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What would qualify as psyching a 1N overcall?

#1 User is offline   Jinksy 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 06:52

One of the regular players in my social circle recently overcalled 1N over 1D with this hand:



This got him a MP top when the opps (presumably not very experienced) both failed to lead Hs and subsequently misdefended.

I've said that given my friend is known to make highly skewed 1N overcalls like this a lot (he gives 10xxxx/AKQx/AKJx/Void as an example of another hand on which he'd bid 1N over 1D), it's imperative that they alert his 1N overcalls, and that not doing so and scoring a top on hands like might amount to a red psych if the opps had been alert enough to call the director. He claims this is just standard behaviour on hands that have no clear alternative call.

Who's right?
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#2 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 07:58

Jinksy' One of the regular players in my social circle recently overcalled 1N over 1D with this hand: This got him a MP top when the opps (presumably not very experienced) both failed to lead Hs and subsequently misdefended. I've said that given my friend is known to make highly skewed 1N overcalls like this a lot. (he gives 10xxxx/AKQx/AKJx/Void as an example of another hand on which he'd bid 1N over 1D), it's imperative that they alert his 1N overcalls, and that not doing so and scoring a top on hands like might amount to a red psych if the opps had been alert enough to call the director. He claims this is just standard behaviour on hands that have no clear alternative call.Who's right?
+++++++++++++++++++++
I agree that most pairs are economical with the truth. Here they would alert 1N as 15-18 BAL with a stop in opps suit. And defend that as an adequate explanation. If challenged, they would explain that a singleton honour is OK (or at worst a deviation). IMO, the hand is also too strong and the 7-card suit is more than a deviation. Furthermore, regular undisclosed deviations constitute a concealed partnership understanding. But, in my experience, more blatant examples are commonplace and rarely attract a director-call or adverse ruling. IMO ...
  • ALL calls should be explained (honestly)
  • Preferably, automatically, using something like the FD program.
  • Other software should match calls to context, to build up a picture of what a pair actually play, in contrast to what they tell opponents.

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#3 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 08:02

View PostJinksy, on 2020-November-17, 06:52, said:

One of the regular players in my social circle recently overcalled 1N over 1D with this hand:



This got him a MP top when the opps (presumably not very experienced) both failed to lead Hs and subsequently misdefended.

I've said that given my friend is known to make highly skewed 1N overcalls like this a lot (he gives 10xxxx/AKQx/AKJx/Void as an example of another hand on which he'd bid 1N over 1D), it's imperative that they alert his 1N overcalls, and that not doing so and scoring a top on hands like might amount to a red psych if the opps had been alert enough to call the director. He claims this is just standard behaviour on hands that have no clear alternative call.

Who's right?

The important question is not "who's right" but what is their agreement on 1N overcalls over 1D opening bid?

(My immediate reaction is that this 1NT overcall should have been alerted, but that depends on the relevant regulations in force.
North has the strength but not the distribution for a "normal" 1NT overcall.)
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#4 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 08:06

Agree with nige1 and jinsky.

There is an obligation on the partnership that opens 1NT on such hands often enough to make it clear to opponents through proper disclosures.
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#5 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 08:44

View Postpran, on 2020-November-17, 08:02, said:

The important question is not "who's right" but what is their agreement on 1N overcalls over 1D opening bid?

(My immediate reaction is that this 1NT overcall should have been alerted, but that depends on the relevant regulations in force.
North has the strength but not the distribution for a "normal" 1NT overcall.)


Is "15-18, stop in opps suit, shape reqs not as tight as for an opening NT but usually balanced ish" sufficient ? I will occasionally have a singleton in an unbid suit when I overcall if I think it's the best option, partner is much less likely to do this.
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#6 User is offline   Jinksy 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 09:01

View Postpran, on 2020-November-17, 08:02, said:

The important question is not "who's right" but what is their agreement on 1N overcalls over 1D opening bid?

(My immediate reaction is that this 1NT overcall should have been alerted, but that depends on the relevant regulations in force.
North has the strength but not the distribution for a "normal" 1NT overcall.)


He normally plays in EBU events, so those would be the relevant regulations.

As far as I know he doesn't have a formal agreement about what constitutes a 1N overcall, just a history of asserting in conversation that he would do so on some highly distributional hands like those above.
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#7 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 10:09

(Presuming that the player is playing in a regular partnership) if the player has made this sort of overcall often enough the you have noticed a pattern then they has almost certainly doe so enough that their partner has noticed and they should be providing disclosure.

With this said and done, disclosure is a two edged sword.
There' now going to be a whole bunch of folks who are going to feel aggrieved if/when they mis-defend think that the player has something weird when they don't
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#8 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 12:00

View PostCyberyeti, on 2020-November-17, 08:44, said:

Is "15-18, stop in opps suit, shape reqs not as tight as for an opening NT but usually balanced ish" sufficient ? I will occasionally have a singleton in an unbid suit when I overcall if I think it's the best option, partner is much less likely to do this.


I would be comfortable with that as an opponent.
.
From a laws and regulations point of view, my feeling is that there should be no need to alert (face to face) any 1N overcall that has a stop in opps suit and would not require alerting as a 1N opening (with some tolerance for exces strength).
Under our regulations the hand in OP is not even admissable as a 1N opening in an event with rounds of <6 boards (max 6-card minor).
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#9 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 12:15

View PostCyberyeti, on 2020-November-17, 08:44, said:

Is "15-18, stop in opps suit, shape reqs not as tight as for an opening NT but usually balanced ish" sufficient ? I will occasionally have a singleton in an unbid suit when I overcall if I think it's the best option, partner is much less likely to do this.

With this as a partnership understanding the bid in question is certainly (IMHO) not a psyche.

But a partnership is responsible for ensuring that opponents are aware of any of their partnership understandings that may be surprising to them.
There are two ways to meet this responsibility: Either provide a proper system description before auction starts, or alert any such call whenever it occurs during the auction.

The actual partnership understanding in this case appears so special and unusual to me (allowing a singleton in an unbid suit) that I would strongly consider a ruling of misinformation had I been the Director.
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#10 User is offline   Jinksy 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 12:30

Interesting. What is the difference between a red psych and misinformation? I'd thought of them as synonymous.
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#11 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 12:37

View PostJinksy, on 2020-November-17, 12:30, said:

Interesting. What is the difference between a red psych and misinformation? I'd thought of them as synonymous.


A red psyche is when partner fields it. It doesn't have a colour till partner acts or doesn't.
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#12 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 12:45

The White Book says "A partnership抯 actions on one board may be sufficient for the TD to find that it has a concealed partnership understanding (CPU) and the score will be adjusted in principle (see ?.4.4). This is classified as a red psyche". So a red psych implies a violation of Law 40A3: "A player may make any call or play without prior announcement provided that such call or play is not based on an undisclosed partnership understanding (see Law 40C1)." 40C1 tells the director to adjust the score if the opponents are damaged.

IOW, if a psych is ruled to be red, the effect is the same as if the opponents were misinformed, but the construction "'red psych' is synonymous with 'misinformation'" is not correct.
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#13 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2020-November-17, 13:07

It is a privilege to have a call classified as a psyche, and this privilege is only granted when the following two major conditions both are satisfied:
1: The call must represent "a deliberate and gross misstatement of honour strength and/or of suit length" compared to existing partnership understandings (see definitions), and
2: The call must be at least surprising to the caller's partner as it is to opponents.

The consequence of this is that if partner has any possible reason (better than his opponents have) to understand the true nature of the call in question then that call shall never be granted the state as a psychic call.

I have never used the term "red psyche", but understand it to represent a violation of condition 2 above?
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#14 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-November-19, 00:11

View PostJinksy, on 2020-November-17, 06:52, said:

He claims this is just standard behaviour on hands that have no clear alternative call.

Yeah, who would think of bidding clubs with such a threadbare suit?

#15 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-November-19, 13:07

If he and his partner think this is a 1NT overcall (and it's legal in their jurisdiction(*)), more power to them. The pairs that believe them and lead their suit instead of opener's will go plus when declarer can take 9 of the last 7 or 8 tricks.

But like any of these unusual agreements, it works better if the opponents don't know about it until too late.

"it's obvious", "it's just bridge", "there's no clear alternative" are all wonderful ways of trying to convince the director that they shouldn't have to explain their agreement (I'm sorry, their "obvious judgement", showing off their "superior bridge skills") which will minimize the chance they'll get the short-suit lead.

If it truly is a violation of their agreements, well, if those two hands are "obviously" 1NT overcalls, partner now knows about it, it's part of their implied agreement, at least.

(*)Footnote got longer than comment, so moved to separate.
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#16 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-November-19, 13:11

EBU Level 4 says:

Quote

1NT overcall of a natural non-forcing opening bid of [1 suit]
A 1NT overcall may, instead of a meaning allowed by 7E2, be played as any one of the following:
(a) Any single meaning permitted for an opening bid of 1NT (see 7B3), or
(b) A take-out bid (similar to a take-out double) of any agreed strength, or
© *Either a hand with at least 14 HCP that would be permitted to open a natural 1NT or a weak hand with a long suit, or
(d) *A weak hand with a long suit.


The relevant bits of 7E2 (overcalls of natural 1 suit):

Quote

Any bid which shows at least four cards in a specified suit is permitted. The quality of the suit and the strength of the hand must conform to the standards generally played for a natural call at the minimum possible level (bids showing at least 5-5 in two suits may traditionally be made on very weak hands).

Any bid which shows a hand with no singleton, void or seven-card suit of at least 11 HCP is permitted.


The relevant bits of 7B3:

Quote

1NT may be played as any one of the following:
(i) Natural, non-forcing with a continuous defined range. A ‘natural’ 1NT opening has no more than nine cards in two suits, no void, and does not have seven hearts or seven spades. The range must be the same when holding a singleton
(ii) Any meaning or meanings as long as they all show a strong hand (16+ HCP or 12+ HCP with at least 5 controls)


So it looks like, at least at Level 4 (open games), as long as their agreement is 16 high or 5 controls, they can do it on any shape they want - but they'll have to Alert them, and explain them carefully (10 cards in two suits, or void, mean they aren't even 'natural'-in-quotes). If it could be 15, then it's an illegal agreement. If they argue these are just "obvious deviations" (I don't think this is gross enough to be a psychic, but it's definitely a deviation), then if it's obvious to both partners, it's part of their implied agreement and that agreement is illegal.

System regulators take a dim view of players playing the agreement they want, explaining it as a legal agreement, and "deviating" on the ones that would make the agreement illegal, for some reason (although in this case I'm almost certain they have no clue what is legal for 1NT O/C).
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#17 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-November-19, 16:20

View Postmycroft, on 2020-November-19, 13:11, said:

The relevant bits of 7B3:

1NT may be played as any one of the following:
(i) Natural, non-forcing with a continuous defined range. A 憂atural?1NT opening has no more than nine cards in two suits, no void, and does not have seven hearts or seven spades. The range must be the same when holding a singleton


Our 1NT regulations may be a tad conservative but this strikes me as excessively liberal unless there is more to it than cited here.
A 6-card major or 7-card minor is already pushing things, but if I read rightly there could even be an 8-card minor here?
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#18 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2020-November-19, 17:32

This is obviously not a psyche. Even if it was a deviation from partnership agreements (which it doesn't seem to be), I wouldn't call it a gross deviatiton.

Maybe it's just GBK that the 1NT overcall has to accomodate certain awkward hands that are a bit strong for a simple overcall but can't make a t/o double for some reason. Here, the singleton hearts is not ideal for a 1NT overcall but it's not ideal for a double either. Obviously opps are entitled to know the partnership's style. Do they tend to keep their doubles pure, or to keep their 1NT overcalls pure? Or do they have some other way to bid hands like this (2, 3, 2, 3NT) which would keep both dbl and 1NT reasonably pure?

But yes, if his partner knows that 1NT can be as extreme as this hand, it does require an alert.
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#19 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-November-23, 14:35

View Postpescetom, on 2020-November-19, 16:20, said:

Our 1NT regulations may be a tad conservative but this strikes me as excessively liberal unless there is more to it than cited here.
A 6-card major or 7-card minor is already pushing things, but if I read rightly there could even be an 8-card minor here?
Hey, I just quote 'em, I don't understand 'em.

But no, 8-card minor would fall afoul of "no more than nine cards in two suits", unless they're 8111 :-)

And a 7-card minor would have to be in a 7222.
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#20 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted Yesterday, 22:17

So, speaking of what constitutes a psych, I was playing in the local (online) Club yesterday when two players ambled up and sat down then casually announced that they played Precision.
Interesting I thought, recalibrating my mind towards what a 1 might look like, when East opens 1.
Here's what East had for that call.


After the call of 3 I was pretty sure that East was eliding the truth and that his partner had caught on with the 3 bid. All the same, is this a psych?

In their system, 1 promises no more than 14 HCP. K&R rates this monster at over 20.
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