Comparable call after insufficient bid

South opens 1NT which is passed round to East who has 18 points and 5-5 in the majors. She bids 2C (Landy). West, with a 2-2-5-4 shape, bids 1D (insufficent) not accepted by North. West says that 1D was not natural (despite her diamond holding) but was meant to be 2D showing no preference in the majors. Does she now have any bid which keeps East in the auction? For instance can she bid a conventional 2D?

Comments

  • Saying that she meant to bid 2D strongly suggests that this is simply mechanical error: she meant to pull out 2D, complying with the convention, but inadvertently pulled out 1D. Allow the change with no further rectification.

    If you don't believe her and consider that she did mean to show her diamonds, up to the point where she realised that something had gone awry, then there is no reason to allow a 2D correction, since that is artificial and not showing diamonds.

  • At the moment Law 27B1(a) is ambiguous. Some TDs would allow the 2D purely because it is diamonds. It all depends what "specifies" means.

    On the other hand, if you disallow it because it "shows" (rather than "names") something different, then I can see no reading of Law 23A by which the 2D isn't a comparable call, as it shows equal length in the majors, and thereby satisfies L23A2.

  • My problem with LAW 23A is that all 3 heads refer to the meaning(s) or purpose 'attributable to the withdrawn call'. How do you decide the meaning attributable to 1!d, an insufficient bid?

  • As a TD, you have to ask her what she intended by bidding 1D, what was she thinking at the time?

  • @Tag said:
    As a TD, you have to ask her what she intended by bidding 1D, what was she thinking at the time?

    My understanding is that that is no longer the case in the 2017 laws. As long as the meaning attributable to 1D is plausible, as it is here, the correction can be made to 2D. Play will continue to a sensible bridge result without any UI. If there is a problem, the TD can adjust the score at the end.

  • I take your point, Steven, but a 2D bid showing no preference for either major is something I'd find hard to consider comparable to a 1D bid showing diamonds.

    I still find it easy here, though, to accept a suggestion of mechanical error.

  • But Tag, the insufficient bid doesn't necessarily "show diamonds"; there could be other attributable meanings, although I have to admit yours is the most likely one.

    I also find it difficult to "attribute" meanings to withdrawn calls, and I'm currently running a club TD course for the EBU, so I'm trying to teach directors how to apply this law. I know there are some who claim that it's common for offender to "get the level of the auction wrong" and so attribute whatever 2!d would have meant to the withdrawn call, in which case a correction to 2!d would not bar partner. I'm not entirely happy with that, but I tell my trainees that they should make their own decision, make a ruling and not worry to much if anyone disagrees.

    I agree with you that it could have been a mechanical error, and that's something the TD could try to find out, perhaps away from the table.

  • I love the idea of teaching Directors not to worry if anyone disagrees.

    Alan

  • It reminds me of the old Judge Dredd... "I am the Law"

  • @ManchesterRambler said:
    My problem with LAW 23A is that all 3 heads refer to the meaning(s) or purpose 'attributable to the withdrawn call'. How do you decide the meaning attributable to 1!d, an insufficient bid?

    I think you just need to consider what meanings might be attributed to the call, which in this case seem to me to be either diamonds or equal length in the majors, and then allow a call that has either of those meanings.

    No need to ask the intention of the player who made the insufficient bid - you can ask that player’s partner any details of their system that you need to know. I think you should caution the IBer against saying what was their intention.

    However I do think you should offer the player the chance to talk to you away from the table if they think you have failed to identify a possible attributable meaning.

  • @Alan16248 said:
    I love the idea of teaching Directors not to worry if anyone disagrees.

    If I didn't do this the more nervous ones, perhaps the weaker players among the directors, wouldn't trust themselves to make any ruling at all. It's one of the situations where the director has to make a judgement on the spot, with little opportunity for consultation.

  • Another incident relevant to this topic: West opens a natural 1C, North (thinking she is opening the bidding) bids a natural 1C. East does not accept, but if North corrects to 2C this is not comparable because in their system it would mean 5-5 in the majors (Michaels). It seems to me that North has no comparable bid and therefore South is out of the auction. Is this correct?

    Also, what happens if NS don't play Michaels? If North corrects to 2C South has UI that North has opening values and a natural 2C seems a weird overcall anyway. Would South again be out of the auction?

  • I wonder if 1NT might be a subset of 1C for this pair? Those who play 2C (or 3C) as natural usually play them as showing sound opening values so are likely to be considered comparable. Failing that, any call the player makes, including 2C, is likely to silence their partner.
  • Assuming Michaels, can't North replace with 3C under L27B1(a)? Or 2C without Michaels? Then rectification comes from L27D and/or L16C.

  • edited February 15

    @StevenG said:
    Assuming Michaels, can't North replace with 3C under L27B1(a)? Or 2C without Michaels? Then rectification comes from L27D and/or L16C.

    You are correct that L27B1a does not require the call to be comparable, only that the call specifies the same suit. If indeed it is the case that the 2C (or 3C) is played as natural, then the replacement can be made without (automatic) rectification. 27D might apply, but not 16C (or 26B).
    However, even if you haven't agreed to play Michaels, you'd have a hard time persuading me that either 2C or 3C would be deemed to be showing clubs (over a 'natural' 1C opening).

  • @Mitch said:

    However, even if you haven't agreed to play Michaels, you'd have a hard time persuading me that either 2C or 3C would be deemed to be showing clubs (over a 'natural' 1C opening).

    Quite so. Nobody* plays a 2!h overcall of a 1!h opening (where the opening shows 4+ cards) as natural. Why should they do it if the suit is clubs. Remember that if you are playing 5-card majors with better minor, a 1m opening is more likely to be on 5+ cards than precisely 3, and I am assuming that when PaulH refers to a natural opening he means one that shows 4+ cards.

    *Never say "never" or "nobody": a vanishingly small proportion of bridge players play it.

  • If an ordinary club pair don't play Michaels or some Ghestem variant and have nothing artificial on their CC, what else can it show? The fact that they probably never actually use it as natural in an auction doesn't mean that it's not natural.

  • I certainly did this kind of overcall (albeit a long time ago and only a couple of times) after 1H - 2H overcall with a 6-card suit. I knew no better/different at the time and we have no conventional overcalls, so everything was natural.

  • @StevenG said:
    If an ordinary club pair don't play Michaels or some Ghestem variant and have nothing artificial on their CC, what else can it show? The fact that they probably never actually use it as natural in an auction doesn't mean that it's not natural.

    The traditional, pre-Michaels meaning for this was an artificial game force - a 2C opener.

  • Seriously? How many club players have ever heard of that? Michaels was completely normal when I started proper club bridge 25 years ago, and the majority of our club members came into the game after me.

    My problem is that I feel that a lot of TDs want to invent meanings just so they can justify a punitive ruling. I never liked that attitude, and I like it even less now. The 2017 laws are about getting a normal, equitable bridge result.

  • @StevenG said:
    Seriously? How many club players have ever heard of that? Michaels was completely normal when I started proper club bridge 25 years ago, and the majority of our club members came into the game after me.

    My problem is that I feel that a lot of TDs want to invent meanings just so they can justify a punitive ruling. I never liked that attitude, and I like it even less now. The 2017 laws are about getting a normal, equitable bridge result.

    Players who read books will have heard of it.
    I find it strange that you argue that everyone knows Michaels in support of your idea that some might play this as natural. It seems to me that you are the one who is inventing a (non) agreement that is most unusual.

  • edited February 16

    I'm not arguing that everyone plays Michaels (or similar). They don't. I'm saying that people who don't play Michaels usually don't because one or both of the partnership finds it too difficult, either through lack of competence or lack of experience, in which case the overcall is essentially undefined. It makes a lot more sense to me to treat an undefined call as natural, rather that ascribe an artificial meaning that the pair definitely does not play.

    In the sequence PaulH gave, I would be most aggrieved if the TD would not allow me to change my mistaken 1C overcall with 3C (if I so wished), because I most definitely do not have an artificial meaning for 3C.

    (Actually, after your reply to my previous post, I did remember the archaic meaning of the overcall. There may even have been a few dinosaurs back in the early 90s who played it. I no longer remember. But my experience is that few newer players read books, and those that do don't read really old books on obsolete Acol. I occasionally see our newer players absolutely bewildered by the idea of a "strong two", having only ever seen Benji.)

  • edited February 16

    Once again, we may be digressing a little from the purpose of the Original Post...

    @StevenG said:
    If an ordinary club pair don't play Michaels or ..., what else can it show?

    If I sat down to play with a random partner, and did not get as far as a discussion about Michaels, I would at least have an implicit understanding that in (almost) any situation, a bid of an opponent's suit would not be an attempt to play there. This is just common-sense bridge. There are exceptions, but very few.
    When partner makes a cue-bid, in an undiscussed situation, I may not know precisely what it means, but I would expect to have to work out / guess what artificial meaning partner was intending, rather than have to guess whether or not partner intended it as natural.

    @StevenG said:
    In the sequence PaulH gave, I would be most aggrieved if the TD would not allow me to change my mistaken 1C overcall with 3C (if I so wished), because I most definitely do not have an artificial meaning for 3C.

    I would be most aggrieved if I were your opponent, and the TD allowed this.
    This 'jump cue-bid' is normally played as asking for a stop in the opponent's suit with a view to playing in 3NT (based on a long running suit, presumably the other minor). I appreciate that you may not have agreed this understanding, but just because you don't have an explicit agreement for a meaning of a bid, it doesn't mean that you can assign to it any unusual meaning (& in this circumstance, I deem 'natural' to be an unusual meaning), just to get yourself out of trouble after an insufficient bid or call out of rotation.

    I might be out of touch with 'ordinary club pairs'. But I stand by my original comment:

    @Mitch said:
    you'd have a hard time persuading me that either 2C or 3C would be deemed to be showing clubs.

    As a TD, I would be open to be persuaded otherwise, but I think that the onus is on the player to persuade me, rather than for me to assume it's natural unless there's evidence to the contrary.

  • Clearly EBU TDs never see "regular" club bridge (and, obviously, I don't include the Young Chelsea). That's all I can say.

  • On this ruling, it doesn't matter if you speak to offender about what was intended or not. Bidding diamonds naturally or bidding diamonds to ask partner to pick his best major are both attributable. Although I dislike this "attributable" word and think the law should have been written to determine privately from the offender what meaning or purpose was intended, this time it won't matter. 2D would be a comparable call to the insufficient 1D bid. I would rule only this will keep her partner in the auction and not the "cheapest bid showing the same denomination(s)" under Law 27B1(a).

  • Excuse me for butting in, but all you guys who are mentioning 3C as a possible correction over the IB of 1C, does it not violate 27 B 1(a) where it says '....corrected by the LOWEST sufficient bid....'. The lowest sufficient bid over 1C is 2C, not 3C. I don't think the 3C bid could be considered the lowest simply because 2C is not natural and 3C is.

  • @SDN said:
    Excuse me for butting in, but all you guys who are mentioning 3C as a possible correction over the IB of 1C, does it not violate 27 B 1(a) where it says '....corrected by the LOWEST sufficient bid....'. The lowest sufficient bid over 1C is 2C, not 3C. I don't think the 3C bid could be considered the lowest simply because 2C is not natural and 3C is.

    It says "the lowest sufficient bid that specifies the same denomination(s)".

    But even if it were not thought to come under 27B1a, if played as an IJO it would surely come under 23A2.

  • @gordonrainsford said:

    @SDN said:
    Excuse me for butting in, but all you guys who are mentioning 3C as a possible correction over the IB of 1C, does it not violate 27 B 1(a) where it says '....corrected by the LOWEST sufficient bid....'. The lowest sufficient bid over 1C is 2C, not 3C. I don't think the 3C bid could be considered the lowest simply because 2C is not natural and 3C is.

    It says "the lowest sufficient bid that specifies the same denomination(s)".

    But even if it were not thought to come under 27B1a, if played as an IJO it would surely come under 23A2.

    Are we saying that if the lowest sufficient bid that specifies the same denomination happens to be an artificial bid unrelated to the insufficient bid, then the next higher bid that specifies the same denomination can be made without barring partner? Would the framers of the Law have had this in mind? That too, without knowing for certain that the pair does in fact treat the lowest sufficient bid as an artificial bid?

  • If the lowest sufficient bid in the same denomination is artificial, it doesn't specify the same denomination. I feel fairly confident that this is exactly what the framers of the law had in mind, since they took care to change the wording from "named" to "specified". Of course we should check whether or not they do play the cue-bid as artificial, though as I say they would in any case be able to make the jump bid under 23A2 if they don't play that as artificial.

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