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Unintended splinter

#21 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-April-03, 09:29

View Postsmerriman, on 2021-April-01, 13:17, said:

So the director agrees there is UI, and thinks a logical alternative is blatant use of that UI?


You usually manage to be clearer.

Nobody can disagree that there is UI (Law 16 says so clearly and Law 75A more cryptically) so is is no surprise that he too takes this for granted.
But he seems to think that the partnership agreement is AI even if East had forgotten it and was reminded by partner - which looking at 16A1d does not seem unreasonable (if you asked East between hands what the agreement about 1H 3N was, he would reply "splinter in the other major"). Unless some law (and presumably not 16 itself) precludes use of this information.

In any case, director thought that pass and a keycard reply were logical alternatives. And he thought that between the two, pass was more suggested by the UI. Which brings us back to the question of what exactly is the UI here.
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#22 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2021-April-03, 10:30

View Postpescetom, on 2021-April-03, 09:29, said:

You usually manage to be clearer.

Nobody can disagree that there is UI (Law 16 says so clearly and Law 75A more cryptically) so is is no surprise that he too takes this for granted.
But he seems to think that the partnership agreement is AI even if East had forgotten it and was reminded by partner - which looking at 16A1d does not seem unreasonable (if you asked East between hands what the agreement about 1H 3N was, he would reply "splinter in the other major"). Unless some law (and presumably not 16 itself) precludes use of this information.

In any case, director thought that pass and a keycard reply were logical alternatives. And he thought that between the two, pass was more suggested by the UI. Which brings us back to the question of what exactly is the UI here.

The UI here was the true agreement (which East had forgot).
How can a keycard response be a logical alternative when West made a quantitative raise to 4NT?
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#23 User is offline   smerriman 

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Posted 2021-April-03, 15:05

View Postpescetom, on 2021-April-03, 09:29, said:

Nobody can disagree that there is UI (Law 16 says so clearly and Law 75A more cryptically) so is is no surprise that he too takes this for granted.
But he seems to think that the partnership agreement is AI even if East had forgotten it and was reminded by partner - which looking at 16A1d does not seem unreasonable (if you asked East between hands what the agreement about 1H 3N was, he would reply "splinter in the other major"). Unless some law (and presumably not 16 itself) precludes use of this information.

Thanks, I see what you mean now. This is interesting.

My initial thought was that given East thought 3N was natural, and 4N was a perfectly reasonable quantitative bid, it's not logical that they could suddenly have remembered 3NT actually wasn't natural. While that seems extremely unlikely, I guess it's possible.

In fact, 16B1(b) clearly states that logical alternatives are determined based on using the methods of the partnership (even if you had temporarily forgotten what those methods are). Not based on what the player is likely to have thought those methods were at the time.

But if that's true, and you apply it to this situation, 5 is a logical alternative if a significant proportion of players would answer yes to this question:

"You play 3NT as a splinter, but bid 3NT with your hand anyway. Do you now seriously consider 5?"

Nobody would answer yes to that.

So going strictly by the laws, 5 cannot be a LA.

On the other hand, if that's the correct interpretation, then that somewhat contradicts 75A, since forgetting your agreement and being reminded by partner would basically always turn out to be AI.

If being reminded is UI, then (even if the law isn't worded precisely), logical alternatives should be based on what you thought before receiving that UI. In which case, the poll would be that 4NT is natural, and nobody would bid 5 over that.

In both cases, 5 is not logical.

The director is in a sense arguing that the knowledge is both UI and AI at the same time, which really doesn't seem right. But even if it were, what polling question would result in 5 being considered by most players?
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#24 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2021-April-04, 01:07

Information that is authorized for you, but which you have (temporarily) forgotten, is unauthorized to you if you receive some (other) unauthorized information that makes you remember what you had forgotten.

So the information that the true understanding of your partner's 4NT bid is different from what you thought is unauthorized to you when you could have been reminded of such fact from your partner's response to a question asked by an opponent.
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#25 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-April-04, 10:09

If we judged that a call was made more attractive by hearing partner explain the system you forgot - even if you claim it was an ohnosecond and remembered "before partner explained", even if it *was* an ohnosecond - by law we disallow the call if there was an alternative LA less successful.

Given that that is the way this is ruled, being told that bidding is an LA because you've been reminded 4NT is KC for spades can not be fair. Any call we would automatically take away if it were right can not be a logical alternative we assign if it is wrong.
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#26 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-April-04, 11:30

View Postpescetom, on 2021-April-03, 09:29, said:

Unless some law (and presumably not 16 itself) precludes use of this information.

16B is a different law to 16A.
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#27 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-April-04, 11:52

A reply to smerriman first.

View Postsmerriman, on 2021-April-03, 15:05, said:

Thanks, I see what you mean now. This is interesting.

My initial thought was that given East thought 3N was natural, and 4N was a perfectly reasonable quantitative bid, it's not logical that they could suddenly have remembered 3NT actually wasn't natural. While that seems extremely unlikely, I guess it's possible.

It is decidedly possible. You are tired, or distracted or elated or something else that causes you to lose concentration, and you make a natural bid instead of thinking about your agreements for that call.
There are also two different ways in which he could wake up to his forget: on his own just before partner explains, or from partner's explanation. Mycroft is discriminating between the two, but I think for this director they are equivalent in that the agreement is always AI even during and after the explanation.
I agree that Law 75A apparently indicates differently when it says "his own call has been misinterpreted.", which seems to suggest that the "correct" interpretation of 3NT is natural as mistakenly intended rather than splinter as per agreement.


View Postsmerriman, on 2021-April-03, 15:05, said:

The director is in a sense arguing that the knowledge is both UI and AI at the same time, which really doesn't seem right.

I think he is arguing that the agreement is always AI and does not cease to be so because it was reminded by UI. Which is logically problematic, but perhaps not more so than arguing that AI which one possessed but has forgotten becomes UI when one is reminded of it by UI.

View Postsmerriman, on 2021-April-03, 15:05, said:

But even if it were, what polling question would result in 5 being considered by most players?

"Your agreement is that 4NT is RKCB asking for keycard replies, would you seriously consider 5 indicating 1 keycard?" ?
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#28 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-April-04, 12:59

View Postpran, on 2021-April-04, 01:07, said:

Information that is authorized for you, but which you have (temporarily) forgotten, is unauthorized to you if you receive some (other) unauthorized information that makes you remember what you had forgotten.

So the information that the true understanding of your partner's 4NT bid is different from what you thought is unauthorized to you when you could have been reminded of such fact from your partner's response to a question asked by an opponent.


Thanks for spelling it out clearly.

That is how I learned to interpret this situation, but from this site and Bridge Winners rather than from TD training or the Laws themselves. So I was wary but intrigued when I encountered this different perspective from another director.
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#29 User is offline   smerriman 

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Posted 2021-April-04, 14:26

View Postpescetom, on 2021-April-04, 11:52, said:

"Your agreement is that 4NT is RKCB asking for keycard replies, would you seriously consider 5 indicating 1 keycard?" ?

But that's simply not an accurate representation of the situation. Knowledge that 4NT is Blackwood in this situation guarantees that you also have knowledge that 3NT showed spades, after which nobody would seriously consider 5.

If the laws force you to make a bid that you would never make if there was no UI regardless of the definition of 4NT, something is wrong with the laws.
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#30 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2021-April-04, 14:31

View Postsmerriman, on 2021-April-03, 15:05, said:

In fact, 16B1(b) clearly states that logical alternatives are determined based on using the methods of the partnership (even if you had temporarily forgotten what those methods are). Not based on what the player is likely to have thought those methods were at the time.

It makes no sense that the definition of LA should be based on your actual agreement when the whole reason you're in this UI situation is because you forgot the agreement and were then reminded of it by the UI.

I understand that that's what the words literally say, but it can't possibly be how it's intended to be applied in situations like this.

#31 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2021-April-04, 14:38

View Postpescetom, on 2021-April-04, 11:52, said:

Mycroft is discriminating between the two, but I think for this director they are equivalent in that the agreement is always AI even during and after the explanation.

Law 75 talks about taking advantage of UI, but Law 16 doesn't. It just talks about what to do when UI has been made available; even if the player manages to come to the same conclusion on their own, they're still constrained by the UI. This obviates the TD having to read the player's mind to figure out how they realized their mistake.

#32 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-April-05, 09:23

"Mycroft is distingushing the two" - not really. I was saying the two situations exist. You say the TD is saying they're the same and the agreement is AI after remembering. I'm saying they're the same and you don't get to "remember" if partner gives you UI, whether you remembered before or after the UI.

If you have no UI - no flinching, no tank, and especially no answers to questions - then if you wake up, you are entitled to do anything legal to try to recover from the situation. You're allowed to know that partner took your bid differently/correctly, and use that in your calculations. You need not follow system

If you do have UI, there is no way for the director to tell when you remembered or if the UI caused you to remember. Therefore, we have to treat that as irrelevant - it's not whether the UI caused you to wake up or you woke up before the UI, you are constrained in the presence of the UI either way, and you can't take an LA demonstrably suggested by the UI over one not suggested by the UI. You aren't allowed to "wake up", that is, until there is *AI* from the auction that proves that you forgot.

I promise you, even though players are generally honest, they will *always* say they remembered their system before partner Alerted/explained. Many will believe it's true. For some of those, it will be true. But it's irrelevant to the Law, deliberately.

This is actually one of the nice parts of self-alerting; it's easier to argue you remembered on your own, and not from partner's explanation (which you didn't see). Having said that, it causes other issues when the opponents see 1-3NT; 4NT "KC for !S".
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#33 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-April-05, 11:26

Ok, thanks all for the replies, in particular to pran and mycroft for elegantly stating the mainstream position on how the laws should be interpreted here.
It would be nice if it was more clearly stated in the laws themselves (maybe there is clarification in some WBFLC minutes or similar)?
Anyway for now I'll just set my own compass straight and see if I get a chance to discuss with the director in question.
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#34 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2021-April-06, 03:32

Iíve been reading this thread again and came to the conclusion that a lot depends on the meaning of the 4NT bid. East forgot the systematic meaning of 3NT and it doesnít matter whether it was till W alerted and explained the bid or for a Ďohnosecondí. The director should not accept any story about remembering the meaning by E on his own. E must keep thinking that W knows that he wanted to play 3NT. What is the EW agreement about 4NT in a NT contract, Blackwood or quantitative? If itís Blackwood the pass is a blatant use of UI and should be treated as such. If quantitative I think pass is logical, but a poll might be necessary.
There is a strange ambiguity in the Laws. Youíre not allowed to wake up by alerts and explanations of your partner and should stick to your mistake, but explain the agreements correctly. Iíve never figured out how to do this without causing confusion for the opponents. In this case E should probably have explained 4NT as RKCB with spades and then have passed, not as damage control, but as the logical answer to 4NT quantitative.
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#35 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-April-06, 09:36

The question I use for education of players in situations like these is: "If they'd bid 5 because they 'woke up', and 6 was bid and cold, we'd roll it back to 4NT because 5 was demonstrably suggested by partner's explanation, right? When the player woke up is irrelevant, it could have been from the explanation. So, how can we require the player to bid 5 if passing 4NT works?"

Sanst: I agree, it's worth a poll. Having said that, we would need to know what East thought 3NT meant (or what it commonly is in Italy). If I did that here, universally it would be 13-15 or so if "natural" (whether 2M BAL, 3M433, or what). In this world, East has already massively overbid. Also, no matter what East though she had shown, slam isn't on opposite anything that couldn't open 2 (and if you have the awful 24-high two-suiter that can't open 2 and bid your hand properly, surely that hand can bid the second suit (forcing if a minor) now?)

It's not an ambiguity, it's straightforward interpretation. The opponents are entitled to your agreements about your system, and you are not allowed to deliberately misinform them. If anything wakes you up to your having forgotten system, your explanations must be for the system you play, not the system you thought you were playing. If you have already misinformed them, you "should" call the TD and correct the misinformation (although the new Laws allow that correction to be delayed to the end of the auction (a case of avoiding mindreading). That doesn't mean you shouldn't do it when you remember, just that you don't have to).

However, you must continue to bid based on the system you thought you were bidding at the time, *if partner has given you UI that would have woken you up*. This is exactly the same case as if partner was the one in a different world, and your bidding was correct, his explanation was wrong. The only difference there is that you have to explain to the opponents the correct system (yours), and that might give partner UI that wakes him up.

Yes, this will confuse the opponents. They might even call the director. If they can figure out why they're confused, they can use that information during the play. Hopefully the director won't do anything that unnecessarily helps this happen (like ask declarer why they passed RKC at the table before the opening lead).
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#36 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-April-06, 09:37

View Postsanst, on 2021-April-06, 03:32, said:

I’ve been reading this thread again and came to the conclusion that a lot depends on the meaning of the 4NT bid. East forgot the systematic meaning of 3NT and it doesn’t matter whether it was till W alerted and explained the bid or for a ‘ohnosecond’. The director should not accept any story about remembering the meaning by E on his own. E must keep thinking that W knows that he wanted to play 3NT. What is the EW agreement about 4NT in a NT contract, Blackwood or quantitative? If it’s Blackwood the pass is a blatant use of UI and should be treated as such. If quantitative I think pass is logical, but a poll might be necessary.

The EW agreement is that 4NT is quantitative over a natural NT. Maybe the director failed to grasp this or had unexpressed doubts about it, however.

View Postsanst, on 2021-April-06, 03:32, said:

There is a strange ambiguity in the Laws. You’re not allowed to wake up by alerts and explanations of your partner and should stick to your mistake, but explain the agreements correctly. I’ve never figured out how to do this without causing confusion for the opponents.

I agree about the strange ambiguity, and also find it mysterious that the lawmakers did not see the need to spell this out if it is really what they wanted.

View Postsanst, on 2021-April-06, 03:32, said:

In this case E should probably have explained 4NT as RKCB with spades and then have passed, not as damage control, but as the logical answer to 4NT quantitative.

E was woken up to his forget by the explanation and was now aware that partner was asking for keycards. Nobody asked for an explanation of 4NT before the director was called.
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#37 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2021-April-06, 10:38

I feel that this discussion is drifting away into some confusing ambiguity?
in the situation we have here the Director shall proceed as follows:
After play of the board is completed! : Decide whether there has been any irregularity, and if so establish the precise nature of the irregularity.

Only after he has ruled that there indeed was an irregularity he should judge on the possible consequences of the irregularity

If he judges that the irregularity has damaged the non-offending side then he should award an adjusted score to compensate the non-offending side for their loss due to the irregularity.

And if he judges that the offending side has gained from the irregularity then he should award an adjusted score to take away from the offending side their gain from the irregularity.

(So the Director should never consider rolling back the auction before first ruling on the question whether there has been an irregularity.)
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#38 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2021-April-07, 03:01

View Postpran, on 2021-April-06, 10:38, said:

I feel that this discussion is drifting away into some confusing ambiguity?
in the situation we have here the Director shall proceed as follows:
After play of the board is completed! : Decide whether there has been any irregularity, and if so establish the precise nature of the irregularity.

Only after he has ruled that there indeed was an irregularity he should judge on the possible consequences of the irregularity

If he judges that the irregularity has damaged the non-offending side then he should award an adjusted score to compensate the non-offending side for their loss due to the irregularity.

And if he judges that the offending side has gained from the irregularity then he should award an adjusted score to take away from the offending side their gain from the irregularity.

(So the Director should never consider rolling back the auction before first ruling on the question whether there has been an irregularity.)

The discussion on my part is not about what the director should do and when. Itís about what players do at the table. The bidding was 1-3NT-4NT-pass. Letís say for argumentís sake that E bid a natural 3NT, but W alerted and explained correctly as spade fit, void or singleton in hearts. Up to this point nobody but E knows that something has gone wrong. That becomes clear because E passes after a forcing 4NT. Most experienced players know that itís no use calling the director then, because they would have to continue anyway. Nobody here would do anything else, we all know that the director canít change the auction. Only after the play the opponents will call the director if they feel damaged. In this case they would probably argue that E should have answered the RKCB bid and the EW most likely would have ended in 6, doubled by N, which would have gone off two tricks. Only then the director has a role to play.

You wil probably answer that the TD should have been called earlier, but there are many situations when something should or shouldnít have been done, but is or isnít done anyway. A prime minister shouldnít lie and if he does he should be send packing, but ours did lie and wasnít sent away, even worse, it looks like he can start a new term in office soon.
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#39 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2021-April-07, 07:54

View Postsanst, on 2021-April-07, 03:01, said:

The discussion on my part is not about what the director should do and when. Itís about what players do at the table. The bidding was 1-3NT-4NT-pass. Letís say for argumentís sake that E bid a natural 3NT, but W alerted and explained correctly as spade fit, void or singleton in hearts. Up to this point nobody but E knows that something has gone wrong. That becomes clear because E passes after a forcing 4NT. Most experienced players know that itís no use calling the director then, because they would have to continue anyway. Nobody here would do anything else, we all know that the director canít change the auction. Only after the play the opponents will call the director if they feel damaged. In this case they would probably argue that E should have answered the RKCB bid and the EW most likely would have ended in 6, doubled by N, which would have gone off two tricks. Only then the director has a role to play.

You wil probably answer that the TD should have been called earlier, but there are many situations when something should or shouldnít have been done, but is or isnít done anyway. A prime minister shouldnít lie and if he does he should be send packing, but ours did lie and wasnít sent away, even worse, it looks like he can start a new term in office soon.

Law 40C said:

1. A player may deviate from his sideís announced understandings, provided that his partner has no more reason than the opponents to be aware of the deviation [but see B2(a)(v) above]. Repeated deviations lead to implicit understandings which then form part of the partnershipís methods and must be disclosed in accordance with the regulations governing disclosure of system. If the Director judges there is undisclosed knowledge that has damaged the opponents he shall adjust the score and may assess a procedural penalty.
2. Other than in C1 above, no player is obliged to disclose to the opponents that he has deviated from his announced methods.

Note that it is irrelevant whether the deviation is deliberate or accidental!

Law 20F4a said:

If a player realizes during the auction that his own explanation was erroneous or incomplete, he must summon the Director before the end of the Clarification Period and correct the misexplanation. He may elect to call the Director sooner, but he is under no obligation to do so.

Law 20F5a said:

A player whose partner has given a mistaken explanation may not correct the error during the auction, nor may he indicate in any manner that a mistake has been made. ĎMistaken explanationí here includes failure to alert or announce as regulations require or an alert (or an announcement) that regulations do not require.

So far we have no indication of any violation of the laws (East has not been asked nor has he given any explanation)
If East is asked about the 4NT bid and now understands that he had forgotten agreements, he must still give a correct explanation of the 4NT bid even though this may reveal that his own bid was a misbid. However, he is under no circumstance allowed to explicitly disclose this fact to opponents even if asked!

So the bottom line is still that we have no reason to make any adjustment.
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#40 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2021-April-07, 09:13

View Postpran, on 2021-April-03, 10:30, said:

How can a keycard response be a logical alternative when West made a quantitative raise to 4NT?

This is just the wrong question pran and surprising to me from such an experienced TD. I have played in partnerships where my partner insisted that "4NT is always Blackwood". For such a pair West has not made a quantitative raise. The fact that you would play it that way, or me, or indeed every other BBF poster, is neither here nor there. The right question is whether this pair plays a 4NT raise of a natural 3NT call quantitatively. If not then a key card or ace-showing response has to be a LA.
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