Inadvertent / insufficient call

A deceptively simple TD call last night. Bidding was p - p - 2h - 2c.

Went to the table and was about to get myself ready for comparable calls, accept or not, but first i wanted to know why offender had bid 2c.

Took her away from the table and she claimed "I meant to bid 3c, but pulled the wrong one out". I didn't look at her hand (shouldn't need to, especially as I hadn't yet played it, but on later inspection it was an opening hand with 5 decent clubs), so I ruled "mechanical error" and allowed her to correct to the intended 3c.

In the bar afterwards her partner, and regular club TD, reckoned I should have first offered next hand option to accept the call, and then go into comparable calls (I think he omitted the step of making good at lowest denomination) etc.

I checked the EBU videos, and in them our beloved Gordon goes straight into these options, on the presumption that it is a insufficient call, so I suspect my colleague may be right.

Am I not right to check for mechanical error / inadvertent call first?

Comments

  • My view is that you should give the player the opportunity to say if it was unintended, which I think I did in the video by asking something like "what caused this to happen?", but I don't think you should prompt the players further than that because they are quite likely to claim it was unintended without fully understanding the precise meaning of that within the laws. In your case, the difference between the two would be whether or not the next player would have the option to accept the 2C bid.

    I understand though that in the ACBL they start by asking if the call was intended or not.

  • I've become wary of such calls, since I know of a couple of players who, on noticing that they've made an IB, will immediately say "Mechanical error" and correct their bid.

  • Quite a lot of players are vaguely aware that unintended calls can be changed, but many will not be aware that this does not apply if the reason for the IB was (for example) mistaking the level of the opponent's call. The more neutral the question the TD asks, the more likely some players are to reveal to the TD's satisfaction what actually caused the IB.

  • My experience is that you need to give the insufficient bidder chance to say something, even if LHO has called over the insufficient bid.

    1C (P) 1S (P)
    1S (P)

    The last pass was apparently "prompt". Responder called me, I established that the auction was what I could see, and told them to get on with it. Afterwards, offender told me that it was obviously unintended and that he meant to bid 1NT and he was not given the opportunity to say so and I should have asked.

  • @Robin_BarkerTD said:
    My experience is that you need to give the insufficient bidder chance to say something, even if LHO has called over the insufficient bid.

    1C (P) 1S (P)
    1S (P)

    The last pass was apparently "prompt". Responder called me, I established that the auction was what I could see, and told them to get on with it. Afterwards, offender told me that it was obviously unintended and that he meant to bid 1NT and he was not given the opportunity to say so and I should have asked.

    I guess it's a fairly fine line between not giving the offender a chance to say anything (like in this example) and the opposite fault of "leading the witness". But it's a tad surprising that a player who knew enough to approach you afterwards didn't say anything at the time along the lines of "hey, wait a minute, I pulled the wrong card".

  • edited April 4

    @Abbeybear said:
    I guess it's a fairly fine line between not giving the offender a chance to say anything (like in this example) and the opposite fault of "leading the witness".

    I think all that is needed is "so this is the auction ... 1S is insufficient ... and the next hand has passed. Does anyone have anything they want to add? ... "

  • @Abbeybear said:
    But it's a tad surprising that a player who knew enough to approach you afterwards didn't say anything at the time along the lines of "hey, wait a minute, I pulled the wrong card".

    Oh, it was a strange situation. It was late 2017 and I think the player had some motivation to show that the TD or the new laws were stupid.

  • edited April 4

    @Robin_BarkerTD said:
    I think all that is needed is "so this is the auction ... 1S is insufficient ... and the next hand has passed. Does anyone have anything they want to add? ... "

    Given that it is the insufficient bidder who is likely to want them to add something, and we don't want them to chirp up with "I meant to bid 1NT", giving partner potential UI (and almost forcing you to accept it as mechanical error and allow the correction), is it best to take the insufficient bidder away from the table and to ask that or similar question?

    Must confess that I did have an ulterior motive in taking the player away in my case of the 2C insufficient bid. I was playing for time and pondering what to do if she admitted she hadn't noticed the 2H bid, and how to handle potential comparable calls to an Acol 2C opener. Fortunately I was given an easy (and I reckon correct) way out.
    On reflection, I don't think there are any comparable calls.

  • [Graham] " I was playing for time and pondering what to do if she admitted she hadn't noticed the 2H bid, and how to handle potential comparable calls to an Acol 2C opener."

    Even if offender tells you in private that she was trying to open an Acol 2!c you shouldn't let on to the table. Law 23A refers to replacement calls with similar etc. meaning as that attributable to the withdrawn call, so I would think any call that shows game-forcing values or opening values with 5+ clubs should be considered comparable.

  • The whole purpose of the comparable calls rule is to prevent your partner having extra information from the withdrawn call. So the ideal situation would be "your partner has no more information from the two calls than they would have from just the latter call". The comparable calls rule is basically just an attempt to make that intent objective.

    As such, if the withdrawn call is ambiguous (in the sense of "what did the bidder think the bidding was so far upon making it?"), a call that clarifies the ambiguity in either direction should be capable of being comparable (as long as the existence of the first call doesn't give any more information). The 2!c→3!c correction will make partner think "oh, this is a natural hand with clubs", and if the 3!c is more precise about the strength than a 2!c overcall of a 1-level bid is (it would be in most systems), then it's comparable. That's regardless of the fact that an opening 2!c would have meant something entirely different, and might (from partner's point of view) have been the intended bid.

  • A Leaping Michaels bid would also fit the bill, showing that minor and the other major.

  • Thanks - think I'm getting there. Please indulge me as I check.

    So having had minimum discussion at the table so that offender's partner has minimal UI, offender bids for example:

    • 3C. As above. Director says "carry on", because 3C is comparable to one of the possible bids attributable meanings of 2C (an overcall). Fact that this is lowest legal bid bid in clubs appears to be somewhat irrelevant. The bidder may or may not have a club overcall hand or a 2C Strong Acol hand, and it is up to partner to guess / infer which; it could be either, but in practice more likely to be the club overcall.

    • 4S: Say offender has a 23+ hand with lots of spades. This not comparable to either of the possibilities ( (2h)-4s not 100% promising a very strong spade hand) so partner silenced for one round, and cannot explore slam. Offender's partner has UI from the fact that TD silenced him/her for a round.

    • 6S: Looks consistent with the 23+ Hand with lots of spades, so I reckon comparable to that possibility. Partner gets another and would be able to punt say 7S if feeling brave with a hand suitable.

    Tricky bit for director would be to ascertain which bids are plausible meaning for the ambiguous IB, and hence which replacement bids possibly comparable. But in practice usually only a couple of possibilities. Another thread discussed an insufficient 1D in response to Landy 2C, for which the ambiguous possibilities were either natural diamonds or "equal length in majors".

  • After an insufficient bid and non-comparable replacement and not "making it good" per 27B1(a), partner is silenced for the remainder of the auction, not just for one round.

  • @Tag said:
    After an insufficient bid and non-comparable replacement and not "making it good" per 27B1(a), partner is silenced for the remainder of the auction, not just for one round.

    Well spotted - thank-you.

    I sloppily assumed that the punishment was as for BOOTs, 31A2b & 30B1bii where it is only for one round.

  • @Tag said:
    After an insufficient bid and non-comparable replacement and not "making it good" per 27B1(a), partner is silenced for the remainder of the auction, not just for one round.

    I forget the difference as well - at least when commentating when I don't have the laws with me.

  • Hi,
    With regard to the IB’er having not noticed the 2H bid, I would have expected if the IB’er had intended to open 2C (Big Hand), then this would/should have been preceded by with the Stop Card. Therefore more likely to have been a natural IB of Clubs?
  • @SteveMap said:
    Hi,
    With regard to the IB’er having not noticed the 2H bid, I would have expected if the IB’er had intended to open 2C (Big Hand), then this would/should have been preceded by with the Stop Card. Therefore more likely to have been a natural IB of Clubs?

    You may well be right, but that's not a decision the TD has to make. It is possible that the player meant to open 2!c , but forgot the stop card, so "strong and artificial" is one of the meanings attributable to the IB.

    Of course it is sensible for the players to use your logic when guessing what the IB-er was up to, although perhaps not if he corrects the IB to 6!s. :)

  • There are still a few players who play the old-fashioned cue bid of opponents suit to show a game forcing hand. This would IMO be comparable to an intended 2C opener.

Sign In or Register to comment.