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Is this approach legal?

#1 User is offline   badderzboy 

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Posted 2003-November-22, 06:55

Hi all,

I played my first live match against a team claiming to play ACOL, the bidding tended to go something like :-

1 anything (incl NT) (p) 3NT unless there was a fit immediately and irrespective of pts!

The bids weren't alerted and after one hand which looked something like
S Axx
H AQxxxx
D x
C Kxx
went 1NT - 3NT! Unfortunately the corresponding hands always seemed to fit (ie KJ H in openers hand) so we couldn't take them down

Question is one of disclosure - the above bidding isn't ACOL so should i be alerted, this happened on about 8 of 20 boards! Would these be classed as pysches as their ptrs clearly know that the 3NT doesn't promise the true response ? In a tournament, could you appeal?

Interested

Steve
Thanks

Steve
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#2 User is offline   JRG 

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Posted 2003-November-22, 09:00

Out of all 8 times this happened, you didn't have a running suit against them? (Diamonds on your example hand?)
JRG
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#3 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2003-November-22, 09:16

Hi Steve

Issue the first: Your account of the opponent's bidding style sounds like an accusation of cheating. I am a pretty firm believer that these types of accustations should not be made in a public forums where the "defendants" are absent. If you genuinely believe that the opponents had a "wire" and were using some illicit signaling mechanism then you should have brought it up with the director of the event. If you don't believe this or are in doubt then you probably don't want to bring it up here. A best, this type of account comes across as sour grapes. At worst, its sounds like a witch hunt.

Issue the second: Many player prefer a style in which they simply bash into the most likely game. This bidding style consistently places a lot of pressure on the opponents and makes defending much more difficult. I readily admit that I would not immediately place your example hand in 3N opposite a weak NT opening, however, this doesn't necessarily say that this bid is wrong.

Issue the third: I'm not sure what jurisdication that you live in, however, in general alerts are NOT defined by whether or not they match your understand of what "Acol" means. Rather, alerts show that a bid has an unusual or unexpected meaning. In this case, the player bidding 1N - 3N intended 3NT to mean "I'm willing to play in 3NT". I don't see any reason why this bid should be alerted. Please note: If the partnership habitually bid 3NT with weak/preemptive hands as well as hands with values then you would have a reasonable case that some form of disclosure was necessary/appropriate.

Issue the fourth:

I'd be interested to know the relative skills of the two teams. In particular how strong was the team that you faced? Its entirely possible that a relatively weak team would be blasting to games since they were worried about messing up a more normal auction. Alternatively, a much strong team might decide to bid some very poor games hoping that their superior card pla would allow them to make.
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#4 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2003-November-22, 15:25

Interestingly a fiend of mine was watching an international match recently between England and Germany. The bidding on most boards was 1N 3N either making or 1 or 2 off. As Hrothgar mentions, this sort of pressure bidding, giving away as little information, as possible is not uncommon.

S Axx
H AQxxxx
D x
C Kxx

You don't mention whether this was opened 1N or this hand bid 3N. If it bid 3N there is certainly no need for an alert, resp can bid whatever he likes and if he thinks this is a 3N bid, well fine. If this type of hand was opened 1N, a pre alert that this is their style would have been called for.
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#5 User is offline   badderzboy 

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Posted 2003-November-23, 03:06

In response to the questions - I asked the question because it seems like a reasonable idea in teams if you can see no fit but before I would use this sort of approach sparingly because I also think it's a little dangerous, I wanted to check if you're allowed to do it! because it's not the system you claim to play?

It was the first time I've ever played in a match and I know you shave to make games but was interested if I going to have a director growling at me !

The gentleman who tended to play the 3NT was a far better player than me and I enjoyed watching his card-play!

The game itself was a local district match at some-ones home so pretty friendly and no directors and no sour grapes - best team won!

Steve
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#6 User is offline   Cascade 

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Posted 2003-November-23, 03:37

Quote

Interestingly a fiend of mine was watching an international match recently between England and Germany. The bidding on most boards was 1N 3N either making or 1 or 2 off. As Hrothgar mentions, this sort of pressure bidding, giving away as little information, as possible is not uncommon.

S Axx
H AQxxxx
D x
C Kxx

You don't mention whether this was opened 1N or this hand bid 3N. If it bid 3N there is certainly no need for an alert, resp can bid whatever he likes and if he thinks this is a 3N bid, well fine. If this type of hand was opened 1N, a pre alert that this is their style would have been called for.



I do not agree with this.

If their style is to raise to 3NT with a six-card major and an unbalanced hand this is something that needs to be disclosed to the opponents. I think it is something that the opponents can not be reasonably expected to expect for a 3NT raise and therefore would need an alert.

Although remember that precise alerting regulations vary from country to country.

Wayne
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#7 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2003-November-23, 20:15

Wayne, according to your reasoning if pd opens 1N, (12-14), and I hold
AKQJxx xx xx xxx and always bid 3N this needs to be alerted? I don't think so.
Perhaps we should put the question to David Stevenson do you think?
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#8 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2003-November-24, 05:41

The real problem is just: what does the 3NT bid normally mean, and can a 3NT response in your partnership contain other hands. If so, it should be alerted imo, because you hide information for your opponents.

Lets just asume that 3NT is standard bid only with a 6+ card in a minor for tricks. If your partnership does the same bid with also 6+ card in a Major, then it should be alerted, because ops don't expect to see a length in a Major.

So do the opponents hide information from you by bidding 3NT or is this the standard meaning??
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#9 User is offline   luis 

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Posted 2003-November-24, 07:19

Well now I have a very interesting question: when did they NOT bid 3N? Can you post examples of hands where they bid to any slam or any game different than 3N and the hands where they bid 1x-3N. If there's something systemic to be derived then it should be alerted and not alerting is illegal as it would be an undisclosed agreement.
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#10 User is offline   inquiry 

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Posted 2003-November-24, 07:30

If 3NT is MEANT to be played. It in effect is natural, and as such is not alerted. There are some exceptions. If you open 3NT basedu upon a long solid minor with no side ACE or KING, ok yo uhave to alert your oppenents. Wny? Because you have a conventional agreement with your partner. He knows what to expect, although you DID bid 3NT meaning (or hoping) to play it.

If on the ohter hand, your RHO opens 3S and you bid 3NT with a balanced 23 point hand or a ahnd iwth running clubs and a spade stopper is that an alert? No. You bid 3NT "to play" the bid means "I want to play 3NT". There is no conventional meaning.

in the examples in this post, the 3NT bidder made a bridge judgment. He wants to play 3NT. Might he miss slams due to his shape? Of course. But having said this, 3NT could be alertable or "ILLEGAL" (gasp). Let's look at why.

It could be alertable if (and their is no evidence of this from what is posted), it WOULD NOT be done with a balanced hand. That is if the agreement is a jump to 3NT is always a long suit somewhere.

It might be illegal if, as suggested in the earlier post, the stronger of the pair jumps to 3NT and the weaker of the pair never bids 3NT, even when holding the correct hand. If memory serves me well, the rules state somewhere that both partners have to play the same bidding system. If one frequently jumps to 3NT and the other never bids NT first, this would seem to indicate that they are not playing hte same system.

Ben
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#11 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2003-November-24, 09:51

I have an enormous problem with the suggestion that a 3NT bid that is to play should be alerted. I certainly laud the suggestion that players deserve protection against unfamiliar treatments, however, there needs to be some kind of limit and this example clearly seems over the top.

If you require players to alert the auction 1N - 3N because it might occassionally contain a long major then just what treatments aren't alertable? This type of approach will overload the alert structure to such a point that the word alert no longer conveys any useful information.

A a certain point in time, players need to grow up and protect themselves. In turn, this requires taking the time to read through the opponent's convention card and familiarizing themselves with the basic bidding approach being used by the opposing pair.
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#12 User is offline   luis 

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Posted 2003-November-24, 09:55

Quote


I have an enormous problem with the suggestion that a 3NT bid that is to play should be alerted. I certainly laud the suggestion that players deserve protection against unfamiliar treatments, however, there needs to be some kind of limit and this example clearly seems over the top.

If you require players to alert the auction 1N - 3N because it might occassionally contain a long major then just what treatments aren't alertable? This type of approach will overload the alert structure to such a point that the word alert no longer conveys any useful information.

A a certain point in time, players need to grow up and protect themselves. In turn, this requires taking the time to read through the opponent's convention card and familiarizing themselves with the basic bidding approach being used by the opposing pair.



Disagree, if you bid 1N-3N with all sort of hands, even hands with a major and shortness then an alert is needed since the 1N opener knows this and the opponents are entitled to full disclosure. For example I might want to double 1N-3N more often if they bid 1N-3N with all sorts of hands.
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#13 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2003-November-24, 10:05

Fine Luis

Next time we play, I'll make sure to alert every bid that I or my partner make. Lord knows, there is probabaly something that you need to be protected against.

Signal to noise ratio is a really useful concept. You might want to brush up on it.

Please note: I don't disagree with your comments regarding full discloure.
However, I don't think that a "binary" signal like an alert can reasonably be expected to provide this type of information.
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#14 User is offline   luis 

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Posted 2003-November-24, 10:10

Quote

Fine Luis
Next time we play, I'll make sure to alert every bid that I or my partner make. Lord knows, there is probabaly something that you need to be protected against.
Signal to noise ratio is a really useful concept. You might want to brush up on it.
Please note: I don't disagree with your comments regarding full discloure.
However, I don't think that a "binary" signal like an alert can reasonably be expected to provide this type of information.


A pre-alert is the best way to handle this problems, if you do something unusual for other players that arises very often then it is better to pre-alert it.
Example "hey guys, we bid 1N-3N with all sorts of hands"
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#15 User is offline   DrTodd13 

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Posted 2003-November-24, 12:06

Any 3N bid that deviates significantly from a typical 1x-3N bid
should be alerted. If they bid 3N with all hands from 6 to 16
points that aren't already known to contain a fit then this is
clearly an alertable understanding since the normal range is
13-15 or so.

Todd
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#16 User is offline   badderzboy 

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Posted 2003-November-24, 12:15

Hi all,

I was very interested to read all the comments

I've played the game for 19 months and find it both mentally stimulating and challenging and also a very friendly and honourable sport. I don't think the opps were cheating at all but I'm interested in the etiquette of the game and I was keen to understand your expert views on the subject if this is a pysche per se or just a bid that worked well or whether if you do this often it should be on a CC as ptr is likely to understand a bid that the opps don't.


It was very effective as in the hand where it went 1NT-3NT I had 4 hearts and led into the 6H stack because normally 1NT-3NT denies a four card major in responders hand unless 4-3-3-3 and I was 4-4-3-2 myself with the other 4 in a minor! and we had the minor suit sown up...

Steve
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#17 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2003-November-24, 12:31

Hi Steve

It is very dangerous to assume that the auction 1N - 3N denies a major.

As you have already noted, many people will simply blast to 3NT holding a 4333 hand. They believe that the blind opening lead is worth much more than occassionally discovering a superior 4M contact.

In a similar fashion, consider the following factoid:

Two balanced hands totalling 24-26 HCP will typically play better in a 4-4 fit than NT. However, if the strength of the hands increases to about 27-30 then NT typically produces the same number of tricks.

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#18 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2003-November-24, 22:05

To Luis

"Hey Luis, we bid 1N 3N to play".

If memory serves me well, the rules state somewhere that both partners have to play the same bidding system. If one frequently jumps to 3NT and the other never bids NT first, this would seem to indicate that they are not playing hte same system.

This is correct as far as I remember, Ben, but judgement between pairs in a partnership can vary. eg you might choose to always invite over a 12-14 NT opening holding 11 points regardless of their quality, whereas I might always choose to pass. This isn't alertable.
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#19 User is offline   Cascade 

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Posted 2003-November-24, 22:13

Quote

Wayne, according to your reasoning if pd opens 1N, (12-14), and I hold
AKQJxx xx xx xxx and always bid 3N this needs to be alerted? I don't think so.
Perhaps we should put the question to David Stevenson do you think?


This is not what I mean.

If your style is (significantly) different than the norm then I think you owe the opponents an alert.

The regulations where I play state : "In particular any call, the meaning of which the opponents could not be expected to understand, should be alerted ..."

If it is routine to respond 3NT with a long major then your opponents may not expect that - they might instead expect that you would have shown your major and offered partner a choice of games.

We are entitled to try to get good scores (or bad ones) by playing a different style than the norm.

We are not entitled to try to get good scores by hiding the fact that our approach is different from the norm.

Wayne
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I believe that the USA currently hold only the World Championship For People Who Still Bid Like Your Auntie Gladys - dburn
dunno how to play 4 card majors - JLOGIC
True but I know Standard American and what better reason could I have for playing Precision? - Hideous Hog
Bidding is an estimation of probabilities SJ Simon

#20 User is offline   Cascade 

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Posted 2003-November-24, 22:16

Quote



A a certain point in time, players need to grow up and protect themselves. In turn, this requires taking the time to read through the opponent's convention card and familiarizing themselves with the basic bidding approach being used by the opposing pair.




This maybe fine for a long teams match but it is not so practical for a one or two or three board round in a pairs session.

Wayne
Wayne Burrows

I believe that the USA currently hold only the World Championship For People Who Still Bid Like Your Auntie Gladys - dburn
dunno how to play 4 card majors - JLOGIC
True but I know Standard American and what better reason could I have for playing Precision? - Hideous Hog
Bidding is an estimation of probabilities SJ Simon

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