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Call Based on Misinformation

#1 User is offline   alokjoshi 

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Posted 2021-March-01, 08:44

Dear Forum members

Please excuse me if this is not the right forum for my post and guide me elsewhere. I am studying to be a Director but the Laws are not clear and there are no detailed explanations to accompany them.

My question relates to Law 21: Call based on misinformation

Say N starts bidding with 2H, E requests for explanation from S and is told that it is a weak bid.
The auction proceeds with Passes by E S and W. According to Law 20F5b, the declarer or dummy are required to wait till the clarification period to point out the mistaken information.
So in the clarification period, N(declarer) calls the director
and informs the director and other players that wrong information was given and that the 2H bid is a strong
Heart bid. At this stage, does the Director have the option to cancel the bids by E, S and W and start bidding
again with E? Or, is this situation 'too late to change'?

Thanks in advance.
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#2 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2021-March-01, 09:46

View Postalokjoshi, on 2021-March-01, 08:44, said:

Dear Forum members

Please excuse me if this is not the right forum for my post and guide me elsewhere. I am studying to be a Director but the Laws are not clear and there are no detailed explanations to accompany them.

My question relates to Law 21: Call based on misinformation

Say N starts bidding with 2H, E requests for explanation from S and is told that it is a weak bid.
The auction proceeds with Passes by E S and W. According to Law 20F5b, the declarer or dummy are required to wait till the clarification period to point out the mistaken information.
So in the clarification period, N(declarer) calls the director
and informs the director and other players that wrong information was given and that the 2H bid is a strong
Heart bid. At this stage, does the Director have the option to cancel the bids by E, S and W and start bidding
again with E? Or, is this situation 'too late to change'?

Thanks in advance.

Law 21B1a said:

Until the end of the auction period (see Law 17D) and provided that his partner has not subsequently called, a player may change a call without other rectification for his side when the Director judges that the decision to make the call could well have been influenced by misinformation given to the player by an opponent.
(my enhancements)

so the Director may now cancel the call originally made by W and let him change this call to something else ('if he judges that ...') in which case the auction continues from thereon with the new call by W.

The Director may not allow S to change his pass, and it is too late for E to change his call. (But be aware of Law 21B3.)
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#3 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-March-01, 16:31

All this assuming that South's explanation that it is weak was incorrect (not to be taken for granted here I would have thought).
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#4 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2021-March-01, 16:44

In practice, the TD will not "judge that West's decision to pass was based on misinformation". I cannot imagine someone choosing to pass out a weak 2H, but wanting the auction to come back to life over a strong 2H.

A more likely scenario would be South saying "strong but NF" while the correct explanation is "weak". Now West gets his final pass back, and the TD might adjust for East's pass which cannot be changed.
I prefer to give the lawmakers credit for stating things for a reason - barmar
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#5 User is offline   alokjoshi 

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Posted 2021-March-01, 21:57

View Postpran, on 2021-March-01, 09:46, said:

(my enhancements)

so the Director may now cancel the call originally made by W and let him change this call to something else ('if he judges that ...') in which case the auction continues from thereon with the new call by W.

The Director may not allow S to change his pass, and it is too late for E to change his call. (But be aware of Law 21B3.)



Thanks for the reply. However as you pointed out "Until the end of the auction period (see Law 17D) and provided that his partner has not subsequently called" but in the hypothetical case I presented the partner too had passed. Does this
change your analysis?

Alok
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#6 User is offline   alokjoshi 

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Posted 2021-March-01, 22:14

View Postlamford, on 2021-March-01, 16:44, said:

In practice, the TD will not "judge that West's decision to pass was based on misinformation". I cannot imagine someone choosing to pass out a weak 2H, but wanting the auction to come back to life over a strong 2H.

A more likely scenario would be South saying "strong but NF" while the correct explanation is "weak". Now West gets his final pass back, and the TD might adjust for East's pass which cannot be changed.



Yes you have a point. I just came up with a hypothetical situation. Assuming that the auction proceeds like you mentioned, I still do not understand
when you say that West gets his final pass back. Do you mean to say that West will now be given the option to take back the pass and make a legal call and bidding will resume normally without any rectification?

Alok
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#7 User is online   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-March-01, 23:29

That *is* the rectification. "a player may change a call without other rectification for his side". And if they choose not to change that call, that also is the rectification for West. L21B3, as referenced by Pran: "When it is too late to change a call and the Director judges that the offending side gained an advantage from the irregularity an adjusted score is awarded." (my emphasis). East's "damage", if any, is rectified by an adjusted score; West's rectification is "you get to bid with the correct information."

I frequently say that in bridge we don't do "2 minutes for cross-checking"; as much as possible we attempt to have the game played at the table and not in the Director's mind. As much as possible, we try to level the playing field after an infraction, rather than punish the infractor. Here is one of those cases.

In your initial case, the issue is that the law says "call was influenced by the misinformation", and Lamford is saying "passing wasn't. Nobody's going to pass out a weak opener and bid over a strong one." Lamford's rephrase now gives a situation where it could - and likely was - influenced, and L2B1a tells you how it's done.

However, when West does so, there's a lot of information about the auction (which is now open again) which is flying around, and you need to be careful to both explain to the players and handle in your ruling what information is allowed to each player, and what information is unauthorized. L16B1 and L16C are critical to understand (and unfortunately, L16B1 is one of the trickiest parts of the law book, and it comes up *all the time*. Even if more often than not, it comes up only to be determined not relevant). And as soon as L16 is in play, L12 might come up (another one of the trickiest parts of the law book, and equally common).

Good luck with your studies. Directing can be a truly enjoyable task.
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#8 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2021-March-02, 03:35

View Postalokjoshi, on 2021-March-01, 21:57, said:

Thanks for the reply. However as you pointed out "Until the end of the auction period (see Law 17D) and provided that his partner has not subsequently called" but in the hypothetical case I presented the partner too had passed. Does this
change your analysis?

Alok

No, West may change his call because East has not subsequently called and the auction period has not ended because no opening lead has been faced.

Law 17D said:

End of Auction Period
1. The auction period ends when, subsequent to the end of the auction as in Law 22A, either defender faces an opening lead. (If the lead is out of turn then see Law 54.) The interval between the end of the auction and the end of the auction period is designated the Clarification Period.
2. If no player bids (see Law 22B) the auction period ends when all four hands have been returned to the board.
3. When a call has been followed by three passes the auction does not end if any of those passes was out of rotation, depriving a player of his right to call. When this occurs the auction reverts to the player who missed his turn, all subsequent passes are cancelled and the auction proceeds normally. Law 16C applies to the cancelled calls, any player who has passed out of rotation being an offender.



Lamford is correct that the TD in this situation will hardly "judge that West's decision to pass was based on misinformation, but this is irrelevant for the question on whether to apply Law 21 as such.
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#9 User is offline   alokjoshi 

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Posted 2021-March-02, 07:57

Thanks to all of you for your insightful replies. I can already see that mastering the laws is going to be challenging.
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#10 User is online   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-March-02, 10:09

Mastering the Laws is impossible. 20-year, full-time tournament directors run into new cases and new wrinkles in the Law if not regularly, at least occasionally. One of the reasons we consult on *everything* that isn't a book ruling.

Perhaps I should define those terms as well, as they're terms of art in (at least ACBL) directing. There are two kinds of rulings:
  • Book rulings - ones that can be simply read out of the book, and solve the issue. Law 24 (Card Exposed or Led During the Auction) is a book ruling - when it happens, you figure out which case of A, B, or C applies and rule; at the end of the auction, either D or E applies and you rule.
  • Judgement rulings - ones that rely on bridge actions, logical alternatives, "what would have happened", "is there damage" and the like. Basically anything that can't just be read out of the book.

(Yes, there are blurred lines - 13B1, 15A3, for instance, and unfortunately all the references to Comparable Call; where the Director does have to judge at the table. Most often, explicitly there's a "if the director believes there was damage anyway, they can award an adjusted score" caveat to them.)

Book rulings happen at the table. Judgement rulings are taken away and consulted and analyzed, and the result given when it's done (which can be quite some time after if necessary).

Here, the initial ruling is book - North corrects misinformation, if it's relevant the auction is reopened, west gets to call; if they now bid, everyone is made aware of what information is authorized to each, and what one can't do with unauthorized information, and we finish the auction. But the rest of it is judgement - what east would have done with correct information (and different RAs have different policies on how and when you find this out, so get yours); did North or South use UI during the continued auction or the play (if they end up defending); if so, were E-W damaged; and so on. Usually it's obvious that the answer is either "there's a problem here, let's work out what happens" or "no problems, table score stands", but a good director reviews every one, and if possible discusses it quickly with someone else, for the time when what's "obvious" is also obviously wrong.

Remember, the director is a servant - his job is to ensure the game goes smoothly and the players get the results the Laws require. Hopefully, they're almost all the ones they get at the table; when necessary, they're not. It's also a calling, and one that like any good calling will never be completed. There's always something to learn, and some wrinkle that you've never seen before, and some way to get better (even if it's just being able to present the same correct ruling slightly more clearly for newer players, so they understand the first time and don't have to have it explained again after the game!
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#11 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2021-March-12, 23:29

In practice, the way directors typically judge whether a player's call was based on misinformation is simply by asking them something like "Would you have bid differently if the bid had been explained as strong?" They don't try to make the player's decision for them, although in some cases they might have a difficult time believing the answer.

#12 User is offline   axman 

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Posted 2021-March-13, 09:06

View Postbarmar, on 2021-March-12, 23:29, said:

In practice, the way directors typically judge whether a player's call was based on misinformation is simply by asking them something like "Would you have bid differently if the bid had been explained as strong?" They don't try to make the player's decision for them, although in some cases they might have a difficult time believing the answer.


In bridge what matters is what the players do. What I do is query what the player would have done with only the correct explanation; (definitely) not what he might have done- bridge is not best ball!
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#13 User is online   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-March-13, 13:19

If you're polling you should in addition to what they do (critical, yes), find out if they consider anything else. Partly because polling doesn't work quite as well as being at the table, and partly because LA does rely on "would seriously consider, of which some would make the call".

You can also ask if it will help you, after getting the "right information" information, "what if you heard [information at the table]?" It can assist with determining if the call was suggested by the information (I have had times when "no, that just makes [the call I made] more valid, because..." and that ends up being the ruling. Obviously, if it's obvious to the next table over that the UI suggested the call made, you don't need to do that, but if you're not sure either, use the pollees to check. They are the peers, after all, not (necessarily) you).

If you're asking about misinformation, of course, you don't have a clean slate. The player already has both explanations; the question is now would it make a difference and why? And then if that seems at all reasonable, you poll to find out if it is, in fact (and of course, they only get the correct explanation, first).
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#14 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-March-13, 13:43

View Postmycroft, on 2021-March-13, 13:19, said:

If you're polling you should in addition to what they do (critical, yes), find out if they consider anything else. Partly because polling doesn't work quite as well as being at the table, and partly because LA does rely on "would seriously consider, of which some would make the call".

You can also ask if it will help you, after getting the "right information" information, "what if you heard [information at the table]?" It can assist with determining if the call was suggested by the information (I have had times when "no, that just makes [the call I made] more valid, because..." and that ends up being the ruling. Obviously, if it's obvious to the next table over that the UI suggested the call made, you don't need to do that, but if you're not sure either, use the pollees to check. They are the peers, after all, not (necessarily) you).

If you're asking about misinformation, of course, you don't have a clean slate. The player already has both explanations; the question is now would it make a difference and why? And then if that seems at all reasonable, you poll to find out if it is, in fact (and of course, they only get the correct explanation, first).

Good sense, but difficult to put into practice in my (limited) experience, particularly if the polling situation is online video rather than face to face.
When you try to find out if they would seriously consider anything else, they tend to shortcut to 'what would I bid', or deviate to 'what is best', or keep quiet about an alternative they would seriously have considered because worried that their peers may think them foolish. I find it easier to control the situation face to face, and guess I am just unlucky in this respect. I would certainly welcome a polling feature built into an online platform, so that each of them could respond in private and after due thought, and I could involve a more statistically significant number of them too.
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#15 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-March-13, 13:43

View Postmycroft, on 2021-March-13, 13:19, said:

If you're polling you should in addition to what they do (critical, yes), find out if they consider anything else. Partly because polling doesn't work quite as well as being at the table, and partly because LA does rely on "would seriously consider, of which some would make the call".

You can also ask if it will help you, after getting the "right information" information, "what if you heard [information at the table]?" It can assist with determining if the call was suggested by the information (I have had times when "no, that just makes [the call I made] more valid, because..." and that ends up being the ruling. Obviously, if it's obvious to the next table over that the UI suggested the call made, you don't need to do that, but if you're not sure either, use the pollees to check. They are the peers, after all, not (necessarily) you).

If you're asking about misinformation, of course, you don't have a clean slate. The player already has both explanations; the question is now would it make a difference and why? And then if that seems at all reasonable, you poll to find out if it is, in fact (and of course, they only get the correct explanation, first).

Good sense, but difficult to put into practice in my (limited) experience, particularly if the polling situation is online video rather than face to face.
When you try to find out which calls they would seriously consider, they tend to shortcut to 'what would I call', or deviate to 'what do I think about call foo', or keep quiet about an alternative they would seriously have considered because worried that their peers may think them foolish.
Do you find it better to ask first what they would call and then what else they would consider? I've tried it both ways round but never reached a conclusion except that they bias each other in any case.
I did find it easier to control the situation face to face, and guess I am just unlucky in this respect. I would certainly welcome a polling feature built into an online platform, so that each of them could respond in private and after due thought, and I could involve a more statistically significant number of them too.
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#16 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2021-March-17, 23:38

View Postaxman, on 2021-March-13, 09:06, said:

In bridge what matters is what the players do. What I do is query what the player would have done with only the correct explanation; (definitely) not what he might have done- bridge is not best ball!

I'm not sure I see much difference. It's hard to give a definite answer about what you would do in an alternate situation, especially since you're biased from the extra information. Even in actual situations you're often unsure of what the right action is -- your decision often depends on how you're feeling that day. So it's unrealistic to expect anything better than "might do" in many cases.

This is also why we only give the last player on the NOS the option to change their call. Going back further taints the decision even more, since they've heard their partner's later call.

#17 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2021-March-18, 02:29

View Postbarmar, on 2021-March-17, 23:38, said:

.......
This is also why we only give the last player on the NOS the option to change their call. Going back further taints the decision even more, since they've heard their partner's later call.

Instead TD should (after play on the board is completed) award an adjusted score if he judges that the misinformation has caused damage to NOS
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#18 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2021-March-19, 23:21

View Postpran, on 2021-March-18, 02:29, said:

Instead TD should (after play on the board is completed) award an adjusted score if he judges that the misinformation has caused damage to NOS

Yes, but rolling back the auction further gives an extra benefit to the NOS, so they may get more than equity.

#19 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2021-March-20, 01:42

View Postpran, on 2021-March-18, 02:29, said:

Instead TD should (after play on the board is completed) award an adjusted score if he judges that the misinformation has caused damage to NOS



View Postbarmar, on 2021-March-19, 23:21, said:

Yes, but rolling back the auction further gives an extra benefit to the NOS, so they may get more than equity.

No, rolling back the auction further than to the last NOS player who has called effectively destroys any possibility of a "normal" auction.
Law 21B1(a) is there for a reason:

Law 21B1(a) said:

Until the end of the auction period (see Law 17D) and provided that his partner has not subsequently called, a player may change a call without other rectification for his side when the Director judges that the decision to make the call could well have been influenced by misinformation given to the player by an opponent. ........
(My enhancement)
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