Re: Wronged? Opinions please [Corrected Auction]
- From: Steve Willner <swillner@xxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2011 22:35:27 -0400
On 10/17/2011 12:07 PM, KWSchneider wrote:
North [dealer]Corrected auction...
(1C) 2C! (2S) P [2C = natural, properly alerted but South does not ask]
(3S) P (3N) X [N asks about 2C before bidding 3S]
(4H) P (P) ?? director
As I noted before, this is a tricky case. I'll try to comment here on all the relevant points that have been raised, but I may miss some.
1. It is impossible to be objective about a case in which one is personally involved.
2. The suggestion that the OP is somehow to blame for using strange methods (a natural 2C overcall?!) is ridiculous. I am resisting temptation to use a stronger adjective.
3. Nothing EW did comes anywhere close to "serious error." Even if there were an SE, the TD should adjust the NS score if an infraction gained them an advantage.
4. Someone suggested that North's question was a "pro question" and therefore illegal. I don't see any evidence for that. How is North to decide on his own call if he doesn't find out what 2C meant?
5. If North's question is legal, I am convinced that the answer to it -- the EW agreement about 2C -- is AI to South. I know there are some who disagree with that (including the OP), but their view leads to ludicrous conclusions in slightly different circumstances. I suggest a close reading of Law 16A1c ("information ... arising from the legal procedures authorized in these laws and in regulations") and then 16B1a to find nothing that changes the main statement in A1c.
6. What Law 16B1a does say is that the fact of partner having asked or not asked a question is UI. Thus North has UI that South might have -- probably has -- misunderstood the 2C bid and that South's 2S bid is based on that misunderstanding. (Most likely 2S was intended to show diamonds, but we don't know that for sure.) North must "carefully avoid" taking advantage of this UI for choosing a call or play, but he can and should "use" it to give correct explanations to EW. (See item 10 for what those correct explanations should be.)
7. What would happen behind screens is irrelevant. "Behind screens" is sometimes a useful analogy to explain to players why a ruling goes the way it does, but it has nothing to do with deciding how to rule. (I'm afraid there are many ACBL Directors who do think "behind screens" is the proper way to decid how to rule, but the I'm sure the TD who came to the table -- one of the best in D25 -- is not one of them.)
8. North's 3S bid looks proper to me, so the only question is 4H. Based on AI, North "knows" that South has bid a natural and forcing 2S, then offered 3NT. West has doubled that, and for most pairs, the double would call for a club lead. Even if EW don't play that, a club lead is probably coming, and North can see he doesn't have the stopper South is no doubt counting on. So I don't think pass is a LA after all. (Another change of mind on my part. I did write that this is a tricky case!) However, I think 4S is a logical alternative, and 4H was certainly suggested over 4S by the UI, so I still think 4H was illegal.
9, What happens if North bids 4S is not clear to me, but it will certainly be 4S or above doubled, down a bunch. I suspect anything will be a top for EW, zero for NS, so the exact contract probably doesn't matter.
10. As someone mentioned, in principle we also have to consider MI, though it won't be relevant here because of the UI ruling.
EW have no claim know any NS agreements other than the ones that apply in the actual auction. Specifically, unusual over unusual didn't apply to the actual auction because 2C was natural, and EW were not entitled to the NS agreements regarding U/U. (This comes from a Laws change made in 2007/2008, so not everyone is aware of it yet. My personal opinion of this change is, um... unfavorable -- again avoiding the stronger adjective I'm tempted to use.) There is some chance that for us, ACBL regulations override the general principle in the Laws, but frankly I'm uncertain about that, and I'm going to assume the Laws apply here. If so, and if there is an adjusted score for any reason, it will be on the basis that EW knew the agreements in the actual auction, not in some different auction where 2C was artificial (Michaels or whatever). Thus even without UI, I don't think MI would be an issue at all. EW were at all times correctly informed of the NS agreements relevant to the actual auction. They are not entitled to know that S was confused, though if they find out, they are allowed to use that information. (In practice, North was kind enough to tell them, but he didn't have to do so.)
Anyway, that's how I see things. My bridge judgment is certainly subject to challenge (my partners would say "is rotten"), but I think I'm stating the legal principles correctly. But it's still tricky, and I could be wrong.
Help keep our newsgroup healthy; please don't feed the trolls.
Steve Willner Phone 617-495-7123 swillner@xxxxxxxx
Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
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