MI / UI / AI: How different can the deemed knowledge of each side be?

I originally posted this under "Adjusted Score - what would be led?" but it has since transpired that the auction I was told was not in fact what happened. The actual auction brings up completely different issues about MI, UI and AI.

This is the hand:

Bidding goes:
N E S W
Pass 1H 3C* Pass
Pass X XX Pass
Pass 3H Pass 4H
Pass
*not alerted, but turns out it's Ghestem, showing Spades and Diamonds.

I am looking at E's bid of 3H. If E knows that 3C is Ghestem, but that N has taken it as natural, would E in fact pass and collect a large penalty? By passing after E's double, W is indicated as having clubs (because he has no other bid).

It seems slightly absurd that E gets to both know that 3C is Ghestem (as he would have had it been alerted) but also that N has taken it as natural. In real life this can't happen. N either alerts (E knows it's Ghestem) or doesn't (N believes it's natural). Can E be credited with the both the correction of the MI and the AI that N believes S has a lot of clubs (and indeed that S should be assuming that N has a lot of clubs)? Can E have his cake and eat or, or when looking at adjusted scores do we assume that the 3C is alerted (as it should have been) and N is aware of the meaning?

My instinct says that E can have his cake and eat it, even though this is harsh on NS.

There is also the fact that E may not even double if the 3C is alerted. Can E choose to keep the double but pass the XX (when I enquire as to how the auction might have gone)?

Comments

  • Although you can use the information that your opponents have had a misunderstanding, if it is revealed by them, you do not have an entitlement to know this. All you are entitled to know is their agreement. This is why L20F4a was changed in the most recent update.

  • @JeremyChild said:
    There is also the fact that E may not even double if the 3C is alerted. Can E choose to keep the double but pass the XX (when I enquire as to how the auction might have gone)?

    This part, at least, is easy to answer; you don't necessarily have to take player's words for it when they tell you what they would have done instead, and "double 3!c for penalty hoping to pass a redouble" isn't a credible course of action when East knows the actual agreement (East has a club shortage and wouldn't, in the projected auction, know that West has clubs). Note that East can't "keep the 3!c bid, as takeout", as in the projected auction West would believe that East's double was for penalty and bid accordingly. So you should ignore any player who says that that's what would have happened. (What would have happened, and what the player wants to have happened, can be quite different!)

  • @gordonrainsford said:
    Although you can use the information that your opponents have had a misunderstanding, if it is revealed by them, you do not have an entitlement to know this. All you are entitled to know is their agreement. This is why L20F4a was changed in the most recent update.

    I'm confused.

    I'm not sure what the "this" is that "you do not have an entitlement to know".

    Are you saying that (for example) if you know (because you have looked at their system card) that your opponents play red suit transfers, and they bid 1NT - 2D (not announced) - Pass, you are not allowed to act on the knowledge that opener has forgotten the system?

  • @JeremyChild said:

    @gordonrainsford said:
    Although you can use the information that your opponents have had a misunderstanding, if it is revealed by them, you do not have an entitlement to know this. All you are entitled to know is their agreement. This is why L20F4a was changed in the most recent update.

    I'm confused.

    I'm not sure what the "this" is that "you do not have an entitlement to know".

    Are you saying that (for example) if you know (because you have looked at their system card) that your opponents play red suit transfers, and they bid 1NT - 2D (not announced) - Pass, you are not allowed to act on the knowledge that opener has forgotten the system?

    You do not have an entitlement to know that they have had a misunderstanding. An adjustment will be based on you knowing what their agreement was, not on you knowing that they are not in agreement.

  • @gordonrainsford said:

    @JeremyChild said:

    @gordonrainsford said:
    Although you can use the information that your opponents have had a misunderstanding, if it is revealed by them, you do not have an entitlement to know this. All you are entitled to know is their agreement. This is why L20F4a was changed in the most recent update.

    I'm confused.

    I'm not sure what the "this" is that "you do not have an entitlement to know".

    Are you saying that (for example) if you know (because you have looked at their system card) that your opponents play red suit transfers, and they bid 1NT - 2D (not announced) - Pass, you are not allowed to act on the knowledge that opener has forgotten the system?

    You do not have an entitlement to know that they have had a misunderstanding. An adjustment will be based on you knowing what their agreement was, not on you knowing that they are not in agreement.

    Does this only apply to an adjustment, as opposed to an actual auction? If so then I get what you're saying. If not, then I'm still confused.

    Because I'm interested (and not because for one moment I doubt you) where can I find reference to this in the laws / white book / elsewhere?

    Jeremy

  • @JeremyChild said:

    @gordonrainsford said:
    Although you can use the information that your opponents have had a misunderstanding, if it is revealed by them, you do not have an entitlement to know this. All you are entitled to know is their agreement. This is why L20F4a was changed in the most recent update.

    Are you saying that (for example) if you know (because you have looked at their system card) that your opponents play red suit transfers, and they bid 1NT - 2D (not announced) - Pass, you are not allowed to act on the knowledge that opener has forgotten the system?

    >
    You can make an assumption that this is why they have done what they have, and use this, but there might be other explanations for it and you can't require them to tell you whether they have had a misunderstanding, or opener has misbid by passing, or opener psyched with a string of diamonds.

    A clearer example is in the uncontested auction: 2H-4H

    Imagine that 2H was incorrectly announced as strong (and therefore the 4H bid would be weak). Before the opening lead this is corrected and you are told that the agreement is actually that it is weak. In the passout seat, you may take back your pass, but you would not be allowed to double based on the knowledge that they have had a misunderstanding, because if you had not been misinformed and had been told that 2H was weak and yet the auction had proceeded the same way, you would have no reason to double.

  • @JeremyChild said:

    @gordonrainsford said:

    You do not have an entitlement to know that they have had a misunderstanding. An adjustment will be based on you knowing what their agreement was, not on you knowing that they are not in agreement.

    Does this only apply to an adjustment, as opposed to an actual auction? If so then I get what you're saying. If not, then I'm still confused.

    Because I'm interested (and not because for one moment I doubt you) where can I find reference to this in the laws / white book / elsewhere?

    Jeremy

    Most of the laws references clarify this only by omission, in that they only allow changes/adjustments when the damage is caused by the misinformation, but the White Book is clearer when it says:

    8.12.11 Law 12C1: Assigned adjustment – general [WBFLC]
    When there has been misinformation and a damaged side is to receive an adjusted score this
    should be assessed on the basis that the non-offending side is entitled to know the partnership
    understanding and to draw logical conclusions, given the information it received.
    If given the correct information the partnership might or might not be aware that a
    misunderstanding had occurred, depending on the situation.
    [WBFLC minutes 2003-11-09#2]

    8.21.2 Misunderstandings
    Players often have a misunderstanding over their system, including giving misinformation to
    opponents. When a TD adjusts because of the misinformation they will consider what opponents
    would do if correctly informed, but the TD will not normally assume the opponents also know
    that there is a misunderstanding.

  • Thank you, Gordon.

  • @JeremyChild said:
    I originally posted this under "Adjusted Score - what would be led?" but it has since transpired that the auction I was told was not in fact what happened. The actual auction brings up completely different issues about MI, UI and AI.

    This is the hand:

    Bidding goes:
    N E S W
    Pass 1H 3C* Pass
    Pass X XX Pass
    Pass 3H Pass 4H
    Pass
    *not alerted, but turns out it's Ghestem, showing Spades and Diamonds.

    I am looking at E's bid of 3H. If E knows that 3C is Ghestem, but that N has taken it as natural, would E in fact pass and collect a large penalty? By passing after E's double, W is indicated as having clubs (because he has no other bid).

    In the actual auction (3!c not alerted), W appears to have passed because that is how he gets to penalise 3!c (playing take-out doubles), and E has a perfectly normal take-out / reopening double. Now when S redoubles E/W may not be on firm ground. If W had actually passed because he had a weakish hand with nothing to say, he would no doubt welcome the opportunity to pass again without showing a penalty double of 3!c . If E/W actually had an agreement that to pass here says "if he hadn't redoubled, I'd have passed for penalties - CONTENT!" (a reasonably common agreement) then W would be delighted to pass. Given his hand, W would be delighted to pass (whatever his agreement) in the fond hope that his next task would be to make his opening lead.

    But if E/W do not have an agreement about the pass after S redoubles, then it is horribly dangerous for E to assume that the pass is for penalties, so one can understand his 3!h bid as a safety play.

    I think there is a strong case for an adjustment here because of the UI implications of N's failure to alert 3!c . S's redouble is the call under scrutiny. Remember that S must look at the auction as if N had correctly alerted 3!c as Ghestem, but had nonetheless passed it, implying long clubs and no liking for the pointed suits. When a player makes a bid that he thinks shows two specified suits, and his partner explains it as something else, whether a different two-suiter or not a two-suiter at all, then it is very tempting to bid the suit, or one of the suits, that partner's explanation reveals he does not know you have. That is referred to by some as "unauthorised panic". A rescue redouble seems to me to be similar.

    So, to the normal three-stage analysis in UI situations:
    (a) Was there UI? Yes: S expected 3!c to be alerted and it wasn't.
    (b) Did the UI demonstrably suggest a call over another? IMO, yes. To redouble to try to get partner to bid one of the other suits (in which S is 5-5) is surely preferable to playing 3!c on three small when partner thinks you have shown six. There is a bonus "kicker" in that E/W may not know what a pass means over the redouble, so may take it out when they should be leaving it in (as actually happened at the table).
    (c) Was pass a logical alternative? Of course it is, because partner, by his pass, has logically expressed a preference for playing in clubs rather than spades or diamonds. With 6-6 in S's suits and a void club, then it would not be a logical alternative to pass, but with no extra length in his suits, three trumps and a void in RHO's suit (and a better hand than some people might have for his initial action), S is enormous in support of clubs.

    So I would disallow the redouble. W will pass for penalties, but N has!c Kxx, and a pretty obvious pass, given that he still thinks that S has clubs. So the adjustment is to 3!c doubled by S, going down however many it is going down. The number of tricks it goes down may be subject to a weighed score, if the TD thinks that W may lead a heart some of the time, allowing S to scramble some tricks on a cross-ruff, but if W leads Ace other trump, which looks normal, S is going to be held to one trump, two spades (if you allow him to finesse) and one ruff in each major suit. Down 4 for -800.

    (I may have comments on some of your other points, but no time at present).

  • My line of thinking is as per Abbeybear. I would like to know why South decided to redouble and what a redouble means to NS, but I suspect Unauthorised Panic, in which case if we rule the Redouble back to Pass, and South explains during the Clarification Period that his 3C should have been alerted etc, then West has an obvious CA lead followed by CQ. Will South risk a spade finesse for 3 off? He might feel he has nothing to lose. I'd probably start at 50% of 3 off for 800 and 50% of 4 off for 1100.

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

  • You may not be entitled to know that they are having a misunderstanding, but you may be allowed to know. If East looked at the system card to find the strength of 3C and sees it explained as "Gh*stem" then East can know that South has a two-suiter but North has not alerted.

    Whatever the misinformation ruling, we have to consider unauthorised information. North has chosen to pass 3C and South has 3 clubs, South know he has already shown a two-suiter and is not allowed to know that North has not alerted. Pass looks like a logical alternative. Redouble is tricky choice - relying on partner waking up or opponents not being able pass it out.

  • I have on more question on this topic.

    It concerns whether EW get two "bites at the cherry".

    Two things have gone wrong here. The misinformation from the failure to alert, and the redouble fielding the lack of alert. If I rule that EW will get to 6H with a correct alert, then score improves a little. If I disallow the redouble, then EW's score improves massively.

    Instinctively I want to rule the greater benefit, but can I? The laws are designed to correct the error. If I do so, the redouble will never happen. Can I (on behalf of EW) pick and choose what I correct, or do I have to take each infringement in turn?

    Help!

  • We're always having it drummed into ourselves not to forget UI when called to deal with MI, and vice versa. Adjusting for UI when it caused damage but the MI didn't (which would be my take here) is no different in principle from adjusting for UI when both caused damage but the MI caused less damage. So I think the answer is that you do give the NOS the best of it, as per your instinct.

    I think it is better to say that the Laws are designed to "redress the damage" rather than "correct the error" (the wording in the Introduction is "rectify situations where non-offenders may otherwise be damaged"). In any event, if you are looking at things chronologically, W is not going to base his MI claim on not passing, nor is E going to base it on not doubling, so in fact the redouble comes first.

  • edited October 2018

    EW get at least three bites at this cherry.
    1. EW know South's system, West doubles 3C to show clubs, everyone passes
    2. South avoids using UI by passing 3C(X) and everyone passes
    3. EW know what they are doing over redoubles and pass out 3CXX,

    The director might adjust on the basis of the first two, but the players need to get it right at the table to get biggest cherry (#3).

  • @Robin_BarkerTD said:
    EW get at least three bites at this cherry.

    One of the best reasons I can think of not to get Ghesswhich wrong (and not to play it if you are prone to get it wrong).

  • @Abbeybear said:
    (and not to play it if you are prone to get it wrong).

    Partner passes as dealer and they open, I have a good hand with long clubs, after some thought I decide to bid 3C (rather than 2C) because partner has passed. "Alert". Partner bids 3H, I have Kxx hearts and raise to 4H. At some stage partner explains 3C as two-suits, which I remembered as soon as he alerted, and when dummy goes down partner and opener look on in bewilderment. Fourth hand had been on the County TD course and understands what I was up to.

    Burn's law (about number of trumps held by each side) probably applied; and I haven't knowingly agreed to play 3C jump overcall as artificial since.

  • @Robin_BarkerTD said:

    @Abbeybear said:
    (and not to play it if you are prone to get it wrong).

    Partner passes as dealer and they open, I have a good hand with long clubs, after some thought I decide to bid 3C (rather than 2C) because partner has passed. "Alert". Partner bids 3H, I have Kxx hearts and raise to 4H. At some stage partner explains 3C as two-suits, which I remembered as soon as he alerted, and when dummy goes down partner and opener look on in bewilderment. Fourth hand had been on the County TD course and understands what I was up to.

    Burn's law (about number of trumps held by each side) probably applied; and I haven't knowingly agreed to play 3C jump overcall as artificial since.

    My favourite Ghestem story concerns the first game I ever had with a very strong player whose then regular partnership was fairly well-known for its Ghestem accidents. We had agreed against my better judgement to play his card, which included Ghestem, and we had also agreed play splinters.

    I pick up a 6-6 black hand with about 14 points in fourth seat. RHO opens 1!d in third seat and I bid whatever I needed to bid (it must have been 2!d ) to show the blacks. Partner duly alerts and is asked. "Both black suits" he says (mental sigh of relief from yours truly, fool that I was). LHO doubles to show something or other, and partner volunteers a "free" 2!s , which RHO passes. Now I could unambiguously splinter in my singleton diamond, but I naively preferred to splinter in my void heart.

    Sadly 4!h wasn't a great contract. :3

  • @Robin_BarkerTD said:
    You may not be entitled to know that they are having a misunderstanding, but you may be allowed to know. If East looked at the system card to find the strength of 3C and sees it explained as "Gh*stem" then East can know that South has a two-suiter but North has not alerted.

    Whatever the misinformation ruling, we have to consider unauthorised information. North has chosen to pass 3C and South has 3 clubs, South know he has already shown a two-suiter and is not allowed to know that North has not alerted. Pass looks like a logical alternative. Redouble is tricky choice - relying on partner waking up or opponents not being able pass it out.

    Since redouble seems to be an effort to get partner to 'wake up' surely it isn't carefully avoiding making use of the UI?

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