Misinformation

        Hands


                    S- J 3 2
        H- A K J 4
        D- 7 6
        C-  A K 6 4

S- Q 5 4 S- K 8 7 6
H- 5 H- 6 3 2
D- K 5 4 D- J 10 3 2
C- Q 9 8 7 3 2 C- 10 5

        S- A 10 9
        H- Q 10 9 8 7
        D- A Q 9 8
        C- J


        Bidding (South dealer)

W N E S
- - - 1 H
P 2 NT(a) P 3 C(b)
P 3 D© P 3 S(d)
P 4 NT P 5 S(e)
P 6 H P P
P

a – 16+ HCP
b – a singleton
c – which singleton
d – alerted and described by North as diamond singleton
e – two key cards and trump queen

At the end of the auction South did not call the director and report partner's wrong explanation of their agreement

West led a trump. South won the opening lead, drew two more trumps and led a diamond from dummy. East put up the jack as a suit preference signal for spades. South finessed the queen which lost to the king. West shifted to a club, won in dummy and South called for a diamond, on which East played the ten. South's 9 and 8 of diamonds became good and the slam was made with 5 hearts, 1 spade, 4 diamonds, 2 clubs and a spade ruff in dummy.

East was livid that South showed a diamond singleton in the bidding and produced 4 cards in the suit, causing her to mis-defend.

The TD was called.

The TD ruled that when South played the queen of diamonds he was known to also have the ace, since he had shown two aces. South's diamond could therefore not be a singleton. East should have reasoned accordingly and had no valid reason to play the ten on the second round of the suit. The TD ruled that the damage to E/W was self inflicted and no redress was due.

E/W appealed.

Over to you all for your views.

Comments

  • I had done a copy-paste of the hands and bidding, which looked OK when I was writing it but have come out different after I posted it.

    I will try and do it again.

  • Somebody in another thread provided a link to http://cimms.ou.edu/~lakshman/bridge/handlayout.htm where you can put in the hands and auction and get the html code to post.

  • S thought he had shown a stiff club. N thought S had shown a stiff diamond. We need to know who was right as to whether there was misinformation. E/W are entitled to a correct explanation of the agreed methods, not a correct description of the contents of S's hand.

    S needs to be very sure that he has misbid and that the opponents have had the correct information before not "correcting" at the end of the auction. If he still believes that the sequence shows a stiff club, he must of course correct. If he is not now sure then he should also call the director, as his uncertainty means that the information the opponents are entitled to may be "no agreement".

    Of course anything he says is likely to tip off E/W to the probability that S does not have a stiff diamond, and E will not misdefend. E's defence is perhaps naive, but it is not close to being an extremely serious error, and it isn't unrelated to the infraction, so if there is an infraction, there should be an adjustment for both sides.

    To sum up, if the TD establishes that the agreement is "singleton diamond", there is no adjustment. If he establishes that it is "singleton club" or if he cannot establish to his satisfaction what the agreement is, then he should adjust to down one.

  • TagTag
    edited February 13

    I'm highly unimpressed with the suggestion from the director that the damage is self-inflicted. He's suggesting that they should believe one of the artificial bids and not the other.

    As Abbeybear posted, we need to know their actual agreement regarding the response to the 3D asking bid to judge whether there was misinformation or a misbid. Note, however, that the absence of system cards between the players should push the TD towards believing the stated explanation rather than that believed by the bidder of the response. Was there a system card explaining responses to 3D?

  • @Tag said:
    Note, however, that the absence of system cards between the players should push the TD towards believing the stated explanation rather than that believed by the bidder of the response. Was there a system card explaining responses to 3D?

    In the absence of system cards it is clear to rule MI (L 21B1(b)).

    However:

    @Tag said:
    I'm highly unimpressed with the suggestion from the director that the damage is self-inflicted. He's suggesting that they should believe one of the artificial bids and not the other.

    I confess I had missed the bit about the response to RKCB in the OP. When the second diamond is played E has to guess whether S has misresponded to RKCB or whether S has a different singleton notwithstanding N's explanation.

    I guess it is more likely that either S has misbid or N has misexplained than that S has misreponded to RKCB (although my partner - very uncharacteristically - did that to me the other day!). So the question whether the play of the!d 10 is an extremely serious error is much closer than I originally assumed, although I am still inclined to think that it is not serious enough. Is it unrelated to the infraction? I don't think so, so I agree with Tag.

  • @Abbeybear said:
    In the absence of system cards it is clear to rule MI (L 21B1(b)).

    While system cards can provide fairly strong evidence, they are not the only forms of evidence we can consider.

  • When the TD who handled this related it to me, the problem he faced was not in finding out whether there had been MI or not. I don't have the details, but I understood that MI had been given and was not disputed. East was led to believe that South had a stiff diamond.

    The dispute was over the TD's ruling that East should have realised when the DQ was finessed that South's diamond holding did not correspond with the information given, i.e. it could not be a singleton, because he was also known to have the ace. Therefore for East to continue to defend on the basis that South had a stiff diamond was careless and for that reason did not merit redress.

    I have put this case up before the forum because it seems to point to an issue that I at least have not encountered so far. The Laws deal with a situation where a pair which has been on the receiving end of MI makes a gambling call which misfires. In such cases redress is adjusted for self-inflicted injury. But what happens in a case like the one above, where it is alleged that in the course of play a player who had been misled by MI should have been able to infer from early plays what the actual position was but failed to do so. If a poll was taken, as it is with bids, would not most of those polled agree that South's diamond holding could not be a singleton? And thereafter defend accordingly?

    The flip side of the coin is that if this principle is accepted then it could open a pandora's box where offending players allege that the non-offending pair could have avoided damage by this, that or the other.

    As I said, I have not faced such a situation before, that is why I am raising it. Nor have I come across any such instance in the case books that I have read. If there is a time tested procedure for dealing with such cases, I would appreciate advice.

  • I think in general if a player is told something specific about their opponents' agreements they are entitled to act on that information until it becomes clear that it cannot be true. Tag makes a good point that it only can't be true in this case because of something else the opponents have told you about their agreements: the response to RKCB.

    What's clear to one player will not be clear to another. I think you can expect a good player to work out that someone can't have six out of the missing five spades that their bidding promised, but I've adjusted scores for weak players who I believe were misled by such inferences, and played for an opponent to have an impossible distribution.

  • @SDN said:
    Therefore for East to continue to defend on the basis that South had a stiff diamond was careless and for that reason did not merit redress.

    It needs to be much worse than careless to be denied redress under L12C1(e).

    I am not generally in favour of holding players in receipt of MI to a high standard of play in situations they should not be in. L75B1 talks of the infraction resulting in damage to the non-offending side. If a player in receipt of MI gets it wrong, blamelessly, when in receipt of MI, and the TD judges that he would have got it right some but not all of the time with the correct information, a weighted score is awarded with some percentage of getting it right and the rest of the table result (more complex weightings being possible).

    Here, however, we have the reverse situation. With the correct information, let us assume, E would always have defeated the contract. With the wrong info, E did something careless which might well not have cost but actually did. It is well-established in UI cases that the defence are not held to account for erring in defending a contract that they should not have been defending. I favour a similar philosophy here. E/W should not be held to a high standard of defence when they have duff information about the agreement concerning some aspect of declarer's hand, even if other information they have tends to cast doubt on that information.

    What if S has misresponded to RKCB? On a different hand, say a player assumes that he has MI about the singleton declarer holds because the information he has been given is inconsistent with a subsequent response to RKCB. He believes the RKCB response and defends accordingly, thus letting the contract through. In fact the information about the singleton was correct, declarer having misbid in response to RKCB, and if the defender had believed the information about the singleton and ignored the RKCB response he would have defeated the contract. Has he any redress? Of course not, as in that scenario there was demonstrably no infraction. I therefore think that we should be very reluctant to rule on the basis that E should have done something specific when in receipt of contradictory information, so that he loses redress if he does something else.

    Is it permitted to weight the score to reflect the possibility that with the MI, E should have got in right some of the time? I don't think so. Law 12C3 refers to weighting the adjusted score. This would be weighting the assessment of whether the infraction resulted in damage (perhaps the MI equivalent of a Reveley ruling).

    In my opinion, therefore, given MI, there was damage cause by the MI, and I would only deny redress (for E/W) if the extremely serious error provisions of L12C1(e) are engaged, which I do not believe they are.

  • @gordonrainsford said:

    @Abbeybear said:
    In the absence of system cards it is clear to rule MI (L 21B1(b)).

    While system cards can provide fairly strong evidence, they are not the only forms of evidence we can consider.

    Of course, but in the absence of system cards the chances of N/S being able to produce sufficiently convincing evidence to overturn the presumption of MI are fairly slim.

  • "Is it permitted to weight the score to reflect the possibility that with the MI, E should have got in right some of the time? I don't think so. Law 12C3 refers to weighting the adjusted score. This would be weighting the assessment of whether the infraction resulted in damage (perhaps the MI equivalent of a Reveley ruling)."

    Yes, it would be permitted and I have often done so. Here we have actions by the NOS (Non-offending side) under scrutiny. In a UI case, we disallow an action by the OS (Offending side) and don't weigh in any adjustment that includes the disallowed action.

    The OP case seems clear. I would weigh in no possibility of East playing D10 when he did if he had had correct information, and so I'd adjust to 100% of one off.

    Barrie Partridge - Senior Kibitzer in Bridge Club Live - Pig Trader in IBLF

  • @Abbeybear said:
    Of course, but in the absence of system cards the chances of N/S being able to produce sufficiently convincing evidence to overturn the presumption of MI are fairly slim.

    I've seen a case where the bidder insisted that he had simply misbid and that his partner's explanation was correct. The TD agreed that this was indeed evidence and ruled that there was no misinformation.

  • @Tag said:

    @Abbeybear said:
    Of course, but in the absence of system cards the chances of N/S being able to produce sufficiently convincing evidence to overturn the presumption of MI are fairly slim.

    I've seen a case where the bidder insisted that he had simply misbid and that his partner's explanation was correct. The TD agreed that this was indeed evidence and ruled that there was no misinformation.

    I can understand that happening if the methods are in common use, so that the TD is happy that the explanation is plausible and the interpretation by the misbidder at the time of the bid is less so. But I share bluejak's concern (expressed elsewhere) that you might thus be led to rule one way if you were familiar with the players' methods and a different way if you were not.

    Our transatlantic friends used to call evidence of that sort "self-serving" and tend to discount it somewhat.

  • It is very difficult when you have been told something to change your mindset to believe something different which is a deduction from other evidence and it is very difficult to imagine such a case where such an error which is at the height of being an extremely serious error. The only situation I can think of offhand is where you are told that North has a singelton club and North becomes dummy and has not. Now to misdefend after the opening lead on that basis is an extremely serious error.

    "The TD ruled that the damage to E/W was self inflicted and no redress was due." Wrong: damage being self inflicted is nowhere near the standard for extremely serious error.

    "… that South had a stiff diamond was careless and therefore did not merit redress. " Wrong: careless is even further away from an extremely serious error.

    There is another problem with the TD's ruling: supposing we did decide that the action was an extremely serious error: why no adjustment for the offending side? If one side makes an extremely serious error it only affects whether they get an adjustment, not their opponents.

    Let me offer a piece of advice to all who read this (ok, Gordon, Robin, you can ignore this): if ever you are tempted to avoid giving redress in any situation because of something the non-offenders have done take your law book out and read the wording of L12C1B before you decide.

  • I am notorious for getting law nos wrong, but I have twice typed a longish answer today and then lost it so I was not prepared to do that with the above reply while I checked the number. I’ve got I got the law number wrong of course. It should read L12C1E.

  • @bluejak said:
    Let me offer a piece of advice to all who read this (ok, Gordon, Robin, you can ignore this): if ever you are tempted to avoid giving redress in any situation because of something the non-offenders have done take your law book out and read the wording of L12C1B before you decide.

    Taking out the Lawbook and reading the Law you are thinking of applying is quite a good idea in lots of circumstances. :) Sometimes it doesn't say quite what you thought it did!

  • @Abbeybear said:

    @bluejak said:
    Let me offer a piece of advice to all who read this (ok, Gordon, Robin, you can ignore this): if ever you are tempted to avoid giving redress in any situation because of something the non-offenders have done take your law book out and read the wording of L12C1B before you decide.

    Taking out the Lawbook and reading the Law you are thinking of applying is quite a good idea in lots of circumstances. :) Sometimes it doesn't say quite what you thought it did!

    Indeed. And often it will refer you to another law that might apply, which possibility should be mentioned.

  • I have two take-aways from this discussion:

    1) The grey area between carelessness and extremely serious error. Not easy!
    2) Not to forget the possibility of applicability of Law 12 C 1 (e) before making a ruling. Looking back I have to admit to mea culpa when I should have thought it through! Simply placing all the blame on one side instead of apportioning it between the two where appropriate.

  • My last post may have given the impression that I was the one who gave this ruling. It wasn't! I was just intrigued when it was related to me and I wondered what I would have done in the guy's place. To be honest, I was 50-50 either way.

  • The correct approach to adjustments is to consider whether the non-offenders might have done better without the infraction. If not, no adjustment.

    If so, consider the possible results without the infraction and apply a weighting to them. If it really looks as though one result is over 85% then give that, otherwise give a weighted adjustment. This adjustment applies to the offenders.

    Consider whether this is a L12C1E case (if in doubt, it isn’t) and if so consider a different adjustment for the non-offenders.

    SDN: There is a lot of grey area between carelessness and ESE but it all means you do not apply L12C1E. The word 'extremely' is relevant.

  • @bluejak said:
    The correct approach to adjustments is to consider whether the non-offenders might have done better without the infraction. If not, no adjustment.

    If so, consider the possible results without the infraction and apply a weighting to them. If it really looks as though one result is over 85% then give that, otherwise give a weighted adjustment. This adjustment applies to the offenders.

    Consider whether this is a L12C1E case (if in doubt, it isn’t) and if so consider a different adjustment for the non-offenders.

    SDN: There is a lot of grey area between carelessness and ESE but it all means you do not apply L12C1E. The word 'extremely' is relevant.

    Thanks for the advice.

  • The thing is - even if this is an "extremely serious error", it would have to be unrelated to the infraction and from the above it would appear to be related. Since playing for an opponent to have 14 cards is not an 'extremely serious error' how can playing for an opponent to have one card?

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