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Does anything Alerting? After an opponent's Mistake in Bidding

#1 User is offline   ToffeeDan 

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Posted 2021-February-20, 08:05

Firstly to make it clear I have no interest in a ruling just some clarity to better understand laws of bridge viz a viz alerting

Board 1 of 24 Board KO match against very strong opponents (I would say our chances of winning at 10%)

1D-2D-2S-4H
4S-P-P-???

1D natural (at least 4, playing 4c majors)
2D ostensibly Michaels, majors but opponent admits (online) "sorry I was raising partner's 1D so it's a mistake" which you could say is kind and ethical.
2S - natural but, in the light of 2D my RHO must be expecting it to not be
4S - RHO might be thinking they must be in a 6-2 5-3 or 4-4 fit and partner's 2D bid is based on 4c major.
X or P - I don't know if he is obliged to double (for partner) holding 1-5-4-3 with Q and A in minor

NB we actually missed the cold 4S (5-5 fit) by being a little flummoxed - s**t happens but wondering if anything is "expected" to be alerted to opponent or failing to alert is accurate because we bid naturally.

All's well that ends well anyway as we managed to overcome a 35 imp deficit after 16 to win by 5 making this an exercise in dealing with this problem.

Any ideas on whether 2S should be alerted? Is failing to alert telling RHO 2D was a mistake? Should the board be cancelled? Should the final contract be doubled?

So many questions!
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#2 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-February-20, 10:54

Sorry, but it's not very clear to me.
Are you sure that the 1D opener had a 5-5 spades fit?
When you say "ostensibly Michaels" do you know that they had this agreement and whether it promised 5 spades?
When you say "opponent admits (online)" do you mean that he self-alerted this explanation, or gave it to both opponents in private chat, or gave it in clear to the table?
Why should 2S showing spades be alerted?
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#3 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-February-20, 11:42

Well, your partner should explain according to his agreements. His agreements, given the explanation of 2D (natural), is Natural. In context, I would probably explain it that way without being asked. If fourth hand figures it out then, well so he does.

Should RHO double 4 "for his partner"? You've voluntarily bid a moysian or 5=2 game, cheerfully it seems, knowing about the 5=1 break. Or partner misbid. Which is more likely? Assuming it's a two trick set on the trump lead, RHO is laying basically even odds (+100 into +300 if you're right, -420 into -590 if you're wrong), and those IMPs may not be worth the same (if partner misbid, zero is zero and -170 is 5. If you're insane enough to do bid into this fit, who knows what the opponents are getting and whether the double gains one IMP or 10? And if it's 10, we'll make it back up on the other 23 boards you bid just as well as this one, Shirley?) And that's if it does go down two - nobody won a KO by turning -50 into -100 on the first board.

IRL, this is a very different case, because there would have been lots of flinch et al happening, and different people explaining; online makes this much more likely to be a straight guess. And that's a good thing.

And no, you can't cancel this board.
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#4 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2021-February-21, 02:58

I’m afraid I find your post incomprehensible. Why don’t you use the hand editor, the spade symbol with the red lines? I’ve actually no idea who bid what, who you and your partner are and who bid 1 and 2. That last call was a raise of partner’s 1 and Michael’s at the samen time. And what do you mean by “Does anything alerting”?
Joost
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#5 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-February-21, 11:51

I am confused by the confusion, it was certainly clear to me (I believe). Maybe as a director, I'm used to getting these stories that don't actually fit with reality.

But anyway, unless I also have got this wrong:

so, here, does West with 1543 have to double "for partner"?


Again, not sure how much clearer this is than the OP - the confusion is that nobody thinks they'd see their RHO's opening as their partner's. Which, at the table, they wouldn't. Online? Doesn't surprise me in the least.
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#6 User is offline   axman 

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Posted 2021-February-21, 12:34

View Postsanst, on 2021-February-21, 02:58, said:

I’m afraid I find your post incomprehensible. Why don’t you use the hand editor, the spade symbol with the red lines? I’ve actually no idea who bid what, who you and your partner are and who bid 1 and 2. That last call was a raise of partner’s 1 and Michael’s at the samen time. And what do you mean by “Does anything alerting”?

As near as I can tell there is my RHO, numerous RHOs, he, partner, opponent. There might be a way to figure what direction they sit, but I suspect not; and I am inclined not to be the one to sort it out.
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#7 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-February-21, 13:55

Please post the entire deal, including the vulnerability, the dealer, and the bidder, using the hand viewer (icon on the right of the line that starts with B for bold, looks like a spade symbol on a white background sided by red stripes). You should be able to edit your original post to do that.

The Laws don't tell you what to alert. Regulating Authority regulations do that. So we need to know the Regulating Authority for this event.
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#8 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-February-21, 14:07

View Postmycroft, on 2021-February-21, 11:51, said:

Again, not sure how much clearer this is than the OP - the confusion is that nobody thinks they'd see their RHO's opening as their partner's. Which, at the table, they wouldn't. Online? Doesn't surprise me in the least.


That's the least of the confusions. I listed some of the others above, up to OP to clarify, preferably with a hand diagram and clear identification of any alerts, plus regulating authority.

It can happen that one sees the RHO's opening as partner's when viewing a bidding matrix as in BBO. Some other online sites put the bidding cards in front of players, as in f2f.
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#9 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2021-February-21, 16:36

I don't really see why everyone is confused. The bidding and description look clear enough, and mycroft has the auction correct.

Opener's LHO overcalled 2D which systemically showed 5/5 in the majors, but they thought they were simply raising partner at the time. At the table nobody bid 4S, but that's because opener and partner were flummoxed (OP's word, not mine) by the situation.

Presumably opener had some hand with 5 spades and 6 diamonds.

What, legally, should be done is an interesting question. Firstly, the 2D bidder's obligation is to tell you their systemic agreements, so they should say that 2D is 5/5 in the majors. They gave you additional information that they forgot. You are not legally entitled to it, but there's no legal problem with them telling you (in most jurisdictions - I've seen a game where doing so would be against the conditions of contest for precisely the situation that's about to happen here). There's nothing (legally) wrong with the 2D bid - a player is allowed to make a mistake - so you could not receive an adjusted score based on the bid itself.

The problem responder (with a good hand and 5 spades) has is that 2S is almost certainly systemically artificial. But the additional information they and their partner have received means playing it as natural would be a good idea. Now we have the possibility of confusion caused by the additional information. When your partner bids 2S, they are relying on you (opener) working out:
  • 2S should be natural
  • 2S is actually meant as natural

But you don't actually have an agreement, so you're having to guess a bit.

The next question is how the 2S bidder should describe it. IMO, the description given should assume 2D is Michaels and describe it in that context (cue raise, good hand with clubs, whatever your agreement is), because Michaels is their actual agreement. The auction won't make much sense to 4th hand, but that's their side's problem.

Other questions:
  • Should the board be cancelled? - No, there is no reason under law to cancel the board.
  • Should the final contract be doubled? - That's up to the opposition. Neither of them has any unauthorised information so they can do what they like. If 4th hand works out what is going on, they are under no obligation to double on partner's hand.

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#10 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-February-22, 11:22

I remain in dout about what is the RA, who read the "sorry" explanation, why the 2S bid should be alerted, what are NS agreements about 2S after Michaels u.s.w.

View PostToffeeDan, on 2021-February-20, 08:05, said:

So many questions!

If you bothered to login and see what happened to your questions it would be easier to answer them <_<
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#11 User is offline   ToffeeDan 

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Posted 2021-February-22, 17:23

View Postsfi, on 2021-February-21, 16:36, said:

I don't really see why everyone is confused. The bidding and description look clear enough, and mycroft has the auction correct.

Opener's LHO overcalled 2D which systemically showed 5/5 in the majors, but they thought they were simply raising partner at the time. At the table nobody bid 4S, but that's because opener and partner were flummoxed (OP's word, not mine) by the situation.

Presumably opener had some hand with 5 spades and 6 diamonds.

What, legally, should be done is an interesting question. Firstly, the 2D bidder's obligation is to tell you their systemic agreements, so they should say that 2D is 5/5 in the majors. They gave you additional information that they forgot. You are not legally entitled to it, but there's no legal problem with them telling you (in most jurisdictions - I've seen a game where doing so would be against the conditions of contest for precisely the situation that's about to happen here). There's nothing (legally) wrong with the 2D bid - a player is allowed to make a mistake - so you could not receive an adjusted score based on the bid itself.

The problem responder (with a good hand and 5 spades) has is that 2S is almost certainly systemically artificial. But the additional information they and their partner have received means playing it as natural would be a good idea. Now we have the possibility of confusion caused by the additional information. When your partner bids 2S, they are relying on you (opener) working out:
  • 2S should be natural
  • 2S is actually meant as natural

But you don't actually have an agreement, so you're having to guess a bit.

The next question is how the 2S bidder should describe it. IMO, the description given should assume 2D is Michaels and describe it in that context (cue raise, good hand with clubs, whatever your agreement is), because Michaels is their actual agreement. The auction won't make much sense to 4th hand, but that's their side's problem.

Other questions:
  • Should the board be cancelled? - No, there is no reason under law to cancel the board.
  • Should the final contract be doubled? - That's up to the opposition. Neither of them has any unauthorised information so they can do what they like. If 4th hand works out what is going on, they are under no obligation to double on partner's hand.



Great answer - I apologise for the original confusion in describing the situation.. YOU have understood every bit of it and provided a comprehensive reply and an understanding - yes, I see how 2S should be alerted as the systemic meaning. Yes, to the opener it must be natural and yes, I as opener did have 5161 hand.

Thanks, and I will upload my hand when I know how to do these things, except that it was more an exercise in understanding what to do when things sometimes go wrong not in moaning about a bad board or asking how to bid a cold 4S! This response gives me a comprehensive understanding.
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#12 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2021-February-23, 10:50

View Postsfi, on 2021-February-21, 16:36, said:

They gave you additional information that they forgot.

They didn't forget their agreement, they misread the auction. They thought the 1 opening was by partner, not an opponent, so they thought they were raising rather than cue-bidding. There's no requirement to disclose a misbid to opponents. But doing so online should not incur any penalty, since there's no UI to partner.

I have to admit that I'm unsure how the other pair should alert and explain their bids. If the 2 bid is described as natural, the 4th player might be clued in that their partner misbid. But after being told that the 2 bid didn't show majors, there's no reason why they would treat 2 as a cue bid (e.g. unusual over unusual), and telling the opponent that it is would be misinformation. Even saying "undiscussed" because they haven't explicitly discussed what to do after a misbid Michaels feels disingenuous, and also helps the opponent to realize that something strange is going on (especially if he looks at their CC and sees Unu/Unu listed).

It would really be better if misbidders didn't tell the opponents. The result is likely to be messed up, but it least it will be a bridge result rather than the TD trying to sort all this out.

#13 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-February-23, 11:13

There's nothing wrong with cluing in the opponents that their partner misbid. It might not lead to the best score, but there's nothing legally wrong with it.

There is something wrong with bidding one way, knowing your partner is going to take it that way, and explaining it as something else.

I agree, there's a real problem here. And it was caused by the misbid and then the explanation. However, it would be just as ugly when they miss their obvious game and see the 2 bidder's 2-3-5-3 7 count. And yes, there are laws about that, but especially with self-alerts, the dudgeon is almost never higher. So, to limit it, the 2 bidder did something "nice", which caused a different problem.

But in the context of the "actual agreement" based on what they were told about 2, 2 was natural, partner was going to take it as natural, and if fourth hand asks, they should be told it's Natural. And if fourth hand figures it out one round earlier, so be it.
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#14 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-February-23, 14:47

I think that the side where one player bid 2 in this auction probably has some agreement what the bid means when the opponent's 2 is Michaels. They may also have an agreement what it means when 2 is natural. I doubt very much that they have an agreement what it means when 2 is a misbid. Given that, I think the explanation should be one of "we don't have an understanding as to what 2!S means over a misbid" or should cover both possibilities and leave it at that. Probably the latter. If the one opponent figures out from your explanation that his partner not only must have misbid but must have told you so, well, that's UI to him.
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#15 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2021-February-23, 15:17

View Postbarmar, on 2021-February-23, 10:50, said:

I have to admit that I'm unsure how the other pair should alert and explain their bids.

That's certainly the most interesting part of the question, and I'm far from sure of the approach I posited earlier. The situation can only happen on online bridge, and the laws don't cater for strange situations particular to the online environment well.
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#16 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2021-February-25, 10:34

View Postblackshoe, on 2021-February-23, 14:47, said:

I think that the side where one player bid 2 in this auction probably has some agreement what the bid means when the opponent's 2 is Michaels. They may also have an agreement what it means when 2 is natural. I doubt very much that they have an agreement what it means when 2 is a misbid. Given that, I think the explanation should be one of "we don't have an understanding as to what 2!S means over a misbid" or should cover both possibilities and leave it at that. Probably the latter. If the one opponent figures out from your explanation that his partner not only must have misbid but must have told you so, well, that's UI to him.

That's the thing -- is it really UI if it's clearly implied by your explanation?

Even players who are exhaustive in their explanations would never bother to mention what their bid means over a misbid. So if someone included that in their explanation it could only mean that the other opponent informed them that they misbid.

#17 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-February-25, 18:55

Well, what's clearly implied here? Seems to me it's that your partner told your opponents that he'd misbid. Are you suggesting that the information that partner misbid is AI to you because it came indirectly from opponents rather than directly from partner?
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#18 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2021-February-25, 19:41

What about explaining 2 as natural to the 2 bidder and as a diamond raise (or whatever) to his partner?

But I think I would just say "no agreement". For the 2 bidder the truth is that you have no agreement (presumable 2 is natural but his guess is as good as yours) and for his partner, you may have an agreement (assuming 2 was Michaels) but that's irrelevant.
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#19 User is online   smerriman 

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Posted 2021-February-25, 20:27

View Postblackshoe, on 2021-February-25, 18:55, said:

Well, what's clearly implied here? Seems to me it's that your partner told your opponents that he'd misbid. Are you suggesting that the information that partner misbid is AI to you because it came indirectly from opponents rather than directly from partner?

Surely any information you receive from opponents has to be AI, not UI. Otherwise, every time your partner explains a bid, your opponents could read what he said out loud - if that's UI to you, and you're forced to pick from logical alternatives as if you hadn't heard it.. well, the game would break :)
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#20 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-February-26, 11:07

There needs to be a line though, or at least a "fruit of the poisoned tree" carveout.

The classic case is describing a 5 KC response as "2" or "2 keys" and seeing who asks about the Queen. I have even heard people, whose opinions I respect, say that doing everything right makes the information you get UI - for instance my bugbear of an unAlerted 2 opener: "Find out which opponents asks, play them for 13 balanced"[1]. To which I say, "why not? Her partner will." (and yes, I know it's explicitly UI to her)


[1] or, as I found out recently, AQT9x and a card. Luckily partner had obvious calls and she was able to show "decent hand, diamond stop" in the legal auction. If she hadn't been V vs NV, she probably should have passed the double, though, which would have immediately prompted a director call (which would have gone nowhere, because partner did in fact have a 100% double). I will admit that my "NAT PRE, and I would have Alerted anything else, and you know that" was not one of the highlights of my bridge propriety career. Not, however, *wrong*).
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