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All comments by Max Schireson
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If that is the case I think it is very unfortunate.

While I don't want to put words in Michael's mouth, but if his view is that bidding on after 1N - slow 3N - 4N - 6N should always be rolled back then this is why I agree.
July 10, 2016
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Peg,

I agree with what you wrote.

What I was trying to illustrate was that sometimes while it may be unclear whether the UI indicates strength or weakness it can still favor bidding on in the sense that it could improve a 10% action to a 30% action. Sorry if I was unclear.

Roland,

I did not know that law 16 required the UI to make the action a favorite. That seems to me unfortunate; I don't think a player should be able to take advantage of UI to give themselves a 30% shot of a big swing in a match where they judge themselves to be behind when absent the UI they would only have a 10% shot and might reasonably judge to hope for a happy surprise at the other table. I certainly would not take that shot even if I judged it to be winning (say, last board and I think 80% I lose without it) and I would want there to be recourse if my opponents did. Are you saying I would have no recourse if those were the undisputed facts and judgements?

Or perhaps I have just constructed a case where, given the state of the match, the odds of bidding on have increased to positive expectancy despite it being unclear whether the UI suggests strength or weakness?
July 10, 2016
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Roland,
I think your reasoning only works when your hand might reasonably bid on.
Say you bid 1NT and partner makes a slow raise to 2NT.
It is not clear whether partner was considering a weaker or stronger action. For many of your hands bidding on would be right if partner has a normal hand; when partner is strong it becomes right for some additional set and when partner is weak it becomes wrong for some. Thus depending on whether partner is strong or weak bidding on is either better or worse than it normally would be. Those two options seem roughly in balance and it is hard to know what to do.

Now say partner makes a slow 3NT bid. Yes, they may have more or less than normal. But when partner makes a normal 3NT bid they are not expecting us to bid on. The unexpected action there is generally a losing action. There could be a hand where it is right, but the percentage is very low. When their bid is slow, let's say that it's 50/50 whether they have an excellent 3N or terrible 3N; we know they don't have an average one. When they have a terrible 3N of course it is losing to bid on - but that's not news. Maybe with a normal maximum 1NT opener bidding on over an in temp 3N was 10% likely to be successful and over a bad raise its now down to 1%. But when they have an absolute maximum then bidding on actually becomes a 60% action. Your gain in the case where they have a maximum is so much greater than your loss in the case where they have a minimum that bidding on is indicated. It may still overall be a poor action, but it is much better than it was when you didn't know pards hand was at one extreme or the other of their range.

Does this make sense?

This is why I agree that bidding on in a situation where you are expected to pass is wrong, when you have a hand in the normal range for your bidding. I think this logic does not apply when you bid 1NT with 19.

Updated, fixed typo
July 10, 2016
Max Schireson edited this comment July 10, 2016
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Peg,

I agree with you emphatically that pards slow pass prevents me from reevaluating my hand. To me this is clearer than a slow raise.

I also think the slow raise should also prevent me from reevaluating my hand and bidding again when a pass is expected, though I think some would argue that it does only when the UI makes another bid more favorable.

Another case is where I have clearly misbid my hand (missed a card, misadded points or some such); then I think I can bid again:
- when passing is not a LA
- when passing is an LA but the UI from pards action doesn't particularly indicate anything but a problem

Thus in the “missed an A” case you created I would allow the bid if a poll showed that the pause and table action didn't favor a bid; same if with the actual hand opener said they had missed the SK and felt they had a clear cut 1C bid and not at all a 3C bid. On their actual explanation (which still baffles me) I would roll the bid back.

I think some might still allow the re-evaluation based bid if a poll showed no clear indication from the UI and others might disallow the error based bid. I am a newer player and not sure what is really right - just trying hard to understand what is and is not acceptable (both for me and my opponents).

Thank you for posting a hand that has prompted so much discussion even at the cost of having your actions attacked.
July 9, 2016
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Peg,

Regarding this hand, if the 3C bidder felt that the hand was a 3C preempt then I don't think my 5 applies and I would roll it back. To me this hand is so much stronger than a 3C preempt that some sort of bidding mistake seemed more plausible than thinking it a 3C hand. I understand that (incredibly to me) isn't what happened here, but I think there may still be some disagreement about what ought to happen in my cases 4 and 5, regardless of which one this hand falls into.
July 9, 2016
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The poll would settle the question of what the slow 5C suggests; I presume from your post that you would if polled say that it suggests bidding on. While that may be obvious to you and others, various posters (including me) didn't see it that way.
July 9, 2016
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A perspective from a player much closer to C:

1. I agree that bidding on after what should be an auction-ending bid in the presence of UI should raise suspicion and often should be rolled back
2. In many cases the UI will inherently suggest a strong hand as no weaker action is available, such as the 2N-3C,3M-3N, 4N-6N case; here rolling back seems very clear
3. Unlike the above case it is not clear to me that the doubt expressed by a slow 5C here favors bidding; it seems to me this should be settled by a poll, which I think ought to be composed of peer players although I don't think the law is explicit about this
4. If after a normally auction ending call a player bids on in the presence of UI, I would usually agree with rolling back the result even when it is unclear what the UI indicates. Since UI may communicates more within a partnership than in a poll, this seems like a reasonable way to prevent partnerships from (potentially accidentally) taking advantage of UI. The principle would be that given an “impossible” action and UI of unclear direction I would presume the UI indicates the impossible action.
5. However when the bidder holds a hand that seems impossible for their previous calls, I would not longer consider the auction impossible and would then need to determine via a poll what the UI indicates.

I personally would put this hand into 5 above, but I am more interested in what stronger players think of this framework, in particular whether those arguing to let the bid stand think point 4 is supported in the current laws and if so where as well as whether they think it should be in the law. On the other side I would love to hear Michael's view of point 3 and 5 and of course any other criticism.

With that said, it seems like my point 5 may be a corner case of a corner case (although imo quite relevant to this post) and what may be more important is clarity on point 4, about which it is not clear to me that the various experienced contributors here are on the same page.
July 9, 2016
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My solution to find out about aces is 5D. While it is not clear that it should be exclusion when we have yet to bid I don't see any other logical meaning in this auctio so I would hope partner answers that way.

Of course I could be missing some other interpretation of this bid and enroute to a disaster.
July 8, 2016
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One thing I noticed on re-reading law 16: while the logical alternative is judged relative to the class of player and the methods being played, there is no such reference for the judgement of “could demonstrably have been suggested”.

Does this mean that the suggestive content of the UI is judged on an absolute basis? If so does that seem right? Rui suggested polling peers to see what the slow 5C suggests, is that supported by the law?

My comments on this thread have assumed the judgement is relative to the player, and of course my actions at the table are based only on the inferences I can make. I absolutely accept that I can't make a call suggested by UI when I have an alternative call, but should I be penalized under the law for not noticing inferences that are beyond my ability if I have truly attempted to avoid the action that was suggested to me?

It seems that this issue may be the basis for much of the disagreement here.
July 5, 2016
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Do we know if the 5C bid was 3rd seat or 4th? Sorry if it has been stated and I missed it.
July 4, 2016
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I don't think calling roughly have the community members of a “brainwashed amoral suicide cult” is relevant to sexism in bridge or productive. Nor do I think it is “rational”. I wasn't really sure if I should flag it for being off topic or offensive, but it seemed like both to me.
July 4, 2016
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Jonathan,

I don't think I am a member of a brainwashed amoral suicide cult and I think you've both ventured pretty far afield from the original question and stepped outside the boundaries of this community.

I understand you think you are blessed with superior reasoning and bravery to see and speak the truth. I don't agree and find your posts insulting and absurd.
July 4, 2016
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Peg, if the body language said I have a big hand then I would change my answer and roll it back. I still think a pause absent strong body language could have been “how do I invite” or “how high to preempt” but I believe body language can clarify.

Separate issue is how you can communicate what you saw that made you read it that way to the director and whether they should just take your word for it with no specifics but apart from how to establish that fact, taking it as fact I would rule in your favor.

I have strong options but I do change my conclusion based on new data.
July 4, 2016
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Let's say I pick up that hand and the KH is stuck behind the 3H and the QC is stuck behind the KC. Then my shapely 2207 looks worth a 3C bid. Seems the most plausible explanation I can come up with for the bid… While my partner is thinking I notice that maybe I am missing a card and find two extra kings and hear 5C from pard in 4th seat. I suppose passing is an LA but certainly 6C is too. I think both are normal bids. Also there is no such thing as captaincy in the thought process of the player who opens this hand 3C. This leaves the pure question of whether slow suggests 4.5 or 5.5 clubs, and in that pair I have no idea.

Now say they open 3C on AKJ9xxx and out. Now if they bid 6C over slow 5C roll it back every time and file a player memo. The action itself is so unusual that while I might not get anything from the hesitation I am willing to presume that the player in question did. They would get a long talking to and maybe a PP, bidding on with a normal maximum is not ok. While I don't use the c-word easily, I wouldn't argue if someone described that action as tantamount to cheating.

That said, it is hard to rule without all the data. What was the 5C bidders explanation for his action? If it was some flavor of “I realized my previous bid was a horrible mistake” I would let 6C stand. If it was “well I really had a maximum so I thought I'd take a shot” I might roll it back, presuming that given all the context of that partnership the hesitation encouraged an otherwise bizarre action even if it says nothing to me.
July 3, 2016
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Greg, do you take the view that “could” allows both passing and bidding on to be suggested by the UI? If not, what makes you feel that bidding is the suggested action?
July 3, 2016
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With much longer hearts I don't think they should have corrected to 4S. Having done that I don't think 5H shows longer hearts.
July 3, 2016
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Say the auction goes
1H (P) 1S (P)
2N (P) 3N (very slow pass)
A beginner who has never heard of a Lightner double can lead a doubleton spade honor if they want to. An expert can't. Not because the rules aren't the same, but what the BIT suggests is different. To the beginner, the hesitation just suggests that his partner forgot whose turn it was, or is trying to remember what a 2NT rebid means, or what he is having for dinner tonight; to the expert it suggests he was considering a double for a spade lead.

Same rules, different ruling.
July 3, 2016
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Read Rui's post above. Which part do you disagree with?

Do you think Rui is “someone competent”? I think he is experienced in this field and doesn't find it so clear cut.

As one of the few posters on this thread who could be considered for inclusion in the poll on what the UI suggested, I would say “nothing but confusion” and I am fairly confident that would be the majority answer.

Ethics are important to me and on many occasions with no director call I have made bids that I was pretty sure were losing because I thought I possessed UI that suggested another bid. Once I went to the director after the game to suggest rolling back a successful bid I had made when I realized while reviewing the board that I had UI that favored the action I took. I would completely comfortable making that bid if I wanted to. I would appeal if the director rolled it back. I understand than many more experienced players believe slow always shows extras, I just don't agree in this situation.
July 3, 2016
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While I believe the pair likely didn't get much inference from the huddle, I can easily imagine this going either way. What seems really awful is the failure to explain the ruling. A teaching moment was squandered and instead a pair felt really abused.

I don't think there is anything wrong with calling the director and appealing, even if I agree with the original ruling. I don't believe that newer players competing in serious events deserve any different treatment and absolutely need to be subject to the same rules. My reason for agreeing with the original ruling is solely that I don't think the UI suggested any specific action in that partnership (and absent knowing the tone/feel of the huddle).
July 2, 2016
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If the sigh has that flavor yes, but sometimes it's the “I wish I knew if 4C was an invite but I don't so I have to bid 5C” sigh. It is very hard without having been at the table, and as I said it is definitely possible to convey weakness or strength with mannerisms/tone during the pause; if that happened then I would roll it back. However many here seem to think any pause shows extras; I very much doubt it did for that pair, where it is hard to say what shows what at all.
July 2, 2016
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