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Legal? And how to enlighten the opps

#1 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2017-November-25, 16:38

Last week my RHO was dealer, but her partner started the auction by putting a pass on the table. The TD had already mentioned that my partner could accept the pass and was still studying the text of Law 30B1, when partner said she did accept and passed.
Afterwards we discussed this and came to the conclusion that it is wiser after a COOT or BOOT not to accept if you're going to pass, but accept when you can and will make a bid. This certainly constitutes a partnership understanding according to Law 40A1a. The Dutch Bridge Union disallows prior agreement by a partnership to vary its understandings during the auction or play following an irregularity committed by the opponents (40B2aIV). I've put the question to some far more experienced TD's who don't agree whether our agreement is allowed or not. IMO there is no agreement that varies, there is just an agreement about what to do when there is a BOOT. Besides, I think it's an obvious choice, for there is no reason why you would make it easier for your opponents and maybe obstruct your partners possibilities. Think of the situation where the BOOT is 1, you pass, the RHO raises to 4 and your partner can't introduce this nice six card heart suit.
If it's legal, how do you make this agreement available to the opps, as you should (40A1b). This is of course for the RA to decide, but what would you propose? My idea is to alert after your partner has made his choice.
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#2 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2017-November-25, 16:47

What you think is obvious isn't to all.
Sarcasm is a state of mind
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#3 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2017-November-25, 18:54

Many years ago I directed in a Norwegian champions league and was called to the table where Helge Vinje heard his RHO bidding 4 over his partner's 4NT asking bid.

Helge's reaction when I explained to him his rights is still one of my finest memories. Helge was a capacity on system designs and his partner, Arild Torp was a similar capacity.

The result was that Helge accepted the insufficient bid and on the spot took advantage of the five extra calls suddenly made available to him trusting that Arild would safely understand what interpretation Helge would assign to each of these "undiscussed" calls.

Legal? Certainly. There was no case of varying any agreements, it was just (for them) simple Bridge logic how to understand these calls.
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#4 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-November-27, 05:06

Partnership understandings refer to the meanings of calls, not the general logic and strategy that informs your decisions. This is no more a partnership understanding than a discussion about when it's a good idea to take a sacrifice would be.

#5 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2017-November-27, 06:28

View Postbarmar, on 2017-November-27, 05:06, said:

Partnership understandings refer to the meanings of calls, not the general logic and strategy that informs your decisions. This is no more a partnership understanding than a discussion about when it's a good idea to take a sacrifice would be.

+1
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#6 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-November-27, 07:29

View Postbarmar, on 2017-November-27, 05:06, said:

Partnership understandings refer to the meanings of calls, not the general logic and strategy that informs your decisions. This is no more a partnership understanding than a discussion about when it's a good idea to take a sacrifice would be.

OK, how about if I have a discussion with partner and decide that the only time we might accept a BOOT and pass is with 20+ balanced*. Is this also general logic and strategy in your view or has this now become an illegal agreement?

* or insert any other specific, rare hand that you think makes more sense
(-: Zel :-)
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#7 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2017-November-27, 10:00

View PostZelandakh, on 2017-November-27, 07:29, said:

OK, how about if I have a discussion with partner and decide that the only time we might accept a BOOT and pass is with 20+ balanced*. Is this also general logic and strategy in your view or has this now become an illegal agreement?

* or insert any other specific, rare hand that you think makes more sense

Be aware of

Law 40 B 1 a said:

An agreement between partners, whether explicit or implicit, is a partnership understanding.

so your discussion establishes this as a partnership understanding!

Similarly we (at least in Norway) have always considered two players' common background to be source for (implicit) partnership understanding.
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#8 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-November-27, 10:54

View Postpran, on 2017-November-27, 10:00, said:

Be aware of

so your discussion establishes this as a partnership understanding!

Similarly we (at least in Norway) have always considered two players' common background to be source for (implicit) partnership understanding.

By this definition so does the OP discussion, which is precisely the opposite of what Barry wrote. This is rather the point of what I wrote - defining the grey area between discussions of strategy and discussions that represent agreements, which in the case of irregularities might be deemed illegal.
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#9 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2017-November-27, 15:19

In some jurisdictions, you can vary your agreements, depending on what option you choose after an infraction. --- Where, on your system-card, are you meant to declare these agreements? Whenever Bridge-rules give you options after infractions, they open a can of worms.

For example, whatever your RA's election, a sensible understanding is that if you accept an insufficient bid and then double is for penalties. Again you can argue that it's "Just Bridge".

The simple solution is for the rules not to provide players with special options after infractions.
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#10 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2017-November-27, 16:29

View Postnige1, on 2017-November-27, 15:19, said:

In some jurisdictions, you can vary your agreements, depending on what option you choose after an infraction. --- Where, on your system-card, are you meant to declare these agreements? Whenever Bridge-rules give you options after infractions, they open a can of worms.

For example, whatever your RA's election, a sensible understanding is that if you accept an insufficient bid and then double it's for penalties. Again you can argue that it's "Just Bridge".

The simple solution is for the rules not to provide players with special options after infractions.

Or to allow players to adapt their agreements according to explanation(s) received from opponents and also when an opponent commits an irregularity after which the player may select the rectification from several options.

What should always be prohibited is for a partnership to vary their partnership understanding after a question asked (by any player), an explanation offered or given to an opponent or an irregularity committed by own side.
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#11 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-November-27, 19:53

View PostZelandakh, on 2017-November-27, 07:29, said:

OK, how about if I have a discussion with partner and decide that the only time we might accept a BOOT and pass is with 20+ balanced*. Is this also general logic and strategy in your view or has this now become an illegal agreement?

* or insert any other specific, rare hand that you think makes more sense

Why is this an issue? I presume your bidding after you accept the BOOT wil show that hand type, so there's nothing gained by it.

If you agree that accepting the BOOT shows 20+ balanced, and then you make minimum bids that would ordinarily deny such a strong hand (e.g. normally you would start with a double), that would be a problem, since you're varying your agreements after the opponent's infraction.

The Laws say that communication is just based on calls and plays. The choice of whether to accept a BOOT should not be a form of communication.

That said, I've in the past mentioned that you might take inferences from partner accepting an insufficient bid. Not based on agreements, but bridge logic -- if he accepts the IB and then bids, it suggests that he has a reason for wanting to be able to bid on a lower level (e.g. a weak hand so he's not forced to the next level).

#12 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-November-28, 00:18

View Postbarmar, on 2017-November-27, 19:53, said:

Why is this an issue? I presume your bidding after you accept the BOOT wil show that hand type, so there's nothing gained by it.

Well you gained the ability to have a pass after accepting show 20+ balanced. I agree that this ought to be allowed but it is surely an agreement after an infraction and thus falls foul of the regulations if the RA has specified that option. And yes, I think this rule is nonsense and it should be what pran wrote. I would be quite shocked if, for example, Meckwell do not have very specific PUs after irregularities given their years of playing together.
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#13 User is offline   Cthulhu D 

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Posted 2017-November-29, 22:44

View Postbarmar, on 2017-November-27, 19:53, said:

Why is this an issue? I presume your bidding after you accept the BOOT wil show that hand type, so there's nothing gained by it.

If you agree that accepting the BOOT shows 20+ balanced, and then you make minimum bids that would ordinarily deny such a strong hand (e.g. normally you would start with a double), that would be a problem, since you're varying your agreements after the opponent's infraction.

The Laws say that communication is just based on calls and plays. The choice of whether to accept a BOOT should not be a form of communication.

That said, I've in the past mentioned that you might take inferences from partner accepting an insufficient bid. Not based on agreements, but bridge logic -- if he accepts the IB and then bids, it suggests that he has a reason for wanting to be able to bid on a lower level (e.g. a weak hand so he's not forced to the next level).


You have to vary your agreements after an opponents infarction though. Consider this that happened to me last week, exact action is lost to memory but is something like this

(1C)-1D-(1S)-P
(2C)-P-(1H)

Partner accepted the insufficient bid and bid 2D and we both immediately understood what he meant - which is different from our normal agreements for a raise, or a balancing action.

Do I have to stop playing with him now that I have an implicit agreement about what that action means and it's varied from what our normal agreement is here?
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#14 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-November-30, 05:39

View PostCthulhu D, on 2017-November-29, 22:44, said:

You have to vary your agreements after an opponents infarction though. Consider this that happened to me last week, exact action is lost to memory but is something like this

(1C)-1D-(1S)-P
(2C)-P-(1H)

Partner accepted the insufficient bid and bid 2D and we both immediately understood what he meant - which is different from our normal agreements for a raise, or a balancing action.

Do I have to stop playing with him now that I have an implicit agreement about what that action means and it's varied from what our normal agreement is here?

You figured it out by general logic, right? Without any agreement you'd come to the same conclusion if the situation occurred again in the future. That doesn't make it an agreement, it just means you're consistent in your logic.

#15 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-November-30, 06:55

View Postbarmar, on 2017-November-30, 05:39, said:

You figured it out by general logic, right? Without any agreement you'd come to the same conclusion if the situation occurred again in the future. That doesn't make it an agreement, it just means you're consistent in your logic.

And always accepting and passing with 20+ balanced is also being consistent within partnership logic. Most PUs are derived from partnership logic but you would not get very far in a MI case if you argued that they were not really agreements.
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#16 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-December-03, 01:43

So where is the line between bridge logic and partnership understandings?

For example, most good players understand that you shouldn't preempt over a preempt. Does it suddenly turn into a PU if you remind your partner of this? Or if he's a novice and does it, and you tell him not to do it again, does that make it a PU?

Consider that these things are not specific to a particular partnership. If I tell that novice not to do it again, I mean that he shouldn't do it with any partner, not just me. The only difference between me and his other partners might be that I know I told him, they don't. But what I told him is probably what they all assume he'll do because it's "generally understood by bridge players". In my opinion, these things are similar to knowing how many points you need for game; talking about it doesn't make it a PU.

#17 User is offline   Cthulhu D 

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Posted 2017-December-03, 01:45

View Postbarmar, on 2017-November-30, 05:39, said:

You figured it out by general logic, right? Without any agreement you'd come to the same conclusion if the situation occurred again in the future. That doesn't make it an agreement, it just means you're consistent in your logic.


That doesn't make any sense - does that mean if there is only one logical way to structure what your bids mean, we don't have an agreement because it's just bridge? Similarly if we've agreed that it's logical in situation X pass is forcing I don't have to disclose pass is forcing because it's just bridge?
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#18 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-December-03, 02:23

View PostCthulhu D, on 2017-December-03, 01:45, said:

That doesn't make any sense - does that mean if there is only one logical way to structure what your bids mean, we don't have an agreement because it's just bridge? Similarly if we've agreed that it's logical in situation X pass is forcing I don't have to disclose pass is forcing because it's just bridge?


And can you discuss it in the bar afterwards? Or with just your partner? This election makes no sense, and I cannot see the point of it. My regular partner and I have a fairly robust set of agreements about what to do when the opponents commit a bidding infraction. I would really hate to be in a jurisdiction where the opponents' infractions forced us to rely on guesswork, with the risk of not being on the same wavelength.
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#19 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2017-December-03, 04:33

View PostVampyr, on 2017-December-03, 02:23, said:

My regular partner and I have a fairly robust set of agreements about what to do,when the opponents commit a bidding infraction.

How do you make these available to your opponents?
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#20 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-December-03, 05:04

View Postsanst, on 2017-December-03, 04:33, said:

How do you make these available to your opponents?


We would alert anything artificial.
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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