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A clever chimp And Again?

#1 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-April-12, 09:00


Prior to the opening lead, in this hand from a North London Club team event, North, ChCh, corrected the misexplanation by RR, South, of 2D. RR had said that it was a multi. SB, West, on lead, asked RR what 3D was, and RR replied, "I don't know. I was expecting North to bid 3H or 3S, his six-card major, or 3NT if he had the strong balanced hand. Now I don't know which one he has."

SB led the jack of hearts, and RR won with the queen and thought he would need the diamonds to break to make the contract. He played a diamond and called for the ace on West's seven and East's ten. "And again", he said, crossing his fingers. Before you could say Jack Robinson (or even Jack Rabbit), ChCh, North, had a small diamond on the table. "No, no, I meant a high one", said RR, South. "You can play a high one, as it is you," said SB, West. "No, he can't," replied ChCh, North. "There is case law in the excellent EBU appeal booklets I have been reading which says that 'and again' is a request for a small card in the suit that has just been played, unless it is incontrovertible to continue with a top one. There was a hand at a congress where a seven-year-old lost out by not specifying a top diamond with AKxxxxx opposite xx and no outside entry to dummy and he was forced to duck the second round".

The TD was called. OO said, "Hmm, an interesting one", as he rummaged through law 46. "Declarer did not designate a suit, nor a rank," and the words "and again" are not covered in the laws. I think that there is an implication that the suit designated is diamonds, in which case a low diamond has to be played, and case law suggests this is the case." He concluded, "You can appeal if you wish, SB." "And declarer's different intention is certainly not incontrovertible", he added.

SB knew that ChCh had "participated in the play" but, as ever, it was difficult to prove. ChCh had worked out in a flash that the diamonds were odds-on to be 3-1, as if East had JT or QT she might have played the other honour. After West won the second diamond, there was no longer any defence and the game rolled in.

"Nice safety play," commented ChCh, goading the opponents. "You correctly worked out, RR, that you would make the contract if West began with Q7 or QJ7 and ducking the second round was clearly necessary on the second of these. You only lost to J7 with West, and there is a restricted choice element, as you know, in that East might have played the queen with QT doubleton."

RR blushed, not sure if he was being complemented or ridiculed. Do you agree with OO's ruling?
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#2 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2019-April-13, 01:37

Any half decent player would play a low diamond. But is RR in that class? Maybe you should poll, but, from your stories about RR Iím not sure that it would be easy to find comparable players. As things stand I would, reluctantly, decide in favour of NS, but give a 100% PP to ChCh for participating in the play. For once SB behaves as he should and it doesnít get him anywhere.
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#3 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-April-13, 05:03

View Postsanst, on 2019-April-13, 01:37, said:

Any half decent player would play a low diamond. But is RR in that class? Maybe you should poll, but, from your stories about RR I’m not sure that it would be easy to find comparable players. As things stand I would, reluctantly, decide in favour of NS, but give a 100% PP to ChCh for participating in the play. For once SB behaves as he should and it doesn’t get him anywhere.

Are you saying that ChCh should not have played a low diamond when RR said "and again" and doing so merits a (100%) PP? As an aside, how many IMPs is a 100% PP in a team game?
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#4 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2019-April-13, 11:38

View Postlamford, on 2019-April-13, 05:03, said:

Are you saying that ChCh should not have played a low diamond when RR said "and again" and doing so merits a (100%) PP? As an aside, how many IMPs is a 100% PP in a team game?

Maybe ďand againĒ is a standard sentence in EBU-land for playing a low card in the suit played in the previous trick. If so, thereís nothing to complain about and I doubt you would have posted this case. But otherwise ChCh should have waited for RR to call for a specific card or could have asked which card RR wanted.
Over here 25% equals 3IMP or 1VP. So it would be 12IMP or 4VP. But that might be a bit harsh, so 3IMP or 1VP would be more reasonable. A first offender, and ChCh canít really be called that, would get a warning.
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#5 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2019-April-13, 17:00

It's 12 IMPs or 4VPs if the scales are linear. Are they?
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#6 User is offline   weejonnie 

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Posted 2019-April-14, 00:37

View Postblackshoe, on 2019-April-13, 17:00, said:

It's 12 IMPs or 4VPs if the scales are linear. Are they?

It used to be 10% or 3 imps or 1VP: now it is 25% or 6 imps or 1 VP. - so the penalty in IMPs or VPs has gone up by less than that in MPs. If we apply the increase (15% = 3 imps = 0 VP) then a 75% increase would be an additional 15 IMPs (or 21 in total) - and still only 1 VP.

I think that ChCh hasn't participated in the play - RR has called for a card and 'case law' suggests the lower. The fact that he worked out it would be to NS advantage is a red herring.

Anothe reason that Charlie cannot ask RR what card he had designated is that if he did then obviously RRs designation could not be 'incontrovertable'. That would also be 'participating in the play' and also no doubt comes under 16B.
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#7 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2019-April-14, 01:51

View Postblackshoe, on 2019-April-13, 17:00, said:

It's 12 IMPs or 4VPs if the scales are linear. Are they?

Itís nowhere in the laws and therefore dependent on the jurisdiction. The numbers I gave, are those from the Dutch union. But weejonnieís are probably EBUís.
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#8 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2019-April-14, 01:55

View Postweejonnie, on 2019-April-14, 00:37, said:

I think that ChCh hasn't participated in the play - RR has called for a card and 'case law' suggests the lower. The fact that he worked out it would be to NS advantage is a red herring.

What case law? Iím certain that there are players who would play for the drop. Admittedly, these are not the best in the field, but you canít exclude the possibility.
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#9 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-April-14, 04:58

View Postsanst, on 2019-April-14, 01:55, said:

What case law? Iím certain that there are players who would play for the drop. Admittedly, these are not the best in the field, but you canít exclude the possibility.

The case law stems from a case in an EBU congress where someone with AKxxxxx opposite xx played to the ace of diamonds, with no outside entry, and then said "and another". He was made to play a low diamond, despite the fact that from a bridge point of view this was ridiculous. That is close enough to "and again", which I have heard quite often, usually when declarer is drawing trumps from the top. Each case should be dealt with on its merits. Here I think ChCh was right, but as sharp as a razor (US: sharp as a tack).
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#10 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2019-April-14, 09:29

ďAnd againĒ is used when running a suit. If a top card is LED from Dummy, and as expected wins, ďand againĒ means keep playing them from the top.
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#11 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2019-April-14, 09:49

View PostVampyr, on 2019-April-14, 09:29, said:

ďAnd againĒ is used when running a suit. If a top card is LED from Dummy, and as expected wins, ďand againĒ means keep playing them from the top.

I cannot see any reason for doubt that this also must apply when (as here) a small is LED TOWARDS Dummy and won with the Ace and Dummy also has the King when Declarer now says "and again".

My view (technically) is that "and again" neither designates a denomination nor a rank, so I would apply Law 45D1 here. And particularly so when Declarer immediately specifies another card than the one Dummy placed in the played position.
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#12 User is offline   weejonnie 

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Posted 2019-April-14, 09:50

View Postsanst, on 2019-April-14, 01:55, said:

What case law? Iím certain that there are players who would play for the drop. Admittedly, these are not the best in the field, but you canít exclude the possibility.

I think that applying the epithet of applying "not the best in the field" to RR might be construed as an understatement.
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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#13 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-April-14, 10:02

View PostVampyr, on 2019-April-14, 09:29, said:

“And again” is used when running a suit. If a top card is LED from Dummy, and as expected wins, “and again” means keep playing them from the top.

But here a small card was led towards the ace, king. Declarer is now in dummy, so no "again", repeating the play of the previous trick, is possible. If dummy had AKQxxx, then I would interpret "and again" as a top card, but only because it is, in my view, incontrovertible. If declarer had said "diamond", which is what I think "and again" means (an implied suit, and no rank), I hope you would rule that a small diamond had to be played.

You might use 46B5:
If declarer indicates a play without designating either a suit or a rank (as by saying ‘play anything’ or words of like meaning) either defender may designate the play from dummy.

I would not, as the parenthetical clause, although beginning "as by", which the WBFLC seems very fond of, doesn't just mean "by way of example by", but means "similar to" and that does not apply here.
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#14 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-April-14, 13:37

View Postsanst, on 2019-April-14, 01:51, said:

Itís nowhere in the laws and therefore dependent on the jurisdiction. The numbers I gave, are those from the Dutch union. But weejonnieís are probably EBUís.


I can't see any such numbers in the Italian regulations. It seems to be up to TD.
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#15 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-April-14, 15:30

I think I would interpret "and again" to mean the same thing as the previous designation. So if declarer had called for a "high spade" on the previous trick, it means another high spade.

If the previous designation was specific as to the rank, I think "and again" is meaningless, as that card is no longer playable. I don't see why it would be considered to be like calling the suit without specifying the rank.

#16 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2019-April-14, 16:55

The other day, LHO led an ace against some contract or other I was playing. Dummy came down with ten-three-deuce in the suit. "Play the deuce" says I. RHO follows, I follow. LHO leads the king of the same suit. I said "play the other deuce." B-)
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#17 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-April-15, 02:36

View Postlamford, on 2019-April-12, 09:00, said:

ChCh had worked out in a flash that the diamonds were odds-on to be 3-1, as if East had JT or QT she might have played the other honour. [Ö]

"You correctly worked out, RR, that you would make the contract if West began with Q7 or QJ7 and ducking the second round was clearly necessary on the second of these. You only lost to J7 with West, and there is a restricted choice element, as you know, in that East might have played the queen with QT doubleton."


The restricted choice implications are a little more complex in this is a situation. I agree that Molly the Mule might consider JT to be equals, but is it true she would consider QT as equals? It seems to me that, since MM wishes to gain the lead to play a heart through, they are not equals and she should play the ten on the first round.
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#18 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2019-April-15, 05:38

View Postlamford, on 2019-April-14, 10:02, said:

But here a small card was led towards the ace, king. Declarer is now in dummy, so no "again", repeating the play of the previous trick, is possible. If dummy had AKQxxx, then I would interpret "and again" as a top card, but only because it is, in my view, incontrovertible. If declarer had said "diamond", which is what I think "and again" means (an implied suit, and no rank), I hope you would rule that a small diamond had to be played.

You might use 46B5:
If declarer indicates a play without designating either a suit or a rank (as by saying ‘play anything’ or words of like meaning) either defender may designate the play from dummy.

I would not, as the parenthetical clause, although beginning "as by", which the WBFLC seems very fond of, doesn't just mean "by way of example by", but means "similar to" and that does not apply here.


Yes, I know what your example is, but you know that I am a habitual user of “and again” and you have never been in doubt as to which card I was playing.

I find your example very implausible.
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#19 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-April-15, 06:27

View Postbarmar, on 2019-April-14, 15:30, said:

I think I would interpret "and again" to mean the same thing as the previous designation. So if declarer had called for a "high spade" on the previous trick, it means another high spade.

If the previous designation was specific as to the rank, I think "and again" is meaningless, as that card is no longer playable. I don't see why it would be considered to be like calling the suit without specifying the rank.

On that basis, as stated in the OP, he called for the "ace" which was played on the previous trick, and if "and again" is a repetition of "ace" he has called for a card not in dummy and is then entitled to lead any card he wishes. If "and again" specifies "ace of diamonds", then he has called for a rank not in dummy but has called for a suit that is in dummy, so he has to play the lowest diamond.

In any case to interpret "and again" to mean the same thing as "the previous designation" is not logical, as that card will have been played and can no longer be in dummy.
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#20 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-April-15, 06:35

View PostTramticket, on 2019-April-15, 02:36, said:

The restricted choice implications are a little more complex in this is a situation. I agree that Molly the Mule might consider JT to be equals, but is it true she would consider QT as equals? It seems to me that, since MM wishes to gain the lead to play a heart through, they are not equals and she should play the ten on the first round.

Molly the Mule ALWAYS plays high-low with a doubleton. She has been told innumerable times not to do so, but she stubbornly continues. So, when she plays the ten, she is known to have a singleton or QJT. In the latter case the contract cannot be made. In the former, declarer needs to duck the second round.

Ducking is obvious here, of course, as the contract is then also cold if hearts are 4-4.
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