Psyche or Misbid - + help on ruling

 3 2
 A 3
Q J 10 8 7
 8 4 3 2

 A 10 7  K J 6 4
 Q 7 4  K J 9 5
A K 6 2 9 5 3
 J 6 5  K 9

 Q 9 8 5
 10 8 6 2
4
 A Q 10 7

Matters of Fact

Board 16 : Dealer West : EW vulnerable
West North East South
1NT* Pass 2C X
2D** X*** AP****

Contract 2DX by West -3 = -800

1NT* - Alerted as 12-15 may contain a singleton
2C - Stayman

**At West’s turn to bid, West asked North the meaning of South’s Double. This was explained as being 16+ HCPs.

X*** The second double was not alerted.

Before the AP**** E/W asked South what was meant by North’s X. South replied she believed North had diamonds. East Passed.

Before play commenced South made no comment on the information on the partnership agreement provided by North.

The N/S convention card provided no information on the partnership agreement of the meaning of the initial double

After the play West reserved rights with the director.

Queries
1. Advice on Ruling
2. How would you classify the X by South (psyche , misbid , deviation)

Other info – Both pairs are regular long term partners, club players, NGS 8/9.

My View is
1. Partnership agreement / explanation of the X is accepted (i.e. 16+) (no misinformation)
2. Result stands
3. The South bid is a green psyche – bordering on a misbid
4. North South are advised about the White Book guidance on partnership and the need to explain to directors unusual bids in the psyche area

Comments

  • edited July 24


    Dealer: W
    Vul: EW
    North
    ♠ 32
    ♥ A3
    ♦ QJT87
    ♣ 8432
    West
    ♠ AT7
    ♥ Q74
    ♦ AK62
    ♣ J65
    East
    ♠ KJ64
    ♥ KJ95
    ♦ 953
    ♣ K9
    South
    ♠ Q985
    ♥ T862
    ♦ 4
    ♣ AQT7

    Bidding:
    1NT* Pass 2C X
    2D** X*** AP****
    HTML Bridge Hand Layout Creator


  • edited July 23

    @rosss said:
    My View is

    The South bid is a green psyche – bordering on a misbid

    The difference between a psych and a misbid is to do with degree and intention. So it's necessary to ask the player why they made the call.

  • I doubt it's a mis-bid and I would be extremely surprised if it were a psyche. I expect South to tell me that he thought he was trying to ask for a club lead.

    It looks like North has given an incorrect explanation and that the double is either asking for a club lead or, more likely, there is no agreement for the double. Law 21 says that the TD is to presume mistaken explanation rather than mistaken call in the absence of evidence to the contrary. Unless South claims to have forgotten an agreement, I'd be struggling to find evidence of agreement that the double shows 16+.

    South couldn't say anything at the end of the auction as his was the defending side. When you say that at the end of the play, West "reserved rights with the director", I assume you mean that he asked the TD to do a ruling? (The only right that can be reserved is the right to later ask the director for a ruling, though the right exists without needing to be reserved.)

    If we do end up ruling mis-explanation of the double of 2C, I may be struggling to suggest what EW might have done differently in order to award an adjusted score, so I'd be interested in any views that they might have about that.

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

  • Thank you both for your comments - I will try and establish why the South made the bid and come back.

    I have taken the "reserve rights" by E/W as a request for a ruling on the result .

    Re the explanation provided by North - South was silent after the play on the explanation being wrong - I have taken this to mean the explanation was in line with the partnership agreement. (However I was a player director under the usual move pressures so the opportunity for South to comment on the partnership agreement was missed)

  • @gordonrainsford said:

    @rosss said:
    My View is

    The South bid is a green psyche – bordering on a misbid

    The difference between a psych and a misbid is to do with degree and intention. So it's necessary to ask the player why they made the call.

    Both require a departure from the partnership agreement so the first thing to try to do is to ascertain the actual agreement.

    There are two common agreements:
    (a) showing clubs (with variants as to the extent to which this is suggesting competing in the suit, or merely leading it); or
    (b) showing a hand that would have doubled 1NT (with variants as to the precise strength required).

    Where I play the greater the experience they have the more likely players are to be playing (b).

  • In the diagram in Gordon's first post both S and E have the HK. From the OP it appears that E has it and S has an 8-count with H 10 8 6 2.

  • @Senior_Kibitzer said:
    I doubt it's a mis-bid and I would be extremely surprised if it were a psyche. I expect South to tell me that he thought he was trying to ask for a club lead.

    Fair enough, although it's a pretty odd double. It sounds to me like an attempt to explore the more esoteric reaches of the scoring table, such as minus 1160:-)

    @Senior_Kibitzer said:
    It looks like North has given an incorrect explanation and that the double is either asking for a club lead or, more likely, there is no agreement for the double. Law 21 says that the TD is to presume mistaken explanation rather than mistaken call in the absence of evidence to the contrary. Unless South claims to have forgotten an agreement, I'd be struggling to find evidence of agreement that the double shows 16+.

    That looks right to me.

    @Senior_Kibitzer said:
    If we do end up ruling mis-explanation of the double of 2C, I may be struggling to suggest what EW might have done differently in order to award an adjusted score, so I'd be interested in any views that they might have about that.

    I'm not so sure. If E believes that S has 16+ and N has diamonds, he knows that N can have no more than a 1-count, so that W is sat over whatever S has in the suit. Might that not suggest that 2D is an OK spot, whereas with the correct information N is much more likely to have good diamonds sat over W? It's not unreasonable to think that the correct information (even if "no agreement") would make it more likely that E would pull. 2M and, especially, 2NT look to be superior contracts and declarer is hardly going to misguess the SQ, although he does seem to have gone off further than he might in 2D*. Presumably E/W have no particular agreements about the 2D bid, given that P or XX were available instead?

  • Thanks for comment to Abbeybear

    You are correct on the layout:- South has 8 HCPs , West has 14 , East 11, and North 7 . On Gordons layout Souths hearts are T862 - (not KT82).

    I am coming to the view that the partnership agreement was as stated - i.e X =16 + - I have no evidence to say this was not the correct partnership agreement - at the time North was very confident this was the agreement. South has forgotten, then made a "mistaken call" by bidding a very poor 2C (which I don't believe fits any sensible system), asking for a club lead .

    South should probably have announced the North X as a penalty but is probably not fully conversant with the announcing rules .

    I am tempted to rule result stands (law 75C ) and point out to North / South that they should be clear on their system and when they deviate there is likely to be a need to explain the reasons why. The ruling to be shared with other directors so they are aware of the issues caused by this sort of bidding. (We rely on club standard directors).

    I have asked South to explain the bid - but no response so far - my feeling being that South is not a sophisticated player - and instinctively made the X without considering further i.e. a mistaken call

    I tend to go along with Abbeybear's last para ; West 2D was a simple denial of majors , and E was taking the partnership agreement explanation by North at face value (South never suggested it was not the agreement) so East may have found 2DX attractive - especially if W had say 3-3-5- 2. The alternative for East was to pull . West when playing the contract thought all the outstanding HCPs were with South hence his immediate reaction after going -800 to "reserve rights " (i.e. ask for ruling)

  • I hope South doesn't announce the North X as penalty. He should alert it. And, I suspect, explain it as no partnership agreement (if that is the case).

    If we accept that North's explanation is correct then West has no MI. However East and West will have MI if the double of 2D is incorrectly described. The law IIRC advises us that we decide what to do if there IS an agreement or what to do if the situation is undiscussed.

    I think you have to find out why EW let 2DX stand - it could well be that it wasn't affected by the MI. If EW didn't want to progress because of South's 16+ points then so be it - they got a correct explanation.

  • @Abbeybear said:
    In the diagram in Gordon's first post both S and E have the HK. From the OP it appears that E has it and S has an 8-count with H 10 8 6 2.

    Sorry, fixed now.

  • Accepted South should alert (not announce )

    E/W thought 2DX would be making - and declarer W was taken aback with the HCPs being with N.

  • @rosss said:
    Accepted South should alert (not announce )

    E/W thought 2DX would be making - and declarer W was taken aback with the HCPs being with N.

    It doesn't seem to matter much where the points are, just how badly the diamonds split.

  • Gordon thanks for comment on diamond split - if 3/3 contract has a fair chance

    My decision seems to hinge on whether the explanation of the initial double was correct or not -

    If correct - result stands , if not then an adjusted score .

    South has come back to me (today) and said the double was intended as lead directing. At the time North was very confident that the double was 16 + .

    I and tending to be sympathetic towards North rather than apply law 21B1(b) - and will suggest to N/S they need to tighten up their agreements as I doubt that the club directors will be as sympathetic next time.

  • If South intended it as lead-directing (and therefore presumably thought that there was an agreement to that effect) and N was very confident that it was 16+, then in my opinion it is clear that there was actually no agreement. N's explanation that it showed 16+ is therefore misinformation.

    So you have to assess, in the words of Law 21B3, whether you judge that the offending side gained an advantage from the irregularity.

    (Subject to my earlier thoughts on the possible effect on E of the misinformation), the damage seems really to have been caused by the effect on N of the misunderstanding (he might not have doubled had he thought that the double was merely lead directing), and as N's actions do not appear to have been constrained by any UI, there is no basis for disallowing his double.

    So you have to consider W's and E's actions and decide whether you think they were likely to have been different with the correct information that there was no agreement about S's double.

  • Thank you for all the comments and advice - probably best to close. As time was moving on I gave a ruling yesterday whose content is probably not 100% right but the outcome is hopefully right. Hopefully players are content.

    Although I am a long term player trying to interpret the laws has been tough - due to lack of experience/ training on rulings - I tend to focus on the movements management rather than judgments.

    In summary:

    N/S appeared to have no partnership agreement - despite the confident explanation given by North - and therefore the explanation was misinformation .

    There did not appear to be any UI .

    South's bid was intended as indicating a lead - but it was a very poor hand .

    It was a confusing auction from the E/W viewpoint and they might have been able to reach a better contract - hence result stands

    After the play South did not say there was no partnership agreement.

    N/S to tighten up their partnership understanding.

    At the time, in the very short time available, (room was about to move) I ruled result stands , subject to review - it has taken me a lot of time to straighten things out my analysis - the feedback from this forum has been enlightening.

  • You seem to have coped well with an unfamiliar situation.

    In my experience club players are usually grateful for the efforts made by a TD to give a reasoned ruling, even if it takes some time. Rushed rulings are usually bad rulings, so well done for avoiding that trap.

    My form of words at the time is "score it as played for the moment - I'll look at it and let you know my decision". There is no need to give any provisional decision in the heat of the moment - in fact much better avoided.

  • Good tip on the form of words - I will circulate it to our club directors

    We have about 6+ directors - the majority of which are EBU club trained - but no higher.

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