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ChCh Chicanery Demonstrable Dither

#1 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2021-May-02, 05:47


Charlie the Chimp has been on the lookout for another opportunity to cross swords with SB and one occurred on this hand from the North London club this week. None of your Jacoby or Bergen for Molly the Mule, North, who just raised to game.

ChCh led the jack of diamonds and RR, East won and played one back, hoping the lead was from an interior sequence. SB won, drew trumps in two rounds, ChCh discarding a small heart, cashed the queen of diamonds and led a heart towards the KJ.

ChCh could see what was coming. If he played low, declarer would probably play the jack and East would win with the ace, and RR would make his "safe" exit with another heart, rather than the necessary club to break up the endplay. The "expert" play here was the queen, but that would be pearls before swine with RR. It would tell anyone else that it did not matter which heart declarer played, and therefore partner needed to play a club when he won, but RR might think it was a singleton and try to give him a ruff. After about 30 seconds, ChCh played low, proud of his deceptive hesitation. SB played the king and RR won with the ace. He was pretty sure that the queen of hearts had not gone, and had a brainwave that if he returned a club, the hearts would be blocked and declarer could not get at the queen of hearts in time. His club return was the death knell to the contract, whether or not declarer ducked in dummy.

SB pressed the "Call Director" button repeatedly. Eventually OO arrived. "There was a break in tempo in a particularly sensitive situation." He began. "ChCh deceived me with the break in tempo, and although it did not matter which card I played, if I had played the jack of hearts, RR might well have returned a "safe" heart."

"Hmmm", replied OO, "it seems to me that ChCh had a "demonstrable bridge reason". He was considering playing the queen of hearts but decided against it."

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   nige1 

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Posted 2021-May-02, 09:57

Lamford 'Charlie the Chimp has been on the lookout for another opportunity to cross swords with SB and one occurred on this hand from the North London club this week. None of your Jacoby or Bergen for Molly the Mule, North, who just raised to game.ChCh led the jack of diamonds and RR, East won and played one back, hoping the lead was from an interior sequence. SB won, drew trumps in two rounds, ChCh discarding a small heart, cashed the queen of diamonds and led a heart towards the KJ.ChCh could see what was coming. If he played low, declarer would probably play the jack and East would win with the ace, and RR would make his "safe" exit with another heart, rather than the necessary club to break up the endplay. The "expert" play here was the queen, but that would be pearls before swine with RR. It would tell anyone else that it did not matter which heart declarer played, and therefore partner needed to play a club when he won, but RR might think it was a singleton and try to give him a ruff. After about 30 seconds, ChCh played low, proud of his deceptive hesitation. SB played the king and RR won with the ace. He was pretty sure that the queen of hearts had not gone, and had a brainwave that if he returned a club, the hearts would be blocked and declarer could not get at the queen of hearts in time. His club return was the death knell to the contract, whether or not declarer ducked in dummy.SB pressed the "Call Director" button repeatedly. Eventually OO arrived. "There was a break in tempo in a particularly sensitive situation." He began. "ChCh deceived me with the break in tempo, and although it did not matter which card I played, if I had played the jack of hearts, RR might well have returned a "safe" heart.""Hmmm", replied OO, "it seems to me that ChCh had a "demonstrable bridge reason". He was considering playing the queen of hearts but decided against it."How do you rule?'
+++++++++++++++++++++
If you have more than one card in the led suit, you can usually conjure up some "Bridge reason" for a hesitation. IMO, here, ChCh could have known that his tank might act in his favour, so I feel the director should rule in favour of SB.

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#3 User is offline   axman 

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Posted 2021-May-02, 10:05

View Postlamford, on 2021-May-02, 05:47, said:


Charlie the Chimp has been on the lookout for another opportunity to cross swords with SB and one occurred on this hand from the North London club this week. None of your Jacoby or Bergen for Molly the Mule, North, who just raised to game.

ChCh led the jack of diamonds and RR, East won and played one back, hoping the lead was from an interior sequence. SB won, drew trumps in two rounds, ChCh discarding a small heart, cashed the queen of diamonds and led a heart towards the KJ.

ChCh could see what was coming. If he played low, declarer would probably play the jack and East would win with the ace, and RR would make his "safe" exit with another heart, rather than the necessary club to break up the endplay. The "expert" play here was the queen, but that would be pearls before swine with RR. It would tell anyone else that it did not matter which heart declarer played, and therefore partner needed to play a club when he won, but RR might think it was a singleton and try to give him a ruff. After about 30 seconds, ChCh played low, proud of his deceptive hesitation. SB played the king and RR won with the ace. He was pretty sure that the queen of hearts had not gone, and had a brainwave that if he returned a club, the hearts would be blocked and declarer could not get at the queen of hearts in time. His club return was the death knell to the contract, whether or not declarer ducked in dummy.

SB pressed the "Call Director" button repeatedly. Eventually OO arrived. "There was a break in tempo in a particularly sensitive situation." He began. "ChCh deceived me with the break in tempo, and although it did not matter which card I played, if I had played the jack of hearts, RR might well have returned a "safe" heart."

"Hmmm", replied OO, "it seems to me that ChCh had a "demonstrable bridge reason". He was considering playing the queen of hearts but decided against it."

How do you rule?

TD error.

It seems to me that the TD ought to be ruling upon the validity of player's assertions rather than creating assertions that players should be making.
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#4 User is online   nige1 

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Posted 2021-May-02, 14:30

View Postaxman, on 2021-May-02, 10:05, said:

TD error.It seems to me that the TD ought to be ruling upon the validity of player's assertions rather than creating assertions that players should be making.
The TD should try to establish the circumstances but, IMO, he is correct to consider a relevant fact whether or not a player raises it. I simply hope that the TD would judge ChCh's "Bridge-reason" to be insufficient to deny SB redress.
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#5 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2021-May-02, 15:40

View Postnige1, on 2021-May-02, 14:30, said:

The TD should try to establish the circumstances but, IMO, he is correct to consider a relevant fact whether or not a player raises it. I simply hope that the TD would judge ChCh's "Bridge-reason" to be insufficient to deny SB redress.

The TD's task is to consider whether there is a demonstrable bridge reason for the hesitation. An expert, playing with another expert, should automatically play the queen here. I would be mortified if I did not find it in the Camrose, for example. It tells partner that you want a club back, whichever card declarer plays. It is not even the TD's job to find out if the bridge reason is justified, but OO was a good enough player and good enough TD to do both.
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#6 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2021-May-02, 18:27

I think OO got it right at the table. There is a demonstrable bridge reason for West's BIT.

Also, the fact that the BIT may have caused South to misguess was not the material factor for the board. What mattered is that East had to return a club, which East did for Rueful Rabbit Reasons. That the BIT and/or declarer's misguess were directly contributory to East's club return is not an argument I would buy.
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#7 User is offline   axman 

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Posted 2021-May-02, 19:43

View Postlamford, on 2021-May-02, 15:40, said:

The TD's task is to consider whether there is a demonstrable bridge reason for the hesitation. As an expert, playing with another expert, should automatically play the queen here. I would be mortified if I did not find it in the Camrose, for example. It tells partner that you want a club back, whichever card declarer plays. It is not even the TD's job to find out if the bridge reason is justified, but OO was a good enough player and good enough TD to do both.

A player says an opponent has broken tempo and deceived. In his next breath tells that he was not damaged: " ..it did not matter which card I played."

It turns out that he suggests that if he did something different (not that he would have done it) then his opponent just maybe, could possibly, might do something different.

Didn't the player moot his own query- his opponent deceived and it did not matter.

But, if I were to respond to the summons I first would privately determine exactly what he would do differently and then why; then ask precisely what the deception was with the aim of ascertaining if there was, and if so whether it was improper. The time for other issues is after the hand.
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#8 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2021-May-02, 21:02

As I understand it, ChCh has an ethical obligation to try to avoid the potentially misleading hesitation even if has a bridge reason to hesitate. I would think it also means that once he has hesitated, he should try to mittigate the misleading by playing the Queen, but maybe I am wrong about this?
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#9 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-May-03, 00:38

I don't think the laws contemplate attempts to mitigate the effect of a break in tempo.
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#10 User is online   nige1 

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Posted 2021-May-03, 03:12

View Postlamford, on 2021-May-02, 05:47, said:

After about 30 seconds, ChCh played low, proud of his deceptive hesitation.
The TD should consider this telling point by Lamford.



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#11 User is online   smerriman 

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Posted 2021-May-03, 03:26

View Postshyams, on 2021-May-02, 18:27, said:

I think OO got it right at the table. There is a demonstrable bridge reason for West's BIT.

I see a demonstrable bridge reason for pausing then playing the queen. I don't see any demonstrable reason whatsoever for pausing then playing low. CC's own logic included the fact that playing low in tempo was a poor play, so can't take advantage of the fact that playing low after a long pause is better.

His reason for avoiding the 'right' play after the hesitation is also nonsensical, imagining his partner wanting to give him a ruff after discarding on the second trump. RR may be bad, but this is grasping at straws.
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#12 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2021-May-03, 06:51

View Postsmerriman, on 2021-May-03, 03:26, said:

I see a demonstrable bridge reason for pausing then playing the queen. I don't see any demonstrable reason whatsoever for pausing then playing low.

That is a ridiculous assertion. If he there is demonstrable bridge reason for thinking whether to play the queen, then that is enough. It is not an infraction not to play it!
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#13 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2021-May-03, 06:51

View Postnige1, on 2021-May-03, 03:12, said:

The TD should consider this telling point by Lamford.

ChCh denied it of course, and the TD cannot shoot the messenger.
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#14 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2021-May-03, 07:09

View Posthelene_t, on 2021-May-02, 21:02, said:

As I understand it, ChCh has an ethical obligation to try to avoid the potentially misleading hesitation even if has a bridge reason to hesitate. I would think it also means that once he has hesitated, he should try to mittigate the misleading by playing the Queen, but maybe I am wrong about this?

You are wrong.
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#15 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-May-03, 10:13

View Postnige1, on 2021-May-03, 03:12, said:

The TD should consider this telling point by Lamford.

How does the TD know of the Chimp's pride in his deception? Never mind, I see he denied it, so the TD doesn't know — not in the sense that he can take legal action on it.
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#16 User is online   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-May-03, 10:28

There's two things here, and I think they are being conflated. All emphases mine, and only for reference purposes.

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 their benefit, the Director shall award an adjusted score.

I don't know if there is "no demonstrable bridge reason". Case law has said that "working out which of xxx is most deceptive" is not a bridge reason; I'm not sure this comes to that level. Whether or not it's a no-brainer (which I don't personally buy except possibly at the Camrose. Just because there's nothing to think about by MeckWell doesn't mean there's nothing to think about by Mere Mortals, especially Mere Mortals trying to work out how to signal to their incompetent partner) I think "working out which card will tell partner the right shift" is a bridge reason. I'm willing to be overruled here; it's certainly something that someone of the class of the Chimp should already have worked out.

But I also don't care, there is no "innocent player who has drawn a false inference" here. The only innocent player (and I can't believe I'm saying this) is SB, and he is not at all deceived by anything. So this Law doesn't apply, "demonstrable bridge reason" or no.

The complaint is not that SB was deceived. The complaint is that by playing as he did, the Chimp was able to pass information not from the card played, but the thought leading into it (even though there was no "thought") that led his partner to make the correct switch. There are two violations here (besides the boring ordinary Law 16):

73D1 said:

It is desirable, though not always required, for players to maintain steady tempo and unvarying manner. However, players should be particularly careful when variations may work to the benefit of their side. Otherwise, unintentionally to vary the tempo or manner in which a call or play is made is not an infraction. Inferences from such variations are authorized only to the opponents, who may act upon the information at their own risk.

(D2 refers to what happens when the variance is intentional, but again, this protects misled opponents, and there's no misled opponent.)

73B1 said:

Partners shall not communicate by means such as the manner in which calls or plays are made, extraneous remarks or gestures, questions asked or not asked, or alerts and explanations given or not given.

If we are allowed to hear the players' thoughts, we rule violation of this one (which would lead to a meeting of the Griffin's Conduct Committee. Who, I am sure, would be amused, and I expect I would be equally amused by their ruling). If we are not, we can still rule violation of D1 - surely it is clear to the Chimp that thinking *here*, rather than while trumps were being pulled and expecting this play, could assist the Rabbit in finding the right play. And if it succeeded, it's a simple (okay, not so simple) Use of UI situation.

Having said all of that, if the SB actually *says* (rather than just implies) that the Chimp did this deliberately, intending to use the delay to wake up the Rabbit - well, maybe he's right. And maybe the Chimp isn't the only one showing up on Conduct Committee night. I am reminded of the Machlin story about the TD who sorted all the "interesting" players into their own section, where they could play all the games they wanted...
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#17 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-May-03, 13:25

View Postmycroft, on 2021-May-03, 10:28, said:

If we are allowed to hear the players' thoughts, we rule violation of this one (which would lead to a meeting of the Griffin's Conduct Committee. Who, I am sure, would be amused, and I expect I would be equally amused by their ruling). If we are not, we can still rule violation of D1 - surely it is clear to the Chimp that thinking *here*, rather than while trumps were being pulled and expecting this play, could assist the Rabbit in finding the right play. And if it succeeded, it's a simple (okay, not so simple) Use of UI situation.

But even this presupposes a reasonably high level of player, amongst other considerations.

I would consider the more plebeian option of 90B2 (unduly slow play by a contestant): bridge reason or not, previous opportunities to think or not, 30 seconds for this particular decision seems eccessive to me (and if this penalises the Chimp without benefitting SB, even better).
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#18 User is online   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-May-03, 13:40

If we don't have a reasonably high level of player, then the information passed is "I don't know what to do here", which isn't likely going to trigger anything.

But we are - lamford is suggesting that if he didn't find the play, in tempo, at the Camrose, he'd be disappointed with himself; and therefore, the Chimp has no demonstrable bridge reason to think with this holding. That has to imply that his Chimp, at least, is Camrose-worthy. I'm not at this level - I can totally understand the argument that playing the Q here means "the heart suit doesn't matter, something else does", but I don't expect I'd find it at the table (I'd probably try to imply suit-preference in my non-Q play).

It is a very interesting use of UI question, and I note I haven't suggested how I would rule it - nor would I want to, especially without colleagues. It would not be fun.
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#19 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-May-03, 14:24

View Postmycroft, on 2021-May-03, 13:40, said:

If we don't have a reasonably high level of player, then the information passed is "I don't know what to do here", which isn't likely going to trigger anything.

But we are - lamford is suggesting that if he didn't find the play, in tempo, at the Camrose, he'd be disappointed with himself; and therefore, the Chimp has no demonstrable bridge reason to think with this holding. That has to imply that his Chimp, at least, is Camrose-worthy. I'm not at this level - I can totally understand the argument that playing the Q here means "the heart suit doesn't matter, something else does", but I don't expect I'd find it at the table (I'd probably try to imply suit-preference in my non-Q play).

It is a very interesting use of UI question, and I note I haven't suggested how I would rule it - nor would I want to, especially without colleagues. It would not be fun.


On the last point, I understand and agree.

Not so sure about 30s plausibly passing "I don't know what to do here" for lower level players: only a couple of my players would pass the Camrose test, but even the beginners would not wait 30 seconds before deciding one way or the other (and of course f2f they have other ways of communicating indecision, wilfully or not, but even on BBO I never got the impression that there was much if any increase in intentional use of delay).
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#20 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2021-May-04, 04:51

View Postmycroft, on 2021-May-03, 13:40, said:

But we are - lamford is suggesting that if he didn't find the play, in tempo, at the Camrose, he'd be disappointed with himself; and therefore, the Chimp has no demonstrable bridge reason to think with this holding.

There is a significant difference between playing in the Camrose and playing with RR in the North London duplicate. The Chimp has to think "how would RR reason if I played the queen?", as well as "how would RR reason if I don't and the jack loses to the ace". The queen is an alarm call, but it would not wake up RR, and is likely to be counterproductive. Hence he has a demonstrable bridge reason to think. Now, that might not have been his real reason ...

This is an alarm-call
So wake-up, wake-up now
Today has never happened
And it doesnt't't't frighten me

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