No Agreement? Really....?
I have had cases, both as player and director,, where players claim "no agreement" about a particular bid. Suspicion is that they probably do, even if it is implicit and they don't realise. What can be done, both as player and director, to clarify the situation for opponents?
One recent example I had was (some details changed):
1h - 1N - p - 2c
p - p - p
On pondering his lead, opener asked about the 2c bid "please confirm it wasn't Stayman", only be told vehemently that they had no agreement about this sequence. This appeared unlikely given that they had played together regularly for in excess of 10 years, and are decent club players who have played at or near county level. As director I was called and felt that I was rather copping-out by deciding "if they have no agreement then they have no agreement, please play on" whilst they continued 'to plead the 5th'.
As it turned out 2c was Stayman, and was effectively admitted as such in the post-mortem when demanding why partner had passed his Stayman bid. It went 3 off in a 3-2 fit so the opponents got a good score and didn't pursue it (2s made easily).
With full benefit of hindsight, what could be done when they claim "no agreement"? It might make a different the next time.