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Failure to alert weak jump shift -- who can summon Director?

#1 User is offline   bixby 

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Posted 2019-December-27, 10:39

In a game within the ACBL, my LHO, the dealer, opens 1C, my partner passes, my RHO bids 2H (no alert), I pass, and LHO passes.

As soon as LHO passes, I strongly suspect that RHO's bid was a weak jump shift, which should have been alerted under ACBL alert rules. If the director were summoned immediately, he could give me the opportunity to change my call (Law 21B), which I would like to do, as my pass was based on the assumption that RHO's 2H bid was strong. But if my partner calls before the director is summoned, it is no longer possible for me to change my call.

Can I summon the director as soon as LHO passes?
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#2 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-December-27, 11:23

View Postbixby, on 2019-December-27, 10:39, said:

In a game within the ACBL, my LHO, the dealer, opens 1C, my partner passes, my RHO bids 2H (no alert), I pass, and LHO passes.

As soon as LHO passes, I strongly suspect that RHO's bid was a weak jump shift, which should have been alerted under ACBL alert rules. If the director were summoned immediately, he could give me the opportunity to change my call (Law 21B), which I would like to do, as my pass was based on the assumption that RHO's 2H bid was strong. But if my partner calls before the director is summoned, it is no longer possible for me to change my call.

Can I summon the director as soon as LHO passes?


I see no reason why you can not summon the director, and he could give you the opportunity to change you call (Law 21B). You could also wait until the end of the auction to call him, knowing that if he judges that the offending side gained an advantage from the irregularity he will award an adjusted score.

Failure to alert (or announce, in some places outside ACBL) a weak jump shift is very frequent and also insidious because your partner might be ready to act over it even if you are not. Considering how rare natural strong jump shifts are (at least here) I have no compunction in asking LHO what 2H means before I call, which avoids this problem at the risk of causing others (in a highly competitive situation a safer compromise might be to ask opponents to explain the auction so far).
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#3 User is offline   weejonnie 

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Posted 2019-December-27, 15:06

I think first of all you have to ask your LHO if his partner's call is strong or weak since if it is weak he should have alerted.

This meets the criterium of Law 9A1. (Any player can draw attention to an irregularity whether or not is is his turn to call).

if he agrees it is weak then you can call the director under 9B1a.

If it is strong then obviously there is no MI and your partner has UI. Presumably you intended to make a call if the explanation given was 'weak jump shift' otherwise it would seem you have asked the question solely for the benefit of your partner. (Law 20G1) - and of course there is UI if you don't.
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#4 User is offline   ahydra 

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Posted 2019-December-27, 18:28

View Postweejonnie, on 2019-December-27, 15:06, said:

I think first of all you have to ask your LHO if his partner's call is strong or weak since if it is weak he should have alerted.


But, the OP is not allowed to ask such a question, as it's not his turn to call. (There is no known irregularity until it is determined that the 2H should have been alerted - for which to happen, the meaning needs to be disclosed.)

Perhaps OP's partner could ask before passing to try to "protect" - but if the partner wasn't intending to take a bid no matter what 2H meant, this would fall foul of the rule against asking questions solely for partner's benefit. I think honestly all one can do in this case is call the TD at the end of the auction and, if partner doesn't wish to take back his pass, trust the TD to have your back in adjusting the score if you're damaged. Of course the TD is encouraged to strongly favour the NOS in these kinds of situations.

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#5 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2019-December-27, 19:07

View Postbixby, on 2019-December-27, 10:39, said:

In a game within the ACBL, my LHO, the dealer, opens 1C, my partner passes, my RHO bids 2H (no alert), I pass, and LHO passes.

As soon as LHO passes, I strongly suspect that RHO's bid was a weak jump shift, which should have been alerted under ACBL alert rules. If the director were summoned immediately, he could give me the opportunity to change my call (Law 21B), which I would like to do, as my pass was based on the assumption that RHO's 2H bid was strong. But if my partner calls before the director is summoned, it is no longer possible for me to change my call.

Can I summon the director as soon as LHO passes?

No. As others have said, you can only act (including calling the director) when it's your turn to act, unless attention has been called to an irregularity. There's an unwritten exception: when someone commits a Zero Tolerance violation.

Not applicable here, but note that "dummy can't call the director" is a myth. What dummy can't do is call attention to an irregularity, but once attention is called by someone else, dummy is in the same boat as everyone else: he can call the director, and all four players are responsible to ensure that's done.

You can't ask questions after you've passed, either. Best to just say nothing, and call the director after the hand if you think you were damaged by an irregularity.
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#6 User is offline   bixby 

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Posted 2019-December-27, 21:08

Thank you all for these replies. Those who say the answer is no, may I ask how this answer is reconciled with Law 9A1, which states, "Unless prohibited by Law, any player may draw attention to an irregularity during the auction period, whether or not it is his turn to call."

If the auction went (starting with my LHO) 1C - P - 2H - P - 2D, I would be entitled to call attention to the insufficient bid and summon the Director, even though it was not my turn to call, right?

Why is this case different?
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#7 User is online   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-December-28, 00:25

View Postbixby, on 2019-December-27, 21:08, said:

Why is this case different?


Because there is no established irregularity yet. All that you know so far is that LHO has chosen to pass a (ostensibly) forcing bid. Saying anything at this stage will potentially create unauthorised information.
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#8 User is offline   RMB1 

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Posted 2019-December-31, 12:12

View Postblackshoe, on 2019-December-27, 19:07, said:

No. As others have said, you can only act (including calling the director) when it's your turn to act, unless attention has been called to an irregularity. There's an unwritten exception: when someone commits a Zero Tolerance violation.


I don't see this in the law book: Law 9A1 says any player can draw attention, Law 9B1 (b) says any player can summon the director. Nothing in Law 9 says it has to be the player's turn to call - indeed Law 9A1 says the opposite.
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#9 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2019-December-31, 13:29

View PostRMB1, on 2019-December-31, 12:12, said:

I don't see this in the law book: Law 9A1 says any player can draw attention, Law 9B1 (b) says any player can summon the director. Nothing in Law 9 says it has to be the player's turn to call - indeed Law 9A1 says the opposite.

Okay, "act" includes "call attention to an irregularity". And yeah, that's allowed. Maybe there are other acts one can do when it's not one's turn. But I was thinking specifically of calling, playing a card, asking questions, looking at an opponent's system card and similar "acts".
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#10 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-January-09, 22:45

I've argued this with two National TDs (Highest rank in the ACBL) because after ...3-p-p, I felt that if *I* wouldn't do anything I can't ask, because the only reason to ask would be to help my partner (violating L20G1). Especially if I have access to their CC and check it and see that WJS not in competition is checked. Said TDs both believed that after I passed it out and partner asked what 3 was and then called the TD when told it was weak (and therefore should have been alerted) that because I didn't "clear the suspicion", that my partner had no rights.

I'm not thrilled by this (see "asking questions for partner's benefit" above), but it's what has been ruled at my table, and what I have confirmed is correct.

The argument I have been given is that - especially if I see that the bid is Alertable from the card - that I have been proven to have been misinformed here. Either their card is wrong, and it's not Alertable (but passed anyway), or the card is right, and I'm owed an Alert. Because there is a known irregularity - the misinformation, even though I don't know what that misinformation is yet - if I choose not to clarify, I'm in the "expert rule" territory. Still unsure how that takes away my partner's rights, but since I know how it will be ruled, when I get 1M-p-3m unAlerted-p-p to me, I always ask, no matter what my hand is. And when it's weak, we call the TD, and partner gets to make the bid she would have made had 3m been Alerted as Weak.
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#11 User is offline   axman 

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Posted 2020-January-10, 08:08

View Postmycroft, on 2020-January-09, 22:45, said:

I've argued this with two National TDs (Highest rank in the ACBL) because after ...3-p-p, I felt that if *I* wouldn't do anything I can't ask, because the only reason to ask would be to help my partner (violating L20G1). Especially if I have access to their CC and check it and see that WJS not in competition is checked. Said TDs both believed that after I passed it out and partner asked what 3 was and then called the TD when told it was weak (and therefore should have been alerted) that because I didn't "clear the suspicion", that my partner had no rights.

I'm not thrilled by this (see "asking questions for partner's benefit" above), but it's what has been ruled at my table, and what I have confirmed is correct.

The argument I have been given is that - especially if I see that the bid is Alertable from the card - that I have been proven to have been misinformed here. Either their card is wrong, and it's not Alertable (but passed anyway), or the card is right, and I'm owed an Alert. Because there is a known irregularity - the misinformation, even though I don't know what that misinformation is yet - if I choose not to clarify, I'm in the "expert rule" territory. Still unsure how that takes away my partner's rights, but since I know how it will be ruled, when I get 1M-p-3m unAlerted-p-p to me, I always ask, no matter what my hand is. And when it's weak, we call the TD, and partner gets to make the bid she would have made had 3m been Alerted as Weak.

>> I felt that if *I* wouldn't do anything I can't ask, because the only reason to ask would be to help my partner

It is a matter of propriety to avoid creating problems. I think that this is the right approach. It is also the right approach to notice the CC to avoid the need for asking- for the same reason.

imo the TD reasoning is rubbish.
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#12 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-January-10, 10:11

ACBL's "expert rule" says:

Quote

Players who, by experience or expertise, recognize that their opponents have neglected to Alert a special agreement will be expected to protect themselves.

You protected yourself by checking their CC, so you were properly informed, despite the missing alert.

So the question arises of whether "protect themselves" includes making sure that partner is properly informed. Doing so seems to violate 20G1.

But maybe we should be lenient about interpreting 20G1 when this is a direct result of their infraction. If they'd alerted, and you already knew that it was because it's a WJS, you would be in violation if you asked for partner's benefit.

#13 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2020-January-10, 13:24

Personally, if as a director my attention was called to this infraction (failure to alert) when the circumstances deprived the NOS of redress, I would be issuing a PP (not a warning) to the offenders.
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#14 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-January-11, 12:10

View Postbarmar, on 2020-January-10, 10:11, said:

You protected yourself by checking their CC, so you were properly informed, despite the missing alert.

So the question arises of whether "protect themselves" includes making sure that partner is properly informed. Doing so seems to violate 20G1.

But maybe we should be lenient about interpreting 20G1 when this is a direct result of their infraction. If they'd alerted, and you already knew that it was because it's a WJS, you would be in violation if you asked for partner's benefit.


This looks to me like another example of careless tinkering with already imperfect laws. "A player may not ask a question if his sole purpose is to benefit partner" is excellent in principle, but if you want to mandate it in practice then maybe you should first ask yourself whether there is any situation where an otherwise innocent side might be damaged should the player on turn fail to ask such a question, and if so then fix that hole before proceding.

Maybe a partial solution to this mess would be for players to agree that whenever partner checks the opponents' CC then we will do the same at our own turn to play. That is far from the spirit of 20G1, but reading a CC is not asking a question and the laws are not doing us any favours here anyway.
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