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alertable??? announceable?? neither?? acbl rules

#1 User is offline   phoenixmj 

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Posted 2019-June-09, 17:42

It is my understanding that it is "typical" for a double of an artificial bid to be lead directing. I thought this was common use and not alertable or announceable.

Yesterday - we were "playing up" and the bidding went 1N, 2c(single suited), 2D (transfer), and I doubled because I had 4 hearts and I wanted a diamond lead because I had a singleton.

They got the contract for 3H and my partner dutifully led a diamond. As it happens, diamonds was his single suit. So, he had the Ace, king and figured that if my bid was lead directing I must be short. We had never really discussed this particular situation (that I wanted the lead because I could trump after the first round) but we had discussed doubling artificial bids as lead directing. After winning the ace, he led a low diamond and I trumped. Our opponents looked upset and asked if we had an understanding as to what my bid meant and we just said that it was lead directing. So one of our opponents said "so you did have an agreement". They did not call the director and said nothing more, but I felt that they felt we had misled them. We want to be "good" and ethical players.

We were obviously defending and I could not have clarified the situation even if I had thought I should or needed to.

My question - was my bid "illegal" in some way? I thought it was standard that it was lead directing and the reason for wanting that lead was immaterial.

Any and all info is appreciated. We are trying to learn and advance our play - and if we are doing something untoward I would appreciate hearing it at the table.

Thx in advance.
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#2 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2019-June-09, 19:43

Your jurisdiction matters. In the EBU, I believe that there are, very unusually, two overlapping unalertable meanings for a double of an artificial bid — directing and actually holding the suit.

In your jurisdiction, it may be different, and a purely lead-directing double is alertable.

EDIT: sorry I was wrong above.
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#3 User is offline   phoenixmj 

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Posted 2019-June-09, 19:45

View PostVampyr, on 2019-June-09, 19:43, said:

Your jurisdiction matters. In the EBU, I believe that there are, very unusually, two overlapping unalertable meanings for a double of an artificial bid — directing and actually holding the suit.

In your jurisdiction, it may be different, and a purely lead-directing double is alertable.



We are ACBL - in the US. I would truly love to know if we should be alerting this.
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#4 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2019-June-09, 20:01

View Postphoenixmj, on 2019-June-09, 19:45, said:

We are ACBL - in the US. I would truly love to know if we should be alerting this.


Put ACBL in the title or subtitle so you get answers from those familiar with these regulations, you could also probably look this up in whatever document you have that explains alert and announcement rules.
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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#5 User is offline   phoenixmj 

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Posted 2019-June-09, 20:10

View PostVampyr, on 2019-June-09, 20:01, said:

Put ACBL in the title or subtitle so you get answers from those familiar with these regulations, you could also probably look this up in whatever document you have that explains alert and announcement rules.


I have been looking and find it very confusing for this particular situation. To be clear - I wanted a lead of the artificial suit bid. IE - they bid 2 diamonds and I wanted a diamond lead.

I can see if I were asking for another suit led - then it would clearly be alertable. I will add ACBL to the title and see if that helps clarify.

Before yesterday - it never occurred to me that it might be alertable, and I know I have seen done many times. But this was unusual because I wanted the lead because of shortness and not because I had that suit.

Thanks for helping.
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#6 User is offline   thad3 

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Posted 2019-June-09, 21:04

The ACBL website has two documents covering alerts:
http://web2.acbl.org.../AlertChart.pdf
https://web2.acbl.or...tProcedures.pdf

The Alert Chart says that doubles, redoubles, and passes are alerted if they are
"highly unusual or [have] unexpected meanings".

The Alert Procedures gives examples, including several examples of lead-directing doubles with no alert.

So no alerts needed for lead-directing.
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#7 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2019-June-09, 21:04

View Postphoenixmj, on 2019-June-09, 20:10, said:

I can see if I were asking for another suit led - then it would clearly be alertable. .
True I saw that listed. It isn't unknown to double of a splinter to lead another suit, why lead the splinter suit you are probably getting your ace at some point.

ACBL alert procedure says:
Except for those doubles with highly unusual or unexpected meanings, doubles do not require an Alert.
Alert procedure-see part 3

If you were void in diamonds I can see you wanting a diamond lead when they end up in .
People get bent out of shape if you double on less than 3 cards. I don't think it is highly unusual. But maybe it is.
It just seems silly you now would have to alert all lead directing doubles as you could have shortness.
Sarcasm is a state of mind
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#8 User is offline   jjsb 

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Posted 2019-June-09, 23:41

i guess i will let professional answer about the chore of the question (even of course i have my opinion on that )
as for my answer i will just put my 2 cents .
we all know that if there is "a problem" in a board (bidding or play) before deciding to change the result or anything u need to see if the action taken that causes "the problem" really did bring the opponent to the bad result .
in other way should we considere that ur double of 2D (showing D) is responsible of the bad result of 3H (bidding or play ) as i can see in ur message, for the play surely the answer is "no" ur partner apparently got AKxxxx in D and will surely lead it whatever , for the bidding i dont know? if ur double show D i suspect that with 5 or 6 card in D i will probably not let my opps play at 3H assuming i have 10 or 11 card fit in D. that migth mean ur partner has an idea that u can play that one short .
all that said as an opponent i will do nothing about this board cause i considere (no offense intended) that deciding that u want to ruff when u are long in trump is a very bad idea most of the time (if not always) .
last things and to conclude i really dotn understand why this seems to be bothering u ... i mean one things is sure in bridge u can always do anything u want IF OF COURSE , ur partner dont understand about ur "everything" . clearly here we can feel u were not doing anything bad on purpose , opps are mad because they get a bad result ?? uts ok ... pay them a heineken at the end of the tournament ... :)

regards
sylvain -jjsb)

#9 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-June-10, 07:08

It's hard to believe you would have to alert this rather obvious meaning for double of an artificial bid.

I don't understand why your partner wants to give you a ruff instead of cashing his king though.
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#10 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-June-10, 07:33

View Postpescetom, on 2019-June-10, 07:08, said:

It's hard to believe you would have to alert this rather obvious meaning for double of an artificial bid.


It may be hard to believe, but it would be alertable in England (I can't comment on ACBL)

Blue Book:

Quote

4 B 2 Doubles
The rules for alerting doubles are:

(d) Suit bids that do not show the suit bid
Alert, unless the double shows the suit bid.


So not alertable if lead-directing based on length in the suit, but alertable if doesn't show length.
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#11 User is offline   phoenixmj 

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Posted 2019-June-10, 07:59

View Postpescetom, on 2019-June-10, 07:08, said:

It's hard to believe you would have to alert this rather obvious meaning for double of an artificial bid.

I don't understand why your partner wants to give you a ruff instead of cashing his king though.


Queen was on the board. So - he did not want to set up their queen and likely would not have led the second diamond without the benefit of the double. So, I trumped the queen.

Frankly - It really NEVER occurred to me that my double was a possible "issue". We are clearly the less experienced players in that game and the pair we were playing I would rank at the high end of the pairs in that group - with about 4000 points each. I would have welcomed a ruling. I actually think our result of down 1 was about par or perhaps just above par for the game.
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#12 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2019-June-10, 08:17

I am another who does not reas the alert rules all that carefully, so this interests me. Let me change the auction slightly, suppose Lho opened 1NT, partner passes, and there is a 2D transfer. If I double, I have diamonds. This is for a couple of reasons. First, if I instead have a stiff diamond I have no interest in defending 2D X.X, which is what might well happen if the NT bidder has five decent diamonds and two hearts.

Now in your auction, partner is showing a single suit, you look at your stiff, you figure that's his suit. If so, the NT opener is not about to XX to play so it makes more sense to have the X show shortness.

So, for me, the answer is "I don't know". If, by agreement, it specifically shows shortness, rather than being a general lead director which could be either on a stiff or on KQJxx, then yes, I think an alert is right. With KQJxx the message is: If you have diamonds we can compete to 3D over 2H and if you don't have diamonds then a diamond lead against their heart contract is apt to be right.

Or so I play the X of 2D, at least if partner has not come in with that single suit bid.
Ken
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#13 User is offline   phoenixmj 

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Posted 2019-June-10, 08:34

View Postkenberg, on 2019-June-10, 08:17, said:

I am another who does not reas the alert rules all that carefully, so this interests me. Let me change the auction slightly, suppose Lho opened 1NT, partner passes, and there is a 2D transfer. If I double, I have diamonds. This is for a couple of reasons. First, if I instead have a stiff diamond I have no interest in defending 2D X.X, which is what might well happen if the NT bidder has five decent diamonds and two hearts.

Now in your auction, partner is showing a single suit, you look at your stiff, you figure that's his suit. If so, the NT opener is not about to XX to play so it makes more sense to have the X show shortness.

So, for me, the answer is "I don't know". If, by agreement, it specifically shows shortness, rather than being a general lead director which could be either on a stiff or on KQJxx, then yes, I think an alert is right. With KQJxx the message is: If you have diamonds we can compete to 3D over 2H and if you don't have diamonds then a diamond lead against their heart contract is apt to be right.

Or so I play the X of 2D, at least if partner has not come in with that single suit bid.


So far reading all of this - I don't know the answer either (for acbl rules). We do not have a specific agreement as to this - it was just circumstances that suggested I was short. It seems to me that with a singleton or a void - you would want that lead regardless of whether partner bid.

Partner and I have never discussed that I might have a stiff - but we have discuss lead directing. Had my partner not bid - hmmm - I think I would still have made that bid because that is the suit I wanted led. Our agreement is that when leading - if partner has a chance to double an artificial bid and does not - we tend to not lead that suit because partner had the opportunity to say go ahead and lead it and chose not to.

Since partner bid as single suited - I might guess his suit is diamonds since I was short - but I have no assurance of that and it could well have been clubs or spades. I also have no knowledge or assurance that he has the ace and/or the king. Had they passed my double - partner has a chance to just show his suit so it is less risky to double with shortness than it otherwise would be. He might have passed thinking I had diamonds - but it is unlikely in this case because he has ace/king. With ace/queen - he might well think I am signaling the king and would like to play diamonds.

So - I do think that my partner may well have the same question - is the double lead direct or does it show that suit. Now - he knows that opener has a balanced hand - so at least 2 diamonds. Declarer did wind up accepting the transfer. We certainly could have been stuck. Again - our "agreement" about the double is not excluding the possibilty of my having diamonds. In which case - I might have then bid diamonds over the 2h bid - but would likely pass over 3H regardless.
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#14 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2019-June-10, 08:40

View PostTramticket, on 2019-June-10, 07:33, said:

It may be hard to believe, but it would be alertable in England (I can't comment on ACBL). So not alertable if lead-directing based on length in the suit, but alertable if doesn't show length.

EBU Blue book, 4 B 2 said:

The rules for alerting doubles are :(d) Suit bids that do not show the suit bid. Alert, unless the double shows the suit bid.
The EBU regulation accords with common sense. It is a pity, however, that local legislatures have to concoct their own rules. Not all such rules are daft but many are ambiguous and idiosyncratic. Anyway they would be unnecessary if the WBF law-book provided sensible defaults.
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#15 User is offline   phoenixmj 

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Posted 2019-June-10, 09:27

View Postnige1, on 2019-June-10, 08:40, said:

The EBU regulation accords with common sense. It is a pity, however, that local legislatures have to concoct their own rules. Not all such rules are daft but many are ambiguous and idiosyncratic. Anyway they would be unnecessary if the WBF law-book provided sensible defaults.


Since our bids are "usually" lead directing but COULD be showing a suit - how would he alert? In other words - I am not excluding the possibility of just having diamonds and wanting a lead. I think i would always want the lead, but I am not saying I could not just have that suit.

So - would we alert every time we double an artificial bid? And say - "could be short"?? It is not that you are signalling a different suit. AND - defender is unable to "clarify" the alert or lack thereof.

I should go on to say that I honestly think this is the first time I have doubled for shortness - partly because the opportunity has not come up very often.
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#16 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-June-10, 10:48

View Postnige1, on 2019-June-10, 08:40, said:

The EBU regulation accords with common sense. It is a pity, however, that local legislatures have to concoct their own rules. Not all such rules are daft but many are ambiguous and idiosyncratic. Anyway they would be unnecessary if the WBF law-book provided sensible defaults.

The WBF does provide some sensible defaults - in this case "When screens are not in use, do not alert the following... all doubles".
If you want to know, ask. Could be a lot worse IMO.
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#17 User is offline   miamijd 

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Posted 2019-June-10, 12:07

Well, I'm an ACBL certified director, but I get them wrong sometimes, too. In my opinion, you should alert this double, but it doesn't look like the opponents were damaged.

Under ACBL regulations, doubles, redoubles, and passes are alerted if they are "highly unusual or [have] unexpected meanings".

(1NT) 2c(capp) 2d(transfer) X

What would a typical expert expect this double to mean? I see three main possibilities:

1. Short hearts and support for all the other suits. That is: "Partner, if your suit is hearts, you might want to double for penalty. If you suit is anything else, I have support for you, and you can bid over their 2H bid." You could use a 2H call here for that meaning, but what if partner's suit actually is hearts? That's why I think X is better for this hand.

2. A diamond suit. "Partner, I don't know what you suit is, but I have good diamonds if you want to compete there."

3. Sort of like 2, but lead-directing, with enough diamonds to survive if the opponents elect to X 2D and partner leaves it. Maybe AKxx at a minimum, hopefully longer.

I like treatment 1; many would play 2; I don't think 3 would get many votes on bridgewinners.

Lead-directing with short diamonds looks very odd to me. Would you double two diamonds with

x xxx KQJTxx xxx?

Probably so, unless you play treatment 1 above. Well, if you would do the same thing with

xxxx xxx x Axxxx

you're going to put your partner in an untenable situation. How you do know his suit isn't spades? And if it is, how does he know to pass if you have the first hand and bid like crazy in spades if you have the second?

Short diamonds here is going to be VERY unexpected. If your actual agreement is "lead direction; could be a suit or shortness," I think that needs to be alerted.

On the other hand, I'm not sure how your opponents were damaged. Did they do anything differently as a result of the failure to alert? Seems unlikely. I doubt I would have adjusted the score, but if that really is your agreement, then I would have advised you to alert it from now on.

Are there any ACBL directors out there who disagree with me?

Cheers,
Mike
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#18 User is offline   phoenixmj 

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Posted 2019-June-10, 12:36

View Postmiamijd, on 2019-June-10, 12:07, said:

Well, I'm an ACBL certified director, but I get them wrong sometimes, too. In my opinion, you should alert this double, but it doesn't look like the opponents were damaged.

Under ACBL regulations, doubles, redoubles, and passes are alerted if they are "highly unusual or [have] unexpected meanings".

(1NT) 2c(capp) 2d(transfer) X

What would a typical expert expect this double to mean? I see three main possibilities:

1. Short hearts and support for all the other suits. That is: "Partner, if your suit is hearts, you might want to double for penalty. If you suit is anything else, I have support for you, and you can bid over their 2H bid." You could use a 2H call here for that meaning, but what if partner's suit actually is hearts? That's why I think X is better for this hand.

2. A diamond suit. "Partner, I don't know what you suit is, but I have good diamonds if you want to compete there."

3. Sort of like 2, but lead-directing, with enough diamonds to survive if the opponents elect to X 2D and partner leaves it. Maybe AKxx at a minimum, hopefully longer.

I like treatment 1; many would play 2; I don't think 3 would get many votes on bridgewinners.

Lead-directing with short diamonds looks very odd to me. Would you double two diamonds with

x xxx KQJTxx xxx?

Probably so, unless you play treatment 1 above. Well, if you would do the same thing with

xxxx xxx x Axxxx

you're going to put your partner in an untenable situation. How you do know his suit isn't spades? And if it is, how does he know to pass if you have the first hand and bid like crazy in spades if you have the second?

Short diamonds here is going to be VERY unexpected. If your actual agreement is "lead direction; could be a suit or shortness," I think that needs to be alerted.

On the other hand, I'm not sure how your opponents were damaged. Did they do anything differently as a result of the failure to alert? Seems unlikely. I doubt I would have adjusted the score, but if that really is your agreement, then I would have advised you to alert it from now on.

Are there any ACBL directors out there who disagree with me?

Cheers,
Mike



Thanks Mike. Appreciate the input. I would agree that in this case, they were not damaged. We got around 50 percent on that board so it was not a major advantage. I doubt that they would do anything different and I also don't know how they interpreted my bid -

Let's say it is lead directing but with AK - then I assume no alert is required.

As I mentioned, this was the first time I remember anything like this coming up. I think in the future it is likely a "dangerous" bid for other reasons so I might just pass.

It never occurred to me that this was an issue until the face made when I trumped.
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#19 User is offline   Ishudav 

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Posted 2019-June-10, 13:20

I have just read The ACBL rules and I can well understand your difficulty in following them. If anything, I am slightly inclined to say you should alert.

The EBU Blue Book rules (2018) are much more explanatory

4 B 2 Doubles

The rules for alerting doubles are:

(a) Suit bids that show the suit bid
Alert, unless the double is for take-out.

(b) Minor suit openings which may be shorter than three cards but which may be natural and which do not promise a strong hand
Alert, unless the double is for take-out.

© No trump bids
Alert, unless the double is for penalties.

(d) Suit bids that do not show the suit bid
Alert, unless the double shows the suit bid.

Doubles are also alertable if they convey a potentially unexpected meaning in addition to takeout or penalties (see 3H2 and 3H3).

In 4B2(a) and (d) the word ‘show’ is defined as follows:
‘it is natural, or shows willingness, in the context of the auction, to play in the suit, or it has been followed by two passes’.

It doesn't saying anything about doubling for a lead, so in this country, I think you would have to alert in the situation you are referring to.
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#20 User is offline   dsLawsd 

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Posted 2019-June-10, 14:17

This might merit a question to "Ruling the Game" in the ACBL Bulletin.

I am a Certified Club Director and cannot be sure either.
But, since 2 is a Convention that does Not show a suit yet
I think the Partnership is required to have an agreement as to the meaning of calls including the double. Since there are multiple possible meanings the Opponents are entitled to know how you play it.
And fess up here that you have not discussed it. But then make one immediately!

Probably here no damage or adjustment- but an apology to the opponents seems like the right thing to do to smooth things over as an
ACtive Ethics sort of situation.

Playing conventions always has an added burden to the users.

Glad to hear about this as it is very interesting.
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