBU affiliated. They also have a lot of players that play in a local (again non-affiliated) league - which includes the person in question.

    This is not a social club that happens to play bridge, but rather a bridge club that occasionally has moments of social :)

    For example, they use computer dealing, bridge mates and all the usual serious bridge club trappings (such as social barriers between their 'serious' Tuesday and more relaxed sessions. I often see this not as a barrier of skills, but rather a barrier of personalities - that I witnessed first hand last night.

    For those above that note that the hesitator often does not realise how long they paused, this may well be the case, but in this instance I was the partner of the 'accused'. I have (in the past when we first started playing in clubs and I read the rules to make sure that I understood them) told her about hesitating as it can restrict my bidding, so had there been anything more than 2-3 seconds I would have 1) noticed and 2) doubled regardless.

    This is not a 50:50 double hand for me, but 100% double.

    @StevenG I'm not sure what balancing would be, if not bidding your partners hand for them ;)

  • To further demonstrate the opposition skills, the opener had a flat 15 and the raise to 2S was based on:

    KJ93
    985
    63
    10753

    The responder is currently NGS 10, but has been considerably higher. The opener does not have an NGS, but as I said is experienced and is a good player.

  • Well, I might balance on that hand, or not. It probably depends on my mood, so with UI I'd have to pass. Being an automatic balance in your consideration isn't necessarily protection where there's UI, but if you can give a clear bridge explanation you're less likely to be ruled against. You should be aware it might happen though.

    Determining whether there was a UI is one of the trickier parts of being a director, falling under the general category "establishing the facts in the face of conflicting accounts". As noted, players don't tend to count out pauses. In addition, "normal" tempo isn't quite a constant, some players have a naturally deliberate manner, in some situations a "quick" pass would be unexpected. You just have to do your best, I think if any player thinks there was a BIT there was probably something.

  • Hey James

    I think that this is the crux of the issue as a director who is not present at the time of the alleged infraction - there seems to be an assumption of guilt. why would the director be called if there were not a hesitation, for example.

    In this instance, the ops were wanting to play in 2S, so are watching my partner closely hoping for a pass... when there is a perceived delay it triggers the 'I reserve my rights' reaction. The other side see only their normal 2-3 seconds pause before the pass, so do not see a hesitation.

    Both sides are equally adamant that there was and was not a BIT. Both equally sure and confident of the facts from their perspective. The director has to do what? Pick a side to believe and as a consequence, pick a side to disbelieve.

    It is no good looking at the hand and judging if this was a sensible bid or not, as if there is no hesitation, it does not matter that the bid was crazy/gambling or whatever. One should really make the decision of whether there was a BIT first. If no BIT then no problems. If a BIT has taken place, then you have to look at the hand of the doubler (in this instance) and assess if that was acceptable based on the laws (polling perhaps) and their systems.

    But how is a director to assess if a BIT took place or not, when the only witnesses are 4 interested and partisan parties, when all 4 are adamant of their case and so at least 2 will be feeling aggrieved whatever the decision?

    Interestingly, very next hand I produced a stop card and within about 17 nano seconds the responder from the previous hand bid, whilst I still had my stop card on the table. Just a little wry smile passed my lips :)

  • @Martin said:
    Hey James

    I think that this is the crux of the issue as a director who is not present at the time of the alleged infraction - there seems to be an assumption of guilt. why would the director be called if there were not a hesitation, for example.

    In this instance, the ops were wanting to play in 2S, so are watching my partner closely hoping for a pass... when there is a perceived delay it triggers the 'I reserve my rights' reaction. The other side see only their normal 2-3 seconds pause before the pass, so do not see a hesitation.

    Both sides are equally adamant that there was and was not a BIT. Both equally sure and confident of the facts from their perspective. The director has to do what? Pick a side to believe and as a consequence, pick a side to disbelieve.

    It is no good looking at the hand and judging if this was a sensible bid or not, as if there is no hesitation, it does not matter that the bid was crazy/gambling or whatever. One should really make the decision of whether there was a BIT first. If no BIT then no problems. If a BIT has taken place, then you have to look at the hand of the doubler (in this instance) and assess if that was acceptable based on the laws (polling perhaps) and their systems.

    But how is a director to assess if a BIT took place or not, when the only witnesses are 4 interested and partisan parties, when all 4 are adamant of their case and so at least 2 will be feeling aggrieved whatever the decision?

    Interestingly, very next hand I produced a stop card and within about 17 nano seconds the responder from the previous hand bid, whilst I still had my stop card on the table. Just a little wry smile passed my lips :)

    Well why didn't you get them to agree there was a break in tempo and ask to reserve your rights? Just because they bid (assuming you mean bid rather than call) does not absolve them of their duty.

    With regards to your query - it is impossible. An insta-pass tells partner you are weak. all you can do is try and bid at a consistent tempo.

  • @weejonnie I didn't want to enflame the situation more as things were a little heated from the previous hand.

    Had he raised that bid, I would have said something

    Me as dealer:

    1D - double - 1H - Pass
    3H - insta 3S whilst I still had the stop card on table - 4H - Passed round

    Had the 3S been raised to 4, I would have checked for consensus - Can we agree that south bid prior to a count of 10 following a jump and whilst the stop card was still on the table? If so, I reserve my right.

    As it was, it was passed out and okay in the end.

  • Fair enough - -but IMHO too few people raise BIT queries about bidding too fast. Of course many of them are pretty obvious 1S - P - 3S - P - 4NT ... BUT it can easily happen over a pre-empt. 3C - Instapass - P - (Do I protect or not? - partner hasn't much obviously, so I'd better pass)

  • We did once "do" someone who passed after partner ignored the stop card and passed quickly over a preempt, when offender had an obvious bid/double.

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