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Pick the bones out of this one

#1 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-June-06, 13:02

At the table, nothing was alerted except the 2 bid as 1N is a better raise for us. Played online matchpoints, self alerts. EBUland



I've put the start of the play in and partner received a bolt from the blue when South discarded.

He asked about the second double which S said was pens and we pointed out this was alertable.

We called the director at the end of the hand saying if he thought this was even a vague possibility he doesn't cash a top spade, and this now happened:

Dir to N What was the first double - stolen bid showing spades, denied by S. What was the second double, values rather than pens (and his partner who said it was pens passed it with a void).

It was pointed out the stolen bid double would be alertable so in a self alert situation, he should have alerted it.

Director went away and decided it wasn't making anyway citing a heart loser, we suggested he looked at trick 1.

Take it from here.

(I thought W could make it anyway after cashing A and pitching a club when S leads his heart winner, but N can ruff and play a trump)

3Sx-1 -200 for a decent board as NS can make 5 or 6 hearts depending on who they hook for Q
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#2 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2021-June-06, 15:50

Do NS have a convention card? I've never heard of stolen bid doubles in this auction, nearly everyone plays negative doubles, i.e. takeout. North's hand is approximately right for that bid (he's short one club), South appears to have bid in accordance with it, and I presume that's what's meant by "denied by South". So even if North meant it as something else, his lack of alert is probably consistent with their agreement, so there's no MI.

Assuming the first double is systemically takeout, it doesn't make much sense for the second double also to be takeout. Partner already showed his better minor, what more could North be asking him? Do EBU alerting regulations really require an alert in this situation?

#3 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-June-06, 15:55

View Postbarmar, on 2021-June-06, 15:50, said:

Do NS have a convention card? I've never heard of stolen bid doubles in this auction, nearly everyone plays negative doubles, i.e. takeout. North's hand is approximately right for that bid (he's short one club), South appears to have bid in accordance with it, and I presume that's what's meant by "denied by South". So even if North meant it as something else, his lack of alert is probably consistent with their agreement, so there's no MI.

Assuming the first double is systemically takeout, it doesn't make much sense for the second double also to be takeout. Partner already showed his better minor, what more could North be asking him? Do EBU alerting regulations really require an alert in this situation?


N said when asked by the director it was stolen bid and it was under SELF alerting, so if he meant it as that why didn't he alert it.

A double of any naturally bid suit is assumed takeout unless alerted certainly at the 3 level or below
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#4 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2021-June-07, 02:09

Again, was there damage and how? When training for director, much stress was laid on the basic rules for a director:
  • Is there an infraction?
  • Is there damage?
  • Is the damage caused by the infraction?

Only when all three wuestions are answered by “yes”, you can act and give redress. Otherwise you might penalize a pair if there was an infraction like not alerting but without damage, but you should be reluctant to do so. Just a friendly warning is usually the best way to act. Don’t you ever forget that the players are playing for fun mostly and are certainly not interested in the finer points of the Laws. They just want to play bridge. A bridge club isn’t a court of law and a director should not act like a hanging judge.
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#5 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-June-07, 03:11

View Postsanst, on 2021-June-07, 02:09, said:

Again, was there damage and how? When training for director, much stress was laid on the basic rules for a director:
  • Is there an infraction?
  • Is there damage?
  • Is the damage caused by the infraction?

Only when all three wuestions are answered by ďyesĒ, you can act and give redress. Otherwise you might penalize a pair if there was an infraction like not alerting but without damage, but you should be reluctant to do so. Just a friendly warning is usually the best way to act. Donít you ever forget that the players are playing for fun mostly and are certainly not interested in the finer points of the Laws. They just want to play bridge. A bridge club isnít a court of law and a director should not act like a hanging judge.


IMO - Is there an infraction - Yes, possibly multiple. Failure to self alert the stolen bid double (might be different if it was a format where partner alerts your calls and this was not their agreement), the second double there is disagreement on the meaning of, but was certainly not T/O, passing it with a void implies S was expecting a good spade holding.

Is there damage - yes, partner was worried he might get overruffed with a singleton 8 or 9 of trumps thinking S was much more balanced (not sure about what NT they played), if he knows N has the spades, he simply leaves trumps alone and makes in comfort

Is the damage caused by the infraction, yes, see the line above.
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#6 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-June-07, 17:14

View Postsanst, on 2021-June-07, 02:09, said:

Again, was there damage and how? When training for director, much stress was laid on the basic rules for a director:
  • Is there an infraction?
  • Is there damage?
  • Is the damage caused by the infraction?

Only when all three wuestions are answered by ďyesĒ, you can act and give redress. Otherwise you might penalize a pair if there was an infraction like not alerting but without damage, but you should be reluctant to do so. Just a friendly warning is usually the best way to act. Donít you ever forget that the players are playing for fun mostly and are certainly not interested in the finer points of the Laws. They just want to play bridge. A bridge club isnít a court of law and a director should not act like a hanging judge.

On the other hand, it is fruitless, club game or no, to give repeated warnings and never take any further action. Pretty soon players learn "he's never going to do more than warn me, so I can keep doing whatever with impunity".
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#7 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2021-June-08, 04:03

View Postblackshoe, on 2021-June-07, 17:14, said:

On the other hand, it is fruitless, club game or no, to give repeated warnings and never take any further action. Pretty soon players learn "he's never going to do more than warn me, so I can keep doing whatever with impunity".

Thatís dependent on what the members find acceptable. If thereís some serious competition the director is called more often for infractions that in a less competitive environment are hardly noticed and quite often arenít noticed at all. In a Ďseriousí club you might go beyond warnings, but in those clubs where the game is played more or less purely for fun, I wouldnít dream of doing that. In my experience a warning is usually sufficient, although in some cases a private talk with the player(s) involved is called for. Only in regional and national matches, but then weíre talking really serious bridge, you rarely have to give PPís.
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#8 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2021-June-08, 04:20

View PostCyberyeti, on 2021-June-07, 03:11, said:

IMO - Is there an infraction - Yes, possibly multiple. Failure to self alert the stolen bid double (might be different if it was a format where partner alerts your calls and this was not their agreement), the second double there is disagreement on the meaning of, but was certainly not T/O, passing it with a void implies S was expecting a good spade holding.

Is there damage - yes, partner was worried he might get overruffed with a singleton 8 or 9 of trumps thinking S was much more balanced (not sure about what NT they played), if he knows N has the spades, he simply leaves trumps alone and makes in comfort

Is the damage caused by the infraction, yes, see the line above.

I didnít agree. The second double might be alertable under EBU regulations - itís not in The Netherlands nor according to WBF alerting policy - but what else than penalties can this be. South has bid two suits, Northís second double should now show values and S has to decide. In this case S passes, N start is certainly a present for EW and 3x can be made. Why W assumes that S has a more balanced hand, is not clear to me.
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#9 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-June-08, 08:21

View Postsanst, on 2021-June-08, 04:20, said:

I didnít agree. The second double might be alertable under EBU regulations - itís not in The Netherlands nor according to WBF alerting policy - but what else than penalties can this be. South has bid two suits, Northís second double should now show values and S has to decide. In this case S passes, N start is certainly a present for EW and 3x can be made. Why W assumes that S has a more balanced hand, is not clear to me.



Because N has made a takeout double and S has passed it, void trump was not on the agenda.

https://www.ebu.co.u...ments-table.pdf note the section first on page 2 about opponents' calls below 3N.

What I'm not clear about is the first double which was clearly explained afterwards by the bidder to the director as stolen bid, he seems to have MASSIVELY benefited by failing to self alert this. Is there really no redress for failing to self alert a convention that you're actually not playing even though you believe you are ?
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#10 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2021-June-08, 12:10

View PostCyberyeti, on 2021-June-08, 08:21, said:

Because N has made a takeout double and S has passed it, void trump was not on the agenda.

https://www.ebu.co.u...ments-table.pdf note the section first on page 2 about opponents' calls below 3N.

What I'm not clear about is the first double which was clearly explained afterwards by the bidder to the director as stolen bid, he seems to have MASSIVELY benefited by failing to self alert this. Is there really no redress for failing to self alert a convention that you're actually not playing even though you believe you are ?

Barmar asked wether there was a convention card, but you didnít answer. You keep insisting that N should have alerted the first double, because it was a stolen bid. Never heard of any player do that in this situation, but N said so. That doesnít make the double alertable if their agreement was TO, as S stated. Youíre entitled the agreements, not to the knowledge that N deliberately (?) deviated from that agreement.
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#11 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-June-08, 13:03

View Postsanst, on 2021-June-08, 12:10, said:

Barmar asked wether there was a convention card, but you didn’t answer. You keep insisting that N should have alerted the first double, because it was a stolen bid. Never heard of any player do that in this situation, but N said so. That doesn’t make the double alertable if their agreement was TO, as S stated. You’re entitled the agreements, not to the knowledge that N deliberately (?) deviated from that agreement.


This was self alerting. Surely if you believe this to be a stolen bid double in your system, you really ought to alert it when you make it, there was no suggestion this was a psyche (this was a minor national final so it is assumed you should know what's alertable). I didn't see the convention card (there would have been a link posted, but I didn't open it, there was nothing that made me look) I suspect systemically this should have been a T/O double, but when you tell the TD it was a stolen bid double under self alerting, surely you should be alerting it and it's at least a PP for not doing so.
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#12 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2021-June-11, 22:51

View PostCyberyeti, on 2021-June-06, 15:55, said:

N said when asked by the director it was stolen bid and it was under SELF alerting, so if he meant it as that why didn't he alert it.

Players are not always clear on what's alertable and what isn't, although I think this is more common in ACBL jurisdiction than EBU.

But even if the meaning as he assumed was alertable, the regulations refer to the actual agreements, not a player's mistaken beliefs.

In this case it seems like the player's confusion over what's alertable coincidentally made their non-alert "correct". They didn't provide MI after the hand was over and someone asked what the double meant.

#13 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-June-12, 04:28

View Postbarmar, on 2021-June-11, 22:51, said:

Players are not always clear on what's alertable and what isn't, although I think this is more common in ACBL jurisdiction than EBU.

But even if the meaning as he assumed was alertable, the regulations refer to the actual agreements, not a player's mistaken beliefs.

In this case it seems like the player's confusion over what's alertable coincidentally made their non-alert "correct". They didn't provide MI after the hand was over and someone asked what the double meant.


And this is my quibble. In the EBU you should alert if you're not sure whether a bid is alertable. My issue is more with the regulations than the ruling, although I think a PP is in order.

In this case, the player was 100% sure his double was (in his system) stolen bid at the time he made it. There were convention cards available via an external link, but with no self alerts we had no reason to look at them at this point as with no alert, this is just takeout. I don't know if he realised stolen bid doubles are alertable.
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