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RR's Relay MI or not MI

#1 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2020-November-01, 10:24


Matchpoints

The Rabbit was just getting used to the self-explanations on BBO and was host this week. He played with Peregrine the Penguin, currently resident in Antarctica, and an occasional online player at the North London Club. "Can we play reverse Benji, please, RR?" he asked.

"I am not sure I know what that is", replied RR. "It is easy", said PP, "2D is our strongest bid."

RR was used to playing three weak twos, but remembered that 2D was strong, so opened a weak Two Clubs on the South hand. SB, West had read the conversation and decided to pass so that NS could get into trouble. PP relayed with 2D and RR stroked his whiskers and wondered what that was. He recalled that 2NT was a forcing enquiry, so assumed 2D must be a relay, and as he did not have any more than he promised, he passed. SB knew that double would be takeout and was stuck, and passed it out and East led the 8.

"Sorry partner, my fault," said RR. "I should have bid my clubs again." A little later PP emerged with four aces and four ruffs and had made his ridiculous contract with SB ruffing his partner's winners on the last five tricks. EW had 0% for this as every other EW had reached the cold 3NT.

SB pressed the CALL DIRECTOR button furiously and eventually OO arrived. "How can I help?" he asked. "There was MI by RR. He agreed to play Reverse Benji with his partner, psyched 2C, and explained it as "weak"," he began. "He should explain his actual methods not what he thinks they are or what he has in his hand," continued SB. "And he could have been aware that his infraction would damage the non-offending side".

"I don't see how?", responded OO. "Surely the wrong explanation of "weak" made it EASIER for you to get into the auction. If you had overcalled 2D, then East would have bid 3NT and that would have made, just like everyone else."

How do you rule?
I prefer to give the lawmakers credit for stating things for a reason - barmar
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#2 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2020-November-01, 10:44

You know, the more I see of this Rueful Rabbit, the more I come to believe that whatever the Secretary Bird claims, the construction "the Rueful Rabbit could have known that his action might damage his opponents" is generally false.
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#3 User is offline   PeterAlan 

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Posted 2020-November-01, 11:13

I don't see how RR "could have been aware at the time of his irregularity that it could well damage the non-offending side" when he appears not even to be aware of the methods that he's allegedly playing. SB surely knows by now that RR can't be supposed to be aware of anything specific at all.

Moreover, if SB is supposedly aware of the whole conversation and knows that RR's description of his 2 opener as "weak" is not consistent with Reverse Benji as it is normally played, where the 2 opener, like Acol, is the game-force (unless followed by 2NT); he also knows that RR has admitted to not being sure that he knows what Reverse Benji is.

SB's assertion that RR should have been aware that the 2 bid is game-forcing, but has nevertheless both psyched it and mis-described it as weak, is tantamount to accusing RR of cheating, and RR should instruct his lawyers accordingly. It appears from Mr Mollo's entertaining accounts that RR's pockets are quite deep, possibly significantly more so than SB's, and I look forward to hearing what m'learned friends make of it all.
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#4 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2020-November-01, 11:18

View PostPeterAlan, on 2020-November-01, 11:13, said:

SB's assertion that RR should have been aware that the 2 bid is game-forcing, but has nevertheless both psyched it and mis-described it as weak, is tantamount to accusing RR of cheating, and RR should instruct his lawyers accordingly. It appears from Mr Mollo's entertaining accounts that RR's pockets are quite deep, possibly significantly more so than SB's, and I look forward to hearing what m'learned friends make of it all.

SB claimed that RR COULD have been aware, not SHOULD. We both know that is not accusing someone of cheating, and the TD should rule without any regard as to whether RR in particular could be aware. The ruling should be the same if ChCh was occupying the South seat.
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#5 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-November-01, 12:09

I'm always amazed by the players who denigrate the field, especially the weaker members of the field, at the bar, in snide comments to friends and directors (when not ruling), even at the table - but magically they are experts in bridge, laws, regulations, and mischief when they make one of their hundred mistakes that happens to work against the "unlucky expert".

I'm also amazed at the number of bridge players who expect their opponents to play a system the same way they do, and get all the names right. They're also the ones who freak out when the directors explain (for the hundredth time) that "the name of the convention is not sufficient explanation".

I have no idea why I'm mentioning this, and no comment whatever on whatever ruling is involved in this thread.
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#6 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-November-01, 12:40

View Postmycroft, on 2020-November-01, 12:09, said:

I'm always amazed by the players who denigrate the field, especially the weaker members of the field, at the bar, in snide comments to friends and directors (when not ruling), even at the table - but magically they are experts in bridge, laws, regulations, and mischief when they make one of their hundred mistakes that happens to work against the "unlucky expert".

I'm also amazed at the number of bridge players who expect their opponents to play a system the same way they do, and get all the names right. They're also the ones who freak out when the directors explain (for the hundredth time) that "the name of the convention is not sufficient explanation".

I have no idea why I'm mentioning this, and no comment whatever on whatever ruling is involved in this thread.


When I am given the name of the convention it carding method as explanation, I always ask what it means, no matter how common it is, because people will often have their own interpretations, or something unusual that they have heard from someone else. It is amusing that sometimes people explain that a pass or correct bid, for instance after a multi, is .a relay. I don’t know any better than the Rueful Rabbit that a relay is a bid that cannot be passed. And of course the rabbit does not know that a new suit after a pre-empt is forcing for most partnerships, and is not even clear what a preempt looks like. A common rule is that one flaw is OK but not two. A five-card suit and an outside Ace is two flaws, but I digress.

As far as the Rueful Rabbit having cheated, that is a little bit interesting because he did describe his hand and what he thought the agreement was. Psyching is of course not cheating, and a misexplanation is not cheating unless it is deliberate. The correct explanation is “no agreement”. Obviously this was not deliberate, and RR has arguably been more helpful to his opponents by telling them what he held. I don’t think 3NT will be the final outcome of the hand, as North is still there, and 3NT doubled or something higher by N/S will be the final score. If West had overcalled.
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#7 User is offline   PeterAlan 

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Posted 2020-November-01, 12:42

SB said:

"He should explain his actual methods not what he thinks they are or what he has in his hand"

It is difficult to see how this requirement of SB's can be satisfied. What is "actual" here? Reverse Benji as SB (and probably the rest of the bridge world) understands it? If so, and SB already understands it, then (1) why does SB need an explanation, and (2) why does SB not query RR's description of the 2 bid as "weak"? If, however, the "actual" methods are not Reverse Benji as SB (and probably the rest of the bridge world) understands it, then SB should accept RR's statement of what they are "actually" playing.

In fact, as SB is surely aware, neither member of the partnership appears really to know what Reverse Benji is, since PP has said "2D is our strongest bid", which is the case in standard Benji but not the Reverse variety. Actually they appear to have no agreement, but RR is unaware of that; of the 3 players concerned, SB is likely to be the best-informed.
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#8 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-November-01, 18:43

SB heard the conversation. He knows that the only thing RR knows about Reverse Benji is what PP said.

If I were RR and heard that description from PP, I think I might have come to the same conclusion: 2 is the strong bid, and all the other 2-level bids are weak 2's. I might have thought to ask more questions, but I'm not as clueless as RR.

It's not a psych if it's not deliberate, it's a misbid. His explanation may have been MI according to the actual Reverse Benji convention, but it's hard to claim damage when the MI accurately describes your hand. And even if there were damage, if the player doesn't know that they're giving an incorrect explanation, how could they possibly know that it would damage the opponents?

By SB's logic, any time someone forgets their system and gives an explanation consistent with the forget, yet manage to land in a good spot, the opponents are entitled to an adjustment because they "could have known" that it would damage the opponents.

#9 User is online   nige1 

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Posted 2020-November-01, 20:22

View PostPeterAlan, on 2020-November-01, 12:42, said:

In fact, as SB is surely aware, neither member of the partnership appears really to know what Reverse Benji is, since PP has said "2D is our strongest bid", which is the case in standard Benji but not the Reverse variety.

Wikipedia said:

The 2 ♣ opening reveals either a good 6 card (or longer) suit in any suit and about 17-23 HCP or a balanced hand with 22-23 HCP. With an even better hand, the opening 2 ♦ should be used instead.
The blind leading the blind :( Normal for this North London Club :)
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#10 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2020-November-01, 20:43

View Postbarmar, on 2020-November-01, 18:43, said:

it's hard to claim damage when the MI accurately describes your hand. And even if there were damage, if the player doesn't know that they're giving an incorrect explanation, how could they possibly know that it would damage the opponents?

If it had been just a misbid, there would be no redress. But whether it accurately describes his hand is irrelevant. It is MI if it was the wrong explanation of partnership methods. They agreed to play "Reverse Benji", in which 2C is not "weak". The TD should try to work out what would have happened without the infraction, and if the "possibilities are numerous" (quite likely with RR involved) he awards an artificial adjusted scores - 12C1(d). 60% to the non-offenders is normal I think.

And RR could have been aware that he was giving an incorrect explanation. This is normally interpreted as "more than an insignificant chance".
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#11 User is offline   PeterAlan 

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Posted 2020-November-01, 21:03

View Postlamford, on 2020-November-01, 20:43, said:

They agreed to play "Reverse Benji", in which 2C is not "weak".

Insofar as they had any agreement, it was to play a system in which "2D is our strongest bid". They incorrectly called their system "Reverse Benji"; since it is not, in fact, Reverse Benji there is no basis to conclude from these conflicting statements that the meaning of "2 is not "weak""; nor, indeed, anything else about it.

You can't pick and choose, ignoring the one clear statement they actually made about their methods, especially as you are relying on the solecism of determining the meaning of a conventional bid by its name rather than by a statement of what it means.
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#12 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2020-November-02, 02:32

Nobody seems to notice that SBs lead was out of turn. :lol: :lol:
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#13 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2020-November-02, 16:26

View Postsanst, on 2020-November-02, 02:32, said:

Nobody seems to notice that SB’s lead was out of turn. :lol: :lol:

But accepted by North who put down the dummy ...
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#14 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2020-November-02, 16:34

View PostPeterAlan, on 2020-November-01, 21:03, said:

Insofar as they had any agreement, it was to play a system in which "2D is our strongest bid". They incorrectly called their system "Reverse Benji"; since it is not, in fact, Reverse Benji there is no basis to conclude from these conflicting statements that the meaning of "2 is not "weak""; nor, indeed, anything else about it.

You can't pick and choose, ignoring the one clear statement they actually made about their methods, especially as you are relying on the solecism of determining the meaning of a conventional bid by its name rather than by a statement of what it means.

Neither Benji nor Reverse Benji have 2C as weak. And expecting a penguin from Antarctica to know which is which is unreasonable. If South had explained 2C as "strong but not our strongest bid" that would have been fine. Then SB would not expect him to pass the 2D relay, so would have bid.
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#15 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2020-November-02, 19:01

View Postlamford, on 2020-November-02, 16:26, said:

But accepted by North who put down the dummy ...

Technically, if North puts down the dummy, he hasn't accepted the lead -- but south must do so.
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#16 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-November-03, 15:45

View Postsanst, on 2020-November-02, 02:32, said:

Nobody seems to notice that SBs lead was out of turn. :lol: :lol:

How can you lead out of turn on BBO?

#17 User is offline   weejonnie 

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Posted 2020-November-04, 10:32

I can't see anything that was wrong - at least on BBO - NS have a bidding misunderstanding which (unless RR is playing) usually works well for the opponents.

SBs decision to pass is obiously a 'gambling action' so there is no way that SB is going to get anything and it is difficult to accept any irregularity or damage given that the correct explanation "We don't know what we're doing. 2 may be weak in clubs or strong." (which IS allowed in EBU Level 4 by the way) is less accurate than the information given by RR.
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#18 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2020-November-04, 12:50

View Postweejonnie, on 2020-November-04, 10:32, said:

SBs decision to pass is obiously a 'gambling action'

I presume you mean "obviously". When somebody uses "obviously", it may be obvious to them, but the opposite is usually obvious to everyone else, as here. Given that double was takeout, what action would you expect West to take?

The TD decided that their agreement was to play Reverse Benji Acol. In both that and Benji Acol, 2C is strong. Therefore there was MI.
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#19 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2020-November-04, 13:30

Hm. If your partner names a convention, and you have no idea what that convention entails, but you agree to play it anyway, do you truly have a partnership understanding that you are playing that convention?
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#20 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2020-November-04, 14:57

View Postblackshoe, on 2020-November-04, 13:30, said:

Hm. If your partner names a convention, and you have no idea what that convention entails, but you agree to play it anyway, do you truly have a partnership understanding that you are playing that convention?

As far as your opponents are concerned: yes

And I remember from a seminar for Directors many years ago that if the partnership players have different opinions on the true explanation of a call (or if the call is undiscussed) then the hand with which the call was made defines the meaning of that call (for this instance).
IMHO this is a very sensible principle which normally results in the (correct) ruling that opponents were misinformed.
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