Fielded psyche

One of the directors at the club asked me about a possible psyche in a matchpoint game. It was game all, East was dealer and held:

!s QJ542 !h AJ765 !d J7 !c 10

The auction went:

P - 1 !s - X - 2 !d
3 !h - 3 !s - P - 4 !d
P - 4 !s - P - P
P

It turned out that the first double was very weak, and the director wanted to know if East's actions amounted to fielding. I said he ought to ask West why they doubled, and why East took the actions they did, but they were both pretty weak players and this may not have yielded meaningful answers.

I know a lot of weak club players who would only have bid 2 !h at their first turn, so even though 3 !h might look over-cautious to some eyes, it's not outrageous for that sort of player. What about the failure to double the final contract?

Comments

  • TagTag
    edited February 6

    Declining to double the final contract might not have been a poor choice, since 5D might well be making or going off fewer tricks.

    As for bidding 3H, rather than 4H, he has shortage in the suit to his right and length in the suit to his left. This is often good grounds for taking the low road if you can't be confident that partner has good trumps or trump length, since opponents might be well placed to over-ruff. Note also that he's not averse to the prospect of defending a spades contract.

    Not bidding game and not doubling might seem wimpish but I'm curious to know how the board turned out for them.

  • I am not sure how "double was very weak" is a psych - A double merely suggests that the player 'wishes to compete and invites the responder to describe their hand. Partner is expected to bid ...' Blue Book 3H3.

    7 E 2 Defence to Natural, Non-Forcing Opening Bids of 1C, 1D, 1H or 1S - General
    Any meaning is permitted for double.

    AFAIK the EBU note that doubles that do not deny length in the other side's suit should have this fact noted on the convention card, but they say nothing about strength.

  • Weejonnie, I raised the same point with the director. I asked what their agreement was for the double, and he didn't know, and said they didn't have a convention card. I said how can it be a departure from their agreement if they don't have an agreement? This is why I recommended he ask the players some questions.

    That notwithstanding, the double was made on !s 8 !h Q10983 !d 985 !c A863, and players do have a duty to disclose their agreements if they are playing unusual methods. I doubt they do have an agreement to double this light, but the onus is on them to show they are not concealing an agreement if partner takes unexplained action after such a bid. I would expect a pair to explain this tendency to the opponents at the start of the round if they don't have convention cards.

  • Tag, the board turned out well for the psychers, but not entirely because of the psyche. South had !s AK1076 !h K42 !d Q !c J975 and North !s 93 !h - !d AK106432 !c KQ42. I've no idea what possessed South in the bidding, but they claimed that East ought to double 4 !s , North would take fright and run to 5 !d , West would double and they would score +750 instead of -200.

    I also thought that East might well pass out 4 !s , happy to defend that rather than 5 !d , but against that West has shown at least something in diamonds.

    I wasn't ever thinking of advising that it be recorded as worse than an amber psyche.

  • Something should be done to get East/West to have an agreement about their take-out doubles, and to disclose that agreement if it is unexpected. Having a discussion with East/West, with a view to recording the hand, may be that something, even if the hand is not recorded as a psyche.

  • @VixTD said:
    Tag, the board turned out well for the psychers, but not entirely because of the psyche. South had !s AK1076 !h K42 !d Q !c J975 and North !s 93 !h - !d AK106432 !c KQ42. I've no idea what possessed South in the bidding, but they claimed that East ought to double 4 !s , North would take fright and run to 5 !d , West would double and they would score +750 instead of -200.

    I also thought that East might well pass out 4 !s , happy to defend that rather than 5 !d , but against that West has shown at least something in diamonds.

    I wasn't ever thinking of advising that it be recorded as worse than an amber psyche.

    If the director rules that is was a fielded psych (red) then you rule 60-15 as an Artificial adjusted score - you don't try and work out what should happen at the table. If you rule it as an amber psych then there is no score adjustment.

  • Thanks, Vix. It turned out well for them for all the reasons I expected. I think East bid well.

  • @VixTD said:
    .... but they were both pretty weak players ....

    I suspect that when you ask West why he doubled, you'll be ruling a mis-bid rather than a psyche. I doubt that West had any intent to deceive.

    Barrie Partridge - CTD for Bridge Club Live

  • edited February 7

    Weejonnie: "If the director rules that is was a fielded psych (red) then you rule 60-15 as an Artificial adjusted score - you don't try and work out what should happen at the table. If you rule it as an amber psych then there is no score adjustment."

    Of course you do, but you need to demonstrate there was possible consequent damage before adjusting. (Or rather that the non-offenders ended up with a poor score.)

  • Senior Kibitzer: "I suspect that when you ask West why he doubled, you'll be ruling a mis-bid rather than a psyche. I doubt that West had any intent to deceive."

    I suspect so too, or that West bids according to how he feels rather than according to any sort of system.

  • @VixTD said:
    Weejonnie: "If the director rules that is was a fielded psych (red) then you rule 60-15 as an Artificial adjusted score - you don't try and work out what should happen at the table. If you rule it as an amber psych then there is no score adjustment."

    Of course you do, but you need to demonstrate there was possible consequent damage before adjusting. (Or rather that the non-offenders ended up with a poor score.)

    You should still impose the 25% procedural penalty even if there is no damage I believe - although the wording in 1.4.4 is not 100% clear on this. The fact that the additional penalty starts on a new paragraph suggests that it should be done all the time - but the paragraph ends with an AV+, AV- ruling (+ penalty)

  • Yes, I think you're right on that point, Weejonnie.

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