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Question from a newly-qualified club TD (EBU)

#1 User is offline   VixTD 

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Posted 2012-August-01, 12:36

A graduate from a recent club TD class of mine e-mailed me with the following question, which I answered as best I could, but I thought I'd find out what you think.

North is described as an "average player" (presumably in club and local circles) who has been playing for 7-8 years, so not an expert, but not a beginner either. Teams-of-four, IMP scoring, no-one vulnerable, North deals with this hand:

K AKQ10xx Jxx Axx

1...2...P(1)...3
..?

(1) South asks about the overcall, is told it shows a six-card suit and around 6-10 hcp, and passes after a long pause.

My correspondent wants to know if North is free to bid 4 at this point.

What do you think?
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#2 User is offline   trevahound 

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Posted 2012-August-01, 12:53

North is free to do whatever they please, pending later adjustment if appropriate.

North should strain to not choose from a set of logical alternatives any that might be suggested to be more successful by the UI that South might have acted over some other explanation. What are North's LAs? I would not find pass to be a LA (others might?), so North's LAs are double and 4. Is there a suggestion that one of those might be suggested by the potential UI? I think double is the obvious call that caters, as it handles to any hand South might have (that we can survive), and perhaps 4 is an attempt to not take advantage of the UI? Requiring North to pass here is not bridge, to me -- pass isn't an LA.

In ACBL land (no idea about EBU) the only non-alertable meaning for 2 in this auction is preemptive, so partner's question bothers me. I would double with North's hand automatically, but I wouldn't play again with South if this was their habit (to give me such problems). If in the EBU the bid is preemptive unless alerted, I would as TD speak with south about the purpose of their question, and the problems they risk creating for their side if south intends to pass the only non-alertable explanation.
"I suggest a chapter on "strongest dummy opposite my free bids." For example, someone might wonder how I once put this hand down as dummy in a spade contract: AQ10xxx void AKQxx KQ. Did I start with Michaels? Did I cuebid until partner was forced to pick one of my suits? No, I was just playing with Brian (6S made when the trump king dropped singleton)." David Wright
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#3 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2012-August-01, 13:47

With the K likely worthless, I think pass is a logical alternative.

What is suggested by the hesitation? It may depend on a few things. How long is a "long pause"? Was a stop card used? Is pausing after a jump overcall customary for this player, or this club in general?

I assume that "long pause" means significantly longer than normal under the circumstances, whatever they may be. In that case, I think bidding on is suggested and therefore north should choose pass in the interest of maintaining good ethics. In practice, if he bids something else, and EW are damaged as a result, an adjustment is likely appropriate.

I think an average club player of 7-8 years should be capable of understanding this when it is explained.
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#4 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2012-August-01, 14:12

How long is a "long pause"? Let me tell you a tale. B-)

Some years ago, my RHO made a jump bid (might have been an opening, might not, I don't remember). No stop card. I thought about my call while counting ten seconds to myself. Opps called the director and alleged a BIT*. I testified that I was merely complying with the Stop Card regulation. CHO(!) testified as follows: "I'm a nurse. I know what ten seconds is, and partner's pause was considerably longer than ten seconds". On the way home, I gave her my watch and asked her to tell me when to start counting ten seconds. She said "go". I said "stop". Eleven seconds. Then I took the watch back. I said "go", she said "stop". Fifteen seconds. So much for her testimony. :ph34r:

You're right that a pause, however long somebody thinks it was, may or may not be a break in tempo.

*Incorrect procedure, of course, but IME not one player in a hundred follows correct procedure in these cases.
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#5 User is offline   FrancesHinden 

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Posted 2012-August-01, 14:14

In the EBU, no natural meaning of 2S is alertable (weak, intermediate, strong).
Does partner's pause, thought etc suggest bidding on? Yes.
Is pass a logical alternative? I'm not sure. A poll would be interesting.
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#6 User is offline   jeffford76 

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Posted 2012-August-01, 14:42

View PostFrancesHinden, on 2012-August-01, 14:14, said:

In the EBU, no natural meaning of 2S is alertable (weak, intermediate, strong).


If no natural meaning is alertable, this seems like a good place to always ask the range to avoid creating UI by only sometimes asking.
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#7 User is offline   WellSpyder 

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Posted 2012-August-02, 02:34

View Postjeffford76, on 2012-August-01, 14:42, said:

If no natural meaning is alertable, this seems like a good place to always ask the range to avoid creating UI by only sometimes asking.

It is not obvious to me that responder's choice of call is likely to depend on the range of the overcall very often.
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#8 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2012-August-02, 12:17

You're not going to do something different with a 7-ish count fit if overcaller has 5-9 HCP or if he has 8.5 tricks and around 17? Frankly, I'd probably have a different thought (at least on the next round, this one may be obvious) if it's preemptive or if it's intermediate (especially if I'm going to make or go along with a "mild" slam try) - and that's more likely (who plays strong jump overcalls any more?)
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#9 User is offline   bluejak 

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Posted 2012-August-02, 16:02

View Posttrevahound, on 2012-August-01, 12:53, said:

North is free to do whatever they please, pending later adjustment if appropriate.

Time to read Law 73C.
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#10 User is offline   Rossoneri 

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Posted 2012-August-02, 19:59

Well, I would ask the same questions about whether a stop card was used and how long the pause was. Perhaps best to ask South if he/she had thought for a while.

Did the TD poll players of similar ability? Bidding 4 on your own on a 6 loser hand seems to be crazy without the alleged pause, but others might disagree with me...

PS: Good to see the newly qualified TDs not being afraid to ask for opinions!
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#11 User is offline   Jeremy69A 

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Posted 2012-August-04, 03:47

Quote

If no natural meaning is alertable, this seems like a good place to always ask the range to avoid creating UI by only sometimes asking.


The "I always ask" defence has been used before but directors are not usually sympathetic to this because of the lack of evidence and if you have a marginal hand for your ask even if you really do ask on a balanced 1 count as well I think you are likely to get ruled against.
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#12 User is offline   VixTD 

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Posted 2012-August-06, 07:20

Sorry if I didn't spell it all out, I hadn't envisaged a discussion on whether or not there was a break in tempo. When I said "after a long pause" I assumed that would be taken as a pause over and above that required by regulation.

Just to make it clear: under EBU regulations a pause of about ten seconds is required after every jump bid. Although the regulation is not often observed in clubs and minor games, it is not optional and "we never bother with the skip regulations" would not be acceptable by a pair as a defence, even if it were true. (On the other hand, I would not allow a pair who frequently ignore the stop regulation to hide behind it on the odd occasion when they do pause after a jump bid.)

I told my correspondent that I thought that pass and double were logical alternatives, and that the pause and question suggested taking action over passing, but that she should conduct a poll of the players' peers to see if any of them give serious consideration to passing.

I've been away for a few days visiting bridge-playing relatives who are probably closer to being North's peers than I am. I gave them the hand, and they both bid 4, but admitted that they considered passing, and that it could be the right action. They had to be prompted to consider double, and (although they are a long-standing regular partnership) would not have been confident that partner would understand it was for takeout.

So I think my modest poll supports my view that pass is a logical alternative, but maybe it is closer than I originally thought, and we shouldn't be too critical of North when he bid 4.
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