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Insufficient 3NT, Gerber and UI

#1 User is offline   pilun 

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Posted 2023-November-13, 15:11

1 - 2
2NT - 4
3NT

Face to face.
If you chat to opener, she will say she thought partner's last call was 3.
If you ask about 4, she will say it's unclear. "Maybe Gerber but we haven't shown a fit yet ..."

Anyway,

If opener bids 4//, is responder still in the game?
If opener bids 4NT over 4, can responder interpret that as natural? (Assuming 4 was an ace ask, or a maybe a splinter)
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#2 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2023-November-13, 16:43

It could hardly not be F2F :)
Was 3NT accepted?
If so, what is there to discuss and if not, what did the Director have to say?
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#3 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2023-November-13, 19:03

LAW 27 INSUFFICIENT BID A.

Acceptance of Insufficient Bid 1. Any insu¦cient bid may be accepted (treated as legal) at the option of o‘ender’s LHO. It is accepted if that player calls.

2. If a player makes an insufficient bid out of rotation Law 31 applies.

View Postpilun, on 2023-November-13, 15:11, said:

If opener bids 4NT over 4, can responder interpret that as natural? (Assuming 4 was an ace ask, or a maybe a splinter)

B. Insufficient Bid Not Accepted If an insufficient bid in rotation is not accepted (see A) it must be corrected by the substitution of a legal call (but see 3 following). Then:
1.(a) if the insufficient bid is corrected by the lowest sufficient bid which specifies the same denomination(s) as that specified by the withdrawn call, the auction proceeds without further rectification. Laws 26B and 16C do not apply but see D following. (b) except as in (a), if the insufficient bid is corrected with a comparable call (see Law 23A) the auction proceeds without further rectification. Law 16C does not apply but see D following.

View Postpilun, on 2023-November-13, 15:11, said:

If opener bids 4//, is responder still in the game?

2. except as provided in B1 above, if the insufficient bid is corrected by a sufficient bid or by a pass, the offender’s partner must pass whenever it is his turn to call. The lead restrictions in Law 26B may apply, and see Law 72C.

D. Non-offending Side Damaged If following the application of B1 the Director judges at the end of the play that without assistance gained through the infraction the outcome of the board could well have been different, and in consequence the non-o‘ending side is damaged (see Law 12B1), he shall award an adjusted score. In his adjustment, he should seek to recover as nearly as possible the probable outcome of the board had the insufficient bid not occurred.


LAW 23 COMPARABLE CALL

A. Definition
A call that replaces a withdrawn call is a comparable call, if it:
1. has the same or similar meaning as that attributable to the withdrawn call, or32
2. defines a subset of the possible meanings attributable to the withdrawn call, or
3. has the same purpose (e.g. an asking bid or a relay) as that attributable to the withdrawn call.

B. No Rectification When a call is cancelled (as per Law 29B) and the o‘ender chooses at his proper turn to replace the irregularity with a comparable call, then both the auction and play continue without further rectification. Law 16C2 does not apply, but see C following.

C. Non-O¥ending Side Damaged If following the substitution of a comparable call [see Laws 27B1(b), 30B1(b)(i), 31A2(a) and 32A2(a)] the Director judges at the end of the play that without the assistance gained through the infraction the outcome of the board could well have been dfferent, and in consequence the non-o‘ending side is damaged, he shall award an adjusted score [see Law 12C1(b)].

In my experience, some Directors get the 'make the bid sufficient' part but do not apply D or 23
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#4 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2023-November-13, 22:06

What does responder say 4 means?
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#5 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2023-November-14, 03:11

It’s the question whether there is any bid that doesn’t silence the responder. If 4NT is Blakwood, it’s not the lowest sufficient bid which specifies the same denomination as that specified by the withdrawn call nor is it a comparable call. The same for 4//. Maybe 5NT, if that is natural, doesn’t silence the responder, but any other call will. Maybe, because if 4 is pointing in the direction of a slam, the 5NT call can safely be made in which case 27D should be considered.
If 3NT was accepted, I don’t think this would be discussed here.
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#6 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2023-November-14, 06:55

View Postsanst, on 2023-November-14, 03:11, said:


If 3NT was accepted, I don’t think this would be discussed here.

If it wasn't accepted, then the TD should be called to apply the laws, but that doesn't seem to be what OP expects or describes.

Be that as it may, TD still needs to know what 3NT was intended to mean (even if it looks obvious), what the agreement about 4C over 2NT is (even if it's tempting to nail them to Gerber anyway) and what 4NT or 5NT over that would mean.

One of the many disturbing aspects of this law is that a non-comparable 4NT will get her out of jail free and quite possibly for a top score.
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#7 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2023-November-14, 11:01

View Postpescetom, on 2023-November-14, 06:55, said:

If it wasn't accepted, then the TD should be called to apply the laws, but that doesn't seem to be what OP expects or describes.

Be that as it may, TD still needs to know what 3NT was intended to mean (even if it looks obvious), what the agreement about 4C over 2NT is (even if it's tempting to nail them to Gerber anyway) and what 4NT or 5NT over that would mean.

One of the many disturbing aspects of this law is that a non-comparable 4NT will get her out of jail free and quite possibly for a top score.


I struggle to find where the laws cover this type of careless mistake, inattention without as you say, giving the OS a get of out jail free card.

It appears that the only option is to award an artificial adjusted score. A- A+
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#8 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2023-November-14, 12:31

View Postjillybean, on 2023-November-14, 11:01, said:

I struggle to find where the laws cover this type of careless mistake, inattention without as you say, giving the OS a get of out jail free card.

It appears that the only option is to award an artificial adjusted score. A- A+

This law needs a complete rewrite, but one quick improvement might be to silence both offenders if they fail to find a comparable call.
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#9 User is online   smerriman 

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Posted 2023-November-14, 13:10

View Postpescetom, on 2023-November-14, 06:55, said:

If it wasn't accepted, then the TD should be called to apply the laws, but that doesn't seem to be what OP expects or describes.

Usually in this forum you're in the shoes of the TD; unfortunately "call the TD" isn't an option to them ;)

View Postpescetom, on 2023-November-14, 06:55, said:

One of the many disturbing aspects of this law is that a non-comparable 4NT will get her out of jail free and quite possibly for a top score.

Why is that? If they get an advantage out of bidding a must-pass 4NT, the TD should award an adjusted score based on what would most likely have happened instead.

Agreed with others you need to know what 4 means to the responder before you can figure out much else. It is tricky though that if opener doesn't know what 4 means, you could be providing UI as the TD as to what bids are allowed or not..

edit - actually, perhaps you can avoid potential UI. Tell opener their partner will be forced to pass unless they make the cheapest natural no-trump bid. Determine independently from responder and the system card what 4 actually means. Opener is free to bid 4NT if they believe it is natural, but you can then force responder to pass if you determined independently that it was not. In all cases, adjust the score later as needed.
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#10 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2023-November-14, 13:35

View Postsmerriman, on 2023-November-14, 13:10, said:

Why is that? If they get an advantage out of bidding a must-pass 4NT, the TD should award an adjusted score based on what would most likely have happened instead.


"without assistance gained through the infraction the outcome of the board could well have been different" is setting the bar for adjusting very high... had the offender avoided the insufficient bid they would almost certainly have ended up in one of 4NT or 6NT, probably the right one.
But by silencing her partner opener avoided showing 3 Aces and forcing partner with 1 Ace to 5NT (likely more, lacking accurate methods).

View Postsmerriman, on 2023-November-14, 13:10, said:

Agreed with others you need to know what 4 means to the responder before you can figure out much else. It is tricky though that if opener doesn't know what 4 means, you could be providing UI as the TD as to what bids are allowed or not..

This law is so preposterous that the issue of whether TD can/should/must/must not assist in deciding which bids are allowed is basically an invite to grab popcorn and watch the fun. Some RAs have taken a position on that, some have not. I would feel embarassed not helping the players FWIW.
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#11 User is online   smerriman 

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Posted 2023-November-14, 13:47

View Postpescetom, on 2023-November-14, 13:35, said:

"without assistance gained through the infraction the outcome of the board could well have been different" is setting the bar for adjusting very high... had the offender avoided the insufficient bid they would almost certainly have ended up in one of 4NT or 6NT, probably the right one.
But by silencing her partner opener avoided showing 3 Aces and forcing partner with 1 Ace to 5NT (likely more, lacking accurate methods).

Without *assistance gained* from the infraction, not just without the infraction. The assistance is knowing when partner is forced to pass. If bidding 4nt forces your partner to pass when a normal 4nt would push you to a worse score, you get adjusted to the worse score.
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#12 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2023-November-15, 03:08

IMNSHO there are a few passages in the law book that should guide both players and directors. One of these is in the Introduction: “The purpose of the Laws remains unchanged. They are designed to define correct procedure and to provide an adequate remedy for when something goes wrong. They are designed not to punish irregularities but rather to rectify situations where non‐offenders may otherwise be damaged.” So, if a forced pass is advantageous to the offenders, I will use 27D and I don’t see anything in that law that “is setting the bar for adjusting very high”.
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#13 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2023-November-15, 03:11

View Postjillybean, on 2023-November-14, 11:01, said:

It appears that the only option is to award an artificial adjusted score. A- A+

A result can be obtained on this board, so A+/A- is out of the question (12C2a).
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#14 User is offline   axman 

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Posted 2023-November-15, 07:09

View Postsanst, on 2023-November-15, 03:08, said:

IMNSHO there are a few passages in the law book that should guide both players and directors. One of these is in the Introduction: “The purpose of the Laws remains unchanged. They are designed to define correct procedure and to provide an adequate remedy for when something goes wrong. They are designed not to punish irregularities but rather to rectify situations where non‐offenders may otherwise be damaged.” So, if a forced pass is advantageous to the offenders, I will use 27D and I don’t see anything in that law that “is setting the bar for adjusting very high”.


I'm finally going to say it. It is not easy to put an accurate complexion on the quoted passage, but rubbish comes to mind. One phrase in particular stands out: "rectify situations where non‐offenders may otherwise be damaged.” Try out "remedy situations where non‐offenders are damaged.” That might be useful. But this "may otherwise" reeks of utterances by they who are afraid that they have gotten it wrong, or are even more afraid to get it right- so let someone else fix it- that plants the seed of injustice.
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#15 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2023-November-15, 07:34

The point is that the forced pass over 4NT is advantageous to the offenders only compared to the alternative of responder being forced to bid on over a non-systemic 4NT over 4C when slam is not possible.

This is not the comparison to make under 23C or similar because without the infraction opener would have made a systemic response to 4C (very probably different from 4NT) and responder would have had all the elements to place the right contract.

There is also the side issue that a 4NT response to 4C would quite probably wake up responder to a misunderstanding even without the UI and strongly suggest passing (or some kludge like a 5NT quantitative invite).
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#16 User is online   smerriman 

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Posted 2023-November-15, 12:46

Again, 23C does NOT say without the infraction. It prevents any form of *assistance* from being gained, and seems to cover all of your situations perfectly where assistance is clearly gained in various ways.

I would be extremely surprised if a TD allowed it to be abused in the way you're suggesting, and concluded the good score was not assisted in any way by the insufficient bid.

PS - maybe I'm misreading and you're now saying that they would have reached exactly the same contract whether there was a misbid or not. If so, then the score isn't going to change either way, which is great since the laws aren't designed to punish accidental mistakes.. but that seems contradictory to your earlier message about it giving them an unfair top score. If it potentially benefited them in any way possible, that benefit is removed.
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#17 User is online   smerriman 

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Posted 2023-November-15, 13:06

Putting things another way, after an insufficient bid your partner has UI, so you get a chance to gamble at a final contract without access to the usual more scientific sequence, so that they don't have to deal with it.

If your gamble is an good score, and there's even a small chance you wouldn't have gotten there.. sorry, your score is adjusted down, based on that chance.

If your gamble is a bad score, you get the bad score.

You're guaranteed an equal or worse score than if you hadn't made a mistake, and only equal when it made no difference.

This can't give you a top score, nor is it get out of jail free - it's get out of jail only if you're lucky your mistake had zero impact on the hand.

Seems perfect to me so I'm missing what the issue is.
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#18 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2023-November-15, 13:18

View Postaxman, on 2023-November-15, 07:09, said:

I'm finally going to say it. It is not easy to put an accurate complexion on the quoted passage, but rubbish comes to mind. One phrase in particular stands out: "rectify situations where non‐offenders may otherwise be damaged.” Try out "remedy situations where non‐offenders are damaged.” That might be useful. But this "may otherwise" reeks of utterances by they who are afraid that they have gotten it wrong, or are even more afraid to get it right- so let someone else fix it- that plants the seed of injustice.

Why do you bother to play or direct the game, as you obviously don’t like the rules? I won’t waste time on commenting on rubbish, but you do for some, to me at least, unfathomable reason.
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#19 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2023-November-15, 13:41

1. Lay out the facts (we don't have them all) including all four hands. We do have the bidding.
2. Based on the facts, was there an infraction?
3. If not, that's the end of it.
4. If so, then which law applies and how do we apply it?

Apparently #4 is a sticking point. I'm moving this out of "Simple Rulings".
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#20 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2023-November-15, 14:00

View Postsmerriman, on 2023-November-15, 12:46, said:

Again, 23C does NOT say without the infraction. It prevents any form of *assistance* from being gained, and seems to cover all of your situations perfectly where assistance is clearly gained in various ways.

It was wrong to mention 23C, agreed.
23C is about the difference between an auction with no infraction and an auction with an infraction (cancelled call or insufficient bid) where a comparable call has been substituted.
As 4NT is unlikely to be a comparable call in this discussion, 23C and its elder sibling 27D seem irrelevant.

View Postsmerriman, on 2023-November-15, 12:46, said:

I would be extremely surprised if a TD allowed it to be abused in the way you're suggesting, and concluded the good score was not assisted in any way by the insufficient bid.

I am a TD and I am not suggesting abuse of any laws. If opener corrects 3NT to 4NT and they cannot convince me that 4NT was comparable then I silence responder and that's it, barring any lead restrictions or suspicion of intent to avoid a potentially worse incomprehension handled with 72C.
If they get a good score in 4NT then so be it (I dislike it because I would like them to pay a price for the infraction and disturbance to opponents, but that is not the current view of lawmakers).
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