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Points/distribution how much compensation allowed

#1 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2017-April-12, 13:25

We had an auction which started 1(polish)-X-1 which was explained as 6-9 5+.

At the crucial stage I have a decision to make in defence and it appears that the heart hand has an extra heart or two in a jack high suit, and either partner or declarer has the missing ace so naturally I assume declarer has it. This is the difference between +100 and +200, it turns out declarer has J1098xxx and out and the ace goes west, and says that the extra 2 cards are well worth the missing points. It appears from his partner's reaction that their agreement is to be fairly free with compensating distribution for missing points and this hand was not a surprise to her.

Is this reasonable or a mis-statement of their agreements.
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#2 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-April-12, 13:54

I would say the latter for sure.
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#3 User is offline   NickRW 

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Posted 2017-April-12, 14:42

I'd say that the shape is, arguably, worth the points. However the description should allude to this possibility
"Pass is your friend" - my brother in law - who likes to bid a lot.
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#4 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-April-12, 15:34

So basically, every explanation of a bid that specifies point count would have to end with "or compensating distribution"? Because all good players make such adjustments, regardless of whether they're part of partnership agreements.

I consider this "general bridge knowledge".

#5 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2017-April-12, 15:46

View Postbarmar, on 2017-April-12, 15:34, said:

So basically, every explanation of a bid that specifies point count would have to end with "or compensating distribution"? Because all good players make such adjustments, regardless of whether they're part of partnership agreements.

I consider this "general bridge knowledge".


yes, but different people have different interpretations of "or compensating distribution", not everybody considers a hand that is only OFFENSIVELY a 6 count and has zero defence counts.
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#6 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2017-April-12, 15:50

I consider this 100% misinformation.

Presumably 1 response would show 0-5/6 HCP with any distribution. Why not 1? Because that is not their agreement, so they gave misinformation.
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#7 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-April-12, 15:54

View PostCyberyeti, on 2017-April-12, 15:46, said:

yes, but different people have different interpretations of "or compensating distribution", not everybody considers a hand that is only OFFENSIVELY a 6 count and has zero defence counts.

Yeah, I didn't read the original post carefully. His valuation (2 extra cards in the suit being worth 5 HCP) seems to be way out of mainstream. His hand is likely to be a sub-minimum for most players who play weak jump shifts.

The general idea of adding a point or two for distribution is GBK. But not such an extreme upgrade.

#8 User is offline   FelicityR 

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Posted 2017-April-12, 20:46

It is misinformation but using an artificial club bid, and a complex system, there may be no way of relating a hand that has trick-taking potential (by way of length) except by tweaking the system. And how many of us have done that in the past?

And if they had posted a poor result by tweaking the system, would you still have thought about calling the director?

The only way to get a sensible overview probably is to ask other partnerships who play Polish Club what they would have bid with the same cards. Then, and only then, will you know whether there is something untoward going on.
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#9 User is offline   akwoo 

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Posted 2017-April-12, 22:49

View PostFelicityR, on 2017-April-12, 20:46, said:

It is misinformation but using an artificial club bid, and a complex system, there may be no way of relating a hand that has trick-taking potential (by way of length) except by tweaking the system. And how many of us have done that in the past?

And if they had posted a poor result by tweaking the system, would you still have thought about calling the director?

The only way to get a sensible overview probably is to ask other partnerships who play Polish Club what they would have bid with the same cards. Then, and only then, will you know whether there is something untoward going on.


I don't think there is some allegation of illegal communication or illegal system here.

The question is whether the explanation of the bid as showing 6-9 hcp was misinformation to the opponents, not whether it is actually a valid agreement.

In a North American context, where the opponents could have been playing tournament bridge for 10 years and be seeing a Polish 1 opening for literally the first time, people playing Polish club really do have a special duty to make sure that the inferences available to them from their bidding system are also given to their opponents. I would expect that the possibility that the 1 bid be on JTxxxxx and nothing else be disclosed in some way. (However, as defender, I probably would ask dummy at the point I had to make the decision, assuming that it's unlikely to cause partner UI problems by that point.)

Even when I was playing something as tame(*) as a weak NT, I have felt obliged to alert opponents to inferences they are not used to. For example, if partner opens 1m and opponents buy the contract, I usually say after the face down opening lead "Alert: I'm not supposed to do this, but I have unusual inferences about partner's hand you might want to know about," and if opponents ask, I say "We play a 12-14 1N opening, so partner can have 15-17 balanced but cannot have 12-14 balanced. Two doubletons might be balanced in some situations." For another example, if our auction goes 1-1-2, I usually say before the opening lead "Our 12-14 1N opening has some systemic implications, and one of them is that 1 could be on as little as the trump king, while 2 could be as strong as 16 if balanced."

(*) Or not so tame; our roughly 20 table sectional usually sees 2-3 pairs playing 10-12 1N, 1 pair with 12-15 1N (the last in a Precision context), and maybe 1 with 14-16, the rest playing 15/16-17/18. I haven't played against a 12-14 1N pair in person in years, though I don't exactly play a lot.
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#10 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2017-April-12, 23:51

View PostCyberyeti, on 2017-April-12, 13:25, said:

We had an auction which started 1(polish)-X-1 which was explained as 6-9 5+.


When using the word 'points', some people talk about total points which others talk about high card points, as I found out after a reasonable amount of miscommunication early in one partnership. This might account for the differing understandings and why the opposition did not find this surprising.

However, we all have an obligation to be clear when describing a bid, and this situation seems to fall short of that obligation. First I would find out if this bid is within their expectations or whether it was a deviation. From the description it sounds like it fell in their range for the bid, so I would view it as a misleading explanation and have a word with them about describing it more accurately. I would also consider adjusting the score due to misinformation.
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#11 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-April-13, 08:20

View Postsfi, on 2017-April-12, 23:51, said:

When using the word 'points', some people talk about total points which others talk about high card points, as I found out after a reasonable amount of miscommunication early in one partnership. This might account for the differing understandings and why the opposition did not find this surprising.

You seem to be making the same mistake as I did -- that's a reasonable general principle, but it doesn't apply in this case. Almost no one would call a hand with a Jack-sixth suit and nothing else 6 total points. Probably 3 or 4 would be the max. An exception might be made for a 6-5 hand.

#12 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2017-April-13, 08:40

View Postbarmar, on 2017-April-13, 08:20, said:

You seem to be making the same mistake as I did -- that's a reasonable general principle, but it doesn't apply in this case. Almost no one would call a hand with a Jack-sixth suit and nothing else 6 total points. Probably 3 or 4 would be the max. An exception might be made for a 6-5 hand.


It was a seven card suit with good intermediates. I can see people being liberal about the way they count the hand.

It's the lack of disclosure I have an issue with though. Opponents really should be informed that distribution can make up for lack of points.
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#13 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2017-April-13, 08:47

Doesn't that fall under "knowledge and experience of matters generally known to bridge players"?
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#14 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2017-April-13, 08:59

Only to a point, IMO. When someone describes a bid as 6-9, my experience is they are expecting some high-card strength and some defence. It's not so much a matter of evaluation as that the nature of the hand is being misdescribed. I would not expect a totally preemptive hand when I receive that explanation.
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#15 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-April-14, 08:25

View Postsfi, on 2017-April-13, 08:59, said:

Only to a point, IMO. When someone describes a bid as 6-9, my experience is they are expecting some high-card strength and some defence. It's not so much a matter of evaluation as that the nature of the hand is being misdescribed. I would not expect a totally preemptive hand when I receive that explanation.

Isn't that the typical description of an opening preempt, and would you be surprised that the hand has no defense in that case?

The problem in this case is simply that the pair's evaluation of preemptive hands is so non-mainstream that they need to disclose it -- it's not GBK.

#16 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2017-April-16, 09:45

IMO Bridge rules should stipulate that, in a legal context, HCP means Milton Work High Card Points (A=4 K=3 Q=2 J=1) or the nearest equivalent. When evaluating hands, it is sensible to take other considerations into account such as shape, texture, honour-placement, and so on. To measure such adjustments, players use a variety of yardsticks. Hence no particular one is General Bridge Knowledge. The rules should stipulate that these be disclosed but mentioned separately, to avoid confusion.
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#17 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-April-16, 14:23

View Postnige1, on 2017-April-16, 09:45, said:

The rules should stipulate that these be disclosed but mentioned separately, to avoid confusion.

I think your assertion that "no particular one is GBK" is not quite right. While players won't agree on the exact counts, I think there's rough concensus over how to adjust for shape. Honors in long suits are worth more than honors in short suits, touching honors are more valuable than broken honors, which are more valuable than unsupported honors. Shortness in an opponent's suit is worth more than shortness in partner's suit, and shortness increases in value once a fit has been found. These are hand evaluation techniques that are taught to all intermediate players on the way to becoming advanced.

But given all those possibilities for adjustments, how would you suggest that they be disclosed when describing your agreements?

#18 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2017-April-16, 16:00

View Postbarmar, on 2017-April-16, 14:23, said:

But given all those possibilities for adjustments, how would you suggest that they be disclosed when describing your agreements?
Before discussing requirements for bids with partner, you can discuss how to value shape and so on (Perhaps void = 8, singleton = 5, doubleton = 2). For each bid, as well as raw HCP, you specify other measures (e.g. you might divide the total by 3 and call the result winners).

You should also make sure you comply with measures specified by local legislation. e.g. rule of 18.

IMO, when you disclose the meaning of partner's bid to opponents, you should tell them raw HCP requirements. You should explain other relevant requirements, separately, in simple terms.

Players often justify prevarication by claiming that opponents will struggle with too much information. IMO, opponents are a better judge of how much they can assimilate. They can say when they've had enough.
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#19 User is offline   olegru 

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Posted 2017-May-04, 08:07

If they play Polish club, 6-9 points is a correct explanation for 1 bid in a free position.
1 bid with 1 point is bluff or just bad bridge. I would say it is especially bad in the Polish club context. How good players are they?
I am curious to see openers hand and the rest of bidding.
Do they play WJS?
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#20 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2017-May-04, 14:40

View Postbarmar, on 2017-April-14, 08:25, said:

Isn't that the typical description of an opening preempt


To be honest, I've never heard of a 3/4/5 level opening preempt described like that. IMO, hearing that a hand showed a 7 card suit with 6-9 points would mean 6-9 HCP to me. At the 2 level, suppose somebody opens a weak 2 and when asked, says 5-10 points. I would expect 5-10 HCP (certainly not 2 HCP plus 3 distribution points).

View Postbarmar, on 2017-April-14, 08:25, said:

and would you be surprised that the hand has no defense in that case?


I would be surprised if the only honor card in the hand was a jack.
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