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Insufficient bid EBU

#1 User is offline   VixTD 

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Posted 2017-October-04, 06:43

I was called to a table at the club last night. The auction had started:

2...2NT...3...3

2 was alerted, 5+ spades and 4+ of another suit, around 5-10 points.

How would you rule, and in particular, which calls do you think would allow offender's partner to continue bidding?
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#2 User is offline   WellSpyder 

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Posted 2017-October-04, 07:29

Could I just check whether this is a contested or uncontested auction before thinking about it too much?
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#3 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-October-04, 08:57

I would guess it's contested, on the assumption that a 2NT response asks opener what their second suit is, so 3 is not a likely rebid.

#4 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-October-04, 09:01

If 3 was intended as Stayman, and 4 would be Stayman in the actual auction, then that would be a comparable call and would allow partner to continue. If Double is takeout, I'd consider it comparable, since it also asks partner to bid 4 with 4 of them.

If neither of these is true, I don't think there's a comparable call, so anything the offender does will bar partner.

#5 User is offline   VixTD 

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Posted 2017-October-04, 11:47

It was a contested auction, with all calls shown, sorry if that was not clear.

Please note that we no longer consider what offender intended; the laws refer to the meanings attributable to the insufficient bid. What meanings could reasonably be attributed to 3?

I have to admit I've never heard of anyone playing 4 here as Stayman, so it didn't occur to me that it could be a replacement call for that reason. I did wonder whether to allow 4 if "natural" is an attributable meaning for 3. (They play "system on" over 1NT and 2NT overcalls.)

I took the offender away from the table to find out if double would be takeout, as like Barmar I would have allowed that as a replacement for a possibly Staymanic 3. I didn't ask him what he intended by 3, but he told me that in a moment of absent-mindedness he thought he was responding to a lebensohl 2NT, although he realised immediately this didn't make sense.

In the end I decided they didn't have a comparable call, so offender's partner would have been barred for the rest of the auction, but I'd be interested to hear other opinions.

Another interesting point came up when I discussed it afterwards with the non-offenders, who are on my club TD course. I asked them what meanings they would attribute to 3, and suggested Stayman as a possibility, if for example they hadn't seen the 3 bid. They were both adamant that it was clear that offender had seen the 3 bid (perhaps he'd asked a question about the call, or something like that).

Do you think that should change what meaning we can attribute to the insufficient bid?
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#6 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2017-October-04, 17:31

View Postbarmar, on 2017-October-04, 09:01, said:

If 3 was intended as Stayman

As VixTD points out it no longer matters what was intended. And I think it is pretty hard to find any meaning for 3C here, so I agree with VixTD that there is no comparable call but I would not allow double either. It seems that in the vast majority of cases, there is no comparable call.
'When I write a Law,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'
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#7 User is offline   richlp 

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Posted 2017-October-04, 17:48

View Postlamford, on 2017-October-04, 17:31, said:

As VixTD points out it no longer matters what was intended. And I think it is pretty hard to find any meaning for 3C here, so I agree with VixTD that there is no comparable call but I would not allow double either. It seems that in the vast majority of cases, there is no comparable call.


As I'm reading the posts it appears that, since there is no comparable call, offender's partner will be barred for the duration regardless of what call offender substitutes.

But I'm not sure what you mean by "not allow the double."

Do you mean the offender cannot substitute a double for the insufficient bid? What would be the basis for this?

Not trying to be argumentative, just looking for some extra information.

Thanks ......... Rich
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#8 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2017-October-04, 18:50

View Postrichlp, on 2017-October-04, 17:48, said:

<snip>I'm not sure what you mean by "not allow the double."

Do you mean the offender cannot substitute a double for the insufficient bid? What would be the basis for this?

I don't think double is really a comparable call for one of the meanings attributable to 3C. And if double would have been takeout, and the player substituted double barring his partner and this gained, then I might well rule that he could have been aware that his infraction would benefit his side. I should have said I would not allow double as a comparable call.
'When I write a Law,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'
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#9 User is offline   VixTD 

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Posted 2017-October-05, 06:22

View Postrichlp, on 2017-October-04, 17:48, said:

But I'm not sure what you mean by "not allow the double."

Do you mean the offender cannot substitute a double for the insufficient bid? What would be the basis for this?

Double is not permitted as a replacement call for an insufficient bid, unless it is deemed to be a comparable call. Law 27B3 states:

Quote

except as provided in B1(b) above [B1(b) refers to comparable calls], if the offender attempts to substitute a double or a redouble for his insufficient bid the attempted call is cancelled. The offender must replace it as the foregoing allows and his partner must then pass whenever it is his turn to call. The lead restrictions in Law 26B may apply, and see Law 72C.

I'm not sure why Lamford doesn't accept that a takeout double of 3 has the same purpose as a possibly-Staymanic 3. Both are asking primarily whether partner can show a four-card heart suit.
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#10 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2017-October-05, 10:52

View PostVixTD, on 2017-October-05, 06:22, said:

Double is not permitted as a replacement call for an insufficient bid, unless it is deemed to be a comparable call. Law 27B3 states:

I'm not sure why Lamford doesn't accept that a takeout double of 3 has the same purpose as a possibly-Staymanic 3. Both are asking primarily whether partner can show a four-card heart suit.

The takeout double of 3S also says that partner should pass unless he has four hearts, and partner will rarely bid 4m, so it needs some defence. If 3C is deemed to be Stayman, it would normally be a raise to 3NT with four hearts, but Stayman is not a meaning attributable to the insufficient bid, as Stayman is always "sufficient". The ludicrous requirement to assign a meaning to a insufficient bid which can have no meaning is nonsensical. I can accept that "clubs" is a meaning attributable to an insufficient three clubs, but that is as far as we should go with our imagination.
'When I write a Law,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'
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#11 User is online   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-October-05, 12:43

View PostVixTD, on 2017-October-04, 11:47, said:

Do you think that should change what meaning we can attribute to the insufficient bid?


Obviously much depends on who is doing the attributing.

Also on whether the defender can provide a convincing argument to a club director who may be a much weaker player than the offender.

What a hopeless law. Why the lawmakers are so passionate about making following the most basic mechanics of the game optional is beyond me. I think that there should be the option to, at least in clubs and maybe in other circumstances, to use the 1997 version instead. But I suppose a club or RA could give guidance to the effect that replacement calls will rarely if ever be considered comparable. Please, Gordon?
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#12 User is offline   richlp 

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Posted 2017-October-05, 13:21

View PostVixTD, on 2017-October-05, 06:22, said:

Double is not permitted as a replacement call for an insufficient bid, unless it is deemed to be a comparable call. Law 27B3 states:

I'm not sure why Lamford doesn't accept that a takeout double of 3 has the same purpose as a possibly-Staymanic 3. Both are asking primarily whether partner can show a four-card heart suit.


Thank you both for clearing it up for me.
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#13 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2017-October-06, 02:57

View PostVampyr, on 2017-October-05, 12:43, said:

Obviously much depends on who is doing the attributing.

Also on whether the defender can provide a convincing argument to a club director who may be a much weaker player than the offender.

What a hopeless law. Why the lawmakers are so passionate about making following the most basic mechanics of the game optional is beyond me. I think that there should be the option to, at least in clubs and maybe in other circumstances, to use the 1997 version instead. But I suppose a club or RA could give guidance to the effect that replacement calls will rarely if ever be considered comparable. Please, Gordon?

I don't think there is intended to be a major difference between the two versions. The old one had the expression "with a legal call that in the Director’s opinion has the same meaning as, or a more precise meaning than, the insufficient bid (such meaning being fully contained)" This has now just been replaced with attributable, and now BOOTs are also evaluated in the same way. This was widened by precedent and minute to include calls that were similar but not fully contained.

There are cases where a replacement call will define the same subset or a similar subset. 1m-(1S)-1H being replaced by double or 1NT-(2C)-2C being replaced by double where this is Stayman and 2C is natural is another. But in this last, if 2C is Landy, and double is values, it should not be allowed. I hope the intention is not to allow a replacement call which gives any extra information, as it will be difficult for the average TD to judge whether to apply Law 23C.

How is the average TD to judge whether the combination of 3C and double in the current thread benefited partner? Bidding 3C followed by replacing it with double will surely guarantee four hearts, while an original double will include a large number of hands with no sensible alternative to double.
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#14 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2017-October-06, 05:22

View PostVampyr, on 2017-October-05, 12:43, said:

I think that there should be the option to, at least in clubs and maybe in other circumstances, to use the 1997 version instead. But I suppose a club or RA could give guidance to the effect that replacement calls will rarely if ever be considered comparable. Please, Gordon?

I certainly wouldn't give that guidance because I don't think it's true.

I remember ten years ago a lot of fuss being made over the changes to the revoke laws, about how it was going to give club TDs a terrible headache as they dealt with all the Equity rulings that would arise from the change in rectification. What happened? Almost nothing changed.

So too here, people are getting worked up about all the difficult cases they think will arise from Law 23 and how unworkable it will be. Let's just wait and see what does happen - my prediction is that it will be less problematic in practice than predicted, since the insufficient bid aspect has not changed significantly but has been explained better and the COOT aspect will be relatively easy to apply, with the advantage of reducing the number of contracts determined by random guesswork.
Gordon Rainsford
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#15 User is online   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-October-06, 08:29

View Postlamford, on 2017-October-06, 02:57, said:

I don't think there is intended to be a major difference between the two versions. The old one had the expression "with a legal call that in the Director’s opinion has the same meaning as, or a more precise meaning than, the insufficient bid (such meaning being fully contained)" .


Your version of the 1997 law book was very different to mine.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#16 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-October-06, 08:50

View PostVampyr, on 2017-October-06, 08:29, said:

Your version of the 1997 law book was very different to mine.

Looks like he was talking about the 2007 version, not 1997.

#17 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-October-06, 08:54

View Postlamford, on 2017-October-05, 10:52, said:

The takeout double of 3S also says that partner should pass unless he has four hearts, and partner will rarely bid 4m, so it needs some defence. If 3C is deemed to be Stayman, it would normally be a raise to 3NT with four hearts, but Stayman is not a meaning attributable to the insufficient bid, as Stayman is always "sufficient".

If the player doesn't notice the 3 bid, 3 is sufficient, and its meaning is Stayman.

You generally need to use logic something like this to determine the meaning attributable to the IB.

#18 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2017-October-06, 09:19

View Postbarmar, on 2017-October-06, 08:54, said:

If the player doesn't notice the 3 bid, 3 is sufficient, and its meaning is Stayman.

You generally need to use logic something like this to determine the meaning attributable to the IB.

The problem with that approach is that we can "attribute" anything to a bid. He might have thought vaguely that the bidding went 1S-1NT-2S-3C when 3C would be natural and forcing, and he can therefore replace it with 4C. I think I mentioned elsewhere that when I recorded my IB calls as TD at a North London club 8 out of 11, as I recall, were from players thinking the auction was at it was. They could not explain why they made an insufficient bid. This example is no different. The person who bid 3C was responding to a Lebensohl 2NT, and he therefore thought it was forced unless he had extras. That this makes no sense at all is not atypical of IBs. They are characterised in general by a failed communication between either the eye and the brain or the brain and the hand. Any meaning can be attributed to them. Here it would be more likely than the actual explanation that he thought 2NT was unusual, and he was bidding his better minor at what he perceived to be the lowest level.

TDs should be reluctant to "attribute" a meaning to an IB unless it is obvious that only one possible reason for the IB is present.
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#19 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-October-06, 10:15

There are generally only a small number of likely misreadings of the auction. In another thread, Gordon suggested that we don't need to determine what the IBer actually meant. Rather, if the meaning of the replacement is comparable with what the IB would have meant given some plausible misreading, we should allow it.

#20 User is online   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-October-06, 11:10

View Postbarmar, on 2017-October-06, 10:15, said:

There are generally only a small number of likely misreadings of the auction. In another thread, Gordon suggested that we don't need to determine what the IBer actually meant. Rather, if the meaning of the replacement is comparable with what the IB would have meant given some plausible misreading, we should allow it.


Does the player who made the IB or his partner get to know what meaning was attributed to the IB, and/or what the replacement call means?

What if neither the attributed meaning nor the "comparable" replacement call have anything to do with the person's hand?

And how is a club director, neither and expert player nor familiar with the IBer's system, make any decisions about the matter? I really cannot see any problems with the 1997 approach and do not understand why we have replaced it with such convention lured nonsense.

Gordon mentions random guesswork. I have a much simpler approach to avoiding that: make legal bids.
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