The Bridge Page

Upsetting the Appelcart

 

 

 

"Edwin" <eng50318@leonis.nus.sg> wrote:

   

North's hand :

S Axx
H AQJxx
D A9
C AKx

Bidding :

North

East

South

West

- Pass 1C P
1H P 2C P
2D(1) P 2H P
4NT P 5C P
6C P P P

(1) : Here's the problem : On one side of the screen (S/W), it is explained as natural whereas on the other side of the screen, it is explained as new minor forcing.

 

Richard B. Odlin wrote in reply to a post by David Stevenson:

   

> Admittedly, my reply was based on there being misinformation and was
> just arguing about damage.
>
> However, the person making the call has A9 doubleton and explained it
> as "New Minor forcing".

He explained it to East only. There were screens. West got South's explanation.

> While I have no idea what New Minor Forcing is - there term is not
> used over here - that is fairly strong evidence that the call was not
> natural.

I think playing any system, I might have chosen 2D also! It is forcing, and will get a natural response from partner which may allow me to figure out what to do next. The other possibility would be a reverse into that spade "suit". Don't think it is ever a good idea to mess around in a major if that can be avoided.

Over here, NMF is a convention that arises after a 1NT rebid by opener. It is not a part of NMF to use it in the sequence given. North's remark about NMF to EAST [NOT the opening leader!] was perhaps just an attempt to indicate to him that it might have been short, if he was asked. And why did West ask about it anyway? Surely he could have guessed from experience that opponents sometimes use this call as a sort of "mark-time" bid.

> I grant that if it can be demonstrated that South's description of
> natural was correct then there should be no adjustment because there is
> no misinformation. However, if NS cannot demonstrate the meaning in any
> way the TD is required by the Laws to assume misinformation.

Why do N-S have to demonstrate that there was no conventional meaning to the call? How do they prove a negative after one player just decides to make a strategic, or tactical call, or even a spit-wad call, out-of-the-blue?

> Whether South knows as much as West is irrelevant to the main issues:
> was West misinformed? was he damaged? He was certainly damaged. The
> information given suggests he was misinformed.

He was not given any information about NMF! He apparently asked about 2D, received a shrugged "natural", which is exactly what I would have said, after being asked such a stupid question. He probably had a whole string of diamonds and just told partner so, either inadvertently or not.

We assume there was no special partnership understanding about the two diamond call other than it was just plain "bridge". So why does the information given him suggest that he was misinformed? How is South to know that North tossed one into the wind?

Richard B. Odlin

 

David Stevenson replied (in relevant part):

   

>Why do N-S have to demonstrate that there was no conventional meaning to
>the call? How do they prove a negative after one player just decides to
>make a strategic, or tactical call, or even a spit-wad call,
>out-of-the-blue?Because the player that made the bid said it was conventional. If he had not then we would no doubt rule as you say. When a player says that a bid is conventional and makes the bid on A9 doubleton then there is some reason to suppose it is conventional.

>> Whether South knows as much as West is irrelevant to the main issues:
>> was West misinformed? was he damaged? He was certainly damaged. The
>> information given suggests he was misinformed.
>
>He was not given any information about NMF! He apparently asked about 2D,
>received a shrugged "natural", which is exactly what I would have said,
>after being asked such a stupid question. He probably had a whole string
>of diamonds and just told partner so, either inadvertently or not.

Try not to be too stupid. If the call was just natural, then why did North not say so?

OK, you like producing BL arguments - I have seen your venom before - but this one is just too much. You know perfectly well that the bid was probably conventional, so why the song and dance?

 

Zebulon tried to inject some perspective:

   

While I have enjoyed the back and forth, I believe there may be an additional factor overlooked. The original poster is from Singapore, and it is not clear if the auction and explanations were conducted in English by participants for which English may have been a second language, or if it was conducted in another language and we are reading a translation of the explanations. Either may would affect the misinformation ruling.

Richard B. Odlin is correct that this is not New Minor Forcing. As David Stevenson points out, new suits by Responder are always forcing one round unless Opener's rebid was 1NT. Accordingly, the NMF convention only applies to that sequence, a sequence not present here unless this is a homegrown variant.

So, South gives the proper explanation (new suit natural and forcing) to West (the opening leader) and North possibly gives an incorrect explanation to East. I use the word "possibly" as there may have been translation difficulties involved. North may have meant "New Suit Forcing" by his explanation and not the actual NMF convention. As the new suit was a minor, I can easily see this occurring.

So, East may have misinformation. Actually, the slip of the tongue by North in calling it NMF may comunicate that he is short in a suit that he made a natural bid. That information is accurate and a bonus to East, as North could have kept that information to himself if the partnership agreement is standard. East was not on lead, and North's hand was tabled before East ever obtained the lead, so it is tough to see how the misinformation/additional information harmed East.

West is upset because he received an accurate explanation of a standard bid. This explanation seems to differ from the explanation provided East (again bearing in mind the language issue). I wonder if it is required that the explanation be the same on both sides of the screen, or merely an accurate explanation of the partnership agreement. If the bidder wants to volunteer to his screenmate that he is light, short, or psyching a bid, I can't see that as making a proper explanation on the other side of the screen insufficient.

David Stevenson points out that the shortness of North's Diamonds makes it likely that the 2D bid was either conventional or an undisclosed partnership agreement. I can not agree with that conclusion. I always remember especially poor results I obtain in the Master Solver's Club. On a recent hand, the 100 point answer to an analogous situation was for the Player searching for a low level force to bid a reverse into a Heart suit that he was void in. There were no undisclosed partnership agreement, and the vast majority of panelists from widely disparate partnerships favored this "phantom" reverse.

Here, North has a 5 card Heart suit. He'd love to hear if Opener has 3 card support for Hearts; slam would certainly score better in a major. 2D may mislead partner, but North plans on Captaining this auction. Its a forcing bid, conserves bidding space and permits Opener to show Heart support at a low level. I can't swear that I am sure I would have thought of this bid at the table, but I would have made this bid if I had.

-zeb

 

Odlin replied:

   

Subject: Re: Case of Appel

Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 21:06:34 -0800

Thank you for your thoughtful posting. Mirrors my ideas 100%.

The one thing we have not heard is whether or not the 2D call was alerted or not. If it was, that might be another kettle of fish, but then maybe it is required to be alerted in Singapore.

Until the original poster indicates otherwise, we just assume both North and South were asked about the D call at some point in the auction.

Wish "Edwin" would return to tell us more, if more be known.

R. B. Odlin

 

The last word comes from David Stevenson:

   

Zebulon wrote

>While I have enjoyed the back and forth, I believe there may be an
>additional factor overlooked. The original poster is from Singapore, and it
>is not clear if the auction and explanations were conducted in English by
>participants for which English may have been a second language, or if it
>was conducted in another language and we are reading a translation of the
>explanations. Either may would affect the misinformation ruling.

When I give opinions on the Internet on particular hands, I always assume that we have been told everything relevant. Obviously, a language problem is relevant and may easily affect my opinions.

>David Stevenson points out that the shortness of North's Diamonds makes it
>likely that the 2D bid was either conventional or an undisclosed
>partnership agreement. I can not agree with that conclusion.

Kindly do not misquote me.

I said the shortness of North's diamonds **coupled with his description that the call is conventional** suggest it is conventional. If North had described it as natural and forcing or semi-natural and forcing then I would not have assumed West was misinformed. But North did not.

>Here, North has a 5 card Heart suit. He'd love to hear if Opener has 3 card
>support for Hearts; slam would certainly score better in a major. 2D may
>mislead partner, but North plans on Captaining this auction. Its a forcing
>bid, conserves bidding space and permits Opener to show Heart support at a
>low level. I can't swear that I am sure I would have thought of this bid at
>the table, but I would have made this bid if I had.

... and would you then have told your opponent that it was artificial?