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Undos during auction

I discovered yesterday that Undos are not permitted in online games/leagues, including matches played privately, organised by LBHCBA. This followed an auction on BBO which went p - 2NT explained as weak -
Chat 'How weak' from 3rd in hand, Chat 'I can't find the Undo button. I intended to bid 2S but misclicked 2NT' from opener.
After a call to an EBU TD and on their advice play resumed with opener's partner bidding 4S. In the end all agreed this had no effect on the result as partner had 22 HCP AJx Spades so 3NT and 4S making contracts it's easy to reach after either 2S or the obvious (to partner as shows 20-22) 2NT misclick.
The immediate solution appears to be that Undos should be enabled in online matches pending a rule change by LBHCBA. If not, how should a player proceed if they misclick in a non-trivial situation?*
*trivial might include 1C/1D with a NT rebid and equal length or 1C/1S/1NT with a 4333 15 count.


  • We originally didn't allow undos at all in EBU events, as a matter of practicality when online bridge first exploded. However, after a bit more thought and a conversation with the Chair of the WBF Laws Committee, we decided to allow them in the auction (only) to give effect to Law 25A.

  • Blue-sky thinking…

    Online bids could have a ‘compile’, ‘check’ then ‘send’ process. Something along the lines of:
    1: Click 2S
    2: The system tells you, you have bid 2S and then prompts you with, if this is your intended bid, click Play, otherwise Cancel.
    3: Click C to cancel or P to play.
    Rinse and repeat.

    It could be an account preference, that players could either turn on or off as they please. Or, perhaps an event option that the organiser could force to be “on” for their matches.

    It would be rather hard to argue “unintended bid” in such circumstances.

    Clearly, it’s up to the particular platform to develop such things, which they will (understandably) only do if they see a benefit for doing so.

  • BBO has this and, I seem to remember, so does Realbridge. I think it applies to both auction and play when enabled.
    Although it might, in theory, prevent misclicked bids and plays it either causes very slow play or people just automatically double click so confirmation of any misclick becomes almost automatic. I think it's probably easier just to enable Undos with a presumption that they should be allowed in the auction, obviously trusting people to ask only where it's a genuine misclick equivalent to a mechanical error. An opening 20-22 2NT explained as weak looks very much like a misclick. A 2NT overcall of RHO's opening 2S explained as 'strong enquiry (Ogust)' would look like inattention (believing partner bid the 2S). If, as some organisers require, a requested Undo is allowed, a TD will have to sort out the result on the board after it's played. This can be difficult and time consuming but the problem can't be prevented when players make illegitimate requests for Undos.
    Perhaps a disciplinary penalty should also be applied.

  • I don't think there's any system completely proof against misclicks. Double click will help but it's quite easy to run through the process on automatic. I was always happy as a player that the consequences of any mislick I made stood, but I'm content for other players to have undos, both because of LAW 25 and because it does avoid some genuinely silly situations (as here, where the correct explanation is applied to the wrong bid. Technically, the misbidder should now change this to the actual meaning of 2NT and, with a straight face, describe the meaning of the bid actually made without passing UI to partner. Which in itself is quite a good argument for allowing an undo).

    Certainly the players prefer to allow undos, if a director is available there's little reason not to allow them with the caveat of a director call, the same as in EBU tournaments. If you just allow them I'm sure a certain percentage of changes of mind (or, more seriously, innatention and not seeing an intervening bid) slip through the net, players tend to just waive them through. But it's probably still preferable to not allowing them at all.

  • Not sure I understand Gordon's comment about giving effect to Law 25A. I was a victim of this in the Tollemache Qualifier when RHO passed as did I and his partner and only when my partner 4th in hand was considering her call did the opener call for the TD (He should, I think, have asked for an undo but that would still have led to the director being called). He was allowed his undo. He changed his call to 1C (which he clearly intended) and then played 4Sx for -800 which made one side happy. I can see no reason why anyone thinks that the law allowing a change up to the point where partner has called but not after is wrong and it should be different online to F2F and one of the advantages of being elected back on to the Laws & Ethics committee is that I will be able to bore people to death on this topic at a forthcoming meeting. 😁

  • I don't know anything about this case but if I've understood the description here, it doesn't sound correct. No doubt I will find out more at the next L&E meeting!

  • My understanding of Blue Book 9C1(c) and (d) is that undos are permitted after partner has subsequently called provided the request was initiated before partner called. Is it possible the TD determined that offender had tried to request an undo immediately, but it only appeared to the table after partner's call?

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