Richard Hills | 3 May 15:30 2016
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Uno

North-South play an Aussie variant of Standard American. East-West play an Aussie variant of Acol. Imps, dealer East, vulnerable North-South.


East and South pass, West opens 1C (Announced as 3+ clubs), North overcalls 1S, East passes again, South responds 1NT, pass, pass.

You, East, hold:

8732
JT9732
632
---

What call do you make?
What other calls do you consider making?
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Richard Hills | 22 Apr 04:45 2016
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Law 73F?

I was emailed this incident by a friend:


Last night at the Capital bridge club I opened 1S.
The next player looked puzzled and said to my partner is that a 4 or 5 card suit.
 He held three little S's and had four hcp.  I mis-played the hand based on his question.
Is he contravening the proprieties, or maybe worse?  I think it's almost cheating.

Assuming that my friend's description is accurate, is there a prima facie case for the Director to apply Law 73F?

Best wishes,

Richard Hills
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Robert Frick | 18 Apr 16:32 2016

Pointing out irregularities is good


Imagine, say, that when declarer led from the wrong hand, only the player to the left of the LOOT could point
out the irregularity.

That would make directing harder. We would have to ask who pointed out the irregularity when we came to the
table. Then we would have to decide how to rule if the wrong player pointed out the irregularity.
(Presumably following the same procedure we use when the dummy points out a LOOT.

And it would make it easier for declarer to get away with committing an irregularity.

So, no one is going to make that law. But if all of that is true -- why do we prevent dummy from pointing out a
LOOT? No reason, right?

We could change the laws so that no one could point out a revoke until play was over. Would that be a good idea?
Apparently not, we allow everyone except the dummy to point out an established revoke.

But if it's good to allow this, why not allow the dummy to also point out the revoke as it happens.

Is it good if a player notes that everyone has 5 cards left except one player who has 6 or 4? I thought so. Why
don't we let dummy perform this valuable function?

SUMMARY: When we prevent dummy from pointing out irregularities, we create a problem of when this
prohibition starts (which hopefully the new laws will clarify), we create a problem of when this
prohibition ends (the error in the current laws MUST be fixed), and for all that it's harmful -- in every
example I can think of, we would rather have the dummy pointing out the irregularity.
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Robert Frick | 1 Apr 01:19 2016

dummy silence


One of the joys of not allowing the dummy to point out irregularites involves determining when this starts
and stops. I assume dummy is allowed to point out irregularities before the play period is over.

Anyway, everyone came down to 1 card except West, who had two. Only the dummy (South) noticed. Everyone then
played to the last trick except West. At this point, dummy incorrectly pointed out the irregularity.

Ignoring the issue of penalty to dummy, if dummy had wanted to follow the rules and wait until play was over . .
. then what?
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Matthias Berghaus | 31 Mar 09:06 2016
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Re: Non-weighted adjustments

Am 31.03.2016 um 01:33 schrieb Nigel Guthrie:
>
> [Timothy N HILL]
>
> “The Laws ... are primarily designed not as punishment for 
> irregularities but rather for the rectification of situations where 
> non-offenders may otherwise be damaged.” [Intro] “The objective of a 
> score adjustment is to redress damage to a non-offending side and to 
> take away any advantage gained by an offending side through its 
> infraction.” [12B1] “In order to do equity ... an assigned adjusted 
> score may be weighted ....” [12C1c]
>
> [Nigel]
>
> That‘s the nub of the problem. In many cases, especially when UI is 
> used,  the law-breaker would have had a worse result had he complied 
> with the law. Few infractions are noticed, reported, or ruled against. 
> On the rare occasions when a director rules against a habitual 
> law-breaker, equity mitigates deterrence. In the long term, his 
> “carelessness” is rewarded. Often victims complain that that the 
> derisory redress wasn’t worth the hassle of calling the director, 
> especially in the confusion of “protect yourself”, SEWOG,  and weighed 
> rulings  (Incidentally, the latter pointless and unnecessary rules 
> should just be dropped)
>
> [Timothy N HILL]
>
> If you feel that a player who should have known better should be 
> “punished” for violating 16B1/73C, assess a procedural [90] or 
> disciplinary [91] penalty, but adjust the result to “rectify damage” 
> and “do equity” [12C].
>
> [Nigel]
>
> In practice, directors rarely and inconsistently impose procedural or 
> disciplinary penalties.
>

Seems that you know other directors than I do.

> I asked a director  with decades of top-level experience about them.  
> He told me that players resent them.
>

Well, who wouldn`t? But the crux of the matter often lies in hiw you 
sell your decision. Players should not resent the decision, they should 
realize they did something wrong. If you don`t make them realize that, 
they are not going to understand why they are handed a PP, and then it 
is the director`s fault.

>   They regard them as tantamount to an accusation of cheating.
>

You may observe that Tim began his last sentence above with " should 
have known better...". How would you call that? If that is someone who 
often plays in your game it shouldn`t come to that, some measures should 
have been taken if said player has violated _that_ rule a couple of 
times before. Yes, we have penalized players, we have banned players 
(temporarily) from our club games, which always had a healthy effect. 
All came back (except the one who died, sad to say), and all showed much 
better behaviour afterwards.

> The director has never imposed one. Far better to include an element 
> deterrence in basic rulings.
>

This is your moment. Show us how an element of deterrence is put into 
basic rulings. Tell us how the job is done. Please.

> [Herman De Wael]
>
> There are no weighted scores after use of UI. So get this one out of 
> your head, Nigel.
>
> [Timothy N HILL]
>
> Sure there are. If the table result stemmed from a violation of 
> 16B1/73C, you have to use 12C1c to assign an adjusted score. What you 
> can’t do is give a non-zero weight to any result that, given the UI, 
> could be achieved only by violating 16B1/73C (including the table result).
>
> [Nigel]
>
> Thus, top directors cannot agree on how the law applies to simple 
> basic cases with agreed facts.
>

Thus, top directors do not speak the same mother language. If you had 
read Herman`s mails you would have noticed that he himself noted that 
his wording was not correct. He meant to express that in UI rulings 
there can be no part of a disallowed action in a weighted ruling (except 
in quite unusual circumstances where an allowed action may lead to the 
same contract reached by disallowed means, which is so rare usually to 
be reported on BLML, in other words nearly non-existent.

> When laws are incomprehensible,
>

To you...

> over-subjective
>

What, in the name of all saints, does that mean?

> and non-deterrent,
>

I usually manage to deter players all right, and I am not known for 
being overly harsh....

> would-be honest players become frustrated,
>

Not where I play or direct, not that I know of.

>   disillusioned,
>

With what? Their level of play? Happens all the time. The directors? 
Again, not where I play, but I am willling to admit that in my neck of 
the woods we have a multitude of good directors. So have you, I believe. 
I wonder why you are so afflicted?

> and paranoid.
>

Hmm. Am I answering a mail by such a person, I wonder?
You are very big in asserting things, but less so with offering proof of 
those assertions. Asserting something over and over again does not make 
it more true. Show us a player who started to cheat because of the laws, 
who quit Bridge because of the laws, even one who developed a problem 
because of the laws. I started playing 30 years ago ( more, in fact, but 
near enough), and I haven`t met such a person. Not one. I know a few 
people who quit Bridge. The laws where no factor, and most of them came 
back to Bridge when the problem that kept them away was solved.

In an earlier mail I asked you to show us proof, to show us cases that 
support your assertions. Silence.... Little wonder, you have none. Now 
the ACBL, after having refused to implement weighted scores for a long 
time, is about to do so. Only idiots on the other side of the water? Or 
rather people who gathered information from the NBOs that used them, and 
reasessed their position?

Announcements, long time in use in England and other NBOs, have been 
introduced as of January 1st in my country. What prophets we had, all of 
a sudden. The end of the world i s near, and, more important, the end of 
Bridge. Did it happen? Neither, curiously. I wonder why....

> Cheating is never justified but when the rules are a mess, it becomes 
> more understandable.
>

There are a couple of cheating cases in the focus of interest in the 
last few months. So, show us where the messy laws made them cheaters. Go 
on, I am really interested to know how those people where made to cheat 
by our actual laws, (or even by the laws in use then, if you can do 
_that_  ) even though some of them where suspected 30 years ago. 
Chronological misorientation? Time-travelling suggestions? Let me remind 
you that half of a famous English pair had a history in other card 
games, too. All the fault of our current rules, I suppose. It can`t be 
otherwise, UI, weighted scores and other messy things did not exist back 
then. Fascinating thing, isn`t it? You may be in for a Nobel prize if 
you can prove that our current rules are to blame for cheaters long ago. 
Go on, I am rooting for you. I never communicated with a Nobel prize 
winner before.

>
>
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Herman De Wael | 30 Mar 09:25 2016
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Re: Non-weighted adjustments


Nigel Guthrie schreef:
> [Herman de Wael]
>
> There are no weighted scores after use of UI. So get this one out of
>
> your head, Nigel.
>
> [Nigel]
>
> */Alleged/* use of UI.  Thank you Herman.  I learn something new every
> day.  But, are you sure?
>

No, use of UI. There are no rectifications after non-use of UI, so if 
we're talking of a rectification the alleged use has become "use". OK?

And yes, I am certain. This is what is called the Reveley ruling, and it 
has been called illegal by every single one in authority.

Mind you, the phrasing is not completely correct: there can be weighted 
scores after UI, but only in the sense that there can be different 
outcomes AFTER the action that was illegal was changed into a legal one.

Example: Offenders use hesitation Blackwood to reacht 6H. Non-offenders 
defend to 6Sp. TD decides to rule back to 5H, but since 6H has not been 
played at the table, he does not know how many tricks to award: 12 or 
13. He can give a weighted score of 60% of +480 and 40% of +510. What he 
cannot do is say "without the UI, offenders would have bid 6 in 30% of 
the cases, so I give 70% of +480 and 30% of +980", since that includes 
partly the illegal action.
And you are right Nigel, such rulings would encourage illegal behaviour, 
since it awards the offender by giving them 30% more than the good 
player who follows the UI laws and stays in 5H. Which is precisely why 
these rulings are not allowed.

OK?

Herman.

>
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Robert Frick | 30 Mar 02:06 2016

Helpless Dummy

Interesting though straightforward ruling:

Declarer's LHO, on lead, led the ace of diamonds. Declarer didn't see it. Declarer did not call for a card
from dummy; dummy did not play a card. Declarer's RHO now played the queen of diamonds. Declarer, thinking
that was the lead and having K10x of diamonds, played the king. That did not work well.

It was agreed by all that if RHO had not played prematurely, everyone would have sat around until declarer
was told of the ace of diamonds lead. So it was agreed by all that the infraction of playing out of turn gained
a trick.

The laws are clear -- no rectification. (I would have preferred the 1997 laws: "forfeits the right to penalize")

Curiously, I can't think of any advantages to forbidding the dummy to point out irregularities. Just lots
of disadvantages.
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Herman De Wael | 29 Mar 09:31 2016
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Re: Non-weighted adjustments

Roger and Matthias have said it better than I could, but I'd like to add 
my 2 cents:

Nigel Guthrie schreef:
> [Adam Wildavsky]
>
> As of January 1 of this year the ACBL is using weighted adjustments per
> Law 12C1c. Are there any jurisdictions continuing to use the "most
> favorable result that was likely" and "most unfavorable result that was
> at all probable" adjustments of Law 12C1e?
>
> [Petrus Schuster OSB]
>
> In Austria, only at club level, and I propose to change that as well.
>
> [Nige1]
>
> Another small step in the wrong direction. Current rules reward and
> encourage players who break the law.
>
> For example, weighted rulings reward law-breakers and disappoint their
> victims.  A common example is when a player is tempted to use UI to get
> a top score when complying with the law would leave him with a bottom.
>

There are no weighted scores after use of UI. So get this one out of 
your head, Nigel.

> Rules that are complex, unnecessary, incomprehensible, or non-deterrent
> should be simplified and rationalised -- or expurgated. Otherwise we
> have a cheaters’ charter.
>

And this one is also completely wrong. Why should complex rules be a 
cheater's charter? If a law is too complex, then it may be used wrongly 
by an less-competent director. But why should this benefit the cheater? 
Is it not equally possible that the non-offender gets too much?
Again, an argument that holds no water.

You may be against weighted scores, Nigel, but your arguments are 
completely wrong.
Could it be that you are against something you don't know? Then arguing 
against it is just conservatism. Trust the people who have been using it 
for 20 years now. Weighted scores are not too complex, they are not a 
cheater's charter and players understand and accept them.

As for the difficulty for Directors - yes, they are difficult. And 
establishing the weights is a difficult thing. But with weighted scores, 
the discussion is whether to award 30% or 20%. Without them, the 
discussion is between 100% and 0%. Which do you prefer? I know which one 
I do.

Herman.

>
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Matthias Berghaus | 28 Mar 20:30 2016
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Re: Non-weighted adjustments

Am 28.03.2016 um 20:00 schrieb Nigel Guthrie:
>
> [Adam Wildavsky]
>
> As of January 1 of this year the ACBL is using weighted adjustments 
> per Law 12C1c. Are there any jurisdictions continuing to use the "most 
> favorable result that was likely" and "most unfavorable result that 
> was at all probable" adjustments of Law 12C1e?
>
> [Petrus Schuster OSB]
>
> In Austria, only at club level, and I propose to change that as well.
>
> [Nige1]
>
> Another small step in the wrong direction. Current rules reward and 
> encourage players who break the law.
>

This is known as proof by assertion....

> For example, weighted rulings reward law-breakers and disappoint their 
> victims.
>

I never had players disappointed by a weighted ruling....

> A common example is when a player is tempted to use UI to get a top 
> score when complying with the law would leave him with a bottom.
>

If that were so, then the weighted ruling should leave him not much 
better off, as actions not deemed a LA may not be part of the weighting. 
And any action that _is_ a LA may be taken. Soo where is the problem?

> Rules that are complex,
>

Not really, not for a good TD.

> unnecessary
>

Says who?

> , incomprehensible,
>

or  maybe just not understood?

> or non-deterrent
>

recipients of a weighted score usually feel deterred all right, and 
what`s more, they feel treated fairly, not arbitrarily, which is even 
more important.

> should be simplified and rationalised -- or expurgated. Otherwise we 
> have a cheaters’ charter.
>

Ok, so you went on this vein for years. Now come over with the goods. 
Tell us a case where a _competent_ ruling handed the non-offenders a 
worse score that they would likely have gotten without 12C1c. Competent, 
mind you, as some case where someone messed up is no proof of anything.

>
>
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Richard Hills | 28 Mar 13:30 2016
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Made by sheep for chimpanzees

David Burn, final stanza of "I claimed it on a double squeeze":


Prince, all the Laws are pure hot air
And made by sheep for chimpanzees
But that is scarcely my affair -
I claimed it on a double squeeze.

The claimant (David Burn's team-mate) was asked to continue play by his opponents. As the claimant was unaware of the Law 68D requirement that play cease he obeyed the opponents' request. Alas, during the extended play declarer pulled a wrong card, ruining the timing for the double squeeze.

Under the 1997 Laws the sheep on the Appeals Committee had no alternative but to rule the double squeeze claim valid, and hence rule that the contract made. (Not relevant to the ruling is the unsubstantiated rumour that an opponent was a chimpanzee, intentionally infracting Law 68D in the hope that declarer would make a later mistake.)

Best wishes,

Richard Hills
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Adam Wildavsky | 26 Mar 23:10 2016

Non-weighted adjustments

As of January 1 of this year the ACBL is using weighted adjustments per Law 12C1c. Are there any jurisdictions continuing to use the "most favorable result that was likely" and "most unfavorable result that was at all probable" adjustments of Law 12C1e?

 
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