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psyching after partner's preempt

#1 User is offline   straube 

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Posted 2012-January-17, 01:09

.................KJ9862
.................J532
.................Q
.................74
753................................4
Q76................................8
KJ9875...........................T6432
Q....................................AJT532
.................AQT
.................AKT94
.................A
.................K986


W N E S
P P P 2♣
3♦ X 3♠ 6♥
P P P
6♥ S NS: 0 EW: 0

I was the 3S bidder. Partner dutifully lead a spade. I was starting to realize that psyching against a likely double fit was probably bad strategy (unless void), but as you can see we are lucky and it is down 1.
Declarer claimed that 3S should have been alerted and that it was unethical. We don't have an agreement but this is a regular partnership. Usually against a strong auction and after partner's preempt, our change of suit has been lead-directional, sometimes it's a real suit, and occasionally a psyche. You know, double us and find out. On this auction, I probably have some kind of fit, right? I don't pass and then change suit at the 3-level very often. I guess I might.

I thought this was just part of bridge. Partner and I have agreements how to field psyches of this kind and we've faced them before. I also think the opponents' methods/bidding contributed to their score. North could have shown spades, South could have passed my 3S and didn't have to guess to bid 6H. Not really the point I know.

So what do the rules say about psyches of this kind?
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#2 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2012-January-17, 02:35

View Poststraube, on 2012-January-17, 01:09, said:

Partner and I have agreements how to field psyches of this kind and we've faced them before.

huh?
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#3 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2012-January-17, 02:48

I think Straube means that he and his partner know how to deal with the OPPONENTS' psyches of this type, or at least I hope that is what he means. No, this sort of pspyche is within the rules. It is not unethical. The opps were just annoyed. Anyway, 6S is probably what they would reach anyway.
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#4 User is offline   dwar0123 

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Posted 2012-January-17, 02:54

View Postgwnn, on 2012-January-17, 02:35, said:

huh?

I imagine he means fielding as in a defense against someone doing this to them.
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#5 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2012-January-17, 05:54

Fielding psyches usually refers to making a response to partner's bid to cater for a possible psyche because there is actually an undisclosed agreement. I assume what you mean is dealing with a psyche which is your defence when they psyche.

I think you should call the Director and explain that the opposing player has made an unfounded claim that you are unethical that you find annoying and/or embarasing. Since you are in the ACBL the Director should issue an automatic Disciplinary Penalty if (s)he can ascertain that this is so. If they do not then they are not doing their job.

Have you and your partner discussed whether 3M is the correct bid in this sort of auction on a short suit, for example with a void to try and get a ruff? If you have an agreement to bid a new suit in response to a preempt with such a hand then it becomes alertable. However, you are still allowed to psyche it - just make sure that all of your agreements, even implicit ones based on past hands - are explained to opponents.
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#6 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2012-January-17, 08:09

From the auction, it appears South doesn't know much about bidding at all, let alone about psyches.
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#7 User is offline   iviehoff 

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Posted 2012-January-17, 08:17

This auction starts very similarly to a spectacular disaster which involved the late, great British international player, John Collings. Collings' opps made a strong artificial opening bid, Collings' partner pre-empted and Collings, having support for partner's suit and a holding in one major suit, psyched in the other major to try and put opps off their possible fit. Partner raised him and the opps doubled, but Collings found himself legally prevented from returning to partner's original suit, because bids at the 8 level are not permitted. I think it was something like 11 off. I'd like to play against players who employ this popular psyche.

If you do have a mutual understanding that you are using the bid sometimes in a lead-directing way, including shortages, voids, as you imply, I think that probably makes it alertable in your jurisdiction. If you alert it and tell South might be real suit, might be lead directing on a shortage, is South going to bid differently? That's the question we should be asking. Personally I think South will still end up in 6H.
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#8 User is offline   straube 

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Posted 2012-January-17, 08:50

View Postthe hog, on 2012-January-17, 02:48, said:

I think Straube means that he and his partner know how to deal with the OPPONENTS' psyches of this type, or at least I hope that is what he means. No, this sort of pspyche is within the rules. It is not unethical. The opps were just annoyed. Anyway, 6S is probably what they would reach anyway.

Yes, that's what I meant. I should have said dealing with or coping with instead of fielding.
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#9 User is offline   ggwhiz 

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Posted 2012-January-17, 08:57

It is my understanding that psyches are legal period, it's the fielding of a psyche that is not.

ie. if your pard had 1 less heart and 1 more spade I would seriously expect a 6 bid as the fair ball risk you take (they could still fail on a club ruff). As that's not the case here, nothing wrong.

Just my opinion and the Laws forum might give you a more informed answer.
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#10 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2012-January-17, 10:33

In this case there is no issue with the psyche, but you do have to be careful.

We met a system where an opening 2 showed weak with diamonds or weak with both majors.

Opposite one of these, the partner of the 2 bidder psyched 2 (nat encouraging NF) with diamond support.

If your bid with both majors was 2 rather than bouncing the hearts, you can be accused of playing a psyche control mechanism.

I suspect how these are dealt with varies with jurisdiction.
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#11 User is offline   TimG 

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Posted 2012-January-17, 12:25

View Postggwhiz, on 2012-January-17, 08:57, said:

It is my understanding that psyches are legal period, it's the fielding of a psyche that is not.

The question is whether 3 in this position is a partnership agreement. The OP says: "Usually against a strong auction and after partner's preempt, our change of suit has been lead-directional, sometimes it's a real suit, and occasionally a psyche." That sounds a lot like an agreement that 3 could be a suit, lead directing, or a non-suit. Such an agreement should be disclosed.

On the other hand, any bid could be a psyche. Some situations lend themselves more to psyching. That's just "general bridge knowledge". That does not need to be disclosed.

There ought to be some way to disclose a propensity to psyche without having to alert every bid or include in every explanation "or it could be a psyche".
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#12 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2012-January-17, 12:54

Sure. Put a checkbox on the system card for 'psyching tendencies'. Of course, we used to have that. It was removed, I'm pretty sure, as part of the campaign against psychs championed by ACBL President Don Oakie back in the 1970s. It remains off the card (now I'm really guessing!) because of the continued "anti-psych" sentiment, particularly amongst poorer players.
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#13 User is offline   nigel_k 

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Posted 2012-January-17, 13:01

View Poststraube, on 2012-January-17, 01:09, said:

We don't have an agreement but this is a regular partnership. Usually against a strong auction and after partner's preempt, our change of suit has been lead-directional, sometimes it's a real suit, and occasionally a psyche. You know, double us and find out. On this auction, I probably have some kind of fit, right? I don't pass and then change suit at the 3-level very often. I guess I might.

To me that sounds like it could be a concealed partnership agreement. If partner is not going to raise spades (or not above the four level) because he knows you might not have them, then I think you have to tell the opponents that.

These situations are hard because it depends on what the opponents will reasonably expect, and there is no general agreement about this and it can vary from place to place.
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#14 User is offline   bluecalm 

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Posted 2012-January-17, 15:29

Quote

That's just "general bridge knowledge". That does not need to be disclosed.


I don't agree and I hate the term. If partner doesn't trust 100% that you have spades there and you don't alert and explain it's a foul play.
What is "general bridge knowledge" to some is completely ridiculous for others. There is not such thing as "general bridge knowledge" when it comes to psyching only things you are used to in your bridge environment.
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#15 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2012-January-17, 16:06

If you tend to psyche more in specific circumstances, and from experience your partner can tell that this is one of those situations, it becomes an implicit partnership understanding, and has to be disclosed.

In this particular auction, we can't tell if West actually could tell that you might be psyching. Even if he believes your 3 bid, he's not likely to bid over South's 6 bid with his hand. If South had bid only 4, there might be some suspicion if West doesn't bid 4.

West DID lead the suit, so it seems like he expected you to have something there.

Regardless of all this, it's not clear to me that the psyche damaged N/S. It kept them from finding their fit, but 6 is actually a better contract than 6. They both require the J to be singleton or doubleton, and the contract protects the K from the opening lead, and then allows clubs to be pitched on the long spades. The only argument they could make is that the bid tricked South into overvaluing his AQT, causing him to overbid. But it looks to me like N/S simply don't know how to bid -- South's hand isn't really strong enough for 2 in most players' styles, and North's double is usually used to show a weak hand.

P.S. Please use the hand diagram tool to enter hands and auctions, not plain text.

#16 User is offline   xcurt 

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Posted 2012-January-17, 18:33

View PostZelandakh, on 2012-January-17, 05:54, said:

I think you should call the Director and explain that the opposing player has made an unfounded claim that you are unethical that you find annoying and/or embarasing. Since you are in the ACBL the Director should issue an automatic Disciplinary Penalty if (s)he can ascertain that this is so. If they do not then they are not doing their job.


Good luck with this. I've been called a cheater once in front of a director (by a flight b "methods" pair who didnt realize I had figured out the real meaning of their bids and penalty doubled them or 1400 on a partscore hand) and called the director on me. Another time a director called me a cheater (for psyching Ogust against 2 LOLs, maybe not the most sporting of me). I eventually got an apology letter out of the ACBL over that one. But Ive never seen a C&E called on someone for a cheating accusation.
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#17 User is offline   xcurt 

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Posted 2012-January-17, 20:50

View Postbarmar, on 2012-January-17, 16:06, said:

.

P.S. Please use the hand diagram tool to enter hands and auctions, not plain text.


No, I wish people would enter plain text. Handviewer locks up iPad and iPhone (and probably other underpowered mobile devices) awfully. Plus there are the underlying, unaddressed issues that 5+ round auctions lack a scrollbar or other visual cue, and that indicating lists of items should be done with T for ten and a fixed width font.

Hence my sig.
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#18 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2012-January-17, 21:09

View Postxcurt, on 2012-January-17, 20:50, said:

No, I wish people would enter plain text.


+1 and same for Blackberries.
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#19 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2012-January-17, 21:51

On this topic:
There was a thread on bbo few years ago where the sequence 3x (P) 3NT, where 3NT is based on a fit and not much else,was discussed. The 3NT bid makes it difficult for 4th hand to bid. This is a similar analogy to the op.
I remember discussing this once with Ron Klinger. Klinger's assertion was that the 3NT bid was not a psyche. Remember, a psyche is defined as a gross mistatement of values. The 3NT bidder merely thinks that 3NT is a good place to play, on this given board at this vulnerability. It may be to make, but the player may be happy to 6 or 7 off. Obviously if this sort of bid is a frequent occurence, I would expect it to be alerted. I regard the op in the same vein.
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#20 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2012-January-17, 22:12

If the preemptor held Jxxx of spades, and had the opportunity raise at the 4, or maybe the 5 level, would this be allowable within the partnership?
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