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Double for the lead EBU

#1 User is offline   VixTD 

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Posted 2019-June-04, 06:38

In our club multi-session cross-IMP pairs tournament (nine-board rounds, scored by VPs):

I was called at the end of the auction by East, who asked to speak to me away from the table. He said he'd found out that 2 was an artificial relay but hadn't been alerted. Had it been alerted he would have doubled to attract a diamond lead.

I expressed surprise that he didn't know the likely meaning, and he admitted that he did know it was likely to be a relay, but he couldn't be sure, and he felt he couldn't ask and find out it was natural. (He claims he does know pairs who play this as natural.)

I told him he had to go back and play the hand out. He couldn't insert a double retrospectively into the auction. I would look at the hand at the end of the session.

West led 6. and declarer made 12 tricks.

Some more information: 2 was artificial, 23+ pts balanced or GF. It was alerted. 2 is commonly played as a relay or an artificial negative response. It should have been alerted, but wasn't. Players are often lax at alerting such calls when "everyone knows what they mean". South freely admits he should have alerted it, but says he was concentrating on his hand. (Don't ask me why North did not bid Stayman.)

Are EW entitled to any redress?
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#2 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2019-June-04, 06:52

View PostVixTD, on 2019-June-04, 06:38, said:

In our club multi-session cross-IMP pairs tournament (nine-board rounds, scored by VPs):

I was called at the end of the auction by East, who asked to speak to me away from the table. He said he'd found out that 2 was an artificial relay but hadn't been alerted. Had it been alerted he would have doubled to attract a diamond lead.

I expressed surprise that he didn't know the likely meaning, and he admitted that he did know it was likely to be a relay, but he couldn't be sure, and he felt he couldn't ask and find out it was natural. (He claims he does know pairs who play this as natural.)

I told him he had to go back and play the hand out. He couldn't insert a double retrospectively into the auction. I would look at the hand at the end of the session.

West led 6. and declarer made 12 tricks.

Some more information: 2 was artificial, 23+ pts balanced or GF. It was alerted. 2 is commonly played as a relay or an artificial negative response. It should have been alerted, but wasn't. Players are often lax at alerting such calls when "everyone knows what they mean". South freely admits he should have alerted it, but says he was concentrating on his hand. (Don't ask me why North did not bid Stayman.)

Are EW entitled to any redress?

Depending on relevant regulations,

but as presented here: Yes - of course.
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#3 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2019-June-04, 07:10

IMO, Pran is right. I confess to a dislike of "Protect yourself" regulations. There are pairs who play 2 as "Weak with or strong" Then 2 would be "Natural" (by EBU definition, Humpty Dumpty rules OK).
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#4 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2019-June-04, 07:27

I think East's case is the stronger through having been made at the end of the auction. However, if an adjustment were to be made, account would need to be taken of the fact that they might then end up in 4H instead of 3NT.
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#5 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-June-04, 08:50

View Postnige1, on 2019-June-04, 07:10, said:

IMO, Pran is right. I confess to a dislike of "Protect yourself" regulations. There are pairs who play 2 as "Weak with or strong" Then 2 would be "Natural" (by EBU definition, Humpty Dumpty rules OK).

I too dislike "Protect yourself" regulations, but alas that's what an experienced player would be told here in my RA. And the other experienced player who failed to alert will usually get by without a penalty (although a good director can do something in this case).
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#6 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2019-June-04, 10:39

In ACBL (don't know what jurisdiction this is) the alert procedures states no 2 response (even if conventional) to 2 is alertable.
I suspect if you meant it as it would be alertable as 1N-2 would be if not Stayman but clubs.

Surely it is general bridge knowledge that 2 almost never shows diamonds.
In any case if he was worried it shows diamonds he can ask.
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#7 User is offline   HardVector 

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Posted 2019-June-04, 11:23

You need to state what jurisdiction you are operating under. If it's the ACBL, 2d, regardless of meaning, is not alerted. No redress. I can't speak for elsewhere.
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#8 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2019-June-04, 19:07

The jurisdiction is England (EBU, the English Bridge Union).
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#9 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2019-June-04, 20:28

2 was stated as 25+ not str or .
so 2 is almost always artificial
sure double isn't completely safe
I dont buy that he didnt know it wasn't diamonds
Sarcasm is a state of mind
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#10 User is offline   weejonnie 

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Posted 2019-June-05, 04:09

Tbe 'protect yourself' guidelines in the EBU are qualified - some directors may miss the qualifications.

(EBU White Book)

"It is only experienced players who are expected to protect themselves. If such players receive an explanation which is implausible, and they are able to protect themselves by seeking further clarification without putting their side’s interests at risk (e.g. by transmitting unauthorised information or waking the opposition up), failure to do so may prejudice the redress to which they would otherwise be entitled."
...
So we have to look at the situation under the above guidelines.

East has already transmitted UI by getting up from the table to contact the director. If West is experienced then they could possibly work out the reason, since the only logical irregularity is the failure to alert the 2 diamond response - which means that West cannot lead a diamond if another lead is a logical alternative. That would have to be looked at: some West's might lead a club (longest suit) others may lead a spade on the principle that you should lead a major suit on the given auction. In the actual case, a club lead was chosen. That might have been an ethical play by West, or West might not have thought of the ramifications. West is also in a difficult position of course, since the UI (caused indirectly by South's failure to alert) has forced him to take a LA.

So anyway:

East should have thought:

"If the diamond bid is a relay (very likely), I can double to show diamonds - so my asking the question won't generate UK."
"If the diamond bid is natural (unlikely), then my question may give UI to partner (and AI to declarer), but partner won't take advantage of it and it is unlikely that the play will be affected".

Conclusion:

East should have asked at the table - I think that asking in a potentially unusual situation is the lesser evil - and no redress is due. If East has a reputation of asking in these sorts of situations and his partner knows that, then partner won't be surprised or have UI. It is when East only asks when the hand is interesting that UI is generated. (East must obviously remember to ask when calls are alerted even when he has no intention of taking any action).
The hardest director decisions inevitably are caused by the first failure to call at the appropriate time.
"Funny hand: both sides can make 4 hearts - VM"
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Getting rid of one rude player might result in the arrival of four pleasant ones.
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#11 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-June-05, 06:27

View Postweejonnie, on 2019-June-05, 04:09, said:

Conclusion:

East should have asked at the table - I think that asking in a potentially unusual situation is the lesser evil - and no redress is due. If East has a reputation of asking in these sorts of situations and his partner knows that, then partner won't be surprised or have UI. It is when East only asks when the hand is interesting that UI is generated. (East must obviously remember to ask when calls are alerted even when he has no intention of taking any action).


In this case the call was not alerted, so presumably he has also to remember to ask in situations where a call is not alerted but normally might be. And then ask again this time and pray that the answer is "artificial".
I guess the only other way he can protect himself - against the laws and regulations, that is - is to ask for an explanation of the auction so far, which even if there are only two bids does not ostensibly draw attention to diamonds.
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#12 User is offline   weejonnie 

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Posted 2019-June-05, 06:50

View Postpescetom, on 2019-June-05, 06:27, said:

In this case the call was not alerted, so presumably he has also to remember to ask in situations where a call is not alerted but normally might be. And then ask again this time and pray that the answer is "artificial".
I guess the only other way he can protect himself - against the laws and regulations, that is - is to ask for an explanation of the auction so far, which even if there are only two bids does not ostensibly draw attention to diamonds.

I agree that is the better method - although asking about the whole auction does not eliminate UI - since "Law 16 may apply and the Regulating
Authority may establish regulations for written explanations." (20F1 in part). If he always asks in possible artificial situations then it won't matter whether the answer is 'artificial' or 'natural' - there is no UI (or rather I would rule there is no UK - provided I can find evidence for his consistency).
The hardest director decisions inevitably are caused by the first failure to call at the appropriate time.
"Funny hand: both sides can make 4 hearts - VM"
No one ever becomes a TD because of the money. They do it because they want to help bridge flourish in their club, region or nation.
Getting rid of one rude player might result in the arrival of four pleasant ones.
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#13 User is offline   VixTD 

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Posted 2019-June-05, 07:05

View PostHardVector, on 2019-June-04, 11:23, said:

You need to state what jurisdiction you are operating under. If it's the ACBL, 2d, regardless of meaning, is not alerted. No redress. I can't speak for elsewhere.

It says "EBU" under the title, but in any case, I said clearly that 2 should have been alerted, so there's not much point saying that maybe it shouldn't.
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#14 User is offline   VixTD 

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Posted 2019-June-05, 07:39

Thanks for your responses. I did actually award an adjusted score, but I felt rather uncomfortable about it. I was expecting the majority opinion to be "score stands, everyone knows it's not showing diamonds, he could have asked to protect himself" etc.

As Gordon says, his case is stronger for having been made at the end of the auction. I would not have believed him had he made the claim at the end of play.

Nigel makes a good point about the possibility of the opening bid including a weak two in diamonds, but that bid would still have been alertable (BB4H1(c)). (It's possible that players are less likely to have known that.)

Weejonnie concludes after much thought that it should have been safe for East to ask about the 2 bid, but if it took him (a player well versed in the laws and regulations) so much thought to reach this conclusion, is it fair to expect as much from a less legally astute player? All it needs is for East to worry about the possibility that his partner may read it as takeout or something else, and EW have been damaged by the failure to alert. There is also BB4A6: "If there is no alert and no announcement, opponents can assume that the call does not fall within an alertable or announceable category, through either explicit or implicit understanding."

It's frequently said that the yardstick we should apply in such situations is not whether the non-offenders should have done better anyway, but whether they are likely to have done better had their opponents followed the proper procedure. I think that's clearly the case here, although there was a lot of grumbling after the game that East was "bullying" and "trying it on".

I'm pleased to see I'm not out of line with the majority opinion.
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#15 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-June-05, 14:54

I asked ChCh his opinion, and he would have led a diamond on the West hand, anyway. He would have worked out the only reason that East would have asked to speak to the director was that he would have wanted to double 2 had it been alerted. He would have just said that a lead from a broken club suit was too dangerous, of course, but if pressed he would have argued that the director call was AI, as it:

( c ) it is information specified in any law or regulation to be authorized or, when not otherwise specified, arising from the legal procedures authorized in these laws and in regulations (but see B1 following)<snip>, and

B1 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.

ChCh knows that this does not include "for example" so is a complete list and that list does not include a TD call.

I might well have awarded an adjusted score as well, although I am not sure East should have called the director at the end of the auction because 21B1(a) only permits a changed call before his partner has bid, so he would have known that he could not now double 2 and the TD call could be classed as illegal communication under 73A1. I came across a pair the other day who played 2C as a weak takeout after 1NT, and I was soon writing down -1560 when I doubled an unalerted 2C on KQ765. That is one of the BIG pluses of playing 2C as a weak takeout.
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#16 User is offline   mamos 

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Posted 2019-June-25, 08:10

I know people (even one or two misguided partners) who double on hands like this. It is however completely insane. If South holds AJ10x and a balanced 23-24, it is extremely likely that the blue two kisses card will be deployed and we will need a pocket calculator to work out the score. Double of 2 ought to be an offer to play Diamonds.
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#17 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-June-25, 08:57

View Postmamos, on 2019-June-25, 08:10, said:

I know people (even one or two misguided partners) who double on hands like this. It is however completely insane.

It's pretty amazing the crap some people will make lead-directing doubles with.

I was playing a speedball a few days ago, I made a Jacoby transfer 2{HE], and LHO doubled with QT98x and an outside Q. We ended up in 4, declarer had KJx, and the opening lead was the A. Unfortunately, partner played poorly (she didn't take the finesse) and went down, so they weren't punished for this horrible call.

#18 User is offline   weejonnie 

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Posted 2019-June-26, 03:11

View Postbarmar, on 2019-June-25, 08:57, said:

It's pretty amazing the crap some people will make lead-directing doubles with.

I was playing a speedball a few days ago, I made a Jacoby transfer 2{HE], and LHO doubled with QT98x and an outside Q. We ended up in 4, declarer had KJx, and the opening lead was the A. Unfortunately, partner played poorly (she didn't take the finesse) and went down, so they weren't punished for this horrible call.


David Bird's Bolls Bridge Tip
The hardest director decisions inevitably are caused by the first failure to call at the appropriate time.
"Funny hand: both sides can make 4 hearts - VM"
No one ever becomes a TD because of the money. They do it because they want to help bridge flourish in their club, region or nation.
Getting rid of one rude player might result in the arrival of four pleasant ones.
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#19 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-June-26, 04:38

The problem is with this hand that everybody doubles in the post mortem, almost nobody doubles in real life. Same way everybody leads the K from KJxxx when dummy has a singleton Q.

Unless your bidder is known for this sort of thing, I'm not ruling with him, particularly as he should know nobody ever plays this with an unalertable meaning.
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#20 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2019-June-26, 12:11

View Postpescetom, on 2019-June-04, 08:50, said:

I too dislike "Protect yourself" regulations, but alas that's what an experienced player would be told here in my RA. And the other experienced player who failed to alert will usually get by without a penalty (although a good director can do something in this case).

If you ask about an opponent's call that should have been alerted, directors rarely give you any redress.
When you "protect yourself" by asking about an unalerted call...
  • You sometimes awaken opponents to a forgotten understanding.
  • You often provide useful AI to opponents
  • You usually handicap partner with UI..

Another case of the tendency of Bridge-Rules to protect and reward law-breakers :(
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