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Prescribed penalty for use of an illegal convention ACBL

#1 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2012-January-04, 17:22

November, 2011. Playing in a swiss team event at the Rancho Mirage sectional (where midchart treatments are not allowed), my teammates roll out their 1M - 2 convention where 2 = clubs, GF, balanced and GF, or a limit raise in the major. Their learned opponent calls the director, who determines this is an illegal convention, per the C of C. The table ruling was "average (-)" or the table result whichever was worse. Since my partner and I had earned a 12 IMP swing, this was a 15 IMP swing. Not small potatoes, especially in VP scoring. Yet I accepted his ruling with dignity.

Fast forward to a mid-week stratified pair event at the Seattle NABC. RHO opens 1 and I overcall 1. LHO bids 2 alerted as hearts. Since I know that transfers OK over NT opening bids, and in response to overcalls, and even over takeout doubles, but not over overcalls, I call the director.

This time, I got a long song and dance about how the director has the discretion to rule whatever he wants in such cases. He gets to look at the table result and judge whether or not the convention created damage to the opponents. While I didn't think we were damaged, I thought this was pretty amazing, considering what had happened a month earlier.

Note: the two directors involved were Matt Smith and Gary Zeiger. They are two heavyweights IMO, and Gary is considered one of the "go-to" directors in the area of the use of conventions.

There needs to be consistency in this area. Personally, I think there should be a prescribed sanction (as was the case against my team), and there should not be a scope for a director's judgment.

I believe the EBU already has this in place. I think the ACBL needs to incorporate this into their alert procedure as well.
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#2 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2012-January-04, 18:39

Why are transfers after doubles allowed? I don't see them on the general chart.

Anyway I agree with you in principle. In fact I support a mandated procedural penalty here.
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#3 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2012-January-04, 19:54

View Postawm, on 2012-January-04, 18:39, said:

Why are transfers after doubles allowed? I don't see them on the general chart.



I *think* takeout doubles are conventional by definition, aren't they? Anyway, I've asked directors about these on numerous occasions and the consensus has been 'you can play anything over a double', just like you can play a double or redouble as anything you want too.
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#4 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2012-January-04, 21:02

View PostPhil, on 2012-January-04, 19:54, said:

I *think* takeout doubles are conventional by definition, aren't they? Anyway, I've asked directors about these on numerous occasions and the consensus has been 'you can play anything over a double', just like you can play a double or redouble as anything you want too.


My feeling is that this (as well as the case you mentioned in the initial post) are really in the gray area of "no one really knows, director's discretion." Certainly you can claim that if transfer advances of overcalls are allowed, transfer advances after opposing overcalls should be allowed (by the same rule, given in multiple places it says "this applies to both pairs"). Or not. Or you could argue that doubles are conventional... or not (does it matter if double was penalty?). It seems different from playing something which is clearly not allowed (like your teammates' 2 response).
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#5 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2012-January-04, 21:51

"Allowed: Conventional doubles and redoubles and advances thereto".

Where the regulation says "this applies to both pairs", whatever "this" is applies to both pairs. It does not follow that "this other thing" applies to both pairs where the regulation does not specifically say so.

A penalty double is not conventional. Any other double is conventional. Same for redoubles.

"The director has discretion to rule whatever he wants"? Horse puckey.
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#6 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2012-January-04, 22:53

O.K. All horse pucky aside, Do we have an answer whether what we have been playing for years--Transfers in response to 1M double---is GCC legal?

Been using it and improving on it since as long ago as it first appeared in a Bridge World issue.
"Bidding Spades to show spades can work well." (Kenberg)
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#7 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2012-January-04, 22:55

If you're talking about Cappelletti over 1M doubled or some similar convention, yes, it's legal.
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#8 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2012-January-04, 23:23

Thank you.
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#9 User is offline   jeffford76 

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Posted 2012-January-05, 12:25

One of the allowed things under "Competitive" is "Defense to conventional calls". A takeout double is a convention, ergo you can play whatever you want over it. (As with most things unless this is after a NT or weak-2 bid with too wide a range.)

I don't see anything that allows conventional bidding after a penalty double that isn't allowed absent the double.
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