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Full disclosure Is this enough (EBU)

#1 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 05:35



The facts I'm presenting here may not be 100% what actually happened at the table, I didn't check the "things opponents should know about" section of their convention card although Bluejak did, but suppose for the purposes of discussion that the facts are as I describe. Assume there's nothing in the "things opponents should know" section but the cue bid is correctly described in the section relating to it. No screens in use, EBU has no pre-alerts.

All vul, dealer W who passes. N opens 1 in the context of a weak no trump system that means that this is at least 4 clubs, and unless the hand has 15+ points, will only be 4 cards if exactly 4414, otherwise 5+.

E overcalls 2 described by W on enquiry from S as "weak takeout double".

S doesn't ask further but thinks that he hasn't a clue what 2N and X mean in this undiscussed auction, has sort of come across this before where you do one thing with an 11-14/15 ToX and something else with a 15/16+. He reckons that if there's a trump stack then it will be onside, the K is odds on to be in the hole if partner doesn't have it so he bids 5.

It turns out that this "weak takeout double" is 6-11 (or more like 8-11 vulnerable) and the spade finesse is losing, 5 is basically on the finesse and it fails by one for a poor score. S is unhappy in that if he got a better explanation (which although correct was incomplete), the spade finesse becomes 50:50 rather than 65:35 and he wouldn't have bid 5, although it's not clear what he would have done (possibly 4 over which partner may or may not bid 5).

Is S ruled to have damaged himself by not asking further/checking the card, or is he entitled to some remedy ? Should EW have put this in the "things opps should know" section of the card, and if so, are they liable to any sanction for this ?
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#2 User is offline   WellSpyder 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 05:42

View PostCyberyeti, on 2012-April-17, 05:35, said:

It turns out that this "weak takeout double" is 6-11 (or more like 8-11 vulnerable)

I don't think this is particularly unexpected given the explanation, and my instinct is to say that the explanation given does provide adequate disclosure. If South felt he needed a clearer idea of what "weak" meant then he could have asked for clarification.
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#3 User is offline   AlexJonson 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 05:53

I wouldn't quibble with the explanation, and I quite admire South's bid - finding a 50-50 game.
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#4 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 05:57

I think the explanation is insufficient. Players who play unusual methods have a responsibility to ensure that they describe them completely without the opponents having to ask the "right" question. Using a cue bid to show a three-suited hand with, perhaps, only six points is a highly unusual method and "weak takeout double" is a poor description.

On the other hand, I would not amend the table result unless South was extremely convincing in his arguments for 4.
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#5 User is offline   Lanor Fow 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 06:03

I personally would be more inclined to say the description was misinforming opponents if a 14/15 point hand could be a possiblity for a 'weak takeout double'. The orange book only has one definition of the word weak, "high-card strength below that of an average hand". Whilst I'm not sure if the authors intended this to be sued whenever weak it used, I would expect that a desciption such as the one given for the hand suggests more than the hand could be below otehrwise expected strength, rather than a minimum normal take out double.

South had the opportunity to clarify what weak meant, but chose to make assumptions instead. I would be more sympathetic to a beginner than an experienced player, but in both cases I would rule no adjustment, as I don't beleive there is misinformation. I would however suggest to EW that they give aproximate point ranges in their explination of this bid.
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#6 User is offline   gnasher 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 06:16

To me, "weak takeout double" means "weaker than a standard takeout double", rather than "minimum for a standard takeout double". Hence I think that the explanation is consistent with an 8-11 or 6-11 range.

I also don't have much sympathy with South's argument that he'd have bid less if he'd known how weak the double was. 5 might be cold, might be hopeless, and might be a save. Given the lack of agremeements, it seems a normal action, and probably one that he'd have made regardless of the exact strength of 2. The fact that he didn't enquire further suggests that he didn't much care about the exact range.

I'd have been more interested in the argument that NS were misinformed by the failure to fill in the convention card properly. The EBU does have pre-alerts: you pre-alert by filling in the "Aspects of system which opponents should note" section of the convention card. This method certainly belongs there.

If NS didn't look at this part of the card beforehand, they can't claim to have been damaged by it. If, on the other hand, they looked at this part of the card and the method wasn't on it, I think they can reasonbaly claim to have been damaged by EW's failure to follow the rules. If NS had discussed what to do over this 2 overcall, South would have known how to show a good raise, whether 2 was forcing, what 3 and 3 would have meant, etc. That might have enabled them to identify the heart wastage and relatively weak trumps, and as a result they might not have bid game.

This post has been edited by gnasher: 2012-April-17, 06:17

... that would still not be conclusive proof, before someone wants to explain that to me as well as if I was a 5 year-old. - gwnn
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#7 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 06:46

View Postgnasher, on 2012-April-17, 06:16, said:

To me, "weak takeout double" means "weaker than a standard takeout double", rather than "minimum for a standard takeout double". Hence I think that the explanation is consistent with an 8-11 or 6-11 range.

I also don't have much sympathy with South's argument that he'd have bid less if he'd known how weak the double was. 5 might be cold, might be hopeless, and might be a save. Given the lack of agremeements, it seems a normal action, and probably one that he'd have made regardless of the exact strength of 2. The fact that he didn't enquire further suggests that he didn't much care about the exact range.

Except that in the only cases I've come across it before (where the division is between 1N/X rather than 2/X and I know what I'm doing over that as I can still bid an inverted 2 for which this hand is fine by our methods) it's been the 11-14/15+ distinction and always described as bad or weak takeout double.

A takeout double is say 11+ so in my mind a weak takeout double is at the lower end of this, it never occurred to me that this hand was not a subset of hands contained within a normal takeout double.

The person who made the 2 bid said afterwards that he always described it as "Weak takeout X, less than an opening bid" which would have helped.

5 is unlikely to be a save (although it is possible) given that this is 8-11 opposite a passed hand.
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#8 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 07:01

To me "weak takeout double" obviously could include 6-11. These days it seems "weak" could mean almost any pile of junk. If south really cares about the exact range enough to base his bid on it, why didn't he ask?

Also, agree with gnasher about about the convention card issue.
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#9 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 09:29

Looks like a weak takeout to me. I don't understand South's contention. "Weak" means it is less likely an important card will be onside (in this case, the spade king). The weaker he thinks it might be, the more likely this is. And, East's hand is a little stronger than I would have imagined.

Actually, I do understand South. He is grasping at straws after his decision didn't work.
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#10 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 10:02

I also think the explanation was OK. I think more common terms for what South expected are "minimum-strength" or "non-maximum". "Weak" usually means much weaker, as in "weak 2".

#11 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 11:03

View Postbarmar, on 2012-April-17, 10:02, said:

I also think the explanation was OK. I think more common terms for what South expected are "minimum-strength" or "non-maximum". "Weak" usually means much weaker, as in "weak 2".

What I'm saying is whenever I've encountered the other situation (11-14/15+), I've often had exactly the same explanation (it's always been either "weak" or "bad") which is why I didn't question it. It just never occurred to me that anybody would bid 2 (over a natural club rather than a strong club) on this sort of hand. I thought the points were about 2:1 E:W and that was a clear part of my assessment of the 5 bid. TBH I have no idea what I'd have done if I realised the two hands were likely to be of about equal strength.
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#12 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 11:16

I think some of the more mature British players will also remember the Hackett defence to weak twos, where double is penalty, 3 is a weak takeout and 3 is a strong takeout, where strong meant 16+ and weak was a good description of the defence :)
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#13 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 12:58

View Postpaulg, on 2012-April-17, 11:16, said:

I think some of the more mature British players will also remember the Hackett defence to weak twos, where double is penalty, 3 is a weak takeout and 3 is a strong takeout, where strong meant 16+ and weak was a good description of the defence :)

Yup, remember that one, even played it in the 80s I think.
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#14 User is offline   lalldonn 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 17:52

The explanation seems fine. If anything it's exactly what I expect, whereas an agreement that shows a hand on the minimum end of a normal takeout double or just below seems more like a "light" takeout. If you need to know more then ask, don't assume (or if you assume and you're wrong, live with it).
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#15 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 19:35

View Postgnasher, on 2012-April-17, 06:16, said:

I'd have been more interested in the argument that NS were misinformed by the failure to fill in the convention card properly.


Yes, the EBU takes this pretty seriously. We were once fined 0.5 VP for having one of our footnotes misnumbered by one. (Although the opponents lost the main part of the ruling. And I am not entirely sure that the AC weren't taking the piss by fining us.)
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#16 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2012-April-18, 02:00

View Postlalldonn, on 2012-April-17, 17:52, said:

The explanation seems fine. If anything it's exactly what I expect, whereas an agreement that shows a hand on the minimum end of a normal takeout double or just below seems more like a "light" takeout. If you need to know more then ask, don't assume (or if you assume and you're wrong, live with it).

Is this bid as unusual in the US as it is in the UK ? There's a vague feeling over here (I'm not sure whether it's backed up in law) that the more unusual a bid is, the more detailed the explanation should be.
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#17 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2012-April-25, 06:16

Whatever happened to the idea that using a convention name is not full disclosure? Here not only is a convention name used but it is a highly unusual variation of it. How much longer would it take West to say "6-11 with takeout shape"? The issue of damage is something else but I think a warning for E-W is absolutely in order here. It seems, increasingly on here, that it is seen as ok to give a partial explanation and that it is the NOS at fault for not asking 50 follow-up questions to ascertain the correct answer to the original one. No doubt the OS in these cases would scream blue murder if they decided the questioner had given away something about their hand with the 49th question too. I always thought it was the responsibility of the explainer to make sure the explanation was understood, not the responsibility of the questioner to think of alternative explanations. Players are meant to protect themselves when an explanation is "implausible". Which part of the explanation: "about 10-15 with takeout shape" that was understood by the OP is seen as implausible here? What about if the correct explanation was "0-7 with takeout shape" - would that be MI or is that ok by everyone too?
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#18 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2012-April-25, 10:46

"Weak takeout" is not a convention name, in the sense that "Drury" or "Jacoby" are. "Weak" and "takeout" are both descriptive terms (you even used "takeout" in your suggested rewording), so the only question is whether players have similar understandings of the word "weak".

#19 User is offline   bluejak 

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Posted 2012-April-25, 16:48

It appears that whoever was playing understood weak to mean minimum and assumed this without asking. I have no sympathy whatever for this. While it is true that the Hackett defence did have a meaning for weak that involved 12 to 15, it has been dead for 15 or 20 years. On the other hand we play and play against many many "weak" bids and "weak" in over 90% of cases means less than an opening bid.

If someone told me a call was "weak" I would guess "less than an opening bid" but if it mattered at all I would ask.
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#20 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2012-April-25, 18:43

I always assume weak to mean weaker than expected for the bid.

Weak takeout double=weaker than ten HCP
Weak jump raise=weaker than invitational to game.
etc.

I could ask for their definition of weak in context of the call. The given hand meets my expectation for a weak T/O, so no problem. If it turned out to be a 4-count, then stupid me for not asking "how weak?"
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