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Unused Piece of System

#1 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-January-09, 02:53



During a club multi-teams event, I was sitting west when this hand arose. Partner's 2NT was a surprising bid and I did not immediately recall the meaning. After a little thought I remembered that we had agreed to play that an immediate 2NT would show a balanced 17-19, but after an initial pass 2NT would show the minors. This partnership agreement, that a delayed 2NT would show the minors, has been in place for several years but had never occurred at the table. My alert was made after the 3 bid and South was given the option to change her call, but she chose to still bid 3 (and chose not to ask the meaning of 2NT).

What should I bid? There was good reason to suspect that partner has forgotten this part of the system: (1) it has never occurred at the table and (2) I have ten cards in the minors and it seems unlikely that partner also holds 10 cards in the minors. I chose to pass, based on the judgement that partner had probably forgotten the system and if her bid were in accordance with the system, the opponents would hold a very big fit in the majors.

North now asked the meaning of 2NT and my explanation: "I believe we agreed that ..." was interrupted and North thought it wisest to read our system card. The system card confirmed that we had agreed to play a delayed 2NT to show the minors. North elected to pass.

The table result was 3-1 a 3 IMP gain for N/S as East played 2NT+1 at the other table.

But I was interested to get opinions whether any infraction occurred?
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#2 User is offline   BudH 

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Posted 2019-January-09, 06:21

View PostTramticket, on 2019-January-09, 02:53, said:



During a club multi-teams event, I was sitting west when this hand arose. Partner's 2NT was a surprising bid and I did not immediately recall the meaning. After a little thought I remembered that we had agreed to play that an immediate 2NT would show a balanced 17-19, but after an initial pass 2NT would show the minors. This partnership agreement, that a delayed 2NT would show the minors, has been in place for several years but had never occurred at the table. My alert was made after the 3 bid and South was given the option to change her call, but she chose to still bid 3 (and chose not to ask the meaning of 2NT).

What should I bid? There was good reason to suspect that partner has forgotten this part of the system: (1) it has never occurred at the table and (2) I have ten cards in the minors and it seems unlikely that partner also holds 10 cards in the minors. I chose to pass, based on the judgement that partner had probably forgotten the system and if her bid were in accordance with the system, the opponents would hold a very big fit in the majors.

North now asked the meaning of 2NT and my explanation: "I believe we agreed that ..." was interrupted and North thought it wisest to read our system card. The system card confirmed that we had agreed to play a delayed 2NT to show the minors. North elected to pass.

The table result was 3-1 a 3 IMP gain for N/S as East played 2NT+1 at the other table.

But I was interested to get opinions whether any infraction occurred?

You are required to inform the opponents, if asked, what the systemic meaning for partner's call happens to be.

Some might suggest whether you should or should not mention that it is the first time in over a year this convention has been used. I would often do so in this kind of situation, but it should not be required.

It's your decision if you think partner has the minors or not. There is no UI. If you miss a 5-level sacrifice, it's your issue.

I'll assume (for now) since East made 9 tricks in notrump at the other table that minors were not held. Were they?
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#3 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-January-09, 07:29

View PostTramticket, on 2019-January-09, 02:53, said:

But I was interested to get opinions whether any infraction occurred?


As far as I can see (not a Director), the only infraction was your failure to alert promptly, and that seems inconsequential given that opponent chose not to call Director or ask for an explanation or change call, and partner was arguably not taking advantage of the UI that his 2NT was misinterpreted when he made his final Pass.

It would have been a lot more interesting had opponent changed call to Pass. What would you and partner have done then?
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#4 User is offline   RMB1 

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Posted 2019-January-09, 09:15

It is clear from the action at the table that both East and West were capable of forgetting this agreement. The fact that the "agreement" comes up infrequently and is capable of being forgotten should have been disclosed. This lack of disclosure was an infraction but did not damage the opponents. West's not bidding was not an infraction.
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#5 User is offline   weejonnie 

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Posted 2019-January-09, 10:29

Certainly, especially in Kent, it would have been a good idea to alert and add "but this has never come up before. An immediate 2NT would have shown 17-19 points."

With regard to the final decision to pass 3, East might have doubled if he hadn't the UI that his partner thought he held the minor suits - but since that would have led to a better score than EW actually got, there wouldn't have been an adjustment. (But the laws do suggest a PP if someone tries to takes advantage of UI).

On a technicality - South DID change her call. She changed it from 3 over a potentially strong bid to 3 over an alerted call. The fact that she did so is (as usual) AI to NS and UI to EW.

With regard to West's subsequent lack of bidding - since presumably West has no UI then they can do what they want. You might get hauled over the coals since you gave a description of your partner's bid and then didn't bid with the minor suits - which is one reason why I suggest that you qualify your position! The EBU states that "such cases are rare"- well maybe so, but they often appear on these (and other) forums.
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In a judgement case - always refer to other TDs and discuss the situation until they agree your decision is correct.
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#6 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-January-09, 19:14

View Postweejonnie, on 2019-January-09, 10:29, said:

On a technicality - South DID change her call. She changed it from 3 over a potentially strong bid to 3 over an alerted call. The fact that she did so is (as usual) AI to NS and UI to EW.

That's not a change of call. The meaning of the call might have changed, but it's still the same call.

The distinction is significant. There are laws that address when a player is allowed to change their call, and whether the original call is UI or AI after the change. I don't think these same laws apply when the player elects not to change their call when they have the opportunity. OTOH, there are general laws on UI and AI, and I agree with you that it's AI to NS that South chose to bid 3 despite the new information.

Quote

You might get hauled over the coals since you gave a description of your partner's bid and then didn't bid with the minor suits - which is one reason why I suggest that you qualify your position! The EBU states that "such cases are rare"- well maybe so, but they often appear on these (and other) forums.

You're allowed to bid differently from your system. As long as West's decision isn't based on an undisclosed partnership agreement (possibly implicit, based on the infrequency that it comes up) it shouldn't be a problem. So mentioning that this hasn't come up before could help your case, as others have suggested.

But I think West's big holdings in the minors may be sufficient for him to guess that partner likely forgot the meaning. That's AI.

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Posted 2019-January-10, 02:09

Thanks all. Confirms my gut instinct that I should have provided more disclosure, but that I was free to pass since I had not received UI.

Partner held AQ85 762 AJ95 AK and had elected not to bid an immediate 2NT as she lacked a heart stop.

The real villains on the deal were our team-mates for failing to set 2NT! :)
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#8 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2019-January-10, 02:30

At first sight I would say “No infraction“. But I don’t like West’s reasoning. The most important rule in a partnership should be “Trust your partner” and I would expect my partner to call accordingly. It’s may be not frequent, but a six card opposite a five card of a suit is not that rare and I don’t think that’s a valid reason for a pass. And assuming that your partner has forgotten the system? Are you sure that there was no non-verbal signs that make you think so? Or is this partner prone to such memory lapses? And I’m also quite curious: what did you think that partner had? And why didn’t you show your six card diamonds in a hand without any defensive values?
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Posted 2019-January-10, 03:45

View Postsanst, on 2019-January-10, 02:30, said:

Are you sure that there was no non-verbal signs that make you think so? Or is this partner prone to such memory lapses?


There were no non-verbal signs that I could detect and partner is not prone to memory lapses - I can't remember the last time that partner forgot any of our system (most of our system is well used and we play regularly). If anyone was going to forget the system it was far more likely to be me.

View Postsanst, on 2019-January-10, 02:30, said:

And Iím also quite curious: what did you think that partner had?


Well, it was possible that partner did hold the minors. It was also possible that the someone had forgotten the system - more likely to be me!

View Postsanst, on 2019-January-10, 02:30, said:

Itís may be not frequent, but a six card opposite a five card of a suit is not that rare and I donít think thatís a valid reason for a pass.


It isn't just the six-card opposite the five-card, it is the total of 20 cards in the minors. Even this is possible - but the corollary would be that the opponents would hold 20 cards in the majors. The reason to pass was: either "one of us has forgotten the system" or the opps have a big major suit fit. I made the judgement that passing was wisest in either case.

View Postsanst, on 2019-January-10, 02:30, said:

The most important rule in a partnership should be ďTrust your partnerĒ


This works both ways: partner trusts me to make judgements in unusual auctions.
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#10 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2019-January-10, 05:33

Perhaps not equivalent to this case, but there was a case many years ago in a high-level event where the auction was 2NT-3NT, which had been agreed to show 5 spades and four hearts. The 3NT bid was made with no thought and the opener passed it despite having major-suit support. An adjusted score was awarded on the basis that the speed of the 3NT call provided UI that the player had forgotten the system, since no-one would have made that call without a bit of thought, checking the memory database first.
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#11 User is offline   axman 

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Posted 2019-January-10, 08:34

View Postgordontd, on 2019-January-10, 05:33, said:

Perhaps not equivalent to this case, but there was a case many years ago in a high-level event where the auction was 2NT-3NT, which had been agreed to show 5 spades and four hearts. The 3NT bid was made with no thought and the opener passed it despite having major-suit support. An adjusted score was awarded on the basis that the speed of the 3NT call provided UI that the player had forgotten the system, since no-one would have made that call without a bit of thought, checking the memory database first.

That assertion is an overbid. I know that I routinely act in such situations with alacrity, and would think that others can as well.
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#12 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2019-January-11, 23:52

Failure to alert promptly is an infraction of the alerting regulations. Interrupting an opponent in the middle of an explanation is an infraction of Law 74A1.
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#13 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2019-January-12, 03:36

View Postblackshoe, on 2019-January-11, 23:52, said:

[...]. Interrupting an opponent in the middle of an explanation is an infraction of Law 74A1.

Intuitively I thought that interrupting an explanation is an infraction, but found that I was thinking on Law 20B (review of auction).

Law 74A1 is relevant on a player's attitude, it is quite possible to interrupt an explanation in a polite manner.
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#14 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-January-12, 07:37

View Postgordontd, on 2019-January-10, 05:33, said:

Perhaps not equivalent to this case, but there was a case many years ago in a high-level event where the auction was 2NT-3NT, which had been agreed to show 5 spades and four hearts. The 3NT bid was made with no thought and the opener passed it despite having major-suit support. An adjusted score was awarded on the basis that the speed of the 3NT call provided UI that the player had forgotten the system, since no-one would have made that call without a bit of thought, checking the memory database first.


I suspect (and hope) that you do not agree with the "basis" that a rapid call provides UI that the player has forgotten the system?
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