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Pre-Alerts ACBL

#21 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2012-January-02, 08:35

View PostVampyr, on 2012-January-02, 08:17, said:

In the EBU we tend to "pre-alert" everything. It is maybe one time in a hundred that I am not told what the opponents' basic system is at the beginning of a round (sometimes I have to ask, sometimes they have to ask me, but in any case the information gets transmited.)

Yes, that seems to me to be the case. Visitors will occasionally drop in for a session at the local club here in ACBL land. When they sit down and start to tell us their pre-alerts we instantly know they are from EBU.
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#22 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2012-January-02, 12:10

View Postaguahombre, on 2012-January-02, 08:35, said:

When they sit down and start to tell us their pre-alerts we instantly know they are from EBU.


Well, I put pre-alert in quotes because it's just a basic description of your system, and is a courtesy which is not, strictly speaking, required, as far as I know.

Of course, exchanging convention cards before the round begins is required, so even if the information is not transmitted verbally it is "at your fingertips".
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#23 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2012-January-02, 12:42

View PostVampyr, on 2012-January-02, 12:10, said:

Well, I put pre-alert in quotes because it's just a basic description of your system, and is a courtesy which is not, strictly speaking, required, as far as I know.

Of course, exchanging convention cards before the round begins is required, so even if the information is not transmitted verbally it is "at your fingertips".

It is a pleasant/welcome non-requirement, indeed. British visitors certainly represent the EBU in a positive light.

My post was one more feeble attempt at humor referring to the language difference (as was this, calling it a language difference).
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#24 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2012-January-03, 09:04

View Postaguahombre, on 2012-January-02, 12:42, said:

It is a pleasant/welcome non-requirement, indeed.


Naturally, when you rely on people's courtesy most people will rise to the expectation, but you will get a few bad eggs!

A couple of years ago a pair played a home-grown system at a major congress. It was called "The Heart is in the Groove", and consisted mostly of transfer opening bids. They gave a lot of particulars to their opponents when the latter sat down at the table.

To contrast, a few years ago I was playing in a midweek pairs game at Brighton, and a player opened 2 which was, if I remember correctly, 5-10 HCP with at least one 4-card suit. It might have been nice to inform us of this agreement before we began the round! (We were a first-time partnership and didn't have any default agreements in place.)

This seemed particularly unsporting as the game was a normal pair game with 2-board rounds, so they could catch out a lot of unsuspecting opponents.
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#25 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2012-January-03, 09:18

View PostVampyr, on 2012-January-03, 09:04, said:

Naturally, when you rely on people's courtesy most people will rise to the expectation, but you will get a few bad eggs!

A couple of years ago a pair played a home-grown system at a major congress. It was called "The Heart is in the Groove", and consisted mostly of transfer opening bids. They gave a lot of particulars to their opponents when the latter sat down at the table.

To contrast, a few years ago I was playing in a midweek pairs game at Brighton, and a player opened 2 which was, if I remember correctly, 5-10 HCP with at least one 4-card suit. It might have been nice to inform us of this agreement before we began the round! (We were a first-time partnership and didn't have any default agreements in place.)

This seemed particularly unsporting as the game was a normal pair game with 2-board rounds, so they could catch out a lot of unsuspecting opponents.

I don't think it is unsporting to follow the rules. The EBU does not mandate pre-alerts, maintaining that the exchange of convention cards is necessary and sufficient. I would agree that it would be nice of them to pre-alert you, but the EBU says it is up to them and not up to you.
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#26 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2012-January-03, 09:23

View Postpaulg, on 2012-January-03, 09:18, said:

I don't think it is unsporting to follow the rules. The EBU does not mandate pre-alerts, maintaining that the exchange of convention cards is necessary and sufficient. I would agree that it would be nice of them to pre-alert you, but the EBU says it is up to them and not up to you.

If that is the case, then cudo's to EBU players who apparently have chosen a set of values to which the regulations have not caught up.
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#27 User is offline   bluejak 

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Posted 2012-January-03, 11:47

I don't quite understand this last comment. The rules used to say that you told opponents your system at the start of the round, but there are certain problems and the rule was taken away. Some people follow it still, not everyone, but they tend to tell you the wrong things. If opponents tell us their system we always reply in kind but in fact I do not find it helpful at all, and rely on the mandatory exchange of SCs to tell me what I want to know. It is not that people are difficult, just ignorant: they tell you things that you do not need to know but not the important things.

The EBU pre-alert method is based on exchanging SCs and having opening 2-bids on the front plus a section for any other surprising things. This is far better and is helpful. Opponents telling me their no-trump range is very nice but of no help in these days of announcements, and since they tell you things like that they play "Acol" when they play five-cared majors - apparently believing "Acol with five card majors" to mean something - and tell you Benjamin when they are playing Lucas and so forth it seems to me totally pointless to describe system in the old way.
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#28 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2012-January-03, 11:55

We would all agree that pre-alerting with misinformation is not helpful. I was thinking more about accurate stuff.

It seems verbally announcing certain key parts of one's overall system while at the same time exchanging CC's is much like alerting and tapping the alert card at the same time.
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#29 User is offline   bluejak 

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Posted 2012-January-03, 12:00

View Postaguahombre, on 2012-January-03, 09:23, said:

If that is the case, then cudo's to EBU players who apparently have chosen a set of values to which the regulations have not caught up.

See below.

View Postaguahombre, on 2012-January-03, 11:55, said:

We would all agree that pre-alerting with misinformation is not helpful. I was thinking more about accurate stuff.

Sure. But players do it. There are no rules on how to tell opponents their system and they do it quite badly.

:ph34r:

I do not know who suggested Compatibility mode or even what it is, but it is true it makes MultiQuote work! Also the annoying method of highlighting the emoticons has not happened either. Interesting!
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#30 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2012-January-03, 12:13

View Postbluejak, on 2012-January-03, 12:00, said:

I do not know who suggested Compatibility mode or even what it is, but it is true it makes MultiQuote work! Also the annoying method of highlighting the emoticons has not happened either. Interesting!

Barmar would say, "you're welcome", I am sure. His suggestion and my reference to it were on different threads.
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#31 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2012-January-03, 12:31

View Postpaulg, on 2012-January-03, 09:18, said:

I don't think it is unsporting to follow the rules.


I disagree. When you are playing thirteen rounds you will examine each opponents' convention card for a limited time. If they are using the old-style cards, where the opening 2-bids are not listed on the front, you will probably not open it up. Not mentioning something that you are fully aware will catch many of your opponents unprepared follows the regulation but not the spirit, IMO, of full disclosure.
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#32 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2012-January-03, 16:33

View PostVampyr, on 2012-January-03, 12:31, said:

View Postpaulg, on 2012-January-03, 09:18, said:

I don't think it is unsporting to follow the rules.

I disagree. When you are playing thirteen rounds you will examine each opponents' convention card for a limited time. If they are using the old-style cards, where the opening 2-bids are not listed on the front, you will probably not open it up. Not mentioning something that you are fully aware will catch many of your opponents unprepared follows the regulation but not the spirit, IMO, of full disclosure.

I think your frustrations are misplaced and should be directed to the EBU Laws & Ethics Committee, who write the regulations, and the EBU Tournament Committee who (presumably) decide which regulations apply to specific national tournaments. If they have decided that Level 4 is appropriate for a pairs tournament with two-board rounds, which permits a wide variety of opening two-bids (including many that the WBF would call Brown Sticker Conventions), then they have decided that playing these conventions without pre-alerting is perfectly acceptable.
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#33 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2012-January-03, 16:54

View Postpaulg, on 2012-January-03, 16:33, said:

I think your frustrations are misplaced and should be directed to the EBU Laws & Ethics Committee, who write the regulations, and the EBU Tournament Committee who (presumably) decide which regulations apply to specific national tournaments. If they have decided that Level 4 is appropriate for a pairs tournament with two-board rounds, which permits a wide variety of opening two-bids (including many that the WBF would call Brown Sticker Conventions), then they have decided that playing these conventions without pre-alerting is perfectly acceptable.


I don't have a problem with the regulations. Forget I said anything.
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#34 User is offline   jallerton 

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Posted 2012-January-03, 17:55

View Postbluejak, on 2012-January-03, 11:47, said:

I don't quite understand this last comment. The rules used to say that you told opponents your system at the start of the round, but there are certain problems and the rule was taken away. Some people follow it still, not everyone, but they tend to tell you the wrong things. If opponents tell us their system we always reply in kind but in fact I do not find it helpful at all, and rely on the mandatory exchange of SCs to tell me what I want to know. It is not that people are difficult, just ignorant: they tell you things that you do not need to know but not the important things.

The EBU pre-alert method is based on exchanging SCs and having opening 2-bids on the front plus a section for any other surprising things. This is far better and is helpful. Opponents telling me their no-trump range is very nice but of no help in these days of announcements, and since they tell you things like that they play "Acol" when they play five-cared majors - apparently believing "Acol with five card majors" to mean something - and tell you Benjamin when they are playing Lucas and so forth it seems to me totally pointless to describe system in the old way.


I disagree. In my expereience, most players are able to summarise the key features of their system in a sentence or two. By contrast, even if my opponents have mananged to bring both copies of the unfortunately designed EBU20B, which apparently considers the responses to 1NT the most important area to disclose, I have to look on two different pages just to work out what opening bids they are playing!

Many players find it helpful to know their opponents' no-trump range on all of the hands where they do not open 1NT!
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#35 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2012-January-03, 18:28

IMO, the EBU 20B is infinitely better designed than the ACBL card. ACBL readers here should be aware that the EBU 20B has at least twice as much space available as the ACBL card for describing your system.
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I have come to realise it is futile to expect or hope a regular club game will be run in accordance with the laws. -- Jillybean
Factor in Alzheimers, and I can not recall a bad result from aggessive action in this situation. -- Aguahombre
When I look through the hand records after a club evening, the boards I didn't play are always the ones where I would have done great. -- Cherdano
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#36 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2012-January-04, 03:03

View Postblackshoe, on 2012-January-03, 18:28, said:

IMO, the EBU 20B is infinitely better designed than the ACBL card. ACBL readers here should be aware that the EBU 20B has at least twice as much space available as the ACBL card for describing your system.

IMO the EBU 20A card was twice as good as the EBU 20B, but still only infinitely better than than ACBL card. Pre-alerts and notrump range on the front page, everything else that you need visible on the two inside pages.
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#37 User is offline   jallerton 

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Posted 2012-January-04, 18:00

View Postpaulg, on 2012-January-04, 03:03, said:

IMO the EBU 20A card was twice as good as the EBU 20B, but still only infinitely better than than ACBL card. Pre-alerts and notrump range on the front page, everything else that you need visible on the two inside pages.


I agree. When I visited a Scottish congress last month, I was pleased to see that the blank SBU convention cards available outside the playing area looked a lot closer to the EBU20A than the EBU20B.
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#38 User is offline   trevahound 

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Posted 2012-January-05, 13:37

View Postawm, on 2011-December-27, 09:31, said:

ACBL card actually does have a place to mark very light openings (or separately, preempted) right below the spot for "general approach."


And near the top of the ACBL convention card, where it says "Very Light:", the available check boxes are in black. Other check boxes near there and elsewhere on the card are in red where they require an alert, and blue where they require an announcement. I believe this would be in red if it was expected to be alerted.
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#39 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2012-January-05, 13:54

View Posttrevahound, on 2012-January-05, 13:37, said:

And near the top of the ACBL convention card, where it says "Very Light:", the available check boxes are in black. Other check boxes near there and elsewhere on the card are in red where they require an alert, and blue where they require an announcement. I believe this would be in red if it was expected to be alerted.

Light openings are a pre-alert, not an alert. The color coding currently seems to be all about alertable calls, not pre-alerts. Although leading low from small doubletons is a pre-alert and it's marked in red (but there's no such thing as alerting defensive carding, so the general scheme may not apply there).

You could write to the ACBL, maybe they'll come up with another color for pre-alerts.

#40 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2012-January-05, 17:59

I may be mistaken, but I seem to remember that at one point, this "low from doubleton" in red on the SC was noted, somebody raised a question about it with HQ, and the card was changed because, as you say, it doesn't require an alert. It now seems to have changed back. :blink:

The "Conventional Wisdom" series about filling out the card (in the ACBL Bulletin) says, in its first installment, that "items in red require an alert", and in its installment on the "opening leads" section, that if you lead low from a doubleton, you should circle the red x and pre-alert. I suspect the average person reading those two things will be confused.

I note in passing that there's no place on the card to list anything about leads after the opening lead. :(
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I have come to realise it is futile to expect or hope a regular club game will be run in accordance with the laws. -- Jillybean
Factor in Alzheimers, and I can not recall a bad result from aggessive action in this situation. -- Aguahombre
When I look through the hand records after a club evening, the boards I didn't play are always the ones where I would have done great. -- Cherdano
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