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Hearts or Diamonds

#1 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-September-29, 16:15

MP.




F2F without screens.
All four players are experienced, although E skipped online bridge during pandemic and is a bit rusty.
N "reserved rights" about 3-pass during the auction, then called TD after it went down 2 for 50%.

2 was duly alerted by W and explained as transfer to hearts.
EW have a system card that confirms this agreement.
E says he forgot the agreement.
W says they normally pass after completing the transfer and have not discussed other developments.
He realized that E must have forgotten the agreement and have diamonds, so he passed.

How should TD proceed?
What is there to say about the actions of E, W and N here?
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#2 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-September-29, 17:07

I so love forget transfers, except this time it's the defence, not the NT bidders' side.

Same problem though.

Standard UI/MI case.

East has UI that wakes him up to his agreement. He must carefully avoid using that information. He bid 2 to play, and partner bid hearts. I don't know what it means in his natural system, but assuming it means "my hearts are better than your diamonds", then you decide whether it's "logical" to pass - probably by polling. If it is forward-going in his "system", then do that dance instead.

West almost certainly has UI that East forgot, because he made that clear during the auction - either by flinching at the Alert, or saying something, or being emphatic about 3 *diamonds*. I don't guarantee that, but it's very likely, and you have to investigate. You also have to investigate their whole agreement to know how they would show a good + hand - I mean, why couldn't East have A75 KQ874 K987 5 or even the same hand with South's K?

If you decide that West does not have UI or previous experience with this partner, then he can "guess" that partner forgot, and if he's right (frankly, the 5 hearts help), then he gets to guess right. With UI, though, same deal applies; is going back to hearts (at 3 or 4 level) logical?

Now, those 5 hearts concern me because West bid all of 2 the first time. If she's a weak player, okay; but if she's at all decent, I would like to understand why she only bid 2 with a 10- or 11- card fit. Maybe she's concerned already that partner might have forgot? And why would she guess that?

Now to N/S. They got the correct agreement, so they weren't misinformed, so they don't really have a case. Unless. If West's reason for bidding 2 was "partner's rusty, I think he might have forgotten", then the correct agreement is "hearts, but partner's rusty and might have forgotten". And if that makes some other action more likely, then maybe a weighted score is in order.

If you're polling me, I believe from my experience:
- if East thought 2 shows diamonds, then whether 2 is "my hearts are better", or "forward going", he's not passing. Maybe 2NT is an option, but likely 3.
- People don't "guess right" in forgot transfer situations without history or flinch, and if it was there, I think some number of hearts is a logical action. But if you investigate and believe there was no UI or concealed partnership experience that led to the "guess", then no infraction means no adjustment.
- If N/S had been told "hearts, or diamonds if partner forgot, because this is his first game in two years", I don't think that information leads to any different auction.

So, I can see score stands; I can see 2; I can see 3; I can see 4 (probably doubled); I can see a fraction of several results.
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#3 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-September-30, 07:50

Thanks for the thoughtful and detailed reply.

TD did investigate what happened at table and established that E flinched on hearing the explanation.

W is a conservative bidder and might well bid 2 even with a 10+card fit, especially if no alternative had ever been discussed. If he did wake up early to the problem I imagine it was by looking at his hearts rather than through any previous forgets by E, because these transfers are actually imposed by E (W has been playing Multilandy with others during lockdown).

A 2 advance over a natural 2 interference would certainly be a NF "my hearts are better than your diamonds" for them. Their system does not offer any way for E to show strong + except by transferring to hearts and rebidding diamonds, so it would seem reasonable for W to assume this is what is going on, had there been no UI.

Given the UI received by W, 3 seemed appropriate and a poll found that 4 of 5 peers of N would have doubled, so 3x-2 was scored.

One thing you said which suprised me a bit is that even with "my hearts are better", E is going to bid 3 rather than 2NT or pass. My judgement was the opposite (nige1?), but the fact we disagree confirms that a poll would be appropriate here, in absence of the UI.
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#4 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-September-30, 08:43

[Deleted - I can't read this morning. Something about not being asleep at 0200, maybe.]

My experience with the people that run from "my suit is better than yours" bids is that a singleton scares them (never mind that partner has already flashed the "hi, I have a singleton or void" signal). I never would with that moth-eaten 6 that I've already showed, but my guess is that East's peers would.

Which is, of course, why we poll. Because I have been surprised (both ways) before, and will be again. My opinion is coloured by a number of things:
  • I'm a director, so I see a lot more of these situations, so I "know" what happens;
  • I play a lot of weird systems, with a lot of "pass or correct" bids, and a lot of aggressive conventions, where "my suit is better than yours" is likely correct (and even if not, we're not doubled *yet*)
  • I play in my area, in Flight A, where these forgets tend not to happen (but when they do, "It's obvious" that it was a forget, because [insert random justification here]).

So, I'm not a good peer of most players, even players at my experience level. Of course, directors that do poll me know what they're getting, and are able to account for my biases.
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#5 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-September-30, 09:50

View Postmycroft, on 2021-September-30, 08:43, said:

So, I'm not a good peer of most players, even players at my experience level. Of course, directors that do poll me know what they're getting, and are able to account for my biases.

Which is of course one of the many problems of polling, along with the small number of presumed peers in an (often) already small tournament.
Even bigger is possible bias, in this case made worse by barometer, everyone available to poll had already played the hand: I'm not so sure they would all double 3 at the table.
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#6 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-September-30, 10:07

I'd be willing (polling could convince me otherwise) to give a weighted score - say 50% doubled, 50% not.

Remember, N/S are entitled to their agreements (including "I have no idea what 3 means") but not that they are having a misunderstanding.

But I'm not second-guessing the director on site. I don't know the people, I don't know the level, I don't know "standard Italian",...

Yes, there are issues with polling. But it's much better than anything else that has been tried, specifically including "director's opinion of that table's skill". And frequently you get information that changes the answer, sometimes different from the raw numbers.
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#7 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-September-30, 11:19

View Postmycroft, on 2021-September-30, 10:07, said:

I'd be willing (polling could convince me otherwise) to give a weighted score - say 50% doubled, 50% not.


I would have liked to weight it 80% doubled, as per the poll, but the platform we were using does not support that (I could have forced it at a later stage, but as it made no effective difference to results I did not bother).
Next week will be true f2f with paper cards and all, so I can weight scores and penalise at will, but have to remember revokes, LOOT, penalty cards u.s.w. B-)
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#8 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2021-October-01, 08:25

View Postpescetom, on 2021-September-30, 07:50, said:

One thing you said which suprised me a bit is that even with "my hearts are better", E is going to bid 3 rather than 2NT or pass. My judgement was the opposite (nige1?), but the fact we disagree confirms that a poll would be appropriate here, in absence of the UI.
I agree with Mycroft. I'd pass 2 :( Luckily, that probably results in the least bad ruling for our side. But I'm flattered that a legal eagle like Pescetom values my opinion :)
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#9 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-October-01, 09:03

I'm a little confused, but I am likely the cause of the confusion.

I would pass 2 if it was "my suit is better than your suit", because my suit is poor and we're not doubled yet.

My experience is that people who forget their NT defence and bid natural don't know what 2 is, and even without UI, "panic" and don't pass with a singleton. And partner gets it.

However, my experience is also that F-t-F there is *never* no UI by forgetter in a forget transfer auction. Which might bias the previous comment somewhat.

But remember, I once threatened to bring "over our 1NT, 2 is 'hearts or diamonds', and 2NT is 'GF, 5+ and a diamond suit' " to one club that was notorious for forgot transfers players. So I might be biased.
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#10 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-October-01, 11:19

View Postnige1, on 2021-October-01, 08:25, said:

I agree with Mycroft. I'd pass 2 :( Luckily, that probably results in the least bad ruling for our side. But I'm flattered that a legal eagle like Pescetom values my opinion :)

Thanks, I was seeking your opinion as the resident ranker of calls from a technical point of view :)
I too would have chosen pass, never 3◇, hence my request to you for a sanity check.
I take mycroft's point that being technically (or even legally) correct is often not the main concern of a player is in this situation.
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#11 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2021-October-02, 05:27

We are not told that East flinched or indicated a misunderstanding, so we cannot conclude that West has UI. East does, and I agree that pass is an LA. But South, knowing that East has diamonds and West has hearts has a trivial takeout double and North an equally trivial pass. This is two off on any lead other than a trump, so I adjust to 300 to NS. This will surely be more than 3 IMPs or 60%, so a PP for use of UI cannot be applied.
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#12 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-October-02, 10:48

View Postlamford, on 2021-October-02, 05:27, said:

This will surely be more than 3 IMPs or 60%, so a PP for use of UI cannot be applied.

Cannot? Why not?
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#13 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-October-02, 14:58

View Postlamford, on 2021-October-02, 05:27, said:

We are not told that East flinched or indicated a misunderstanding, so we cannot conclude that West has UI.

You are told that the TD established this (not in the first post, so as not to bias discussion about how TD should proceed).

View Postlamford, on 2021-October-02, 05:27, said:

But South, knowing that East has diamonds and West has hearts has a trivial takeout double and North an equally trivial pass. This is two off on any lead other than a trump, so I adjust to 300 to NS. This will surely be more than 3 IMPs or 60%, so a PP for use of UI cannot be applied.

If South doubles 3 then West still has an LA of 3 less suggested by the UI than pass, I would have thought.
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#14 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2021-October-03, 08:15

View Postpescetom, on 2021-October-02, 14:58, said:

You are told that the TD established this (not in the first post, so as not to bias discussion about how TD should proceed).


If South doubles 3 then West still has an LA of 3 less suggested by the UI than pass, I would have thought.


I only read the OP as I did not want to be influenced by other people's comments. All relevant facts should be in the OP, in my opinion. And I was imposing pass of 2H on East, not 3D. South should double for takeout, with 4-4 in the blacks, and I think North will pass. Now 3D would be using the UI.
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#15 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2021-October-03, 08:22

View Postblackshoe, on 2021-October-02, 10:48, said:

Cannot? Why not?

The White Book recommends "If they attain a score of AVE− or less then the score stands." and an additional PP is only given in "aggravated circumstances". So "cannot" is wrong and "is not normally" would be right.
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#16 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-October-03, 10:10

"Must not" is the strongest prohibition. "May not" is just short of "must not". These are, according to the laws, serious matters. The law says that violations of law which are just short of these "serious matters" ("shall not") "will incur a PP more often than not". So I don't see that not giving a PP is justified because of a perceived lack of "aggravated circumstances". The fact that a "may not" law was violated should be aggravation enough. Now if TPTB want to say that in clubs this approach is too much, on the grounds that club players are there for fun, not for serious competition, I'd say we should ask the club players how they feel about that. Perhaps each club should be allowed to make its own decision, based on how that club's players feel about it. I think that in any more competitive environment at any level the laws should be applied as written. This whole "we don't give PPs, ever" culture makes no sense to me. Especially when that culture thinks its fine to just give repeated "warnings". A warning with no teeth behind it is worse than useless. It becomes just another meaningless noise to be ignored.

Your first quote from the White Book is on page 45 2.8.3.2, which is about "Illegal agreement, fielding of psyche or deviation", while this is, unless I missed something, a UI case. It also contains the implicit assumption that if the OS gets a score of AVG- or less the NOS were not damaged. That's not necessarily the case.

2.8.3.1 says

Quote

Use of unauthorised information: breaches of Law 16B1 and Law 73C1
In unauthorised information cases the TD may adjust based on a breach of these laws. If it is a matter of judgement what the unauthorised information has suggested, or what the logical alternatives actually are, then it is normal not to give a procedural penalty in addition to (or instead of) adjusting the score (the purpose of score adjustment is to provide rectification only).
If, however, the TD believes that both:
the player concerned was aware of these laws and their consequences; and
the player took what every person consulted believes is obviously not a legal action (e.g. passing in a forcing auction);
then the TD should apply a procedural penalty (Law 73C2), independent of whether or not they adjust the score. (Note that a score adjustment affects both sides, while a penalty only affects the score of the offending side.)
In some cases, a penalty of double (or more) of the standard penalty is merited, if the TD believes that a player deliberately broke the law.


It may be "normal" to not give PPs in such cases. Whether it's appropriate is another question.
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#17 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-October-03, 15:21

So, in this case, the OP presented the facts "the players" knew, and asked "what does the director do". After some answers, he then gave "what the director found and the result." [Edit: and asked "what do you think of the ruling".]

In this case, "the OP didn't mention the UI" that many players don't think about mentioning (I bet deliberately). If your answer doesn't ask about it, but just assume that if the players didn't mention it, there wasn't anything there, especially in a situation where "well, when was the last time this happened and East didn't flinch when he heard the explanation?", I think there is a disservice there to newer players who don't know.

I have seen on occasion a "well, if you didn't know, why should the director save you?" or a "well, if they didn't say anything, the director wouldn't be able to find out" from some people here. The former is a philosophy we discourage as directors - it's not the players job to know what went wrong, and it shouldn't be an advantage to know the laws better than your opponents - and the second is an attitude I've seen coming along "if you could play, you would be" and "did you check that with someone who can play?"

Good directors do check, and do have the skills to check.

If the action deserves a PP, then it should be given. If the action does not deserve a PP, then it should not be given. Definitely a PP should not be given "because the score adjustment isn't enough" - but if the score adjustment is enough education (and -300 into -790, for instance, is frequently enough to get the point across), then the PP "is normally not necessary".
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#18 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2021-October-04, 04:20

View Postpescetom, on 2021-September-30, 07:50, said:

One thing you said which suprised me a bit is that even with "my hearts are better", E is going to bid 3 rather than 2NT or pass. My judgement was the opposite (nige1?), but the fact we disagree confirms that a poll would be appropriate here, in absence of the UI.

We all know that argument I was always going to bid XYZ. The answer to that is, If you were going to bid that, why didnt you do it in the first place?. Here E has no reason to disbelieve that his partners hearts are better than his pretty l**ssy diamonds other than the UI that came from the alert and explanation. W also used the UI from the flinching of E. They both deserve a serious warning about the use of UI, and if they are really experienced a PP.
Im afraid that polling wont help. I dont know whether it would be possible to find the peers of W that would bid 2 with this hand and agreement, but I have my doubts. But I would decide for 3x -2 if a weighed score is impossible and a poll shows four out of five players choose to double 3.
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#19 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-October-05, 09:23

View Postsanst, on 2021-October-04, 04:20, said:

They both deserve a serious warning about the use of UI, and if they are really experienced a PP.

They got the serious warning, but no PP: W has played at lower level than the others and E (who certainly should have known better) is a bit rusty.
Also the score adjustment was from 50% to 0% of a top which is not something players forget quickly.
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