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Passed Hand Penalty Double ??

#1 User is offline   DuaneC 

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Posted 2021-May-25, 15:44



This happened in an online ACBL Club Game. None of the NS bids were alerted. Result was down 3 doubled, a not so good result for E/W.
After the hand E/W summoned the director to take a look at the E/W bidding, for a possible adjustment. Do you adjust?

Duane C
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#2 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-May-25, 16:06

View PostDuaneC, on 2021-May-25, 15:44, said:

This happened in an online ACBL Club Game. None of the NS bids were alerted. Result was down 3 doubled, a not so good result for E/W.
After the hand E/W summoned the director to take a look at the E/W bidding, for a possible adjustment. Do you adjust?

Duane C


What are the alerting regulations in the ACBL for doubles ? here a penalty double is alertable.
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#3 User is online   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-May-25, 16:57

  • What is the agreement? If they play penalty doubles of preempts, then that's what they do. It's legal on any chart (Basic Chart: "All doubles and redoubles, and all calls by both sides after a double or redouble.") as is any other agreement. So, yes, the auction is a totally legal auction, and we can't "take away the double".
  • Were the opponents made aware of this agreement appropriately? If it is a penalty double, then it is Alertable (below 3NT, not any of the exceptions), so no.
  • Did that cause damage? You'd have to see how the play went, and whether the opponent would have saved a trick or more if they played for the diamonds to be in the doubler's hand instead of the passer's. But it looks like reasonable defence leads to -3, so likely not.
  • If East can come up with a good argument for why he'd pull a double with the diamonds on his left rather than his right, then maybe that is another potential adjustment (though it looks like 3x, the best option, is -2 - and we would likely have to weight 3x and 3x (and a reasonable fraction of sitting for 3x, unless his argument is *stellar*) as well?)

Review: your opponents are not required to play the same system as you, or even a good one. They are, however, required to ensure it is legal in their game, and that the opponents are aware of what they play appropriately. *If they do not do so, adjustment is not automatic; it is up to the director and there has to be damage (L21B3, L47E2b)*.

There were no infractions through the double (though perhaps immediately after) - so no part of the adjusted score can consist of 3 undoubled. If knowledge of their agreement would reasonably lead to a better score in 3x, or lead to a different contract than 3x that leads to a better score, then that can be assigned. As a director, the NOS (West for the play, and East for the bidding) would have to convince me that the *correct information*, not just the result, would have made a difference (I can't see any reason why where the 5 diamonds are makes a difference to his pulling 3x. I'm willing to be convinced otherwise).

Unless they can get 100% of -300 and beating those that get to 3NT (or 5 making on unwise defence), I don't see this gaining them much. I don't *think* I'm giving them 100% of -300, but I haven't heard their arguments.

Please don't mention A+/A- (either because "club directors do this" or L12C1d). That would *definitely* be "they made a (technical) mistake, we get a good score". These are the hands where "automatic A+/A- for any infraction" proves its wrongness; E-W are getting a bad score on this board because they hit the only pair in the room who has the system to handle this hand, not because they failed to Alert it; 60% is *not* rectification.
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#4 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2021-May-26, 03:13

I donít think that the alertability makes any difference. What would E or W have done if the double was alerted? Thereís nowhere to run. Maybe NS have an agreement about a double in this situation, maybe S hoped that N would come to the conclusion that it was for penalties. The OP didnít state that there was a pause or anything that might have conveyed UI. I donít see any reason for adjustment, but would reprimand NS for non alerting is this was alertable.
I know, itís speculative and not for the TD to rule upon, but Iíve the idea that EW would like to blame NS for a disastrous result. But the 3 bid after a pass by E was at least rather optimistic, with nine losers. In the third seat a lot is forgivable, but you know that it might end in a disaster once in a while. Just put the cards back in the board, apoligize to your partner, congratulate the opps and move to the next board.
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#5 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-May-26, 04:39

View Postsanst, on 2021-May-26, 03:13, said:

I donít think that the alertability makes any difference. What would E or W have done if the double was alerted? Thereís nowhere to run. Maybe NS have an agreement about a double in this situation, maybe S hoped that N would come to the conclusion that it was for penalties. The OP didnít state that there was a pause or anything that might have conveyed UI. I donít see any reason for adjustment, but would reprimand NS for non alerting is this was alertable.
I know, itís speculative and not for the TD to rule upon, but Iíve the idea that EW would like to blame NS for a disastrous result. But the 3 bid after a pass by E was at least rather optimistic, with nine losers. In the third seat a lot is forgivable, but you know that it might end in a disaster once in a while. Just put the cards back in the board, apoligize to your partner, congratulate the opps and move to the next board.


Well If it went 3-P-P-penX-P-P I'd likely bid 3 (particularly if partner didn't have a weak 2 available) not if it was a takeout X and I expected the hearts to be over me. 3 appears to be -2, cheaper than 3N NS.
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#6 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2021-May-26, 08:54

How did declarer get out for 3 off in 3Dx on I assume a top club lead?

And yes, just a failure to alert and a routine 3H for East. But North will surely bid 3NT if that is doubled, and that makes.
I prefer to give the lawmakers credit for stating things for a reason - barmar
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#7 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-May-26, 09:05

View Postlamford, on 2021-May-26, 08:54, said:

How did declarer get out for 3 off in 3Dx on I assume a top club lead?

And yes, just a failure to alert and a routine 3H for East. But North will surely bid 3NT if that is doubled, and that makes.


Yup, but 400 < 500
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#8 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2021-May-26, 13:10

In The Netherlands the double isnít alertable and itís the same in the WBF Alerting Policy. Besides, is a call alertable if thereís no agreement about it? And what would you know if explained as Ďno agreementí? I really donít see any reason for redress. E could have asked and could have bid hearts anyway. And EW could have called the director at the end of the auction if they thought that the double should have been alerted. But the OP nowhere states that they did ask or called a director.
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#9 User is online   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-May-26, 13:39

What flags E-W that something should have been alerted? Only when they find the passer of the double showing out on the second round of trump. Hard to call in the auction, when as far as they were concerned, everything was correct. They called at the end of the hand, as was reasonable. The director will evaluate everything, of course.

What makes you think there was no agreement? Sure looks like an agreement to me - preempter's RHO doubled to say "this is going down", and LHO understood completely. We're not told what the agreement was, but there's nothing in the cards and auction that implies that they didn't both think the same thing about this auction.

Figuring out what doubles should be Alerted is the hardest part of putting together a policy, and it's usually the worst part. I would suggest that "doubles are self-Alerting", which some RAs use, is worst of all possible options, except for the fact that you can almost guarantee compliance and accurate Alerting from the players, something that goes immediately downhill when any attempt at rationality is applied to this issue.
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#10 User is online   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-May-26, 13:47

Or, if you think this trump suit is unreasonable,


Not sure I find it that routine. I'd definitely be polling it, and I would expect I'm handing out at best 50% of either 3Hx-2 or 3NTN=.
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#11 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-May-27, 11:09

View Postmycroft, on 2021-May-26, 13:47, said:

Not sure I find it that routine. I'd definitely be polling it, and I would expect I'm handing out at best 50% of either 3Hx-2 or 3NTN=.


You also need to enquire about preempting style, from back when I didn't have a weak 2 available I certainly didn't need a 7th diamond 3rd in and not infrequently didn't have a 6th one.
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#12 User is online   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-May-27, 11:23

And I play EHAA. Of course you check that.

So, would you be the pair who "summon the director [after the hand] to take a look at the [N/S] bidding, for a possible adjustment"? Of course not. You might call because an Alertable double wasn't Alerted, but not for "they don't bid right, and got a good score. Take it away." And neither would almost all of the "non-standard" preempters. Sure, I'm making judgements on insufficient description, but I have - shall we say, some experience? - with what ACBL players who act that way are like. I won't guarantee it, but I'm probably right.
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