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Unalerted 2NT EBU

#1 User is offline   VixTD 

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Posted 2017-November-07, 05:08

The competition is an eight-table Howell pairs tournament played over several sessions, three rounds of nine boards per session, scored by cross-IMPs converted to VPs, all-play-all.


NS are a fairly basic club pair, and don't play together regularly.

What do you think are logical alternatives for South?

Which do you think are demonstrably suggested by partner's failure to alert 2NT?
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#2 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2017-November-07, 05:32

View PostVixTD, on 2017-November-07, 05:08, said:

What do you think are logical alternatives for South?


That depends on the level of player, but I would expect pass, double, 4NT and 5C to be the range of logical alternatives. 4NT and double may not be LAs, but I would need to poll peers to determine that.

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Which do you think are demonstrably suggested by partner's failure to alert 2NT?


The strongest case is that 5C is suggested over 4NT. Similarly, avoiding a double (if it is an LA) is suggested by the UI. I don't see a strong argument that "action" is suggested over pass or vice versa.
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#3 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2017-November-07, 05:42

LAs P/4N/5/X

Suggested is that partner doesn't have much at all, and may have a better fit in the minors than he should have.

There is every chance that unless partner has an ace or one of the 3 missing minor suit cards, or 3 or 4 small clubs that 5m will be too expensive at this vul.

I suspect the conflicting suggestions mean he can do what he likes, there is a decent chance he has something like QJ10x and out and this will banjax 4 with 5m going for a bunch, and equally he might have Kxxxx and a stiff club where 5 is cold, and so is 4 unless diamonds are 2-1 or you lead A.
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#4 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2017-November-07, 06:38

I think it more likely South pulled this bid on own and partnership has no agreement. Thus no alert.
Standard meaning would be a strong NT which is what North is probably assuming so no alert
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#5 User is offline   The_Badger 

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Posted 2017-November-07, 08:50

I think you have to accept that shotgun partnerships, especially at basic club level (playing for enjoyment primarily) do make incorrect bids, do not know when to alert and do not know what they are doing. South has probably looked at his hand and thought "Oh goody! I can use one of my conventional toys, The Unusual No Trump" totally forgetting that it isn't used over a weak two (or maybe he has a bizarre agreement with another partner in the club that 2NT here is for the minors.) Who knows?

So I say nothing other than they are an inexperienced partnership is demonstrably suggested by the failure to alert.
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#6 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-November-07, 09:34

What is the jurisdiction? In ACBL, Unusual 2NT isn't alertable, so South doesn't receive any UI from North's failure to alert (unless he actually knows that it's only non-alertable when it's a jump, not in this "unusual" situation).

#7 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-November-07, 09:38

View Poststeve2005, on 2017-November-07, 06:38, said:

I think it more likely South pulled this bid on own and partnership has no agreement. Thus no alert.
Standard meaning would be a strong NT which is what North is probably assuming so no alert

The problem is that if Unusual 2NT is alertable (VixTD is in the UK, so I suspect EBU alerting regulations apply), South has UI that partner didn't understand it that way. He mustn't take advantage of that UI, he should act as if partner understood the bid and still chose to pass.

Except for the sixth club, he basically has what his partner should expect. Bidding on his own seems like it's taking advantage of the UI.

#8 User is offline   jnichols 

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Posted 2017-November-07, 12:01

In the ACBL
A jump to 2NT as unusual does not require an alert
A Non-jump of 2NT as unusual by a passed hand does not require an alert

A Non-jump of 2NT as unusual by a non-passed hand does require an alert

But as barmar said, this is probably NOT in the ACBL
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#9 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2017-November-07, 15:00

Pass and 5 are LAs. I don't think double is an LA now that LHO has splintered.

Probably 5 is suggested by the UI, and so is a pass followed by a pull of partner's double. So the ethical thing to do is to pass and the pass partner's double.
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#10 User is offline   WellSpyder 

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Posted 2017-November-08, 03:45

View Postbarmar, on 2017-November-07, 09:38, said:

The problem is that if Unusual 2NT is alertable (VixTD is in the UK, so I suspect EBU alerting regulations apply), South has UI that partner didn't understand it that way. He mustn't take advantage of that UI, he should act as if partner understood the bid and still chose to pass.

Except for the sixth club, he basically has what his partner should expect. Bidding on his own seems like it's taking advantage of the UI.

This says it all, in my view.
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#11 User is offline   VixTD 

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Posted 2017-November-08, 07:38


Result: 5(E)-1, lead A, NS -50.

I was East. It was played in England, under EBU regulations (as it says in the title), and of course an unusual 2NT requires an alert.

I was a playing director, so I called another (less experienced) director for a ruling. South wasn't very happy and grumbled about this sort of thing discouraging people from playing in this sort of competition. I don't really think he understood the problem caused by the failure to alert. I explained what had happened, and asked the director to look into it. I wasn't going to make a strong case for a score adjustment, and I would have been content if he had let the score stand, but I did know that if I'd been in a similar situation I would not have bid over 4 with that hand.

At the end I tried to talk the director through the process without influencing him ("what are the logical alternatives, what is suggested?"), and he decided that offender had taken advantage of the UI and ruled the score back to 4(E)=. However, he didn't poll any players or consult anyone, so I thought I'd do so here.

The failure to alert surely tells you more than just that you are in an unfamiliar partnership. It tells you that partner doesn't think you have length in the minors, so there's still a possibility of a fit. This surely suggests bidding over passing.

I think sfi is right to say that 4NT and X would not occur to this player.
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#12 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-November-08, 10:55

View Postjnichols, on 2017-November-07, 12:01, said:

In the ACBL
...
A Non-jump of 2NT as unusual by a non-passed hand does require an alert

Although, as I suggested, someone who thinks that whether it's Unusual depends on whether it's a jump probably also doesn't realize that the alertability depends on this as well. It's unlikely that the partnership actually has a explicit agreement that it's unusual, he just didn't know any better.

#13 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2017-November-08, 11:38

I think EW got very lucky.

Having seen unusual NT in the UK frequently look like Kxxxx x2 sometimes worse, the S hand is tremendously more powerful than that, so I can understand a bad/inexperienced player bidding again. Also the splinter (who splinters over a strong 2N?) tells S that N most likely has 3+ clubs which changes the odds significantly in favour of it.

I think S's 5 bid is so unusual that W should smell a rat at this point. I think odds are that S has minors at this point, it's difficult to imagine S has a hand that didn't bid 3N first time and now wants to bid 5 the question is whether partner has K as if he doesn't N probably does, I'd expect S to be at least 6-5 in the minors, quite possibly 7-5.

That said exchange both black kings with small ones it's the right decision to bid on, W has been done by his partner's poor suit.
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#14 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2017-November-08, 12:12

South has UI from North's failure to alert his 2N.
The UI suggests bidding 4N or 5 to bring home the originally intended message.
Pass and Double are less suggested logical alternatives.
EW were damaged by South's 5 bid.
IMO, the director should adjust to 4= and consider imposing a PP on South.
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#15 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2017-November-08, 16:19

View Postnige1, on 2017-November-08, 12:12, said:

South has UI from North's failure to alert his 2N.
The UI suggests bidding 4N or 5 to bring home the originally intended message.
Pass and Double are less suggested logical alternatives.
EW were damaged by South's 5 bid.
IMO, the director should adjust to 4= and consider imposing a PP on South.


I fundamentally disagree the UI suggests bidding.

You've shown a good hand, the worse the player, the better the hand shown for 2N, so partner has denied any great values, he has the absolute max he can have. There must be a decent chance he has enough soft major suit values to beat 4 but not enough for you to make 5m, I'd suggest the UI rules out some of the (better) hands where you would want to bid, but brings in some bad hands with more minor suit cards.

With the splinter on your left, the chance of going for 500 substantially reduces. Had I had this auction with a 1 opener rather than 2 I'd bid without the UI here every time. This is a 4 loser hand and we play bad/good and I'd consider this good.
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#16 User is offline   olegru 

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Posted 2017-November-10, 10:53

Sorry, I am confused here.
Before we start talking about LA we probably should learn if any MI/UI occurred.
What was an agreement used by NS pair?
Based in description "NS are a fairly basic club pair, and don't play together regularly" I guess they have agreement "no agreements."
In such a case 2NT was a natural bid, no alert required and failure to alert 2NT did not transfer any UI for South.
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#17 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2017-November-10, 19:23

Yes, south clearly intended his 2NT bid as natural. Or he misbid. I suppose you could argue that a player who would misbid like this will not be awake enough to expect an alert, but I think if he bids this way the director should rule as if he did expect one. An unexpected alert or lack of alert may convey UI to the bidder. So unless 2NT was a psych, South has UI. Or at least he might have. The (lack of) alert itself is not UI, it's the information conveyed by it that is extraneous and may be unauthorized.
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#18 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-November-11, 07:38

View Postblackshoe, on 2017-November-10, 19:23, said:

Yes, south clearly intended his 2NT bid as natural.

Is that really what you meant to say?

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The (lack of) alert itself is not UI, it's the information conveyed by it that is extraneous and may be unauthorized.

You keep making this point, I don't think it's useful. The action and the information conveyed by it are directly linked, so there's no harm in conflating them. Avoiding it just makes thing unnecessarily verbose. Similar to saying "He has an opening bid" versus "He has a hand that would be described by an opening bid".

#19 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2017-November-11, 10:45

"Opening bid" is another phrase whose meaning is obscure. Is a first seat preempt an opening bid? Certainly the player who bids 3 in first seat is opening the bidding.

My point wrt UI is IMO useful because it directs peoples' thinking to the information conveyed (the important thing) rather than the means of its conveyance (which is not important).
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#20 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2017-November-11, 11:30

View Postblackshoe, on 2017-November-11, 10:45, said:

"Opening bid" is another phrase whose meaning is obscure. Is a first seat preempt an opening bid? Certainly the player who bids 3 in first seat is opening the bidding.

My point wrt UI is IMO useful because it directs peoples' thinking to the information conveyed (the important thing) rather than the means of its conveyance (which is not important).

I have always understood an opening bid to be the first bid (at whatever level it is made) in an auction. It may be preceded by up to three passes and it could also be preceded by (illegal) double(s) or redouble(s) which of course must be cancelled.
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