Alert but sorry, no agreement. 75D...

Could someone read for me the last sentence of 75D3:

If the Director determines that the call has no agreed meaning, he awards an adjusted score based upon the likely outcome had the opponents been so informed.

What information would have the opponents been informed?
That fact that the call has no agreed meaning?
Or call's correct/intended meaning?

Also I have read minutes from Bermuda 2000:

The committee considered situations where an obscure call is made and the partner informs opponent that his side has no agreement concerning it.

So the player has to judge, whether the call is alertable, and if so (or if potentially so) he should alert. If asked for the meaning / agreement he must volunteer that he has forgotten or that he is unsure of the meaning or whether an agreement exists.

I think two issues above can be related to help us in order to make a ruling, when this kind of cases happen at the table.

Comments

  • If the Director determines that the call has no agreed meaning, he awards an adjusted score based upon the likely outcome had the opponents been informed that the call has no agreed meaning..

  • Thank you Gordon!

  • And "no agreement" is alertable because opponents are entitled to assume, if there is no alert, that there is no potential alertable meaning. In other words, opponents are entitled to make assumptions if there is no alert, but not if there is an alert, so alerting "no agreement" effectively says "don't assume anything".

  • @Abbeybear said:
    In other words, opponents are entitled to make assumptions if there is no alert

    Well if the bid is not conventional, and the player can not judge what the bid means in natural system, because he is a beginner or he is tired-confused, maybe opps should make the proper assumptions. What do you think?

    I posted this thread because in Greek Law book, the translation of 75D3 indicates that the adjustment should be based as if opponents had been informed with the the correct (intended) information of the bids without agreement.

    So before I mention it for rectification, I wanted first to be sure.

  • If experience players make assumptions that inexperienced players know what they are doing, then the experienced player are unlikely to receive redress if those assumptions are wrong.

  • @Robin_BarkerTD said:
    If experience players make assumptions that inexperienced players know what they are doing, then the experienced player are unlikely to receive redress if those assumptions are wrong.

    I agree, but I should have said "specific assumptions" rather than just assumptions.

    An example of a situation in which "no agreement" is quite likely may be helpful.

    N: 1!c
    E: Dbl
    S: 1!h
    W: Either Dbl or 2!h

    My preferred methods are that double shows a hand with 4 hearts that is worth a bid at this point, and 2!h shows a hand with 5+ hearts that is worth a bid at the two level (perhaps because I am old enough to remember when it was very common for S's 1!h on such an auction to be psychic). But many players would either not think that a bid in a suit the opposition have bid naturally could possibly be natural at this point, or would not assume that partner thought that way even if they were aware of the possibility. If I were the host at the club and playing with a new partner with minimal time for system discussion, I would certainly not have had time to discuss this, and it would be a genuine "no agreement" situation with a genuine guess as to what partner might have in mind. It might be that partner normally plays it a particular way and assumed that everybody else does the same. It might even be that partner knew how I liked to play it and had made that assumption. Who knows?

    So as E I alert a double and explain, if asked, that we have no agreement: if we have agreed to play responsive doubles, I disclose that, but with the caveat that partner may or may not think that this is a responsive double situation. If I do not alert, opponents are entitled to assume that the double is for takeout, and act accordingly.

    Similarly, I alert a 2!h bid and explain, if asked, that we have no agreement: if we have any agreements about cue-bids, I disclose them with a similar caveat. If I do not alert, opponents are entitled to assume that the bid is natural, and act accordingly.

    The problem in practice is that some players are inclined to make assumptions about alerted calls rather than ask, but that's their problem.

    Perhaps we should have two sorts of alert card, one for "We know what we're doing and that's alertable" and one for "We have no idea" :/ .

  • @Abbeybear said:
    Perhaps we should have two sorts of alert card, one for "We know what we're doing and that's alertable" and one for "We have no idea" :/ .

    I like your innovative idea ;)

    So you say that every no-agreement bid is alertable, either natural or conventional.

    Is that consistent with 2000 minute you believe:

    "The committee considered situations where an obscure call is made and the partner informs opponent that his side has no agreement concerning it. It was noted that neither the WBF in its code of practice, nor the ACBL, recognizes ‘convention disruption’ as an infraction in itself. The Chief Director referred to the requirement for the responder to give full information, including agreements relating to relevant alternative calls. The committee observed that the Director in forming an opinion as to the existence of a partnership understanding should take into account subsequent action in the auction. In relation to Laws 75C and 75D the Director is required to determine what agreements the partnership has. "

  • @milton said:
    So you say that every no-agreement bid is alertable, either natural or conventional.

    Is that consistent with 2000 minute you believe:

    "The committee considered situations where an obscure call is made and the partner informs opponent that his side has no agreement concerning it. It was noted that neither the WBF in its code of practice, nor the ACBL, recognizes ‘convention disruption’ as an infraction in itself. The Chief Director referred to the requirement for the responder to give full information, including agreements relating to relevant alternative calls. The committee observed that the Director in forming an opinion as to the existence of a partnership understanding should take into account subsequent action in the auction. In relation to Laws 75C and 75D the Director is required to determine what agreements the partnership has. "

    If it's a genuine no agreement situation it is not possible to say that it is natural or conventional. There are of course a lot of situations in which a specific sequence may not have been discussed but it is reasonable for both partners to assume a default meaning of natural. I'm not really talking about those situations.

    The minute you quote is a WBFLC minute, I believe? As alerting regulations are the responsibility of the Regulating Authority, and this is an EBU forum, I've been addressing my comments to the situation in England, where the relevant provision is section 2D2 of the Blue Book https://ebu.co.uk/documents/laws-and-ethics/blue-book/blue-book-2017.pdf, which reads:

    "Unless a player knows that his partner’s call is not alertable (or announceable) he must alert..."

    I think it is a safe interpretation of this to say that in a technically undiscussed situation, but where the player has no reason to believe that any alertable meaning is plausibly intended by his partner, it is correct not to alert. But in a genuine no agreement situation where it is plausible that partner's intended meaning might or might not be alertable if there were an agreement to that effect (such as in my earlier example, or in the case of an obscure call as referred to in the WBFLC minute), it is correct to alert.

    I appreciate, of course, that you are in Greece rather than in England, so are not subject to our alerting regulations.

  • If you alert your partner's call and explain that you are alerting because you have no agreement and therefore don't know what the call means, are you not passing UI to partner?

  • @Vlad said:
    If you alert your partner's call and explain that you are alerting because you have no agreement and therefore don't know what the call means, are you not passing UI to partner?

    You are, and your partner will then need to take care not to gain advantage from this. However, the requirement to disclose your understandings takes precedence.

  • Whatever you say in answer to a question gives unauthorised information to partner: even if your answer is an accurate statement of partnership agreements, and partner has remembered those agreements. But the unauthorised information may not be useful to partner - it might not suggest one alternative action over another.

  • @Vlad said:
    If you alert your partner's call and explain that you are alerting because you have no agreement and therefore don't know what the call means, are you not passing UI to partner?

    Remember that it is not of itself an infraction to pass UI to partner (of course it can be, if gratuitous). It is an infraction to fail in the requirements of full disclosure of partnership methods, including proper alerting.

    When UI is made available, the focus switches to partner. He must make a subjective effort not to take advantage (Law 73C) and objectively, must not choose an action precluded by Law 16B. But as Robin says, if you remember your agreement, and partner correctly alerts and correctly explains it, then the UI adds nothing to the AI, so there is no issue.

  • @Abbeybear said:

    @Robin_BarkerTD said:
    If experience players make assumptions that inexperienced players know what they are doing, then the experienced player are unlikely to receive redress if those assumptions are wrong.

    I agree, but I should have said "specific assumptions" rather than just assumptions.

    An example of a situation in which "no agreement" is quite likely may be helpful.

    N: 1!c
    E: Dbl
    S: 1!h
    W: Either Dbl or 2!h

    My preferred methods are that double shows a hand with 4 hearts that is worth a bid at this point, and 2!h shows a hand with 5+ hearts that is worth a bid at the two level (perhaps because I am old enough to remember when it was very common for S's 1!h on such an auction to be psychic). But many players would either not think that a bid in a suit the opposition have bid naturally could possibly be natural at this point, or would not assume that partner thought that way even if they were aware of the possibility. If I were the host at the club and playing with a new partner with minimal time for system discussion, I would certainly not have had time to discuss this, and it would be a genuine "no agreement" situation with a genuine guess as to what partner might have in mind. It might be that partner normally plays it a particular way and assumed that everybody else does the same. It might even be that partner knew how I liked to play it and had made that assumption. Who knows?

    So as E I alert a double and explain, if asked, that we have no agreement: if we have agreed to play responsive doubles, I disclose that, but with the caveat that partner may or may not think that this is a responsive double situation. If I do not alert, opponents are entitled to assume that the double is for takeout, and act accordingly.

    Similarly, I alert a 2!h bid and explain, if asked, that we have no agreement: if we have any agreements about cue-bids, I disclose them with a similar caveat. If I do not alert, opponents are entitled to assume that the bid is natural, and act accordingly.

    The problem in practice is that some players are inclined to make assumptions about alerted calls rather than ask, but that's their problem.

    Perhaps we should have two sorts of alert card, one for "We know what we're doing and that's alertable" and one for "We have no idea" :/ .

    Can we follow through with this?
    Your partner W has doubled or bid 2H, you have alerted and, when asked, given the explanations as stated. North passes.
    What will you do?

  • @Vlad said:
    Your partner W has doubled or bid 2H, you have alerted and, when asked, given the explanations as stated. North passes.
    What will you do?

    Guess well, I hope.

  • @Abbeybear said:

    @Vlad said:
    Your partner W has doubled or bid 2H, you have alerted and, when asked, given the explanations as stated. North passes.
    What will you do?

    Guess well, I hope.

    Yes!!!
    But the point I was getting at is, whatever you do, even to guess well, you have to make an assumption about what partner's bid might mean. Attribute a meaning to it, in legal terms! And you should not be telling the opponents about your assumption, i.e. what you are interpreting partner's bid to mean, because then you would be compounding the problem by giving UI to partner. So if you want to avoid getting yourself into this sh...y situation, don't alert, treat your partner's bid as natural.
    What I do with 'new' partners is to agree upfront that:
    - All calls are natural and non-forcing unless otherwise agreed.
    - Please do not manufacture a bid at the table.
    - If you make a bid that is not agreed in advance and one that I cannot understand don't be surprised (or annoyed) if I Pass.

  • Sure, it is sensible to interpret an undiscussed call as natural if that is plausible. Whether that is plausible in respect of the 2!h bid in my earlier example is still something of a toss-up.

    You have raised an interesting question about forcing or non-forcing. My preference is to treat bids that are presumably natural (because you have no agreement to the contrary), but undiscussed in terms of forcing or non-forcing, as forcing. The reason is that it is normally reasonably easy to find a non-forcing continuation if you want one, so a manufactured bid is more likely to be a hand that wants the auction to continue but doesn't yet know where it wants it to end up. (And if it so happens that partner didn't think that it was plausibly natural, you won't pass him out in a very silly contract).

    But I'm a great believer in keeping things simple in pick-up partnerships. It's quite an art to bid well in situations where you lack agreements you are used to having.

  • @Abbeybear said:
    Sure, it is sensible to interpret an undiscussed call as natural if that is plausible. Whether that is plausible in respect of the 2!h bid in my earlier example is still something of a toss-up.

    You have raised an interesting question about forcing or non-forcing. My preference is to treat bids that are presumably natural (because you have no agreement to the contrary), but undiscussed in terms of forcing or non-forcing, as forcing. The reason is that it is normally reasonably easy to find a non-forcing continuation if you want one, so a manufactured bid is more likely to be a hand that wants the auction to continue but doesn't yet know where it wants it to end up. (And if it so happens that partner didn't think that it was plausibly natural, you won't pass him out in a very silly contract).

    But I'm a great believer in keeping things simple in pick-up partnerships. It's quite an art to bid well in situations where you lack agreements you are used to having.

    What you are saying is that if partner makes a bid that is not included in your system and therefore undiscussed, and the opponents ask what it means, you would say 'not discussed, but forcing'.

    By the way, on a slightly different note, we have an expert pair that has conjured up an interesting bid, which they insist is allowed by WBF:
    LHO opens 1C or 1D, they overcall 1H, partner alerts and when asked replies 'it could be anything, no particular meaning'. (This is India, where your Blue Book does not apply). Of course it would fall into the category of HUM, but nevertheless an unusual HUM!

  • @Vlad said:

    @Abbeybear said:
    Sure, it is sensible to interpret an undiscussed call as natural if that is plausible. Whether that is plausible in respect of the 2!h bid in my earlier example is still something of a toss-up.

    You have raised an interesting question about forcing or non-forcing. My preference is to treat bids that are presumably natural (because you have no agreement to the contrary), but undiscussed in terms of forcing or non-forcing, as forcing. The reason is that it is normally reasonably easy to find a non-forcing continuation if you want one, so a manufactured bid is more likely to be a hand that wants the auction to continue but doesn't yet know where it wants it to end up. (And if it so happens that partner didn't think that it was plausibly natural, you won't pass him out in a very silly contract).

    But I'm a great believer in keeping things simple in pick-up partnerships. It's quite an art to bid well in situations where you lack agreements you are used to having.

    What you are saying is that if partner makes a bid that is not included in your system and therefore undiscussed, and the opponents ask what it means, you would say 'not discussed, but forcing'.

    By the way, on a slightly different note, we have an expert pair that has conjured up an interesting bid, which they insist is allowed by WBF:
    LHO opens 1C or 1D, they overcall 1H, partner alerts and when asked replies 'it could be anything, no particular meaning'. (This is India, where your Blue Book does not apply). Of course it would fall into the category of HUM, but nevertheless an unusual HUM!

    It isn't a HUM!

    2.2 HUM Systems

    For the purpose of this Policy, a Highly Unusual Method (HUM) means any System that ex­hib­its one or more of the following features, as a matter of partnership agreement:

    A Pass in the opening position shows at least the values generally accepted for an opening bid of one, even if there are alternative weak possibilities
    By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level may be weaker than pass.
    By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level may be made with values a king or more below average strength.
    By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level shows either length or shortage in a specified suit
    By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level shows either length in one specified suit or length in another.
    

    BUT it is brown sticker

    b) An overcall of a natural opening bid of one of a suit that does not promise at least four cards in a known suit.
    EXCEPTION: A natural overcall in no trumps.
    EXCEPTION: any cue bid suit that shows a strong hand.
    EXCEPTION: a jump cue bid in opponent's known suit that asks partner to bid 3NT with a stopper in that suit.

  • @weejonnie said:

    @Vlad said:

    @Abbeybear said:
    Sure, it is sensible to interpret an undiscussed call as natural if that is plausible. Whether that is plausible in respect of the 2!h bid in my earlier example is still something of a toss-up.

    You have raised an interesting question about forcing or non-forcing. My preference is to treat bids that are presumably natural (because you have no agreement to the contrary), but undiscussed in terms of forcing or non-forcing, as forcing. The reason is that it is normally reasonably easy to find a non-forcing continuation if you want one, so a manufactured bid is more likely to be a hand that wants the auction to continue but doesn't yet know where it wants it to end up. (And if it so happens that partner didn't think that it was plausibly natural, you won't pass him out in a very silly contract).

    But I'm a great believer in keeping things simple in pick-up partnerships. It's quite an art to bid well in situations where you lack agreements you are used to having.

    What you are saying is that if partner makes a bid that is not included in your system and therefore undiscussed, and the opponents ask what it means, you would say 'not discussed, but forcing'.

    By the way, on a slightly different note, we have an expert pair that has conjured up an interesting bid, which they insist is allowed by WBF:
    LHO opens 1C or 1D, they overcall 1H, partner alerts and when asked replies 'it could be anything, no particular meaning'. (This is India, where your Blue Book does not apply). Of course it would fall into the category of HUM, but nevertheless an unusual HUM!

    It isn't a HUM!

    2.2 HUM Systems

    For the purpose of this Policy, a Highly Unusual Method (HUM) means any System that ex­hib­its one or more of the following features, as a matter of partnership agreement:

    A Pass in the opening position shows at least the values generally accepted for an opening bid of one, even if there are alternative weak possibilities
    By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level may be weaker than pass.
    By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level may be made with values a king or more below average strength.
    By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level shows either length or shortage in a specified suit
    By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level shows either length in one specified suit or length in another.
    

    BUT it is brown sticker

    b) An overcall of a natural opening bid of one of a suit that does not promise at least four cards in a known suit.
    EXCEPTION: A natural overcall in no trumps.
    EXCEPTION: any cue bid suit that shows a strong hand.
    EXCEPTION: a jump cue bid in opponent's known suit that asks partner to bid 3NT with a stopper in that suit.

    Sorry, my mistake. I just rattled off from the top of my head.

    In a game earlier this year this same pair was involved in a dispute regarding an opening bid of 3NT described in their system card as 'To Play'. Partner gave no further explanation, nothing about point range, long minor suit, nothing, simply 'to play'. With no local regulation like the Blue Book to guide us there was quite a heated argument.

  • @Vlad said:
    What you are saying is that if partner makes a bid that is not included in your system and therefore undiscussed, and the opponents ask what it means, you would say 'not discussed, but forcing'.

    Sort of. What I would say is "We haven't specifically discussed this sequence, but we have a general agreement that if it is not clear whether a bid is forcing or not, we will treat it as forcing."

    @Vlad said:
    In a game earlier this year this same pair was involved in a dispute regarding an opening bid of 3NT described in their system card as 'To Play'. Partner gave no further explanation, nothing about point range, long minor suit, nothing, simply 'to play'. With no local regulation like the Blue Book to guide us there was quite a heated argument.

    As the TD (called to the table by opponents who were unhappy at the explanation given) I would ask "Has this come up before?" and if the answer is yes, then I would ask "What did partner have when it came up before?"

    Law 40B5(a) requires a player to disclose special information conveyed to him through... partnership experience (as well as through partnership agreement).

    They can only say once that they have no idea what partner is likely to have. If I feel that the players are being deliberately unhelpful, then a sizeable procedural penalty might encourage them to be more helpful in future.

    Of course, if they want to play 3NT as "randomly to play, might have anything", the fact that they had a certain hand type last time it came up is no guarantee that they will have a similar hand type this or next time round.

  • See Blue Book 5A4 to explain how defined-as-undefined calls like the 1!h overcall above are handled in the EBU. Most notably, a) they're only legal if there are no restrictions on what bids you can make in that context, b) there's a very high standard for disclosures on negative inferences from such a bid. (That is, if you're going to make a bid like that, you have to explain all the hand types on which you would have bid something else.)

    This allows for bidding sequences like 2!c, 2!d, in which the 2!d doesn't mean anything and is simply a method of letting the opener show the suit. It's very easy to explain why you made the call ("in our system, I bid 2!d regardless of my partner's hand"), and fully explains all the negative inferences. If the system had multiple possible responses, though, the explanation of the 2!d call would have to be along the lines of "nothing to show; I would show a 6-card suit with two top honours, or a balanced hand if it had 8+ HCP", i.e. it has to fully list all the available negative inferences of the bid. (I haven't seen anyone give a reply like this in practice, but then, it's very rare to ask about the meaning of a 2!d response to a strong 2!c bid, because everyone thinks they know what it means already.)

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