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All comments by John Portwood
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Unfortunately Dave, that was not the position at the time. Under the 2007 laws AFAICS the right to adjust the score expired after the correction period - set by the TO (Law 79C) and there was no means to correct the egregarious error legally. Dura Lex sed lex.
11 hours ago
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73C does reference 16B1a - which does deal with LAs, and note that there is now a statement that use of UI may attract a penalty. I think this is the only case in the laws when this guidance is actually given (other than the laws about DPs and PPs.)
11 hours ago
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Announcements have to be short, succinct and accurate - having to announce in the 2nd or third round of an auction is going to be difficult - especially as there are going to be many different agreements and inferences.

In the EBU - very few bids are announced: the range of 1NT (and if it can hold a singleton) and 2NT, red suit transfers over a 1NT/ 2NT opening bid (provided no interference and it is not an overcall, the strength of natural 2-level opening bids, Stayman (provided it is 4-car Stayman) and if a 1 Club call could be short (and also add on if it could have another 5-card suit).
12 hours ago
John Portwood edited this comment 11 hours ago
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Michal - I agree that there is a continuum between ‘obvious’ and ‘totally obscure’. The problem, as you say, is: where do you draw the line?

Personally I would alert calls where there are negative inferences for me that an opponent won't have. i.e. partner has not done something else that they could have done with a similar hand. (“relevant alternative calls available that were not made”)

However - what do you do with a tricky auction such as:

1NT: P: 3NT*

* Partner could have used Stayman if interested in playing in a major.

Do you alert it?

Compare with

1NT : P : 2* : P
2*: P : 3* : P
3NT : AP

2 - can be made on many hand types
2 - forced response
3 - forcing to 3NT or 4 - but shows only 4 Hearts and denies 4 Spades.
23 hours ago
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A new law came into effect this year (part 2)

79C. Error in Score

1. An error in recording or computing the agreed‐upon score, whether made by a player or an official, may be corrected until the expiration of the period(s) specified by the Tournament Organizer. Unless the Tournament Organizer specifies a later time, this Correction Period expires 30 minutes after the official score has been made available for inspection.

2. Subject to approval by the Tournament Organizer, a scoring error may be corrected after expiry of the Correction Period if the Director is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the record is wrong.

(A couple of events in 2016 would have had the results changed if a scoring error had been spotted in time - one of the pitfalls of arrow-switching and electronic recording devices.)

However, the score can only be changed in this case if an appeal for an adjustment were to be made - and that falls within law 92B - where the TO specifies a time period and CAN'T change it - so there MAY be differences in permitted periods between rulings and scoring.
Oct. 19
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Because, to a newbie, pass may not be a logical alternative.

(b) A logical alternative is an action that a significant proportion of the class of players in question, using the methods of the partnership, would seriously consider, and some might select.

(I am not saying that ‘pass’ in this case is not a LA - indeed bidding 3 looks rather like ‘unauthorised panic’ so beloved at the EBU.)
Oct. 19
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When my partner raises my suit in a support double auction I always alert since my opponents are “entitled to know about calls actually made, about relevant alternative calls available that were not made, and about inferences from the choice of action where these are matters of partnership understanding.”

However this only applies if an opponent has asked about the opponent's auction.

The actual requirement to alert is dictated by the Regulating Authority not the WBF *except in their own events* - Law 40

2. (a) The Regulating Authority:
(i) is empowered without restriction to allow, disallow, or allow conditionally, any special partnership understanding.
(ii) may prescribe a System Card, with or without supplementary sheets, for the prior listing of a partnership’s understandings, and regulate its use.
(iii) may prescribe alerting procedures and/or other methods of disclosure of a partnership’s methods.
(iv) may disallow prior agreement by a partnership to vary its understandings during the auction or play following an irregularity committed by the opponents.
(v) may restrict the use of psychic artificial calls.

(The WBF says, helpfully, ‘Conventional bids should be alerted, non-conventional bids should not.’

Also the definition in the Laws

Alert: A notification, whose form may be specified by the Regulating Authority, to the effect that opponents may be in need of an explanation.

The EBU state (White Book):-

A player must alert any inferences drawn from partnership experience or practice which have a potentially unexpected meaning. A call with an alertable meaning arising from an implicit understanding must be alerted.

A player who is not sure whether or not a call made is alertable should alert it. If there is no partnership understanding about the meaning of the call, the player should say so rather than say how is going to treat it.

The Blue book defines ‘natural’ as:

a) A bid of a suit which shows that suit (4+ cards for an opening bid of 1 or higher or any overcall, otherwise 3+ cards) and does not show any other suit; preference bids, completion of transfer bids and raises may be on shorter suits


So in effect this question is : does 3, promising more than e.g. 8HCP, but natural, have a potentially unexpected meaning? I don't really think so, otherwise you would have to alert (playing Acol) a 2-level response, which also guarantees 9+ points.

The alternative (Lebensohl) is of course, as the OP says, alertable as it has an unexpected meaning - not necessarily a balanced hand and an upper limit.
Oct. 19
John Portwood edited this comment Oct. 19
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Not necessarily - if she were 1=6=0=6 for instance then I would probably allow it. Remember that an LA is dependent on the class of player (and using the methods of the partnership).

Obviously a poll of novice players is required - and just because you would never pull 2 does not mean a newbie wouldn't (even absent UI).
Oct. 19
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Sorry - when I said the 3 is a reasonable bid, I meant purely that it shows heart support as well as spade support - and is progressive - and hence a LA (not that that matters post rule changes) - I did not believe that such a call would be allowed in the present situation, providing there is a logical alternative.

The 4 call is probably a better bid on the hand strength, but since, if there is a LA, it is demonstrably suggested by table action then it, too, would have to be rejected.
Oct. 19
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The Question is “What should I bid with a player of limited experience and bidding sophistication who has knowingly misbid - and I know they have hearts and clubs, which knowledge is not permitted?”

And it is not enough to ignore the UI - you must "Carefully avoid taking any advantage" - which means that you must be pro-active. i.e. take into account the UI you have.

In this case 3 is a reasonable bid - it tells partner that you can play in either of their major suits. However, it also allows partner to pass - and you know it - when they have hearts and clubs. So if any other call is a logical alternative then you can't bid 3. (It may be decided that for players of your ability there is no alternative to 3 on the authorised information, but with such a monster hand, I am pretty sure that there will be.)

If you decide to make a call that allows the partnership to escape the misbid and there is a logical alternative then the logical alternative has to be chosen. Hence why D. Burn rejects 4 - rightly IMHO, providing there is a LA - (I can change my mind based on evidence/ cogent argument).

Once partner shows that they like spades over hearts (and you have no preference) then not only can't you bid hearts naturally (demonstrably suggested), you can't pass partner's subsequent heart calls - after all, they are just showing extra length in hearts (and by inference spades).
Oct. 19
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The essense of the problem is:

1) Was there unauthorised information - Yes (table manner)
2) 16B1

(a) A player may not choose a call or play that is demonstrably suggested over another by unauthorized information if the other call or play is a logical alternative.

2) What does the UI suggest - partner has Hearts and Clubs

(We are not going along the route that partner should have passed 2 Spades (if they do hold hearts and clubs with spade tolerance) - if that is the case then the contract will have to be ruled back to 2 Spades and the table ruling will be the worse of 2 Spades and the final contract reached here.

3) What are the logical alternatives?

a: 3 - can play in either major - could be a weak hand.
b: 3 - presumably showing a strong hand
c: 3NT - strong balanced hand
d: 4 - cue bid in response to partner's posisble cue bid or ‘pick your major at game’.
e: 4 - Accepting partner's game try in Hearts
f: 3 - Maybe suggesting playing in 4 or just 3

The risk is that there are so many possible calls that not one might actually be popular enough to be a LA. (NB the action taken does not have to be a LA to fall under 16B1a).

Since 3 is suggested by the UI (caters for partner having a weak hand in hearts and clubs) - then this would be the one call I would reject. Anything else is fine by me.
Oct. 18
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Maybe it comes under the “misexplanation presumed over misbid unless evidence to the contrary” law.
Oct. 18
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John - it is now illegal to ask a question purely to try and get an incorrect andswer. 20G2.
Oct. 18
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The way people pre-empt these days 3 - 5 (if constructive and asking for suit quality) might be better.
Oct. 16
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But you are, aren't you? - If the pass is illegal then how on earth can 3X be the final contract - and if it can't be the final contract then you can't have the (possibly) illegal opening lead to it.

The wording of 12C1c has substantially changed in the new laws and IMHO the new guidelines prevent this 2-step logic.
Oct. 13
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Well, I'll defer to your greater expertise, but in allowing the Pass and then disallowing the opening lead you seem to have wilfully neglected to apply law 16B1a - in that you are now considering auctions where a player has chosen a call demonstrably suggested by the UI.

Isn't this also a breach of 12Cib and 12C1c?

(b) The Director in awarding an assigned adjusted score should seek to recover as nearly as possible the probable outcome of the board had the infraction not occurred.

© An assigned adjusted score may be weighted to reflect the probabilities of a number of potential results, but only outcomes that could have been achieved in a legal manner may be included.
Oct. 12
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The simple questions are:

1) Does the slow double suggest passing (for penalties) - it is usually either very light or one with an off-shape distribution - typically 3 or fewer spades.

If No - then it is allowed.

if Yes

2) Is there a logical alternative? (One that a significiant proportion would consider and some actually make)

This is up to the RA to define - the EBU say 20% - which is why this is so close. I won't quibble either way. However - you have two good cards and the opponents have a 9 (or 10) card fit at the three level - which suggests bidding on.

I may need instruction but I often hear said that - since passing is only a 50% view then ‘not passing’ is demonstrably suggested - however there is no way you can tell the table “I am not passing” - you have to decide whether 3 is a LA.

The second part is similar to the first:

Does the slow double suggest leading a heart?

If no then it is allowed.

If Yes then a spade lead is the only LA and must be chosen.
Oct. 12
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Some people are scared of not making tricks, so don't like ducking. (Although NS had limited their hands by just bidding 2NT). Shall we just say that there are different levels of bridge expertise.
Oct. 6
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Yes - but by accident.
Oct. 6
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Free advice for those who play Flannery.

Don't.

It seems half the UI/ MI cases in the ACBL come from people forgetting they are playing Flannery and open a weak 2.
Oct. 5
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