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Comparable Call How much flexibility is allowed?

#1 User is online   lamford 

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Posted 2019-January-24, 06:04


IMPs; West originally opened 1C out of turn. EBU

This was from actual play, and was one unclear point from a seminar for club directors conducted by Vampyr and this author recently. West had opened 1C out of turn, playing a weak NT, better minor and 5-card majors. North did not accept it, and South tried to put a spanner in the works with a fruity weak 2S, after the TD had read the relevant laws when called.

a) Is 2NT a comparable call? The original 1C now tells East that West does not have five hearts, nor longer diamonds than clubs, but that information is not especially useful.

b) Should West be told whether 2NT will be accepted before making the call, as otherwise he will clearly try 3NT, not risking a missed game? If he does this, East will know that it is likely to be shaded, and that is unauthorised I presume?

Of course, 6NT makes on the hand with North getting squeezed fairly simply without declarer having to risk the heart finesse.
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#2 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2019-January-24, 06:56

lamford writes "IMPs; West originally opened 1C out of turn. EBU. This was from actual play, and was one unclear point from a seminar for club directors conducted by Vampyr and this author recently. West had opened 1C out of turn, playing a weak NT, better minor and 5-card majors. North did not accept it, and South tried to put a spanner in the works with a fruity weak 2S, after the TD has read the relevant laws when called.a) Is 2NT a comparable call? The original 1C now tells East that West does not have five hearts, nor longer diamonds than clubs, but that information is not especially useful. b) Should West be told whether 2NT will be accepted before making the call, as otherwise he will clearly try 3NT, not risking a missed game? If he does this, East will know that it is likely to be shaded, and that is unauthorised I presume?Of course, 6NT makes on the hand with North getting squeezed fairly simply without declarer having to risk the heart finesse."
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The offender can ask the director if 2N would be a "comparable" call.
IMO it isn't but I concede that is a matter of judgement.
The commentary on the laws apparently recommends that the director ask the offender's partner about meanings of possible replacement calls to establish if any are "comparable". That way madness lies. Except that the inmates already run the asylum :)
A problem with rules that mandate unnecessarily subjective rulings is that they can allow the director to decide who wins a tournament on a seeming whim. Inevitably, that engenders suspicions of bias.
Clumsy kludges (like the rules about illegal calls) could easily be made more simple and objective (e.g. Cancel offending call, silence offender's partner).
Rule-makers reflexively reject such suggestions because they compromise a "normal table-result". I agree with Vampyr, however: "That bird has flown" :(

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#3 User is offline   PrecisionL 

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Posted 2019-January-24, 07:23

As a club director I would allow 2NT as a comparable call. ACBL has suggested that X would usually not be a comparable call, but I don't agree, so I would accept X also in this case.
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#4 User is offline   jvage 

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Posted 2019-January-24, 08:36

Whether or not 2NT should be accepted as a Comparable Call is a judgement issue for the TD. For me, who generally follow a rather liberal policy (in accordance with the guidelines from the WBFLC), this is not clear.

To Lamford: If a 3NT replacement is chosen this would bar partner if it is not found to be a CC, so the UI issue is likely irrelevant.

To Nigel: I did not find what you wrote in the commentary. It says the player sitting behind the offender (not the TD) may ask offenders partner about alternative calls before deciding to accept an irregular bid. If the TD needs information to establish if any replacement calls are CC he should ask the offender away from the table.
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#5 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2019-January-24, 11:59

View Postjvage, on 2019-January-24, 08:36, said:

To Nigel: I did not find what you wrote in the commentary. It says the player sitting behind the offender (not the TD) may ask offenders partner about alternative calls before deciding to accept an irregular bid. If the TD needs information to establish if any replacement calls are CC he should ask the offender away from the table.


JVage might well be right. I confess it's hard for me to understand what the WBFLC writes.
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#6 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-January-24, 12:51

View Postlamford, on 2019-January-24, 06:04, said:


a) Is 2NT a comparable call? The original 1C now tells East that West does not have five hearts, nor longer diamonds than clubs, but that information is not especially useful.


I would have thought this is not a comparable call, precisely because it says that West does not have five hearts, nor longer diamonds than clubs. That information is a subset of NT rather than the other way round, and surely is (or rather, would be if it was authorised) useful to East, who now knows that he can exclude a 5-card fit with his hearts or a 4-card fit with his diamonds.
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#7 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-January-24, 13:21

View Postpescetom, on 2019-January-24, 12:51, said:

I would have thought this is not a comparable call, precisely because it says that West does not have five hearts, nor longer diamonds than clubs. That information is a subset of NT rather than the other way round, and surely is (or rather, would be if it was authorised) useful to East, who now knows that he can exclude a 5-card fit with his hearts or a 4-card fit with his diamonds.


Consider the comparison to 1-(1)-1X

You get about the same amount of extra info (there are plenty of hands included in X that would start with 1) but the above one is IIRC specifically allowed.
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#8 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2019-January-24, 13:36

View Postlamford, on 2019-January-24, 06:04, said:

West ... [plays] a weak NT, better minor and 5-card majors.
a) Is 2NT a comparable call? The original 1C now tells East that West does not have five hearts, nor longer diamonds than clubs, but that information is not especially useful.

IMO (and I have no skills or training in Directing tournaments), I would allow 2NT as a comparable call. I don't agree with pescetom that the additional information available from the withdrawn 1 call is an issue. And I agree with lamford when he wrote "that information is not especially useful".

I also feel that the 2NT would normally convey a 15-17 HCP hand (something that 1 - 1X; 1NT would convey in an uninterrupted, free from COOT, auction).

If so, it begs consideration whether the fact that the replaced "comparable" call has (inferentially) conveyed a different subset to East than what was actually held (a great 18 HCP hand) is AI to West. Not sure if I am making sense, but I think West should not be allowed to gain if he drives on to 6NT despite the COOT because he knows that East expects a 15-17 when he, in reality, has more.
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#9 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-January-24, 14:27

View PostCyberyeti, on 2019-January-24, 13:21, said:

Consider the comparison to 1-(1)-1X

You get about the same amount of extra info (there are plenty of hands included in X that would start with 1) but the above one is IIRC specifically allowed.


In the case you quote, the WBF commentary says "The TD accepts the substitution of a double which has either the same meaning, or in other partnership agreements, shows hearts plus diamonds and thus is contained in the meaning of the 1♥-bid, (which just shows hearts)."
Their point (I think) is that you have no extra info at all - the substitute bid is contained in the original bid, which is the essence of this law.
That is not the case in the OP.
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#10 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-January-24, 14:36

View Postpescetom, on 2019-January-24, 14:27, said:

In the case you quote, the WBF commentary says "The TD accepts the substitution of a double which has either the same meaning, or in other partnership agreements, shows hearts plus diamonds and thus is contained in the meaning of the 1♥-bid, (which just shows hearts)."
Their point (I think) is that you have no extra info at all - the substitute bid is contained in the original bid, which is the essence of this law.
That is not the case in the OP.


Rubbish, it gives MASSES of extra info, you don't have 4 hearts and 5 or 6 diamonds (or for many players 4-4) where you would have responded 1, also 3343 without a spade stop and say a 9 count. In some agreements, you also don't have a WJS 2 (where you play WJS but 2 over 1 would be a better hand) or a flannery if you play that.
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#11 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-January-24, 15:44

View PostCyberyeti, on 2019-January-24, 14:36, said:

Rubbish, it gives MASSES of extra info, you don't have 4 hearts and 5 or 6 diamonds (or for many players 4-4) where you would have responded 1.


Could you please be a bit more precise about the "it" you refer to and what if anything I said may be rubbish?
If you refer to 1 - (1) - 1 replaced by double as in the WBF commentary, then I fail to agree, as for most players double here shows 4+ hearts and little else.
If you refer to the situation of East in the OP, I already took the position that he receives extra info if the substitution is allowed.
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#12 User is offline   ahydra 

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Posted 2019-January-24, 16:12

23A2 appears to allow the 2NT as a comparable call, as the 2NT overcall represents a subset of the 1C hands, specifically the BAL 15-18 hands. Of course, there are a small number of 2NT bids which aren't in 1C e.g. ones with five hearts, but IIRC the guidance for the 2017 laws is to not be pedantic about these kinds of things. This is one area where I really need to read up on what changed in 2017.

Since the rules on comparable calls consist of multiple parts and also have some leeway for TD judgement, for practical purposes I think it should be allowed for West to ask if a particular call is a comparable call. It might be fairest for the TD to discuss this with West away from the table, e.g. to avoid giving UI to East about the meaning of 2NT, or allowing a nefarious West to make up a meaning on the spot.

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#13 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-January-24, 16:34

View Postpescetom, on 2019-January-24, 15:44, said:

Could you please be a bit more precise about the "it" you refer to and what if anything I said may be rubbish?
If you refer to 1 - (1) - 1 replaced by double as in the WBF commentary, then I fail to agree, as for most players double here shows 4+ hearts and little else.
If you refer to the situation of East in the OP, I already took the position that he receives extra info if the substitution is allowed.


Yes, I agree, for 1 replaced by double to be legal though, the 1 bid should not convey any extra info to add to what the double shows, here it clearly does, it tells partner you DON'T have several shapes where you might double (2461/2452/2443/xxx343 maybe others depending on system) but NOT respond 1, so it should really be disallowed, but it shows that a fair amount of latitude is allowed in interpretation.

To quote the commentary

To deem a call comparable, it must be one of the following:
It must have the same or similar meaning as the replaced call
It must define a subset of the meanings of the replaced call , or
It must have the same purpose (such as a relay or asking bid) as the replaced call

it clearly does NOT define a subset of the meanings of the replaced call as all the hands with longer diamonds are not included, and doesn't meet the third criterion. It therefore means that the same or similar meaning is pretty loosely interpreted.
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#14 User is online   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-January-25, 03:06

View PostCyberyeti, on 2019-January-24, 16:34, said:

it clearly does NOT define a subset of the meanings of the replaced call as all the hands with longer diamonds are not included, and doesn't meet the third criterion. It therefore means that the same or similar meaning is pretty loosely interpreted.


Actually, I think it means that the subset test can be pretty loosely interpreted. But I agree with the general thrust of your argument.

My view is that allowing 2NT as a comparable call is consistent with the 2017 Laws and supplementary guidance.

View Postlamford, on 2019-January-24, 06:04, said:

b) Should West be told whether 2NT will be accepted before making the call?


The recently issued commentary on the 2017 Laws includes (P.20):

Quote

Procedure after an Insufficient Bid

The TD might also need to ask the offender what he meant to do when making the insufficient bid. The TD should do this away from the table, to avoid creating UI. If the offender wants to know whether a replacement call fulfills the conditions of Law 27B1 the TD should tell him, also away from the table.


I think it is clear that, if asked, the director can advise as to whether the call will be allowed (away from the table). It is unclear to me whether this should be restricted to a director responding to a question or whether a director may, in some circumstances, offer the offender the information that he/she can give such advice.
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#15 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2019-January-25, 04:13

I would think it’s dependent on what 2NT would mean without the IB. Over here it usually is a 1NT, 15...17pt. This hand is stronger,I would probably allow a double, but it depends on the EW agreements.
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#16 User is offline   jvage 

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Posted 2019-January-25, 04:32

It seems others made the same mistake as me, when I first skimmed through the original post. I didn't notice this was in a weak NT setting. The problem would be different in a 15-17 1NT setting as most of us are used to. In that case the replacement call of 2NT would strongly indicate exactly 18 hp.
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#17 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-January-25, 04:59

View Postjvage, on 2019-January-25, 04:32, said:

It seems others made the same mistake as me, when I first skimmed through the original post. I didn't notice this was in a weak NT setting. The problem would be different in a 15-17 1NT setting as most of us are used to. In that case the replacement call of 2NT would strongly indicate exactly 18 hp.


Or off shape, (34)15 I'd open 1 but might overcall 2N
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#18 User is offline   weejonnie 

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Posted 2019-January-25, 11:43

a) WBF have issued guideline on comparable calls in the commentary on the laws, that seem to emphasise similar suit lengths rather than high card strength.

b) The commentary also clears up the fact that the TD should ascertain what action the offender will take and advise them whether they will consider the substitute call comparable before it is made. If West punts 3NT then East will be barred from bidding for one round, there will be UI and there may be lead penalties. (Law 31A2(b))

Note that since 1 might be made on 18-19 balanced hand with a weak suit and 3 clubs (in standard Acol), preparatory to rebidding 2NT, then 2NT is actually a call that is attributable to the 1 and hence is comparable. (Law 23C is still available)
The hardest director decisions inevitably are caused by the first failure to call at the appropriate time.
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#19 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-January-25, 14:36

View Postweejonnie, on 2019-January-25, 11:43, said:

Note that since 1 might be made on 18-19 balanced hand with a weak suit and 3 clubs (in standard Acol), preparatory to rebidding 2NT, then 2NT is actually a call that is attributable to the 1 and hence is comparable. (Law 23C is still available)

You note that WBF seem to emphasise similar suit lengths, but don't address the argument that 2NT can include 5-card diamonds or even (for most of us) hearts which are not contained in a standard 1 opening. Do you consider it a necessary grey area, or irrelevant for some reason?
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#20 User is offline   weejonnie 

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Posted 2019-January-25, 16:51

View Postpescetom, on 2019-January-25, 14:36, said:

You note that WBF seem to emphasise similar suit lengths, but don't address the argument that 2NT can include 5-card diamonds or even (for most of us) hearts which are not contained in a standard 1 opening. Do you consider it a necessary grey area, or irrelevant for some reason?


Would you open 1 on

-
76543
AQ
AKQ765

?
The hardest director decisions inevitably are caused by the first failure to call at the appropriate time.
"Funny hand: both sides can make 4 hearts - VM"
No one ever becomes a TD because of the money. They do it because they want to help bridge flourish in their club, region or nation.
Getting rid of one rude player might result in the arrival of four pleasant ones.
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