Cumbria Congress Conundrum

edited October 2019 in EBU TDs

This comes from board 11 in the Swiss pairs on Sunday in which I was playing.

The bidding goes (South dealer, no one vulnerable.)

P P P 1NT (announced as 12-14)
X(1) 2H(2) 2S(3) 3H

Result NS -3 (-150)

(1) - not alerted.
(2) - not alerted.
(3) - North comments that he should have alerted the X as showing a major/ minor combination. (OK he should have called the director, but that isn't the problem).

West thought they played transfers over penalty doubles, East thought they did not.

At the end of the hand North calls the TD alleging damage. West states that he probably wouldn't have bid had he known the double was conventional and not penalty.

PS - Hope I got this version right Ken! - still not sure what the 'correct' ruling is. (I changed my mind at least 3 times)

At the table Ken and I discussed the situation and adjusted NS score since they had been damage by EW misinformation - but we didn't adjust EW score since they hadn't been damaged by NS misinformation. My other thought was to award a weighted score between 2D played by NS and 2S played by EW. If so (and if we weight the scores) should both sides get the weighting against them?)


  • edited October 2019


    I'm struck that South was a Passed hand when they doubled so a penalty double looks unlikely and West had the chance to ask the meaning of the Double.
    I'm also struck that West has a chance to call director and ask to withdraw their bid when North confesses the true meaning of the X and before East has bid.
    I don't have much sympathy with West's claim to be damaged by North's late-alert MI

    If North thinks West has Spades they would pass 2H and I see that the hand record shows 2H by W makes
    I haven't taken the time to see whether it needs double dummy insight to make,
    Assuming it doesn't I think I am adjusting both sides to 2H= by West but need to consider the effect of UI (2H not alerted) on West's actions.

    Even if West had withdrawn the 2H call it would remain authorised to East (16C) as it was withdrawn due to North's MI in late-alerting. North would bid 2C (Pass or Correct) but how often would East then bid 2H over 2C?

    However West may have to withdraw the 2H call if that turns out be a LA. If it does then leaving 2H in is suggested by the UI that North thinks West has Hearts due to non-alert of transfer. West will realise that thinking West has Hearts (if they leave 2H in) then North is likely to bid 2S deducing that South's Major is Spades.

    There's a lot to consider ... not surprised you've reached several different conclusions

    Peter Bushby Suffolk

  • "(3) - North comments that he should have alerted the X as showing a major/ minor combination. (OK he should have called the director, but that isn't the problem)."

    I think that's exactly what the problem is. NS have given misinformation to EW, who have then got themselves into a muddle which is at least partly of their own making. All of this could have been sorted out if someone had called the director when the correction was made. Peter says that West had a chance to do this, and that's right, but North has made the error, why doesn't he call the TD? I admit the more experienced West is, the less sympathy I have for him, but I have no sympathy for North who caused the problem, failed to call the TD and then complained he'd been damaged.

    Do you believe that West would pass the double with the correct explanation? It's plausible, I suppose, especially if he wasn't sure whether they were playing transfers. Now presumably NS will scramble their way to 2 !d and probably make eight tricks.

    I don't think there's a justification for giving a split score, unless you think that West actions amounted to a serious error unrelated to the infraction. I certainly don't think not knowing your methods over a double of 1NT counts as a serious error. EW haven't committed any offence other than that. You could award a weighted score if you think the contract or number of tricks is not clear. You could also fine North if you think he should know better.

  • Yes I know that was a problem - but was considering the ruling per se, rather than the circumstances that led to it. (I did suggest that a PP should be issued to both sides for breach of the laws regarding the calling of the TD in this situation: the TD on reflection decided not to impose it this time.)

    EW have committed an offence by not alerting the 2 heart overcall as 'no agreement' - had NS known this then they would have been much less likely to bid 3S. This may be regarded as a serious error (infraction of the laws) - but whether it is 'unrelated to the infraction' by NS is debatable.

  • TagTag
    edited October 2019

    Regarding West's 2H bid, intended as a transfer, did EW have a systems card indicating that 2H was a transfer?

    It's all well and good for W to bid 2H, thinking that it was a transfer, but is there any evidence that they have an agreement that it was a transfer? If my partner bid 2H in that auction without agreement as to meaning, I wouldn't alert it and would assume it was natural. If partner thought it was for transfer to spades then I'd simply tell them that they'd misbid and not to do it again.

    I understand that the laws require that players must alert bids which are undiscussed and might have unusual meanings but if partner makes a bid which looks natural in a situation where I'm expecting it to be natural then I'm not alerting.

    Basically, if they have an agreement that 2H is a transfer then there was misinformation. If they don't have such an agreement then West simply misbid and there was no infraction.

  • Well it doesn't work like that. If they have no agreement then the other side must be informed of the fact. This is made clear by the EBU as well as the new wording to law 75. I agree that if the have an agreement that 2H is natural then there is no rectification (at least for that part of the problem). This wasn't the case at the table though.

    "3. Where sufficient evidence exists as to the agreed meaning of the call, the Director
    awards an adjusted score based upon the likely outcome had the opponents received
    the correct explanation in a timely manner. 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."

  • TagTag
    edited October 2019

    Is there evidence that they have no agreement, though? Absent discussion on methods over 1NTx, I'd suggest that there's an implicit agreement that it's natural. West then panics and makes something up at the table, which East can't be expected to anticipate.

    Maybe he could alert and tell opponents that they've not discussed methods over 1NTx but I think it's a stretch of the rules to have to alert all obviously natural bids you've never discussed sequences for.

  • I think the director has to decide whether the evidence (EW's different understanding of the bid) suggests that their actual agreement was one or other of these, or "no agreement". However, I don't think that East can be blamed for not alerting the bid when as far as he was concerned there was no reason to suppose it was anything other than natural. The director can still award an adjusted score, though.

Sign In or Register to comment.