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Is this a psyche or cheating?

#1 User is online   AL78 

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Posted 2020-September-28, 10:38

My bridge partner has just told me a situation which cropped up on BBO where she got a bottom because they were diverted from the killing lead by one of the opponents doing what sounded to me like a psyche, but she is adament they were cheating.

Her opponents bid up to a slam, and on the way her LHO bid 3, which was alerted as 0-1 spades. I'm not sure whether or not her RHO had bid spades naturally in the auction, it is possible. Her partner on lead holding the spade ace decided on the basis of this description not to lead it. It turned out that the person who bid 3 and alerted it held two losing spades, and a spade lead was necessary for the defence to take two spade tricks before the losers were thrown on diamonds. She seems to believe this was deliberate mis-information and therefore cheating, whereas I am inclined to believe it was a psyche aimed to divert the killing lead. What are your thoughts?

The director was called at the time and questioned the opponents. The one who made the 3 bid claimed he got his spades and clubs mixed up, e.g. he/she was looking at the club void and clicked on the wrong black suit. The result was allowed to stand.

She asked one or two senior players at the club (who are very experienced directors) who sided with her saying it was out of order, and there seems to be a view that psyches should be illegal.
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#2 User is offline   glen 

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Posted 2020-September-28, 10:55

I found the hand. Opener had 2-7-4-0, hearts headed by AKJ, diamonds by KQ. The auction was 1-2NT(Jacoby)-3-4-6.

The person who bid 3 is one of the most senior TDs in the world. If he is cheating we are in serious trouble. Fortunately, looking at their other boards I see no signs of cheating.
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#3 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2020-September-28, 10:58

Where to begin?

Let's start with the most obvious. The two senior players in your club are idiots, they don't understand the laws of the game, and you really shouldn't ask their opinions on these sorts of issues.

Next: A misbid is neither a psych or cheating. You have a completely different set of rules at play here. So, if you / the director genuinely believe that a misbid occurred / the player in question made a mistake, its case closed. With this said and done, lying about a misbid and pretending that this is what happened when in fact you did make a lead inhibiting psych is a grave offense.

Next: Lets assume that this was actually a lead inhibiting psych. This is completely legal so long as there isn't some kind of concealed partnership agreement at play. Many strong players practice these sorts of psychs. Some very strong players (for example Zia) do so repeatedly.
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#4 User is online   AL78 

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Posted 2020-September-28, 11:16

View Postglen, on 2020-September-28, 10:55, said:

I found the hand. Opener had 2-7-4-0, hearts headed by AKJ, diamonds by KQ. The auction was 1-2NT(Jacoby)-3-4-6.

The person who bid 3 is one of the most senior TDs in the world. If he is cheating we are in serious trouble. Fortunately, looking at their other boards I see no signs of cheating.


How did you find the hand and identify the players so quickly? I wasn't even playing.
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#5 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2020-September-28, 11:21

View PostAL78, on 2020-September-28, 11:16, said:

How did you find the hand and identify the players so quickly? I wasn't even playing.

I was one of the players (responder). Certainly my partner said that when he bid 3S he thought spades was his short suit and that is what the 3S bid means for us.

But let's also clear up another point that the original poster made, which is that if my partner had deliberately departed from our agreements (psyched) then as long as I had no more reason to suspect this than the opponents, which was the case, this is entirely legitimate.
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#6 User is online   AL78 

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Posted 2020-September-28, 11:22

View Posthrothgar, on 2020-September-28, 10:58, said:

Where to begin?

Let's start with the most obvious. The two senior players in your club are idiots, they don't understandd the laws of the game, and you really shouldn't ask their opinions on these sorts of issues.

Next: A misbid is neither a psych or cheating. You have a completely different set of rules at play here. So, if you / the director genuinely believe that a misbid occurred / the player in question made a mistake, its case closed. With this said and done, lying about a misbid and pretending that this is what happened when in fact you did make a lead inhibiting psych is a grave offense.

Next: Lets assume that this was actually a lead inhibiting psych. This is completely legal so long as there isn't some kind of concealed partnership agreement at play. Many strong players practice these sorts of psychs. Some very strong players (for example Zia) do so repeatedly.


I don't think the senior players are idiots, they just have a strong moral view on psyching (e.g. just because you can, doesn't mean you should).

You are otherwise voicing my thoughts, it was a psyche aimed at deflecting a potentially damaging lead and so allowed by the rules.

My friend just sounded rather bitter about it, which is understandable (if wrong) as she has been the victim of cheating in the past.
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#7 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2020-September-28, 11:26

View Postglen, on 2020-September-28, 10:55, said:

The person who bid 3 is one of the most senior TDs in the world.

Actually I think you have us the wrong way around.
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#8 User is online   AL78 

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Posted 2020-September-28, 11:30

View Postgordontd, on 2020-September-28, 11:21, said:

I was one of the players (responder). Certainly my partner said that when he bid 3S he thought spades was his short suit and that is what the 3S bid means for us.

But let's also clear up another point that the original poster made, which is that if my partner had deliberately departed from our agreements (psyched) then as long as I had no more reason to suspect this than the opponents, which was the case, this is entirely legitimate.


I agree, unfortunately trying to convince someone their strong assertion is wrong is often futile.

I apologise if my original post caused offence. I didn't agree with my friend, but wanted to double check here.
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#9 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2020-September-28, 11:30

View PostAL78, on 2020-September-28, 11:22, said:

I don't think the senior players are idiots, they just have a strong moral view on psyching (e.g. just because you can, doesn't mean you should).

You are otherwise voicing my thoughts, it was a psyche aimed at deflecting a potentially damaging lead and so allowed by the rules.

My friend just sounded rather bitter about it, which is understandable (if wrong) as she has been the victim of cheating in the past.


I have absolutely no use for people who get asked questions about the rules of the game and start substituting their own personal aesthetics.

You friend needs to learn to get over this.
In particular, they need to understand that their belief that some other pair has cheated them in the past is completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand.
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#10 User is offline   glen 

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Posted 2020-September-28, 11:36

View Postgordontd, on 2020-September-28, 11:26, said:

Actually I think you have us the wrong way around.

You are correct
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#11 User is offline   glen 

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Posted 2020-September-28, 11:39

View PostAL78, on 2020-September-28, 11:16, said:

How did you find the hand and identify the players so quickly? I wasn't even playing.
You said "My bridge partner", so after finding who, looked up hands. Then after find the board, looked up more hands by the opponents.
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#12 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2020-September-28, 11:46

View PostAL78, on 2020-September-28, 11:30, said:

I apologise if my original post caused offence.

No, it didn't cause offence. I would much rather have the question raised here, where I can answer it, than have people going around talking about it in ways that I can't respond to.
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#13 User is online   AL78 

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Posted 2020-September-28, 13:19

View Postgordontd, on 2020-September-28, 11:46, said:

No, it didn't cause offence.


Good. I asked a delicate question which could easily have antagonised several people, especially one or both of the pair involved, and that is the last thing I want to do.
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#14 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-September-28, 14:24

I agree with everyone - except the 'idiot' comment (which was completely unnecessary). On the other hand, given that TD's hold a position of special authority in our community, perhaps their play should be held to a higher standard.
If a policeman breaks the law, then who can you trust?
An innocent mistake is fine, but these ought to be logged and tracked so that, for his own good, and the good of the game everyone can sleep well at night - or in my case the day - being on the other side of the world...
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#15 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2020-September-28, 14:59

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-September-28, 14:24, said:

If a policeman breaks the law, then who can you trust?

Nobody broke the law.
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#16 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-September-28, 16:00

View Postgordontd, on 2020-September-28, 14:59, said:

Nobody broke the law.


That's what I said Gordon. It's the principle of Caesar's wife. Nobody is accusing you of wrongdoing.
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#17 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2020-September-28, 16:54

View PostAL78, on 2020-September-28, 10:38, said:

there seems to be a view that psyches should be illegal.

Seems to me this view is wrong-headed, and in any case irrelevant, since psyches are not illegal.

This case demonstrates one problem with the online custom of explaining the meanings of your own calls. There may be others. Here, the assumption by the player that her opponent was cheating is perhaps understandable, she having been a victim in the past, but there is really no basis for it.

BTW, if he had bid 3!S on purpose, that would have been a psych, and he still would have and should have explained the agreement correctly that it was a splinter. What he said though was that he mis-clicked. That's a mis-bid, not a psych. Still requires the same explanation — splinter — of their actual agreement.
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#18 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2020-September-29, 01:15

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-September-28, 16:00, said:

That's what I said Gordon.

I don't think it is what you said, which is why I made the point.
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#19 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2020-September-29, 01:19

View Postblackshoe, on 2020-September-28, 16:54, said:

Here, the assumption by the player that her opponent was cheating is perhaps understandable, she having been a victim in the past, but there is really no basis for it.

Since she thought that this situation indicated cheating, we have no way of knowing if she really had been a victim of it in the past. Perhaps it had been another misbid or a psyche. Since she has asked the opinion of those who seem to think that psyching is tantamount to cheating, she might well have gained the wrong impression about her previous experience.
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#20 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-September-29, 02:28

View Postgordontd, on 2020-September-29, 01:15, said:

I don't think it is what you said, which is why I made the point.


You seem to be going out of your way to deliberately misunderstand me. What exact point are you trying to make Gordon?
What I said was that Tournament Directors are I the position of Caesar's wife this is a well-known legal principle. I specifically said that you were not chaeting.
If you are unfamiliar with the expression, it means "

Do not persist in trying to call me out in this way it is childish. How do you know what other people 'think'? Is this something that you seriously believe yourself capable of?

I don't know about the other people in this thread but I am not accusing you of anything.
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