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"No Agreement" In an Individual Tournament

#1 User is offline   jandrew 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 07:49

Whilst the bids made and the words used are a fictitious amalgamation, this post fairly represents a common situation upon which I invite your comments.

We are in an Individual Tournament which is restricted to players using a particular bidding system. It could be SAYC, 2/1, precision, but (in this case) is Acol.

Everybody plays weak NT (12-14), will open with 4 card majors, and includes at least Stayman, Blackwood and Transfers to Majors in their profile. Very few (if any) include Splinters, Unassuming Cue bid, etc. in their profile (although they might use them with a regular partner). Nobody uses a CC.

So here we are -

North-South have not had any disussion about their bidding system. It is the first board of the round and they do not remember having ever played with each other before.

South has made a bid which could be natural, or it might be conventional. If it is a convention, it might be one which has different flavours and, therefore, the bid might have different meanings.

South does not alert and West asks for information about the bid.

The answer is "No agreement", and South will not shift from that.

West calls the TD :

South says - "I have no agreement about this bid and I hope that my partner will judge what it means correctly. West has no right to have more information than my partner and can make the same judgement as my partner."

West says - "If the bid is natural, South should say so. If it is conventional then South is assuming that North will judge correctly. Therefore I am entitled to know what the bid means."

This exchange might follow any one of the following sequences :

1NT - X - 2H
1D - 1H - 2H
1S - p - 4C
p - 1D - 2NT

What should the TD do?

What do you think about a Tournament where the host requires that all participants play :
  • Only a very basic system;
  • With only a few well-known, listed conventions with no other conventions allowed; and
  • No alerts.


jandrew
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#2 User is offline   ArtK78 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 08:08

The TD should do nothing.

The event is constructed so that everyone is playing the same bidding system. So there should be no questions about the meaning of bids. The meaning of bids is either well known to everyone in the event or must be derived from experience and general bridge knowledge.

This is an individual event with many new pairings. Asking the meaning of a bid under these circumstances is silly. If I were the TD, I would explain to the questioner that the meaning of the bid must be derived by the players from their general knowledge of the game.
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#3 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 08:15

As a TD who sets op indys you have to decide how to deal with this issue, and announce the chosen policy in advance. Because this issue is bound to come up.

FWIW I agree with ArtK78. In the indys I run, I always announce in table chat at the start of the tourney that unless you happen to have a special partnership understanding with your partner you should not disclose anything, and you should not ask opps about their agreements either since they probably won't have any.
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#4 User is offline   mich-b 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 08:23

In the (rare) individual tournaments of this type that are held around here (same system for everybody) , it is specifically mentioned in the Conditions of Contest : "There will be no alerts , no questions , and no explanations" which I find to be a very sensible, simple and effective approach , since everybody know what the system is, and no agreements have been made otherwise.

Perhaps off topic , but I would like to add, that I don't fancy South's reply and attitude , in any other kind of bridge event (non-individual). In an environment where self alerts apply (Online or F2F with screens) I expect the bidder to always tell his opponent if the bid he has just made is natural or not.
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#5 User is offline   campboy 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 09:32

I would prefer an individual tournament to have a completely fixed system. Players shouldn't be able to upgrade it when they happen to be opposite a regular partner, since that just gives contestants who know lots of other contestants an advantage. Any pair which uses some convention which is not part of the system would then get an adjusted score because their methods are not permitted.

Anyway, without such a rule basically South is right and West is wrong. West is not entitled to know what is in South's hand, only the N/S agreement. South should, however, disclose any information he has about North which his opponents' might not, if it affects how North is likely to interpret the bid.
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#6 User is offline   bluejak 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 09:43

I cannot reconcile the idea that someone thinks no questions is correct but does not like South's attitude. South has made a call which he knows he has no agreement over. Of course he is under no obligation, moral or legal, to disclose his hand. I have more doubts about West's attitude: once told they have no agreement I think him calling the TD incredible.
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#7 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 09:56

View Postbluejak, on 2012-February-09, 09:43, said:

I have more doubts about West's attitude: once told they have no agreement I think him calling the TD incredible.

This is a BBO tournament, if you call the TD you may get an adjustment. Nothing here surprises me. :)
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#8 User is offline   bluejak 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 14:19

It does not say it is a BBO tournament in the OP as far as I can see.

Still, even so, not everyone who plays in a BBO tournament has lousy ethics, and I am not going to call a TD where I do not feel I have any case whatever in the hopes that the TD is incompetent and will give me something, and I hope a majority of players think similarly.
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#9 User is offline   jandrew 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 15:41

View Postbluejak, on 2012-February-09, 14:19, said:

It does not say it is a BBO tournament in the OP as far as I can see.


Sorry - it is a tournament hosted on BBO.

Quote

I would prefer an individual tournament to have a completely fixed system. Players shouldn't be able to upgrade it when they happen to be opposite a regular partner, since that just gives contestants who know lots of other contestants an advantage. Any pair which uses some convention which is not part of the system would then get an adjusted score because their methods are not permitted.


This is an MP% tournament on BBO. How do you determine (in the short time available) how the bidding and play would have gone if the invalid conventional bid is removed, and in what way would you adjust?

jandrew
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#10 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 18:14

View Postjandrew, on 2012-February-09, 07:49, said:


What do you think about a Tournament where the host requires that all participants play :
  • Only a very basic system;
  • With only a few well-known, listed conventions with no other conventions allowed; and
  • No alerts.




This is the way individuals are played around here. A bid is not permitted to be conventional if it is not on the list.
London, England
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#11 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 18:30

View Postbluejak, on 2012-February-09, 14:19, said:

It does not say it is a BBO tournament in the OP as far as I can see.

Still, even so, not everyone who plays in a BBO tournament has lousy ethics, and I am not going to call a TD where I do not feel I have any case whatever in the hopes that the TD is incompetent and will give me something, and I hope a majority of players think similarly.

IMO, a large number of players in these tournaments are new to bridge, new to duplicate and quickly learn that they should call the TD when a bid is not alerted, when a bid is alerted and then the hand doesn't match the alert, when they ask for an undo and it is rejected, when a query is answered "no agreement" and so on. Many of these calls result in adjustments which have no bearing on the laws of DCB, however the players learn these are the rules and that you will likely an adjustment if you call the TD. I have had many players quote "laws" to me such as "no psyches are allowed in 1st and 2nd seat" and call for an adjustment when a weak2 is opened on 10 points when the profile said 6-9. This is a BBO phenomenon, it has nothing to do with lousy ethics.
Searching for your own mistakes is the only way to learn this game. - Fluffy

And no matter what methods you play, it is essential, for anyone aspiring to learn to be a good player, to learn the importance of bidding shape properly. - MikeH

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#12 User is offline   Bbradley62 

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Posted 2012-February-09, 18:59

View PostArtK78, on 2012-February-09, 08:08, said:

Asking the meaning of a bid under these circumstances is silly.
This is being quite generous to the asker.

View Postmich-b, on 2012-February-09, 08:23, said:

In an environment where self alerts apply (Online or F2F with screens) I expect the bidder to always tell his opponent if the bid he has just made is natural or not.
This is both absurd and wrong. (I love it when those two align...)

View Postjandrew, on 2012-February-09, 15:41, said:

How do you determine (in the short time available) how the bidding and play would have gone if the invalid conventional bid is removed, and in what way would you adjust?
By giving all benefit of any doubt to the NOS; if it's too hard to determine, then A+/A- then a PP to offenders.
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#13 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2012-February-10, 01:27

View PostBbradley62, on 2012-February-09, 18:59, said:

By giving all benefit of any doubt to the NOS; if it's too hard to determine, then A+/A- then a PP to offenders.


Why do you give a PP to the offenders in one case, but not the other?
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#14 User is offline   Bbradley62 

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Posted 2012-February-10, 05:46

View Postblackshoe, on 2012-February-10, 01:27, said:

Why do you give a PP to the offenders in one case, but not the other?
Sorry; bad punctuation. FMP:

View PostBbradley62, on 2012-February-09, 18:59, said:

By giving all benefit of any doubt to the NOS; if it's too hard to determine, then A+/A-. Then a PP to offenders.

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#15 User is offline   campboy 

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Posted 2012-February-10, 05:47

View Postblackshoe, on 2012-February-10, 01:27, said:

Why do you give a PP to the offenders in one case, but not the other?

Jandrew asked how one would adjust the score if the CoC explicitly prohibited the method used. I think it is reasonable to give a PP in this case (though FWIW not normal in the EBU for a first offence: see WB 90.4.2).

[edit] Oops, sorry, thought you were asking why the difference between this and the OP. Perhaps it was just a punctuation issue as the ninja suggests, in which case disregard my post.
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#16 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2012-February-10, 06:21

There is no provision for PP's on BBO.
Searching for your own mistakes is the only way to learn this game. - Fluffy

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#17 User is offline   ArtK78 

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Posted 2012-February-10, 09:37

View PostBbradley62, on 2012-February-09, 18:59, said:

View PostArtK78, on 2012-February-09, 08:08, said:

Asking the meaning of a bid under these circumstances is silly.

This is being quite generous to the asker.


I agree. I felt that if I used the word that I wanted to use, my post might not see the light of day. :)
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#18 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2012-February-24, 16:00

View Postmich-b, on 2012-February-09, 08:23, said:

Perhaps off topic , but I would like to add, that I don't fancy South's reply and attitude , in any other kind of bridge event (non-individual). In an environment where self alerts apply (Online or F2F with screens) I expect the bidder to always tell his opponent if the bid he has just made is natural or not.


Strongly disagree with this. And I don't think that the conditions of contest specified in the OP are relevant. If there is no agreement, then no agreement. Period. If there is an implied agreement then there is an agreement which must be disclosed as necessary. But a mere hope that partner will guess right does not amount to that.

It has become unfortunately popular among the ill-informed that self-alerting somehow changes the obligations of what alert or explanation is provided. It does not. It changes (contrasted with partner-alerting) only the identity of the individual who alerts, and has no effect on the occasions when the bid should be alerted or on the explanation that should be offered.

If you make a call opposite a familiar partner then it is harder to sustain an argument of no agreement. It can happen, but is probably not worth the aggro of trying to defend it. Part of the problems that arise here is that regular indi tournaments on BBO are often populated by a fairly close-knit community of players, some of whom do in fact regularly partner one another on and off and may indeed have an understanding of sorts. Some of these players may not have a firm grasp of their responsibility to disclose implicit agreements, and that in turn leads to a distrust of the explanation of no agreement when proffered.
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

Psyche (pron. sahy-kee): The human soul, spirit or mind (derived, personification thereof, beloved of Eros, Greek myth).

Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.
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#19 User is offline   bluejak 

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Posted 2012-February-25, 14:25

View Postmich-b, on 2012-February-09, 08:23, said:

Perhaps off topic , but I would like to add, that I don't fancy South's reply and attitude , in any other kind of bridge event (non-individual). In an environment where self alerts apply (Online or F2F with screens) I expect the bidder to always tell his opponent if the bid he has just made is natural or not.

I have been thinking about this for some time - I see there is another similar answer to mine. But I was wondering, Mich, if you could just explain this perfectly unreasonable [as I see it] view. If I make a call which does not have an explanation in the agreements I have with partner I certainly do not explain it, whether alerting, self-alerting, explaining, self-explaining, screens, online or down the club.

One of the problems that TDs have, especially down the club, are the continual problems with people explaining things for which they have no agreement: I have one client who always explains our calls sometimes in amazing fashion. The suggestion that failure to explain something with no agreement shows a bad attitude seems to me to be the exact opposite of the case: explaining things with no agreement is a pain in the butt and causes continual trouble.
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#20 User is offline   TimG 

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Posted 2012-February-25, 16:19

View Postmich-b, on 2012-February-09, 08:23, said:

Perhaps off topic , but I would like to add, that I don't fancy South's reply and attitude , in any other kind of bridge event (non-individual). In an environment where self alerts apply (Online or F2F with screens) I expect the bidder to always tell his opponent if the bid he has just made is natural or not.

I agree, but think we are in the minority. If I make an artificial (or natural) bid, it is with the expectation that partner will understand. That expectation, to me, amounts to an implicit agreement and must be disclosed. I understand that others will disagree about whether an "expectation" amounts to an "implicit agreement" or even whether making a bid carries with it an "expectation of understanding". But, I have no problem erring on the side of telling the opponents more than they are technically entitled to.
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