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Strange bidding all round (EBU)

#21 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 07:39

I think I remember an EBU reg that says if they have an illegal agreement, the TD awards an ArtAS, A+ to the non-offenders, A- to the offenders, but maybe my synapses are misfiring again. :ph34r:
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#22 User is offline   ggwhiz 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 08:23

WOW.

I don't blame West for taking stock after an opening bid on his left (say 13) and 9+ on his right. Add that to his 19 and his pard bid on a -1 count.

How could East possibly be hung by his hesitation? I don't know the appropriate adjustment under EBU regs but East needs a very stern lecture at the least.
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#23 User is offline   gnasher 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 08:33

View Postblackshoe, on 2012-April-17, 07:39, said:

I think I remember an EBU reg that says if they have an illegal agreement, the TD awards an ArtAS, A+ to the non-offenders, A- to the offenders, but maybe my synapses are misfiring again. :ph34r:

EBU TDs certainly do this, but I'm struggling to find a legal or regulatory justification for it.

The part of the Orange Book that deals with fields psyches and misbids prescribes A+/A-, but I don't think that applies here. Here NS have an agreement which is illegal, but disclosed, and nobody has fielded anything.

WB 90.4.2 reads "If a contestant uses a method that is not permitted, or is adjudged to have fielded a psyche, deviation or misbid then the deal should be completed. If he attains a score of Ave– or less then the score stands. Otherwise he gets Ave– and his opponents get Ave+." However, I don't believe that this is a regulation - it is in the section that contains "general comments that are related to particular Laws".

That leaves us with Law 40B5, which reads "When a side is damaged by an opponent’s use of a special partnership understanding that does not comply with the regulations governing the tournament the score shall be adjusted. A side in breach of those regulations may be subject to a procedural penalty."
... that would still not be conclusive proof, before someone wants to explain that to me as well as if I was a 5 year-old. - gwnn
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#24 User is offline   RMB1 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 09:06

View Postgnasher, on 2012-April-17, 08:33, said:

WB 90.4.2 reads "If a contestant uses a method that is not permitted, or is adjudged to have fielded a psyche, deviation or misbid then the deal should be completed. If he attains a score of Ave– or less then the score stands. Otherwise he gets Ave– and his opponents get Ave+." However, I don't believe that this is a regulation - it is in the section that contains "general comments that are related to particular Laws".

I thought all of the White Book had the force of a regulation. If this is an "interpretation", then the justification is to apply Law 12C1d in the case of use of illegal methods. Since most of the regulation of permitted methods applies to initial actions (or at least on the first round of auction), it is not unreasonable to deem the outcomes of the hand without the illegal method to be "numerous or not obvious".
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#25 User is offline   c_corgi 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 09:19

View PostVixTD, on 2012-April-17, 07:15, said:

I asked North and South separately whether they would routinely open the North hand one of a suit, and they both said they might pass but didn't think it was abnormal to open it 1, so I ruled they had an illegal agreement.


What are the critria for deciding an illegal agreement? The wording of the example in WB40.1.6* suggests that it is illegal if both partners consider it to be the correct opening bid. Here it sounds more like both partners can see why opening 1H rather than PASS might be a successful action. Is this strong enough to constitute an illegal agreement?

*pertains to opening 2C with substandard hands
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#26 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 09:41

View PostLanor Fow, on 2012-April-17, 05:45, said:

AS to the case in hand, do we know the agreement for 2? I originally expected this to be alertable if agreed to be this weak, but 5 G 3 "Players should not alert:" (d) "Any non-forcing overcall where the suit may contain only four cards, or the hand
shown is or may be very weak."
in the orange book seems to suggest otherwise. If the agreement is not to be this weak, then we may well be in the fielded misbid/psyche area. If so, how would one rule, on the fielded misbid/psyche or the UI, or is it dependend on which would give the better score to NOS?

Can someone explain the rationale for this clause in the OB? Why don't you alert overcalls that can be significantly weaker than the opponents are likely to expect? The regulation doesn't even distinguish between 1-level and 2-level overcalls, and jumps vs non-jumps. It's hard to believe they intended to allow an agreement to make an overcall as in the OP without an alert, although that sure seems to be what it says. There doesn't seem to be anything in section 11N prohibiting this agreement, either.

#27 User is offline   gnasher 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 09:49

View PostRMB1, on 2012-April-17, 09:06, said:

I thought all of the White Book had the force of a regulation.


EBU White Book said:

This guide is in four parts. The first part contains general comments that are related to particular Laws. The second contains longer papers on specific subjects. The third contains EBU regulations. The fourth contains the WBF's Code of Practice and alerting policy.
...
Sections 131 to 173 are EBU regulations. One or two sections in the earlier part of the book are also regulations and are noted as such.
...
Chapters from two to eleven are numbered as the numbering in the former Law Books. It was decided to retain these chapters despite them being deleted from the current Law Book. Each section therein is numbered initially by Law number. The remaining chapters are the longer papers on specific subjects, and EBU regulations.


So it's only advice, not regulation, though obviously one would expect EBU TDs to follow this advice.

RMB1 said:

If this is an "interpretation", then the justification is to apply Law 12C1d in the case of use of illegal methods. Since most of the regulation of permitted methods applies to initial actions (or at least on the first round of auction), it is not unreasonable to deem the outcomes of the hand without the illegal method to be "numerous or not obvious".

It seems a bit unreasonable to make a blanket assumption that all illegal methods lead us to such a position. That doesn't seem very different from the way that some TDs (mostly outside the EBU) always used to rule 60:40 in MI cases, because they were too lazy to think about a legal ruling.

This post has been edited by gnasher: 2012-April-17, 09:50

... that would still not be conclusive proof, before someone wants to explain that to me as well as if I was a 5 year-old. - gwnn
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#28 User is offline   PeterAlan 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 18:16

View PostVixTD, on 2012-April-17, 07:15, said:

So perhaps OB11C15 is just reducing the restriction on permitted distribution at level 4, but how exactly it differs from the distributional requirements already given for levels 2, 3 and 4 in OB11C6 I don't know.

OB 11 C 14 & 15 were introduced in 2010:

OB 11 C 14 & 15 said:

11 C 14 Artificial openings in a minor
Any opening bid of 1♣ or 1♦ is permitted that shows at least four cards in a specified suit, forcing or not.
11 C 15 Openings in a major: general
An opening bid of 1♥ or 1♠ is only permitted if it shows at least four cards in the suit bid, forcing or not.

My understanding of these has been that 11 C 14 is relaxing, at Level 4, restrictions (such as those in 11 C 2) that apply at lower levels, and says that at Level 4 you may [agree to] open 1/ to show a different (specified) suit, but 11 C 15 was added at the same time to emphasise that you still can't do the same thing with a 1/ opening.
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#29 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 19:47

View PostVixTD, on 2012-April-17, 07:15, said:

Alan thinks not. OB11C9 states that the minimum strength for opening one of a suit at levels 3 and 4 is rule of 18, with the proviso that it must have more than 7 hcp. Under the heading "level 4 only" there is no mention of minimum strength,


The Orange Book could not be more confusingly arranged. It has things like:

Quote

Permitted at Levels 1, 2, 3 & 4:

X is not permitted.


Then sometime later:

Quote

Permitted at Level 4:

X is OK.


It seems to me that the levels should be separated completely -- after all, the advent of the "Tangerine Book" for those who are unintersted in the details should mean that the Orange Book can be expanded in the service of greater clarity for those who do care. It is not available in print anymore, so it would not cost anything extra! I imagine that the new expanded Orange Book is in the works. Please confirm this, L&E members.

(If a decision has bizarrely been made not to separate out the levels, then the layout should be the opposite of what it is now -- list the permitted agreements for Level 4, and then for the other levels list the ones that are not permitted.)
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#30 User is offline   mjj29 

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Posted 2012-April-18, 01:50

View PostVampyr, on 2012-April-17, 19:47, said:

The Orange Book could not be more confusingly arranged. It has things like:



Then sometime later:



It seems to me that the levels should be separated completely -- after all, the advent of the "Tangerine Book" for those who are unintersted in the details should mean that the Orange Book can be expanded in the service of greater clarity for those who do care. It is not available in print anymore, so it would not cost anything extra! I imagine that the new expanded Orange Book is in the works. Please confirm this, L&E members.

(If a decision has bizarrely been made not to separate out the levels, then the layout should be the opposite of what it is now -- list the permitted agreements for Level 4, and then for the other levels list the ones that are not permitted.)

Generally they don't print "X is not permitted" at lower levels, I expect that is either something that used to be permitted, or something which people mistakenly believe is permitted.

Normally it's of the form, "L234: 1C can mean X" then later "L34: 1C can mean Y" and then "L4: 1C can mean Z", with the effect that at L4 1C can mean X, Y or Z. Often Y and X are a subset of Z anyway.
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#31 User is offline   VixTD 

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Posted 2012-April-18, 09:55

View Postc_corgi, on 2012-April-17, 09:19, said:

What are the critria for deciding an illegal agreement? The wording of the example in WB40.1.6* suggests that it is illegal if both partners consider it to be the correct opening bid. Here it sounds more like both partners can see why opening 1H rather than PASS might be a successful action. Is this strong enough to constitute an illegal agreement?

I'm not quite sure. It doesn't seem right for the regulating authority to declare some methods illegal and then allow players to wriggle out of their obligations to comply with them by claiming they were deviating from their agreements. I think if both members of the partnership would routinely open this hand 1 then they have an implicit agreement to do so. I also think if they would "normally" open 1 that would count as an agreement, so I tried to satisfy myself that this opening would not be "abnormal" for the partnership. I'm not entirely happy with this as I can imagine giving a hand which many players would regard as an "obvious psyching opportunity" to two members of a partership and them both saying e..g: "I might pass, I might open 1". I don't think this means they have an agreement to open such hands 1.

WB40.1.2 says of "departure from partnership understanding":

Quote

A player who shows a seven-card suit with only six, has not psyched, nor has a player who opens a 12-14 HCP 1NT with only 11 HCP. This is called a deviation (see Orange Book). Repeated instances of such circumstances become partnership understandings if partner knows they happen. Then they must be disclosed, and if not permitted must not be further repeated.

I thought there was evidence from their replies that they are in the habit of opening such hands 1.
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#32 User is offline   gnasher 

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Posted 2012-April-18, 10:11

I think the relevant test is what each partner thinks the other one would do.
... that would still not be conclusive proof, before someone wants to explain that to me as well as if I was a 5 year-old. - gwnn
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#33 User is offline   c_corgi 

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Posted 2012-April-18, 18:07

Let us assume there were a match in which N/S were dealt such a hand. Both Norths thought opening 1H might be a good idea and both Souths thought it was silly. One of the pairs had a similar hand dealt previously and North had opened 1H. Is it now legal for one pair to open 1H and not the other?
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#34 User is offline   gnasher 

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Posted 2012-April-19, 01:06

View Postc_corgi, on 2012-April-18, 18:07, said:

Let us assume there were a match in which N/S were dealt such a hand. Both Norths thought opening 1H might be a good idea and both Souths thought it was silly. One of the pairs had a similar hand dealt previously and North had opened 1H. Is it now legal for one pair to open 1H and not the other?

I don't think that a single previous occurrence is sufficient to create an implicit agreement, unless it was accompanied by a conversation where North implied that he would do the same thing again.

But the principle is sound: if North has done this often enough to create an implicit agreement, and that agreement is illegal, he can't do it. If there's no implict agreement, he can.
... that would still not be conclusive proof, before someone wants to explain that to me as well as if I was a 5 year-old. - gwnn
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#35 User is offline   c_corgi 

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Posted 2012-April-19, 15:25

What is the thinking behind making the agreement to do it illegal, rather than the doing of it or the fielding partner doing it?
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#36 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2012-April-19, 19:40

View Postc_corgi, on 2012-April-19, 15:25, said:

What is the thinking behind making the agreement to do it illegal, rather than the doing of it or the fielding partner doing it?


RAs have the authority to regulate what special partnership understandings can be made in their jurisdiction. Most do. Also, most divide understandings up into "levels" (in the EBU, levels 2, 3, 4, and 5; in the ACBL the "General", "Mid" and "Super" charts) so that at some level (almost) "anything goes", while lower levels are more and more restrictive. The rationale behind this, I believe, is that the majority of players at the lower levels cannot or should not be expected to deal with certain agreements, particularly when those agreements are made by opponents, so the rules are intended to protect them from having to deal with those things.

As for doing vs. not doing, it has been a basic principle since the inception of the game that psyches are permitted, and most people of at least the intermediate/advanced level seem to think that's a good thing. Misbids, well, Bobby Wolff's "convention disruption" crusade notwithstanding, it would do a great disservice to the game, particularly at lower levels, to make misbids illegal. After all, we do want those newcomers to keep coming back. :P That leaves us with "fielding", which is properly defined as illegally taking an action so as to cater for the possibility that partner has psyched or misbid. "Illegally" in this context means that there is some evidence that leads the TD to believe that the fielding player had some expectation that his partner had psyched or misbid, so that the pair has a partnership understanding which has not been properly disclosed to opponents. This concealed partnership understanding is a violation of Law 40C1, while use of an illegal agreement is a violation of Law 40B2{a}. Note that a CPU may or may not be an illegal agreement (I.e. it may or may not violate Law 40B2{a} or regulations made under that law).
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#37 User is offline   c_corgi 

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Posted 2012-April-20, 05:51

If opening these sort of hands is allowed/happening, I don't see how being an 'illegal agreement' helps beginners to defend against them. It seems a more appropriate test would be along the lines of: "do N/S have methods to control the effect of such an opening?", e.g. does S have methods to avoid driving 3NT with a 2155 13 count opposite this N hand, and play 2S instead? Otherwise all the regulation seems to do is inhibit N exercising judgement and punish the development of partnership understanding.
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#38 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2012-April-20, 06:40

I don't understand your point, unless it's that illegal agreements are not properly handled by the TD. To fix that, educate the TD. As for the rest, the RA has to draw the line somewhere. If you disagree with where it's drawn, take it up with your RA. B-)
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#39 User is offline   VixTD 

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Posted 2012-April-20, 10:00

Just to finish off the ruling, I judged that the North hand had opened 1 illegally, so was due either the table result or -3 IMPs, whichever was the lower score to his side. Since his team-mates scored -150, their team would score -6 IMPs with the double, -5 IMPs without it, so I adjusted the score to 4H(N)-1, as I thought the double could have been suggested over pass by the hesitation.
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#40 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2012-April-20, 13:55

View Postc_corgi, on 2012-April-20, 05:51, said:

If opening these sort of hands is allowed/happening, I don't see how being an 'illegal agreement' helps beginners to defend against them. It seems a more appropriate test would be along the lines of: "do N/S have methods to control the effect of such an opening?", e.g. does S have methods to avoid driving 3NT with a 2155 13 count opposite this N hand, and play 2S instead? Otherwise all the regulation seems to do is inhibit N exercising judgement and punish the development of partnership understanding.

If a player routinely opens hands like this, we judge that this creates an implicit agreement. Then, since the agreement is illegal, we may adjust the board if the opponents were disadvantaged.

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