Wrong description of partner's call

The following hand came up at a game today:

North:
T
K9854
K42
AQ74

South:
Q653
J
83
J98632

East:
K8742
A62
JT65
5

West:
AJ9
QT73
AQ97
KT

East dealer. None vul.

The bidding went:
W N E S
- - P P
1NT 2H* P 2S
P 3C P P

*Alerted as hearts and spades.

When the dummy came down the TD was called.

There are three possible adjustments:
2S making 3 to E/W
4S down at least 2 if not 3 to N/S
5C down 2 to N/S

A number of good players whose views were sought said that no way they as south would pass partner's 3C bid, they would either go on to S or C.

What does this group think?

Comments

  • Funny, after I posted this the spaces between W, N, E and S that I had typed have disappeared!
    The bidding was:
    Pass by E and S
    1NT by W
    2H by N
    P by E
    2S by S
    P by W
    3C by N
    P by E and S

    The TD was called after the hand was over, not when dummy came down. Sorry about that.

  • What did North think 2H meant?
    What did North think 2S meant?
    Why did South pass 3C?
    Was there any other UI, such as North looking uncomfortable when South explained the 2H bid?

  • TagTag
    edited January 27

    I can imagine the following... North thought his 2H showed Hearts and a Minor. South though what he thought. North took 2S as an offer to play in Spades with a 5+card suit. North showed his Minor. South took this as a 3+card suit and passed on his own 6-card suit, having a weak hand and no reason to consider game to be on against a strong NT.

    As Gordon posted, without input from the players, it's all conjecture.

    If there was UI then 3S is a reasonable logical alternative to pass, which North would have to leave in. I don't see any real logic to suggestions of 4S nor 5C.

    Did they have system cards, which might indicate whether North misbid or South gave misinformation?

  • W N E S
    P P
    1N 2H* P 2S
    P 3C P P

    '*' Alerted as Hearts and Spades

    Just created this to show how to create a simple table in Markdown. A lot depends on whether passing 2!s is a logical alternative e.g. do NS play weak-2 bids? Obviously if South has no UI he can do what he likes. So the final adjustment in that case looks to be either 2!s or 3!c. Even if South has UI, any contract such as 4!s or 4/5!c depends on the 3!c call being legal. (No doubt VixTD will argue for the higher contract)

  • I don't think that it is going to be possible to reach a definite conclusion as to the correct ruling, because this would require the answers to certain questions which we do not have.

    The first possible basis for adjustment is that N has the UI that his partner thinks he has shown hearts and spades whereas he thinks he has shown hearts and a minor. For this purpose it doesn't really matter who is right - N's obligation is to interpret S's 2!s bid in the light of his own (i.e. N's) original understanding of the 2!h bid.

    Now, I wouldn't be surprised if a club player, believing himself to be playing Multi-Landy (or some other scheme where 2M shows the bid suit plus a minor) hadn't discussed continuations apart from raises and the question of whether a 2N advance asks for the minor or 3!c is pass or correct. Certainly it is my experience that a lot of club players who play a member of the Astro family will not have discussed a 2!s response to a 2!c overcall showing hearts and another suit, which is a similar situation.

    There are a couple of logical possibilities for a 2!s response
    (a) a drop-dead sign-off "you have hearts and a minor - I don't care, I want to play in 2!s "
    (b) a more consultative approach "I hate hearts, and have spades, but if you hate spades I have tolerance for the minors"

    Option (a) is of course affected when, as here, S is a passed hand, by whether N/S play weak twos, and - if they do - what sort of hands with long spades S might have passed instead of opening a weak 2!s .

    In the absence of information as to whether N/S play style (a) or style (b), the TD should be reluctant to impose his view of how a 2!s is or should be played. Instead a poll of peers should be conducted if practicable. I would not be surprised, however, to find that a substantial number of peers would not pass with a singleton spade, so it is probably going to be close as to whether passing 2!s is or is not a logical alternative for these players.

    If the players are more experienced, and cannot demonstrate an agreement about 2!s , then I think that they would recognise the possibility that S has long spades, even if playing weak twos, and a substantial number would consider passing, with some actually doing so, making pass a logical alternative and disallowance of the 3!c bid the correct ruling.

  • The second possible basis for adjustment is IF S has any UI from any reaction N may have made to the explanation. Since there is no evidence that such UI existed, I have to assume that S was free to do as he liked.

    The third possible basis for adjustment is MI. This depends on what the actual agreement was. If N/S were playing 2!h to show both majors, then there is no MI and no adjustment. If, however they were playing 2!h to show hearts and a minor, then E has been misinformed. With the correct information, he would presumably have bid 2!s over 2!h , and I cannot see any reason why 2!s should not be the final contract.

    Finally, if it is impossible for the TD to determine to his satisfaction what the agreement was, then again there is MI because the correct information is "no agreement, apart from some sort of two-suiter including hearts". Over this, again, E would presumably bid 2!s to end the auction.

  • @Abbeybear said:
    The second possible basis for adjustment is IF S has any UI from any reaction N may have made to the explanation. Since there is no evidence that such UI existed, I have to assume that S was free to do as he liked.

    The third possible basis for adjustment is MI. This depends on what the actual agreement was. If N/S were playing 2!h to show both majors, then there is no MI and no adjustment. If, however they were playing 2!h to show hearts and a minor, then E has been misinformed. With the correct information, he would presumably have bid 2!s over 2!h , and I cannot see any reason why 2!s should not be the final contract.

    Finally, if it is impossible for the TD to determine to his satisfaction what the agreement was, then again there is MI because the correct information is "no agreement, apart from some sort of two-suiter including hearts". Over this, again, E would presumably bid 2!s to end the auction.

    So we might have a weighted decision : 2!s by NS and 2!s by EW :p

  • I play 2H shows hearts and a minor with a couple of partners. I've had a hand where I bid 2S over 2H and partner passed with three spades in his hand. All fine. If he'd not have had three spades, he'd show his minor. From the 2H bidder's point of view, he's shown where he cares to play and we can't reasonably impose on them our interpretation of what their system bids mean. Since he doesn't like spades, he shows his minor.

    We need to know their agreements and it's entirely possible that North plays Hearts and a Minor with some partners but not this one. The UI that there has been a misunderstanding doesn't make pass a LA on this hand. This could merely be a misbid that worked out well.

  • @weejonnie said:

    So we might have a weighted decision : 2!s by NS and 2!s by EW :p

    Attractive as that sounds, I'm not sure that you can do that.

    If you believe that there is MI and damage, you adjust, weighting between various outcomes if appropriate.

    If you believe that all the conditions for an adjustment for UI are present, you adjust, weighting between various outcomes if appropriate, making sure that you don't give any element of results achieved in an illegal manner.

    If you believe that all the conditions apply for an adjustment on both grounds, I think you just choose whichever is more favourable to the NOS, rather than weighting between them.

  • @Tag said:
    I play 2H shows hearts and a minor with a couple of partners. I've had a hand where I bid 2S over 2H and partner passed with three spades in his hand. All fine. If he'd not have had three spades, he'd show his minor. From the 2H bidder's point of view, he's shown where he cares to play and we can't reasonably impose on them our interpretation of what their system bids mean. Since he doesn't like spades, he shows his minor.

    I think that if you decide that the 2!h bidder can always pull with fewer than 3 spades, then you are in danger of imposing on them your interpretation of what their system bids mean.

    I can definitely envisage the results of a poll leading me to conclude either way about whether pass is a LA. And if you get your poll right (finding peers, finding out what you can about relevant bits of their system, and framing your questions carefully in the light of that information), the fact that it might go either way is perfectly OK - that's what polls are for.

    I personally find it helpful in this forum for contributors to speculate on what results a poll might produce.

  • @Abbeybear said:

    @weejonnie said:

    So we might have a weighted decision : 2!s by NS and 2!s by EW :p

    Attractive as that sounds, I'm not sure that you can do that.

    If you believe that there is MI and damage, you adjust, weighting between various outcomes if appropriate.

    If you believe that all the conditions for an adjustment for UI are present, you adjust, weighting between various outcomes if appropriate, making sure that you don't give any element of results achieved in an illegal manner.

    If you believe that all the conditions apply for an adjustment on both grounds, I think you just choose whichever is more favourable to the NOS, rather than weighting between them.

    No reason why we might decide that one player may or may not bid 2!s given correct information, whilst another player on the other side is constrained to pass 2!s due to UI.

  • Returning to this discussion after a gap, as I was occupied elsewhere.

    I was not the TD when this case occurred but I was witness to the situation.

    What happened was that N/S agreed that MI had been given to the opponents, E/W maintained that with correct information they would have played in 2S making 3, N/S raised no objection and the TD ruled accordingly. Problem solved!

    Later I discussed this hand with an (near world class) expert who was also playing there and he said that he not only disagreed with the ruling but felt like lodging an appeal himself, because an incorrectly adjusted score affected the datum and impacted the entire field!

    (Even if this person's comment was a light-hearted one, it leads to a hypothetical question: can a third party lodge an appeal against a ruling given at another table because he thinks it affects others? I am not aware whether this has ever happened, but what if??)

    The offending pair's system card was silent on the defence against opponent's NT opening, so there is no help there. What North said was that he thought they were playing Capelletti, where 2H showed hearts and an unspecified minor, while South thought they were playing DONT, where 2H showed hearts and spades. In this scenario, the expert opined, after South showed preference for spades with his 2S response, North's bid of 3C has to be a cue bid, it cannot be showing clubs because with clubs and a higher suit, in South's mind, North would have overcalled 2C over West's 1NT. Therefore, with his weak hand, South must correct to 3S which is where the contract would rest. Then, under rule 20.5.b.ii, after the auction was over North must call the TD and inform that his partner gave a wrong description of his 2H bid. Then under Law 21.B.1.a, East would be allowed to change his Pass if he wanted to, which he would gladly do to double. So, according to this expert, the score should be adjusted to 3SX by South, going down whatever.

    I have two questions:
    1) what do you all think of this reasoning?
    2) would it have appropriate for the TD to award E/W a higher adjusted score than they asked for?

  • edited February 5

    The answer to 2) is Yes - if E/W are entitled to it - the TD obeys law 12:B - to redress damage and take away any advantage. It does not matter that E/W don't realise they are entitled to a higher score.

    Only a player at the table where the ruling was made (or his/her captain) may appeal (Law 92A)

    I would disagree with your expert's argument - unless South has any UI (and no one has said that he does) then he can call what he wants. Obviously there may be a correction if NS would have taken a different action given the correct information. Also: Only results that can be arrived at in a legal auction can be considered - if we disallow the 3!c call (due to UI) then we can't get to 3!s anyway.

  • @weejonnie said:
    The answer to 2) is Yes - if E/W are entitled to it - the TD obeys law 12:B - to redress damage and take away any advantage. It does not matter that E/W don't realise they are entitled to a higher score.

    Only a player at the table where the ruling was made (or his/her captain) may appeal (Law 92A)

    I would disagree with your expert's argument - unless South has any UI (and no one has said that he does) then he can call what he wants. Obviously there may be a correction if NS would have taken a different action given the correct information. Also: Only results that can be arrived at in a legal auction can be considered - if we disallow the 3!c call (due to UI) then we can't get to 3!s anyway.

    Thanks weejonnie.

    Re appeal, this question was only raised as an intellectual curiosity, since Law 92A does not include the word 'only' and I wondered!

    Re 2, point taken, though I wonder how N/S would react to the TD giving away a higher score than the opponents asked for. But if is legal then that's it.

    Re the bid, let us assume that the information I have given is all we would have got at the table. What could South's Pass of 3C possibly be based on? Only that he realised that he had misunderstood his partner's bid, now understood it to mean that it showed hearts and clubs instead of hearts and spades and therefore passed. And what caused North to bid 3C in the first place? Surely only because of the UI of his partner's incorrect explanation of his (North's) bid of 2H? Otherwise, as Law 75A says, North must not take advantage of his partner's explanation, he must act as if had not heard it, (which he would not have had there been a screen) he must then read South's bid as wanting to play in spades only and Pass. And if North does not Pass then, in the absence of UI, South should read North's bid of 3C as forward going and correct it to 3S to show no further interest.

    Would like to know where I am going wrong in this reasoning.

  • You're assigning an interpretation of the 2S bid which might not apply to this partnership. As I mentioned above, if I bid 2H to show hearts and a minor, I take 2S as an offer to play in spades, not a command to do so.

  • @SDN said:

    In this scenario, the expert opined, after South showed preference for spades with his 2S response, North's bid of 3C has to be a cue bid, it cannot be showing clubs because with clubs and a higher suit, in South's mind, North would have overcalled 2C over West's 1NT. Therefore...

    I guess the expert is also in danger of imposing on relatively unsophisticated players his interpretation of what their system bids mean :) .

  • @Abbeybear said:

    @SDN said:

    In this scenario, the expert opined, after South showed preference for spades with his 2S response, North's bid of 3C has to be a cue bid, it cannot be showing clubs because with clubs and a higher suit, in South's mind, North would have overcalled 2C over West's 1NT. Therefore...

    I guess the expert is also in danger of imposing on relatively unsophisticated players his interpretation of what their system bids mean :) .

    Yes, experts do have a tendency to do that.

    @Tag said:
    You're assigning an interpretation of the 2S bid which might not apply to this partnership. As I mentioned above, if I bid 2H to show hearts and a minor, I take 2S as an offer to play in spades, not a command to do so.

    Agreed. But if you overcall 2H showing hearts and an unspecified minor, your partner responds with an offer to play in spades, thereby implicitly bypassing your heart and unspecified minor suits, would you introduce a 4-card club suit at the three level against a 1NT opener without knowing that your partner had misunderstood your bid? (This is a straight question, not a 'challenging' question.) What if your partner showed up with long spades (his only source of tricks) and doubleton club?

  • Re the bid, let us assume that the information I have given is all we would have got at the table. What could South's Pass of 3C possibly be based on? Only that he realised that he had misunderstood his partner's bid, now understood it to mean that it showed hearts and clubs instead of hearts and spades and therefore passed. And what caused North to bid 3C in the first place? Surely only because of the UI of his partner's incorrect explanation of his (North's) bid of 2H? Otherwise, as Law 75A says, North must not take advantage of his partner's explanation, he must act as if had not heard it, (which he would not have had there been a screen) he must then read South's bid as wanting to play in spades only and Pass. And if North does not Pass then, in the absence of UI, South should read North's bid of 3C as forward going and correct it to 3S to show no further interest.

    Would like to know where I am going wrong in this reasoning.

    Law 73C is the law to look at

    C. Player Receives Unauthorized Information from Partner

    1. When a player has available to him unauthorized information from his partner, such as from a
      remark, question, explanation, gesture, mannerism,
      Page | 98 2017 LAWS OF DUPLICATE BRIDGE
      undue emphasis, inflection, haste or hesitation, an unexpected alert or failure to alert,** he must
      carefully avoid taking any advantage from that unauthorized information** [see Law 16B1(a)].

    Law 16B1 is well known

    B. Extraneous Information from Partner

    1. Any extraneous information from partner that might suggest a call or play is unauthorized. This includes remarks, questions, replies to questions, unexpected alerts or failures to alert, unmistakable hesitation, unwonted speed, special emphasis, tone, gesture, movement or mannerism.

    (a) A player may not choose a call or play that is demonstrably suggested over another by
    unauthorized information if the other call or play is a logical alternative.

    (b) A logical alternative is an action that a significant proportion of the class of players in question, using the methods of the partnership, would seriously consider, and some might select.

    However if there is damage, the director must look at law 12C

    C. Awarding an Adjusted Score

    1. (a) When after an irregularity the Director is empowered by these laws to adjust a score and is able to award an assigned adjusted score, he does so. Such a score replaces the score obtained in play.

      (b) The Director in awarding an assigned adjusted score should seek to recover as nearly as possible the probable outcome of the board had the infraction not occurred.

    (c) An assigned adjusted score may be weighted to reflect the probabilities of a number of potential results, but only outcomes that could have been achieved in a legal manner may be included.

    So my 'logic' is:

    North had UI from the incorrect explanation so he must carefully avoid taking advantage of this (73C)

    The UI demonstrably suggested bidding 3!c and passing 2!s was a logical alternative (16B1a and b)

    Since the 3!c call 'may not be chosen' then auctions that include the call cannot be considered. (12C1c) This includes South's subsequent hypothetical 3!s call. If the bridge lawyers had wanted they could have included "may not be chosen unless it leads to additional damage" or words to that effect.

    So the only way that NS can get to 3!s (or double EW in 2!s) is if the auction proceeds in another fashion than actually given. Now it may well be that EW (given NSs actual agreements) might enter the auction - in which case we make an adjusted score on the likely results resulting from MI only, UI only or combined UI/MI.

  • I still don't see why passing 2S is necessarily a LA, given that we don't know their system methods. Given that North is playing ethically and is ignoring the UI from partner's explanation, for the 2S bid to be absolutely insisting on spades, North would have to conclude that South has no tolerance for hearts or either minor. Partner can bid spades again if he's that long in the suit or, maybe, with a pointed-suit two-suiter, bid 3D over 3C, for which North has good tolerance.

  • Yes - I agree that if passing 2!s is not a logical alternative then you rule that the final contract is 3!c (with respect to the UI issue only). However if South has no UI then you cannot force him to continue. To find out if passing 2!s is a LA you obviusly need to know NS methods (and then poll).

  • @Tag said:
    You're assigning an interpretation of the 2S bid which might not apply to this partnership. As I mentioned above, if I bid 2H to show hearts and a minor, I take 2S as an offer to play in spades, not a command to do so.

    I agree, too. However, it is an offer to play in spades on the assumption that the 2!h bidder has five hearts and a four card minor. If that is what he actually has, then bidding a four card minor with spade tolerance is "unauthorised panic" and a breach of Law 73C.

  • @Tag said:
    I still don't see why passing 2S is necessarily a LA, given that we don't know their system methods. Given that North is playing ethically and is ignoring the UI from partner's explanation, for the 2S bid to be absolutely insisting on spades, North would have to conclude that South has no tolerance for hearts or either minor. Partner can bid spades again if he's that long in the suit or, maybe, with a pointed-suit two-suiter, bid 3D over 3C, for which North has good tolerance.

    Not no tolerance for either minor: he may well have a minor but fears that it is the wrong one. Say he is 6-1-(4-2). Surely he would try 2!s rather than try to find out what partner's minor is. In that context a 6-1 spade fit may be the best available (particularly if the 10 bolsters the suit), and as N I'd certainly want to take my chances in that rather than a possible 4-3 fit in the "other minor", especially with Law 73C in play.

  • I wonder what standard the players are? Amongst medium or lesser club players the following is the normal type of thought process:

    Oh good, I can bid 2H showing hearts and a minor. 2H.

    Hearts and spades? Great, I have spades. 2S.

    What on earth does 2S mean? I have no idea but with a singleton spade I am not passing. Oh, of course, he thinks I have spades, he said so, but I am never passing with a singleton. 3C.

    3C? Has he gone mad? I have no idea what 3C means. I better pass before we get into a mess. Pass.

    With screens the only difference in thought process is that North would understand the 2S bid even less, but he would not pass it.

    —-

    You could poll what people bid over 2S with no agreement. Medium or less players will not pass. So if they are not good there is reason to adjust for UI. I notice the actual poll was amongst good players.

    Incidentally I would pass over partner's 2S, UI or not.

Sign In or Register to comment.