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The Rabbit Remembers MI or not?

#1 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2020-October-02, 08:37


"Hi SB and MM", said ChCh arriving at an online memorial game at the North London club recently, 75 years after the end of World War II. "We are weak NT and three weak twos. Although I think we should play strong, RR, after your last effort where you went for 800 in a cold 1NTx."

"Weak NT, 4 card suits", responded MM.

RR opened a weak NT, but, distracted by the recent discussion with ChCh, explained it as 15-17. ChCh raised to the vulnerable game and MM led the five of spades to the ace and South's two. "Shouldn't you have bid Stayman, partner, as we could have a heart fit?" asked RR while SB was thinking but ChCh just gave him a withering look.

SB paused to think, recognising it as a potential surrounding play of leading the jack of clubs, but RR would have too much for that to work, and in any case his partner might have KJxxxx when a switch could be catastrophic, so he continued spades. MM won the second spade and cleared the spades, hoping the ace of clubs was an entry.

RR's mind had wandered and he ruffed this trick with the T in case, East could not overruff. and was pleased when East discarded a club. He now tried to draw trumps by leading a heart from dummy, and said "My screen appears to be frozen, it won't let me lead from dummy." "You are in hand," responded ChCh. "No, I am sure I ruffed the last trick," said RR. "You are playing in no-trumps", RR, responded ChCh. "I suggest you re-read lesson 1 of Bridge for Beginners, although "re-read" might be undue flattery."

There was sheepish silence from RR, but he recovered his composure well enough to cash the hearts from the top, and was surprised when his 7 won the third round, as he was sure the ten was still out. He emerged with five heart tricks, a spade, and three diamonds despite the bad break, for a virgin +600 and 11 IMPs in.

"You should duck the second spade, MM, when he can't discard the blocking heart", started SB, East. "And you mis-announced your 1NT as 15-17, RR". He repeatedly banged on the "CALL DIRECTOR" button on his keyboard, causing the table to crash.

Eventually OO arrived and restored the table. "RR mis-announced 1NT as 15-17" SB began. "With the correct announcement, I would have switched to the jack of clubs beating the contract two." He paused for breath. "In addition, ChCh participated in the play as dummy, pointing out that declarer was in his hand and that it was a no-trump contract."

"Self-serving" replied ChCh, North. "You would probably still have played for partner to have KJxxx(x) in spades, and in any case I announced our NT range at the start of the round." He concluded. "And my comments during the play had no effect on the result. To dot the "i"s and cross the "t"s, I don't see the announcement so there is no UI either."

How do you rule?
I prefer to give the lawmakers credit for stating things for a reason - barmar
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#2 User is online   sanst 

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Posted 2020-October-03, 02:00

If this is an online game, the situation you describe is impossible. There are no withering looks, at least not visible for the other players. You can’t ruff in NT, the software wouldn’t allow that and it wouldn’t also allow a play from the wrong hand. What you describe is a f2f game and should be treated as such. No buttons but a bellowing SB, who should be reported to the authorities as breaking the sanitary rules. He should also be thrown out of the venue immediately.
As to the case: in f2f RR wouldn’t alert his own bid, unless screens are in use. I’m afraid this has to be rewritten in accordance with the rules of the game, either online or f2f, with or without screens.
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#3 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-October-03, 02:11

I have ruffed in NT both f2f and in BBO, alas. You don't get the trick assigned to you, which is baffling, but neither the software nor an ethical f2f partner will do anything to prevent you playing a 'trump'.
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#4 User is online   sanst 

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Posted 2020-October-03, 06:37

View Postpescetom, on 2020-October-03, 02:11, said:

I have ruffed in NT both f2f and in BBO, alas. You don't get the trick assigned to you, which is baffling, but neither the software nor an ethical f2f partner will do anything to prevent you playing a 'trump'.

Probably you thought you ruffed, but you didn’t, you just played a card from another suit which you thought was trump. Splitting hairs? Yes, sorry.
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#5 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2020-October-03, 07:36

View Postsanst, on 2020-October-03, 06:37, said:

Probably you thought you ruffed, but you didn’t, you just played a card from another suit which you thought was trump. Splitting hairs? Yes, sorry.

The club actually tried out the RealBridge webcam, where it is possible to give your partner a withering look, without UI when you are dummy. And, yes RR was attempting to "ruff" but was actually discarding. The software does allow you to attempt to ruff in NT, and does not allow a lead from the wrong hand, hence RR's confusion. And online, I frequently give my partner a withering look, confident that they are unable to see it. Anything stated to be said is typed of course, although nowadays it is said and software displays it as text.

The North London Club has not held any F2F games since March, so it was online.
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#6 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-October-03, 09:06

View Postsanst, on 2020-October-03, 06:37, said:

Probably you thought you ruffed, but you didn’t, you just played a card from another suit which you thought was trump. Splitting hairs? Yes, sorry.



I am of course quite aware of the distinction and was just pointing out politely that "You can’t ruff in NT, the software wouldn’t allow that" is nonsense.
You can't ruff in NT because there are no trumps, which has nothing to do with software.
And the incident described can easily happen online.
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#7 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2020-October-03, 11:01

View Postpescetom, on 2020-October-03, 09:06, said:

I am of course quite aware of the distinction and was just pointing out politely that "You can’t ruff in NT, the software wouldn’t allow that" is nonsense.
You can't ruff in NT because there are no trumps, which has nothing to do with software.
And the incident described can easily happen online.

How shall software be able to prevent a player from playing whichever of his remaining cards at his own choice when he is void in the suit led?
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#8 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2020-October-03, 12:36

View Postpran, on 2020-October-03, 11:01, said:

How shall software be able to prevent a player from playing whichever of his remaining cards at his own choice when he is void in the suit led?

Everyone is side-stepping the relevant question. How do you rule?
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#9 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-October-03, 13:03

View Postlamford, on 2020-October-03, 12:36, said:

Everyone is side-stepping the relevant question. How do you rule?



I'm side-stepping because I don't know the relevant EBU rules, and because there is some perverse flack.
Thanks for the names on the diagram :)
Could someone from EBU please summarise?
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#10 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-October-03, 13:30

Does pointing out simple facts that are displayed on everyone's screens (what the contract is and whose turn it is to lead) really count as "participating in the play"? I don't think so. I believe that refers to comments or actions that suggest a specific line of play (e.g. playing a card before declarer calls for it).

#11 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2020-October-03, 13:40

View Postbarmar, on 2020-October-03, 13:30, said:

Does pointing out simple facts that are displayed on everyone's screens (what the contract is and whose turn it is to lead) really count as "participating in the play"? I don't think so. I believe that refers to comments or actions that suggest a specific line of play (e.g. playing a card before declarer calls for it).

My immediate reaction to the original post was that this:
"Shouldn't you have bid Stayman, partner, as we could have a heart fit?" asked RR while SB was thinking but ChCh just gave him a withering look.
was a very improper remark from RR at that time. RR could expect that remark to make SB believe that RR had 4 spades, not only 3 (and MM correspondingly fewer).

But as I have developed a very limited interest in the events at this North London club I have not bothered to consider the situation any further. Instead I would be tempted to just rule "no adjustment nor any penalty".
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#12 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-October-03, 13:46

View Postpran, on 2020-October-03, 13:40, said:

My immediate reaction to the original post was that this:
"Shouldn't you have bid Stayman, partner, as we could have a heart fit?" asked RR while SB was thinking but ChCh just gave him a withering look.
was a very improper remark from RR at that time. RR could expect that remark to make SB believe that RR had 4 spades, not only 3 (and MM correspondingly fewer).

Why would asking about finding a heart fit suggest that he has more spades?

Since ChCh only had 3 hearts, maybe it suggests that they're playing 5-card Stayman and RR has 5 hearts. Since this is what RR actually has, I don't see how it could damage the opponents.

#13 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-October-03, 14:53

View Postbarmar, on 2020-October-03, 13:46, said:

Why would asking about finding a heart fit suggest that he has more spades?

Since ChCh only had 3 hearts, maybe it suggests that they're playing 5-card Stayman and RR has 5 hearts. Since this is what RR actually has, I don't see how it could damage the opponents.


I agree with pran that it's a very inappropriate comment whatever his intention was, and I would warn him of that.
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#14 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2020-October-05, 05:00

View Postpescetom, on 2020-October-03, 14:53, said:

I agree with pran that it's a very inappropriate comment whatever his intention was, and I would warn him of that.

SB thinks that the sole reason for an adjustment is the MI from the wrong announcement of NT range.
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#15 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2020-October-05, 07:14

View Postlamford, on 2020-October-05, 05:00, said:

SB thinks that the sole reason for an adjustment is the MI from the wrong announcement of NT range.

Then he just thinks wrong and should know better.
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#16 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2020-October-05, 09:08

View Postpran, on 2020-October-05, 07:14, said:

Then he just thinks wrong and should know better.

No he thinks right and you should know better.
E. Change of Play Based on Misinformation
<snip>
(b) When it is too late to correct a play under (a) the Director may award an adjusted score.

SB states with the correct information he would have switched to the jack of clubs. The TD should poll players of similar standard (although SB says that will lead to too few people being polled) and consider what they would do with the correct announcement "12-14" and this might included a weighted score. SB has also drawn attention to the impossibility of someone fulfilling 20F5(b):

The player must call the Director and inform his opponents that, in his opinion, his partner’s explanation was erroneous (see Law 75B) but only at his first legal opportunity, which is: (i) for a defender, at the end of the play. (ii) for declarer or dummy, after the final pass of the auction.

How could ChCh do this, when his partner's erroneous explanation of "15-17" is hidden from him by the software until the hand is over? The Laws are inadequate for online play.
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#17 User is offline   weejonnie 

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Posted 2020-October-05, 14:06

These are the EBU Rules (Sky-blue book 1.3)

Experience has shown that it is possible to give the wrong explanation, even when players are explaining their own calls. It is likely that the explanation will be a description of the player’s hand but not the correct explanation according to the partnership agreements. This can occur if the player forgets the system, or if they ‘misclick’ and do not make their intended call.

If there is a misexplanation, the opponents are entitled to a correct explanation of the agreement. If the player giving the explanation becomes aware of their error, then they must correct the explanation. Law 20F4 allows the correction to be made in Clarification Period, but online, the duration of this is controlled only by the opening leader, and the correction needs to be available to the defenders before the opening lead. On the other hand, to correct the explanation during the auction may create unauthorised information due to delays.
The suggested procedure is for the player who knows that his explanation is incorrect, is to replace the incorrect explanation with ‘WRONG explanation’ as soon as possible, and later (if requested) give the correct explanation to the opponents, making it clear that this is the explanation of their agreements, not the player’s intended meaning.
1.4 Partnership

So we'll rule as if there was MI.
No matter how well you know the laws, there is always something that you'll forget. That is why we have a book.
Get the facts. No matter what people say, get the facts from both sides BEFORE you make a ruling or leave the table.
Remember - just because a TD is called for one possible infraction, it does not mean that there are no others.
In a judgement case - always refer to other TDs and discuss the situation until they agree your decision is correct.
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#18 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2020-October-05, 14:57

View Postlamford, on 2020-October-05, 09:08, said:

No he thinks right and you should know better.

Law 73E2 said:

If the Director determines that an innocent player has drawn a false inference from a question, remark, manner, tempo or the like, of an opponent who has no demonstrable bridge reason for the action, and who could have been aware, at the time of the action, that it could work to his benefit, the Director shall award an adjusted score.

There is no question of MI here, and it appears to me that you must completely have overlooked this law?
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#19 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2020-October-05, 19:28

View Postpran, on 2020-October-05, 14:57, said:

There is no question of MI here, and it appears to me that you must completely have overlooked this law?

There is clearly MI in that RR announced 15-17, but the agreed range was 12-14, and his hand was 12-14. The Law you quoted is not relevant to this issue, so yes I did completely overlook it. Deliberately.
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#20 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2020-October-06, 02:59

 lamford, on 2020-October-05, 19:28, said:

There is clearly MI in that RR announced 15-17, but the agreed range was 12-14, and his hand was 12-14. The Law you quoted is not relevant to this issue, so yes I did completely overlook it. Deliberately.

It sure is relevant because of the remark:
"Shouldn't you have bid Stayman, partner, as we could have a heart fit?" asked RR while SB was thinking but ChCh just gave him a withering look.

It could cause SB to think that he possibly had 4 hearts or/and 4 spades.
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