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6S made East calims he got MI, N doubt it

#1 User is offline   kgr 

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Posted 2012-February-13, 15:21

(I already posted this case before, but with wrong/incomplete info and additional questions that were not relevant for the actual case. I'm reposting it hoping that I don't make any mistakes here.
I will only post the case as exactly as I can, as it was sent to the TD.)
This happened behind screens. N and E are on the same side of the screen.
In our division we play without TD on site. The scoring sheet is sent to the league, together with below case.
Teams

(I'm not sure of the spots or actual distribution of -suit, but I think the relevant part of the hands is correct).
West leads 2 (3rd/5th) and declarer plays Q won by K of East.
East returns K and South soon claims 12 tricks.
- East says that he got the explanation from North of 5=4 or 1 aces of 5.
- North says that he and his partner already play 41/30 for 20 years, so he thinks he gave the correct explanation.
- West - at the other side of the screen - did get correct explanation from South of 5=3/0 aces of 5.
- The CC's available to East and West - but not consulted by E at the table say 41/30.
- East can work out that his partner can not have an Ace. But didn't really consider that after North's wrong explanation. East thought that West had either A or A. He returned a because West would always make A if he had. East, being sure his partner had an ace, didn't think long over this. (normally East is a slow player who thinks long over most played cards).
- At the other table, in the closed room, bidding and play on the 1st trick was the same, but with correct explanation and a diamond was returned at trick 2.
- EW ended 2nd in 3th division (Belgium) with the same nbr of points as the 1st. The result of this ruling will decide who is champion in this division and promotes to 2nd division. NS did end last in this division.
(as you see the declarer misplayed by playing Q, but that doesn't matter for the case).

What do you rule?

...If you don't change the result then EW will appeal and you get following extra info:
(My partner didn't want to add following info in the description of the case because it was from another board and therefor irrelevant according to him):
- In the first half North Did incorrectly bid on another board 4D iso 4C after 4NT ace asking & they were in 6S with 2 aces out. That was not against the same EW because tables were switched during the half.
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#2 User is offline   Quartic 

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Posted 2012-February-13, 21:05

It looks to me like North gave the correct explanation of the partnership's understanding, and that South's 5 was a misbid. Therefore the result should stand.

Edit: Got the meaning of 5 the wrong way round in my mind. I think since there was MI, there should be an adjusted score.
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#3 User is offline   CSGibson 

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Posted 2012-February-13, 22:47

If N-S are playing a 15-17 NT, then E knows - KNOWS - that the explanation he claims he was given was incorrect - his partner cannot have 2 keycards, or even 1 keycard. The fact that there is a dispute about whether E got the correct explanation, combined with the failure of east to play bridge makes me think that the table result should stand.
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#4 User is online   blackshoe 

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Posted 2012-February-13, 22:59

I don't think the fact that North previously misbid in a 1430 auction establishes that he necessarily forgot their agreement on this auction. The preponderance of evidence thus leads me to believe that there was no MI, therefore the result stands. Some or all of Laws 20, 40, 21, 75 and 85 may apply, I'm too tired to double check. On appeal, the result still stands. I think the AC should consider whether this an AWM, though I'm not certain they should conclude that it is.
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Factor in Alzheimers, and I can not recall a bad result from aggessive action in this situation. -- Aguahombre
When I look through the hand records after a club evening, the boards I didn't play are always the ones where I would have done great. -- Cherdano
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#5 User is offline   kgr 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 00:44

View PostQuartic, on 2012-February-13, 21:05, said:

It looks to me like North gave the correct explanation of the partnership's understanding, and that South's 5 was a misbid. Therefore the result should stand.

NS play that 5 is 3 or 0 aces.
IF N gave explanation that 5 is 4 or 1 ace then it was MI.
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#6 User is offline   kgr 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 00:49

View Postblackshoe, on 2012-February-13, 22:59, said:

I don't think the fact that North previously misbid in a 1430 auction establishes that he necessarily forgot their agreement on this auction. The preponderance of evidence thus leads me to believe that there was no MI, therefore the result stands. Some or all of Laws 20, 40, 21, 75 and 85 may apply, I'm too tired to double check. On appeal, the result still stands. I think the AC should consider whether this an AWM, though I'm not certain they should conclude that it is.

Why do you rather believe N then E in here?
BTW: I'm not claiming that N forgot their agreement, but simply misexplained it (like saying something you didn't really intend to say).
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#7 User is offline   Quartic 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 00:50

Edit: Whoops - nevermind!
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#8 User is offline   mrdct 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 00:53

I don't think "what's at stake" should ever be a relevant consideration for ruling directors or appeals committees and I'd prefer to not know that my ruling is going to decide who the league champion is.

Going through this step-by-step, the first matter to resolve is the disputed fact of whether North told East "1 or 4" or "0 or 3". Following Law 85A1, the TD needs to weigh-up the "he said she said" evidence together with the convention card and other representations made by the players. I think the evidence from the hand in the first segment is also worthy of some weight. Assuming the local screen regulations require written questions and answers, my general approach when verbal explanations are given contrary to regulations is to place the responsibility of making sure your screenmate understood your explanation on the person giving the verbal explanation (in this case North). If East misheard or misunderstood North's verbal explanation that is entirely North's fault and I will conclude that whatever East thought he heard was the explanation given. That being the case, I am going to proceed on the basis that North-South have an agreement of 1430 and North gave his screenmate an incorrect explanation of "1 or 4".

The next step is to determine whether or not East's failure to continue was a serious error (unrelated to the infraction) or a wild or gambling action (Law 12C1b). In this case, despite playing his partner for an impossible hand, East's action had some logic to it given the seed planted in his mind that South has only one keycard so I think the error (serious or otherwise) is quite clearly related to the infraction as he wouldn't be thinking of playing partner to hold an ace if he'd been given the correct explanation of 5.

I rule 6S-1.
Disclaimer: The above post may be a half-baked sarcastic rant intended to stimulate discussion and it does not necessarily coincide with my own views on this topic.
I bidding the suit below the suit I'm actually showing not to be described as a "transfer" for the benefit of people unfamiliar with the concept of a transfer
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#9 User is online   blackshoe 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 00:57

Spades are trumps. South has three keycards for spades (K, A, A). South bid 5, which is the correct way to show three keycards in 1430. So South did not think they were playing 0314, and he was not wrong. The question is about the dispute between North and East as to North's explanation. East maintains that North said they were playing 0314; North said that they've been playing 1430 for 20 years, and he gave the correct explanation. The TD has to resolve the dispute on the preponderance of the evidence.
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I have come to realise it is futile to expect or hope a regular club game will be run in accordance with the laws. -- Jillybean
Factor in Alzheimers, and I can not recall a bad result from aggessive action in this situation. -- Aguahombre
When I look through the hand records after a club evening, the boards I didn't play are always the ones where I would have done great. -- Cherdano
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#10 User is offline   mrdct 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 01:07

I've since located the Belgian Screen Regulations (in French) which Google translates as follows (my emphasis added):

5.1). A player who makes a statement to be alerted should alert the declaration visible to the opponent, and his partner must let the other side of the screen, when the truck will get there. The alert must be done by placing the box on the alert statement of his opponent visible in its segment of the truck. The opponent must acknowledge the warning by making the cardboard warning to his opponent. A player may, in writing only, ask for clarification on the statement opponent. His opponent will submit a written response.

5.2.) At any time during the auction, a player may request, in writing, an explanation of any adverse statement. The answer will also be made ​​in writing.
Disclaimer: The above post may be a half-baked sarcastic rant intended to stimulate discussion and it does not necessarily coincide with my own views on this topic.
I bidding the suit below the suit I'm actually showing not to be described as a "transfer" for the benefit of people unfamiliar with the concept of a transfer
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#11 User is offline   mrdct 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 01:17

View Postblackshoe, on 2012-February-14, 00:57, said:

North said that they've been playing 1430 for 20 years, and he gave the correct explanation.

The OP included an important qualifier of "he thinks" in the presentation of the facts, "North says that he and his partner already play 41/30 for 20 years, so he thinks he gave the correct explanation".

I think I turned the stove off this morning after I cooked my breakfast, but I won't know for sure until I get home and find that my house hasn't burnt-down.

If North had made a more emphatic statement as to what he told his screenmate I might be pursuaded to conclude that he did say what he said he said, but then I'd be calling East a liar so I'd need to find out how certain he was about what he heard. Hence, I like to fall back on the position that if players choose to ignore screen regulations and give verbal explanations, I'm generally going to conclude that the explanation given was what the receiver believes he heard rather what the explainer thinks he said.

Looking at the hand, I can't think of any possible reason why East would not continue unless he thought his partner held an ace, so to me the evidence points towards misexplanation.
Disclaimer: The above post may be a half-baked sarcastic rant intended to stimulate discussion and it does not necessarily coincide with my own views on this topic.
I bidding the suit below the suit I'm actually showing not to be described as a "transfer" for the benefit of people unfamiliar with the concept of a transfer
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#12 User is offline   kgr 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 02:36

I was sitting West, so I'm involved and no neutral TD.
But I would follow mrdct reasoning.
But one additional remark: In contrary to the regulations, nobody is using written explanations in our division so I would not include that regulation in handling this case.
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#13 User is offline   Fluffy 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 03:35

View Postmrdct, on 2012-February-14, 01:17, said:

The OP included an important qualifier of "he thinks" in the presentation of the facts, "North says that he and his partner already play 41/30 for 20 years, so he thinks he gave the correct explanation".

I think I turned the stove off this morning after I cooked my breakfast, but I won't know for sure until I get home and find that my house hasn't burnt-down.

If North had made a more emphatic statement as to what he told his screenmate I might be pursuaded to conclude that he did say what he said he said, but then I'd be calling East a liar so I'd need to find out how certain he was about what he heard. Hence, I like to fall back on the position that if players choose to ignore screen regulations and give verbal explanations, I'm generally going to conclude that the explanation given was what the receiver believes he heard rather what the explainer thinks he said.

Looking at the hand, I can't think of any possible reason why East would not continue unless he thought his partner held an ace, so to me the evidence points towards misexplanation.

You have already quoted laws where it says clearly that lack of written explanation is a fault of East for not asking it in written mode, and now you want to give East reason because North didnt want to lie to make his statement clear.

I dont know of you, but the fact that someone says the oppostie of me is already a good enough factor for me to believe I might be worng and therefore I would never say something with full knowledge. So just because I am humble you will award reason to my opponent, nice to know.


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#14 User is offline   mrdct 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 03:37

View Postkgr, on 2012-February-14, 02:36, said:

In contrary to the regulations, nobody is using written explanations in our division so I would not include that regulation in handling this case.

As a big advocate of screens, I'm quite impressed that screens are used in a 3rd Division league competition but slightly surprised that if you are going to the effort of setting-up screens you can't find four pencils and a couple of sheets of paper for explanations. So do most bridge players in Belgium keep a couple of screens at home for league matches like I do?
Disclaimer: The above post may be a half-baked sarcastic rant intended to stimulate discussion and it does not necessarily coincide with my own views on this topic.
I bidding the suit below the suit I'm actually showing not to be described as a "transfer" for the benefit of people unfamiliar with the concept of a transfer
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#15 User is offline   mrdct 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 03:59

View PostFluffy, on 2012-February-14, 03:35, said:

You have already quoted laws where it says clearly that lack of written explanation is a fault of East for not asking it in written mode, and now you want to give East reason because North didnt want to lie to make his statement clear.

The practical reality is that nobody ever writes "what does that mean?". At best they write "?" but usually they will simply point at the bid that they want an explanation of with an inquisitive look. In my experience the latter method is how 99% of questions are asked. By contrast, the person answering the query has a strong duty of care to ensure that their explanation is understood and if they choose to whispher their answer they do so in full knowledge that there is a risk that will be misunderstood.

In this case it is evident that East did manage to convey to his screenmate that he wanted and explanation of 5 as an explantion was given; but the problem is North either gave a wrong explanation or an unclear explanation because the fact is that East heard "1 or 4".

Law 85 requires the TD to resolve disputed facts "on the balance of probabilities". East has made a positive assertion that he was told "1 or 4" whereas all North can proffer is that he and his partner have been playing 1430 for 20 years and, therefore, he thinks that he gave the correct explanation of "0 or 3". I would tend give a positive assertion more weight than a circumstantial and non-commital conclusion. On the information presented in the OP, I believe there is a >50% chance that North gave a misexplanation and therefore have no choice but to conclude that there was in fact a misexplanation.
Disclaimer: The above post may be a half-baked sarcastic rant intended to stimulate discussion and it does not necessarily coincide with my own views on this topic.
I bidding the suit below the suit I'm actually showing not to be described as a "transfer" for the benefit of people unfamiliar with the concept of a transfer
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#16 User is offline   kgr 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 04:14

View Postmrdct, on 2012-February-14, 03:37, said:

As a big advocate of screens, I'm quite impressed that screens are used in a 3rd Division league competition but slightly surprised that if you are going to the effort of setting-up screens you can't find four pencils and a couple of sheets of paper for explanations.
Screens are even used in one lower division.
We don't have the habit of using written explanations. We whisper the explanation. Probably written explanations are used in Honour division, but they are not used in lower divisions.
(In the first half of this match I played at same side of the screen with a TD (has been international an maybe still is) and he also did not use written explanations.
This match was only with Dutch speaking players. Probably written explanations are even more important when playing with Dutch & French speaking players

View Postmrdct, on 2012-February-14, 03:37, said:

So do most bridge players in Belgium keep a couple of screens at home for league matches like I do?
I don't understand this question. These matches are played in the bridge club of the home team where screens are available.
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#17 User is offline   kgr 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 08:18

Apparently this case was already decided upon some time ago, but the TD sent his decision to the Web master and it did get lost there and was never published.
Below is the decision of the TD.
Do you agree with it or do you think that an appeal has merit here?

Facts
West leads D2 for Q, K, and 4.
In the second trick East plays CK for CA of South. The latter now claims 12 tricks.

East claims that North explained 5D as one or four of the five aces. Because he therefore assumed that his partner had to have an Ace, he played CK instead of Diamonds.
North states that he and his partner play 1430 as answer to RKC and that he also said that at the request of East. He wonders why North and South would bid 6S if South had only had one Ace.

Arbitrage
There is no agreement in the declarations of North and East concerning the meaning of Souths 5D. According to article 5.1 of the screen regulations, both the questions and answers to the questions have to be done in writing. This is apparently not done in this bidding. Therefore - because of contradictory statements it is not possible to give due to the demand of OW to an arbitral score to them.

Decision
The result achieved at the table is maintained
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#18 User is offline   ahydra 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 09:24

That decision seems fine to me. Also - I assume 1NT was 15-17? Then East, with 15 HCPs in S and looking at 16 in N and 8 in his own hand, can work out partner has at most a Jack. Result stands!

Edit: Perhaps south could use some counting practice also. There are 12 top tricks (5S 5H 2 aces). Why risk a ruff - he should play the Ace on the first trick...

ahydra
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#19 User is online   blackshoe 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 09:36

If everybody is going to ignore the rules, then I guess we don't need rules. Or TDs. :rolleyes:
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I have come to realise it is futile to expect or hope a regular club game will be run in accordance with the laws. -- Jillybean
Factor in Alzheimers, and I can not recall a bad result from aggessive action in this situation. -- Aguahombre
When I look through the hand records after a club evening, the boards I didn't play are always the ones where I would have done great. -- Cherdano
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#20 User is offline   bluejak 

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Posted 2012-February-14, 09:56

The decision is fine.

The general approach to rule-breaking in a lot of areas is tolerance if it does not matter, but if you break the rules, and it matters, it is your fault.

If you drive in England with a light missing because the bulb has failed, a policeman might stop you, but if he does he will merely mention you should get it fixed. On the other hand if there is an accident, then the fact your lights were not working properly will be taken into consideration when fault is determined.

Similarly we know well that spoken answers to questions are common behind screens, and are generally tolerated. But when there is a dispute, tolerance is no longer acceptable. East claimed a response that made him let through the contract: he should have made sure he got responses in writing: he did not: he has no legal claim.
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