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EBU system licensing Trying to get a feel why the change

#1 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2011-May-21, 04:10

I've just looked through an old system card from years ago (a home hashed fun big NT system), and realised what I used to play is no longer legal.

The regulation has changed from a 1 opener being permitted as "clubs or diamonds or balanced" to "clubs or balanced or a hand where diamonds are the longest suit" to the more complicated regs there are now (at least where canape is concerned). Quoting the orange book:

Quote

11 C 5 Canapé 1 and 1 openings
These may be played as up to four meanings from:
(a) a balanced or semi-balanced hand
(b) one-suiter showing the suit bid
© a 4-4-4-1 hand with any singleton
(d) a minor two-suiter
together with
(e) 4+ cards in the suit bid, and a second suit which is at least as long as the suit bid


We used to play 1 and 1 as one suited either minor (but most often the one bid), balanced, both minors or other minor/major canape.

This was rendered illegal by the first change, so we simply switched the canape to the suit bid and made the one suited option most often show the other minor.

Now if you play 1 as possible canape, you can't have one suited unbalanced with diamonds as an option so this system would need a serious rework. I'm trying to get some feel as to why this change was made.
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#2 User is offline   dcrc2 

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Posted 2011-May-21, 07:08

I guess this is my fault, since the wording for OB 11C2-5 was adapted from one of my suggestions, and 11C5 in particular is almost word-for-word. You can probably still find the original post in the rgb archives somewhere.

For reference, here is the section on 1 from the 2005 Orange Book.

Quote

12.2.3 1 opening may be played as any one of the following.
(a) natural, not forcing
(b) balanced, forcing or not
(c ) natural or balanced, forcing or not
(d) natural 1 opening with no suit longer than clubs, forcing or not
(e) natural or a natural 1 opening with no suit longer than clubs, forcing or not
(f) natural or balanced or natural 1 opening with no suit longer than clubs, forcing or not
Note – additional distributional constraints (e.g. no four card major) are permitted as treatments – see 9.4.2 [EB August 2001]
Note – in options (c ), (e) and (f), it is permitted to play the natural element as canapé, provided that the suit contains at least 4 cards, i.e.
(as an alternative to the balanced and hand-types) the hand may be one-suited with s, or two-suited with s the shorter of the two
suits. Unless the hand contains both minors, it is not permitted to play the natural element as only potentially canapé, where there is
ambiguity as to the relative lengths of the suits if the hand is two-suited. [EB February 2005, p34]


(The 1 opening was exactly analogous at Level 3; but only (a)-(c ) applied at Level 2 so it's easier to understand the 1 opening where everything was in one place.)

I didn't like this old regulation - partly because it seemed that (a)-(f) weren't really distinct choices and ought to be combined into a single possibility; and partly because it relied on knowing exactly what "natural" meant. For example a MIDMAC 1 opening denies a 5-card major but shows at least one 4-card major. All such hands are either balanced, natural clubs or natural diamonds. But if a "natural" option always has a second suit, is that really natural? I wasn't sure. Hence OB 11C2/4, which attempts to explain exactly what shapes you can and can't include in your minor openings - any subset of the allowed hands is permitted.

That rewrite excluded canape openings, which would therefore have to be dealt with separately. But that didn't seem so bad, because it would be a chance to clear up the rather convoluted paragraph at the end of the old section 12.2.3. The new OB 11C5 was meant to be a direct translation of that paragraph.

OK, so what happened to the "natural opening in the other minor" possibility? Well, initially it was just an oversight. In fact the original version didn't have option (d). But then I played against a pair opening 1 with both minors either way round and realised I'd forgotten about that. By this time the new version was already in a draft and I had to rather sheepishly go back and ask for my suggestion to be changed. Obviously the whole "natural opening in the other minor" option could have been added back in but I don't think anyone believed that anyone would be playing such a thing. To be honest I wouldn't have thought that canape in one suit and non-canape in the other suit was playable; that might have been part of the reason I'd overlooked the possibility originally. (Perhaps if it's always single-suited it's not so bad, but I think it would be more normal (and better) to open 2m with that.) Also, arguably, the only reason it had been allowed in the first place was because of the rather awkward merging of the canape and non-canape regulations for 1-of-a-minor, and if a regulation for canape openings had been written from scratch the possibility of having a non-canape hand with the other minor would never have been in there in the first place. So, with no-one likely to be playing it, it seemed reasonable to tidy things up by leaving it out.

I suspect that if anyone had complained when the draft OB was produced that this change would make their system illegal, then it might have been added back in; certainly this happened in a couple of other places in the regulations at that time.
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#3 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2011-May-21, 09:31

View PostCyberyeti, on 2011-May-21, 04:10, said:

I'm trying to get some feel as to why this change was made.

Hard to think that you could get a better response than David's!

My initial reaction is that these minor openings are HUMs, because of the length in clubs or length in diamonds option, when they are not in the context of a strong minor system. I know EBU regulations are not concerned about HUMs, except at Level 5, but I imagine that they would be reluctant to approve (or even re-approve) methods that are HUMs. So it may be that it will remain a historic convention card.
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#4 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2011-May-21, 15:37

View Postpaulg, on 2011-May-21, 09:31, said:

Hard to think that you could get a better response than David's!

My initial reaction is that these minor openings are HUMs, because of the length in clubs or length in diamonds option, when they are not in the context of a strong minor system. I know EBU regulations are not concerned about HUMs, except at Level 5, but I imagine that they would be reluctant to approve (or even re-approve) methods that are HUMs. So it may be that it will remain a historic convention card.

This is precisely the point, we used a something like a strong diamond's club, a strong club's diamond, 1M canape and a big (and always unbalanced) no trump, all balanced hands were added in to 1m, the really big ones through 1 which was forcing with a negative diamond. The canapes were always decent hands so 1-1-2 was unambiguously 5 spades (and 4 or 5 diamonds)14-17 ish without 3 hearts (1 rebid was a no trump shape with 4 spades and 2 hearts). It was great fun to play and surprisingly logical once you got used to it. The only concession we had to make was that you certainly had to pass a 3334/3343/(23)44 12 count to get all the bids in.

One of the most amusing evenings I've ever had was the county captain coming down to our now defunct club for some practice and meeting two pairs playing this, him complaining that he wanted some decent practice and met up with this experimental licence rubbish. When we pointed out it was general licence legal (as it was 15 or so years back) he almost literally fell off his chair and spat out a fair bit of beer.
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#5 User is online   Vampyr 

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Posted 2011-May-21, 23:38

View Postdcrc2, on 2011-May-21, 07:08, said:


I suspect that if anyone had complained when the draft OB was produced that this change would make their system illegal, then it might have been added back in; certainly this happened in a couple of other places in the regulations at that time.


I don't think that the draft OB was widely disseminated.
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#6 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2011-May-22, 02:47

I should also thank dcrc2 for his very comprehensive answer. The set of regs he published was the middle one in my initial post. It was much simpler when we were playing this in the 90s as all our stuff was covered by //balanced and treatments thereof which was what the rules originally said. I certainly never saw any of the draft stuff at the time.

Why the rules for 1 were complicated by phrases like "(f) natural or balanced or natural 1♣ opening with no suit longer than clubs, forcing or not" I don't see, natural or balanced or a hand with at least 4 clubs would seem to cover all the canape options as well and be a lot simpler.
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#7 User is offline   campboy 

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Posted 2011-May-22, 08:37

Some much tamer possibilities than these are excluded by the current regulation. For example, you are not even permitted to play 1=4+ clubs or balanced at level 4; you are not permitted to play 1=4+ clubs at level 3! I was intending to write to the L&EC about the former (I have been for some time but hopefully I'll get around to it in time for the next meeting).

However, I presume the regulation you quote is deliberately excluding the canape-opening-in-either-minor meaning; no-one would bother to add "with no suit longer than clubs" otherwise.
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#8 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2011-May-22, 08:52

View Postcampboy, on 2011-May-22, 08:37, said:

Some much tamer possibilities than these are excluded by the current regulation. For example, you are not even permitted to play 1=4+ clubs or balanced at level 4; you are not permitted to play 1=4+ clubs at level 3! I was intending to write to the L&EC about the former (I have been for some time but hopefully I'll get around to it in time for the next meeting).

I think you are mistaken.

Allowed at Levels 2, 3 and 4
11 C 2 1 openings - basic
A 1 opening may be played to have any meaning, forcing or not, as long as this does not include unbalanced hands with 5+ Diamonds or 5+ Hearts or 5+ Spades (unless there is a Club suit of equal length or longer)

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#9 User is offline   FrancesHinden 

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Posted 2011-May-22, 08:52

View Postcampboy, on 2011-May-22, 08:37, said:

Some much tamer possibilities than these are excluded by the current regulation. For example, you are not even permitted to play 1=4+ clubs or balanced at level 4; you are not permitted to play 1=4+ clubs at level 3! I was intending to write to the L&EC about the former (I have been for some time but hopefully I'll get around to it in time for the next meeting).


Aren't you? Why isn't this covered by "Any meaning, forcing or not, EXCEPT unbalanced hands with {5+ cards in another suit} AND NOT {clubs at least as long}" if you don't want to play canape, and by the canape permissions if you do.

Quote

However, I presume the regulation you quote is deliberately excluding the canape-opening-in-either-minor meaning; no-one would bother to add "with no suit longer than clubs" otherwise.


It was (I think) before I joined the L&E, but I believe it was deliberate that you aren't allowed to play 1C as either natural or canape diamonds-and-a-major.
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#10 User is offline   campboy 

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Posted 2011-May-22, 09:10

View PostFrancesHinden, on 2011-May-22, 08:52, said:

Aren't you? Why isn't this covered by "Any meaning, forcing or not, EXCEPT unbalanced hands with {5+ cards in another suit} AND NOT {clubs at least as long}" if you don't want to play canape, and by the canape permissions if you do.

You can play canape or you can play non-canape, but you can't play possible canape (except when the other suit is diamonds).

The only reason you can play possible-canape minors at level 4 is that you are permitted any meaning which shows 4+ in a known suit, so poss-canape or bal doesn't work.
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#11 User is offline   FrancesHinden 

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Posted 2011-May-22, 09:30

OK, now I get it. You want (well, you might not want to, but you want to point out) that you can't play 1C as either

- balanced (including all 5332s), or
- single-suited clubs, or
- two/three suited with clubs at least the equal longest suit, or
- canape with clubs and another suit

(unless he 3rd & 4th options are 16+, of course).

OK, I agree you can't do that.

Why would you want to?
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#12 User is offline   campboy 

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Posted 2011-May-22, 09:45

View PostFrancesHinden, on 2011-May-22, 09:30, said:

Why would you want to?

What I was originally thinking about was a system where two-suiters with a major and a minor would canape if the major was hearts but not if the major was spades. In order to make the 1 show five I'd then need to open 4=3=3=3 hands 1. Maybe it wouldn't be a particularly good system, but it could be fun and I don't see a good reason why it's prohibited. I felt it was more likely that it just hadn't been considered, so it seems reasonable to ask about it; I was intending to suggest that "balanced" could be replaced by "balanced 3+" if desired.

The prohibition on possible-canape minors at level 3 I think is more surprising, given that possible-canape majors are ok at level 2.
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#13 User is offline   bluejak 

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Posted 2011-May-22, 12:36

View PostCyberyeti, on 2011-May-22, 02:47, said:

Why the rules for 1 were complicated by phrases like "(f) natural or balanced or natural 1♣ opening with no suit longer than clubs, forcing or not" I don't see, natural or balanced or a hand with at least 4 clubs would seem to cover all the canape options as well and be a lot simpler.

I don't think that is what the L&EC wanted.
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#14 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2011-May-22, 14:30

View Postbluejak, on 2011-May-22, 12:36, said:

I don't think that is what the L&EC wanted.

Yeah, but the question I was trying to ask from the beginning is "Why ?" and following from this "What did the committee want ?".

They've crowbarred the "as long as this does not include unbalanced hands with 5+ Diamonds or 5+ Hearts or 5+ Spades (unless there is a Club suit of equal length or longer)" into the description of the non canape bit to ensure you use the canape part of the description if playing canape.

Then Dcrc2 admits the "natural in other minor" part was left out of the canape section basically in error because nobody thought anybody was going to use it, and had anybody objected at the time it might well have been put back in.

How much chaos would it cause to go back to the much simpler version ? Very few people would exploit it and it's not exactly a nuclear weapon if they do, plus it's much simpler to work out whether what you propose to play is legal (and possibly more importantly, you stand a chance of knowing whether what your opps are playing is legal).
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#15 User is offline   bluejak 

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Posted 2011-May-23, 06:46

First, the rule is simple now: I do not understand why you claim it is simpler otherwise nor do I believe that of itself that is a sufficient reason for change.

Second, you seem to want some sort of possible canapé implication that the L&EC thinks is undesirable. You presume they do not: I have no evidence that this correct.
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#16 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2011-May-23, 08:06

View Postbluejak, on 2011-May-23, 06:46, said:

First, the rule is simple now: I do not understand why you claim it is simpler otherwise nor do I believe that of itself that is a sufficient reason for change.


The EBU's version is not really simpler but more explicit if it's written down in front of you, but if confronted with an opps convention card while playing an event, you're unlikely to have all the current rules memorised so balanced or 4+ or 4+ is much easier to check.
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#17 User is offline   campboy 

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Posted 2011-May-23, 09:40

View PostCyberyeti, on 2011-May-23, 08:06, said:

The EBU's version is not really simpler but more explicit if it's written down in front of you, but if confronted with an opps convention card while playing an event, you're unlikely to have all the current rules memorised so balanced or 4+ or 4+ is much easier to check.

I think it is not only simple but what people expect. If you're playing 1m=clubs or diamonds (or balanced) then one of those must be your longest suit (or you are balanced).

The L&EC seem to have deliberately banned one-level openings (which aren't strong) where every suit could be very short and could be the longest suit. Is that a surprise? Not to me.
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#18 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2011-May-23, 09:53

View Postcampboy, on 2011-May-23, 09:40, said:

I think it is not only simple but what people expect. If you're playing 1m=clubs or diamonds (or balanced) then one of those must be your longest suit (or you are balanced).

The L&EC seem to have deliberately banned one-level openings (which aren't strong) where every suit could be very short and could be the longest suit. Is that a surprise? Not to me.

Yet I'm allowed to do this if I give up doing it on 5431s as (5M2)(4m2) counts as semi balanced so I can canape the minor under the non canape rules as the prohibition is on doing this in an unbalanced hand. This seems silly.
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#19 User is offline   bluejak 

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Posted 2011-May-23, 11:03

View PostCyberyeti, on 2011-May-23, 08:06, said:

The EBU's version is not really simpler but more explicit if it's written down in front of you, but if confronted with an opps convention card while playing an event, you're unlikely to have all the current rules memorised so balanced or 4+ or 4+ is much easier to check.

The EBU's rule is definitely simpler than its predecessor. Who cares whether you can memorise it? I certainly cannot, nor can I memorise the telephone directory. The Orange book is a work of reference.
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#20 User is offline   campboy 

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Posted 2011-May-23, 19:29

View PostCyberyeti, on 2011-May-23, 09:53, said:

Yet I'm allowed to do this if I give up doing it on 5431s as (5M2)(4m2) counts as semi balanced so I can canape the minor under the non canape rules as the prohibition is on doing this in an unbalanced hand. This seems silly.

I now agree with you that it is ridiculous. I had assumed that "unbalanced" in that regulation meant "not balanced" (rather than "neither balanced nor semibalanced", as I now see it is defined in the glossary) and I think if it did it would be a sensible regulation. If we are going to allow people to open 1 on a 6322 with any six-card suit then I don't see the point in putting any restrictions on it at all beyond a minimum strength requirement.
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