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Implicit partnership understanding and possible fielding

As TD you're playing with an unaccompanied player in order to avoid a half table. You know, and are reminded by your first round opponents, that your partner is prone to bidding in a way that either increases the likelihood they will end up as declarer and/or misleads opponents contrary to the normal meaning of bids and calls. One opponent cites an example from experience: opening a weak NT (12-14) with a good 16 HCP.
On the first board as dealer you hold: 10543,103,K73,10963 and the auction proceeds Pass-1H-1S-x-2S-3H-3S-4H-Pass-Pass-x-all Pass
It turns out partner holds 15 HCP, 4 Spades and KJx Hearts
Is there a problem with any of the 2S bid or two subsequent passes?


  • In my mind if you bid 2S you don't then find another bid without an invite, the subsequent two passes seem automatic.

    I'd usually raise to 3S in competition non-vulnerable. 2S isn't that far out there though, it's a very weak and pretty balanced hand. For some players I think 2S would be the normal bid. But there's a small question mark there I suppose, because there's a choice of action.

  • Roger I just feel I need more information.
    In your second sentence you say "You know, and are reminded " So how do I know? Was I the partner in the example given?
    Also what was the double? What did it show? What were the four Spades held by partner? In fact, what was partner's Hand?
    As things stand I am leaning towards JamesC's comments but need a little more info.

    A. Players’ Use of Information
    1. A player may use information in the auction or play

    (d) it is information that the player possessed before
    he took his hand from the board (Law 7B) and
    the Laws do not preclude his use of this

    It seems to me to be more of a disclosure and system question than a matter of UI. Since your opponents told you about it, there is no disclosure to be concerned about, though you might want to warn future opponents of it.

  • Thanks Gordon, I think that's right. As not everyone in the room is aware of the TD's partner's tendency to deviate from their agreed methods I think disclosure is essential. Unfortunately there are often several players in the room who share these tendencies, e.g. Opening 1NT with 2+ HCP more than announced, non-protective takeout doubles with 6 or fewer HCP, forcing 2/1 (not jump) responses with very weak hands that haven't passed. Some players refuse to partner them but others pretend not to know about their tendencies despite having played with them before, either occasionally (paired together as both lacking partners) or even regularly. Sometimes both share the tendency to deviate/psyche. As far as I'm aware there's no consolidated record of these incidents which makes it very difficult for TDs to take action or for damaged players to obtain redress.

  • I think Robin covered this aspect on another tread, "Illegal Bids" when he said
    "Opponents should be reminded that bids are not "illegal" (if in turn and sufficient, etc.), it is understandings/agreements that are "illegal" (not permitted). Pysches/deviations/misbids are not illegal.

    if the opponents think such actions are spoiling their enjoyment and the club don't want bridge to be played that way then this is a disciplinary matter."

    So may be this is a matter for the club committee rather than the TD, perhaps the Chair could have a word after discussion at a committee meeting, just a thought.
    Hope it works out ok.

  • Thank you for your sentiments. It is highly unlikely to work out ok.

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