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Teaching the laws at the table

#41 User is offline   bluejak 

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Posted 2012-January-19, 08:00

I play a 2 rebid as you do, showing no extra length - in fact, 1st or 2nd NV that means it could show 3 diamonds in a 4=4=3=2 13/14 count. But I do alert it. However, like you, it would not occur to me to alert 1 2 2 even though it shows five hearts.

My regular partner and I have specific rules on what to open with various 4432 hands. But we disclose them when asked and are unsurprised by such questions.
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#42 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2012-January-19, 15:18

I know it doesn't happen, but assume that your opponents play Precision *and have never played anything else*. If it's still "just bridge", fine. If it's something that is impacted by your other agreements, it's disclosable.

I have people who think that "psychic" Ogust after a weak 2 is "just bridge" - and even if it's happened two or three times in that partnership, won't disclose that. Of course, "psychic" Ogust works much better if the opponents haven't run across it before. Conveniently, hiding behind "just bridge" helps in exactly that situation.

I have people who think that my 1-overcall-3 playing Precision is "just bridge", even though it could be a reasonable flat 9. If I tried to hide behind "just bridge", I would be (rightly) pilloried. But the same kinds of things played in a standard system are "just bridge" - to some people, anyway.

What Rik says about complex systems are also accurate - they are more likely to consciously know their implications, because they're more likely to have actually had them pointed out, either in discussions with partner, or books, or other reference material. They're also more likely to realize that not "everybody" plays their system their way.
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#43 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2012-January-19, 16:46

View Postmycroft, on 2012-January-19, 15:18, said:

I know it doesn't happen, but assume that your opponents play Precision *and have never played anything else*. If it's still "just bridge", fine. If it's something that is impacted by your other agreements, it's disclosable.

I have people who think that "psychic" Ogust after a weak 2 is "just bridge" - and even if it's happened two or three times in that partnership, won't disclose that. Of course, "psychic" Ogust works much better if the opponents haven't run across it before. Conveniently, hiding behind "just bridge" helps in exactly that situation.

I have people who think that my 1-overcall-3 playing Precision is "just bridge", even though it could be a reasonable flat 9. If I tried to hide behind "just bridge", I would be (rightly) pilloried. But the same kinds of things played in a standard system are "just bridge" - to some people, anyway.

What Rik says about complex systems are also accurate - they are more likely to consciously know their implications, because they're more likely to have actually had them pointed out, either in discussions with partner, or books, or other reference material. They're also more likely to realize that not "everybody" plays their system their way.

Never forget that "general bridge knowledge" or "just bridge" must be equally general knowledge to both sides at the table to qualify as such with respect of Law 40B6{a}.
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#44 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2012-January-19, 16:47

The conundrum is that if a player honestly thinks that what they're doing is "just bridge", then they're not really being unethical when they fail to disclose it. They're inexperienced and/or ignorant, but they're not intentionally trying to mislead.

If partner doubles a 5-level contract when the opponents have been bidding strongly, would you explain that it could be a stripe-tailed ape?

#45 User is online   aguahombre 

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Posted 2012-January-19, 17:33

People are confusing disclosable partnership bids with unilateral actions. It is none of my business why partner places a contract at a particular strain or level, or why she doubles a contract, or why she bids Stayman, or why she makes a systemic bid which asks me for more information......unless I might alter what would be my normal course of action to allow for her call to be bogus.

If it is none of my business, the opponents can guess to their hearts' content. If asked whether this partner has ever psyched a particular systemic method, or would ever bid Stayman with a Yarb, I will answer. If asked whether partner has ever placed a contract without the strength or length in the strain, I will claim "just Bridge".

OTOH, if for whatever reason, partner bids a new suit over my 2-bid or 3-bid I must alert; because it might or might not be natural, and my priority is to show degree of support for that suit ---that is alertable whether she was messing around or not. (example: XXX KXXX AKQXX A..and I open 2H. She bids 2S to find out if I have two or 3 of them. If not, we are in slam.)
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#46 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2012-January-25, 17:40

View Postgordontd, on 2012-January-14, 17:11, said:

It is if the director is called in the correct manner, and does the teaching properly.


View Postbluejak, on 2012-January-14, 17:59, said:

Everything is in the attitude: when I call the TD with inexperienced opponents, no, they are not upset because of the way I call the TD. If someone calls me to the table and I explain to an inexperienced pair what they are doing wrong, no, they are not upset because of the way I explain to them. If your experience is different, pran, perhaps your approach is wrong.


I still can't quite imagine how this works. Let's take Kathryn's example wherein an opponent asks about a specific bid while his partner is trying to come up with a lead. Now let's say we finish the round with quite some time left, I decide I haven't been damaged, but would still like to enlighten my opponent about the pitfalls of his timing. I manage to call the TD without upsetting anyone yet. Could you please provide a sample dialogue starting with what I say to the TD when he arrives?
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#47 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2012-January-26, 03:37

View Postmgoetze, on 2012-January-25, 17:40, said:

I still can't quite imagine how this works. Let's take Kathryn's example wherein an opponent asks about a specific bid while his partner is trying to come up with a lead. Now let's say we finish the round with quite some time left, I decide I haven't been damaged, but would still like to enlighten my opponent about the pitfalls of his timing. I manage to call the TD without upsetting anyone yet. Could you please provide a sample dialogue starting with what I say to the TD when he arrives?

I find saying "we" or "me" rather than "you" helps a lot. As in "let's ask the director to see if s/he can explain this to us so that we know for the future". Or more commonly "let's get the director to help us sort this out".

Perhaps in the original scenario something like "I was wondering whether it's ok for me to ask about the auction before I make my final pass". That should get an answer telling me that I'm always allowed to ask questions at my turn to call, but that I might be advised not to if my partner is on lead because I might limit his/her options. Make it clear that you aren't in any way trying to sneakily report an infraction, and opponents are usually receptive to the information they are given.
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#48 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2012-January-26, 15:52

Yeah, something like "I was told once that I should wait until the face-down opening lead before asking my questions if I'm going to pass out the hand. I'd like to know what I should do. I'm going to call the TD and find out, she's not busy at the moment." and a similar statement to the TD.

Tone and abruptness is everything in this one. Another key phrase for certain queries to the TD is "I have no problem with this hand" or "I wish to waive any right to a rectification" - the latter is legal, but should raise the flag nicely - in case the TD decides that you did want a ruling rather than an explanations anyway.
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#49 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2012-January-26, 17:02

View Postmycroft, on 2012-January-26, 15:52, said:

Tone and abruptness is everything in this one.

Absolutely so.
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#50 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2012-January-26, 17:32

View Postmycroft, on 2012-January-26, 15:52, said:

Yeah, something like "I was told once that I should wait until the face-down opening lead before asking my questions if I'm going to pass out the hand. I'd like to know what I should do. I'm going to call the TD and find out, she's not busy at the moment." and a similar statement to the TD.


The only difficulty I have with this is that is sounds very silly, even condescending coming from an experienced player to equally experienced opponents.
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#51 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2012-January-26, 23:04

View Postjillybean, on 2012-January-26, 17:32, said:

The only difficulty I have with this is that is sounds very silly, even condescending coming from an experienced player to equally experienced opponents.

Seeing it in writing is different from experiencing it at the table. In conversation, people are likely to react favorably when you say things in the right way. It's the whole reason why euphemisms exist: HOW you say things is sometimes more important than WHAT you mean.

#52 User is offline   phil_20686 

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Posted 2012-January-27, 07:34

There are real problems of disclosure for expert partnerships, for me a real problem is in check back and when the later auctions change the meaning of the earlier bids. FOr example, sometimes I make one bid and it shows five or more hearts, and they ask and are told, but later when partner shows a slam try it is always 6 or more hearts, but they don't always ask about the later bids so what is my obligation now? My original information was correct when I gave it, but is incorrect by the end of the auction, and if they never ask any more questions then I never get the chance to inform them. Its true that full disclosure would have been "if partner later shows a slam try then he will always have six hearts", but if you start specifying your bids meanings based on later auctions which may or may not occur, then you are just confusing them with information overload, and it takes forever.
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#53 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2012-January-27, 07:52

Your first bid showed 5+ hearts. Your later bid shows a 6th heart and a slam try. There is no contradiction here. This is the same as opening a major in Acol (showing 4+) and rebidding a new suit (now promising a 5th card in the first suit). The further auction has not changed the original meaning, it has simply clarified the hand further. An example which matches your description exactly is the sequence 1NT - 2 (5+ hearts); 2 - 3 (splinter with 6+ hearts). The fact that 2 can be 6 hearts is no reason not to describe it as 5+! On the other hand, if the initial bid is described as showing 5+ hearts but a subsequent bid changes the meaning to 5+ spades, well now you have a problem as the original description was simply incorrect.
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#54 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2012-January-27, 09:00

View Postmycroft, on 2012-January-26, 15:52, said:

Tone and abruptness is everything in this one. Another key phrase for certain queries to the TD is "I have no problem with this hand" or "I wish to waive any right to a rectification" - the latter is legal, but should raise the flag nicely - in case the TD decides that you did want a ruling rather than an explanations anyway.

Is this true in ACBL, if there has been an infraction can an opponent of the OS decide to waive the penalty? Where does it say this?
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#55 User is offline   Bbradley62 

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Posted 2012-January-27, 10:04

View Postmycroft, on 2012-January-26, 15:52, said:

Another key phrase for certain queries to the TD is "I have no problem with this hand" or "I wish to waive any right to a rectification" - the latter is legal, but should raise the flag nicely - in case the TD decides that you did want a ruling rather than an explanations anyway.
These two phrases sound like they should be followed by "but I just want to prove I'm right".
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#56 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2012-January-27, 10:13

View Postbarmar, on 2012-January-26, 23:04, said:

Seeing it in writing is different from experiencing it at the table. In conversation, people are likely to react favorably when you say things in the right way. It's the whole reason why euphemisms exist: HOW you say things is sometimes more important than WHAT you mean.

Creating a story to teach our opponents, "I was told once that I should wait until the face-down opening lead before asking my questions if I'm going to pass out the hand. I'd like to know what I should do. I'm going to call the TD and find out, she's not busy at the moment." may work for rank beginners but for the rest of us there should be no problem when I say, in a normal voice. "I have a problem with this hand and I'm going to call the director"
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#57 User is offline   wyman 

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Posted 2012-January-27, 10:25

My approach, which is incredibly difficult for me, and which I admittedly don't follow all the time, is to just try not to call the director at club games unless something egregious happens (or something totally innocent like a revoke or an exposed card or lead/call out of turn, where it's clear something has happened, and you need someone authoritative to explain things to opps -- I don't like making my own "rulings" at the table, nor explaining laws).

I've had a director just basically yell at my opponent before (who admittedly should know better, but...), which should never happen, no matter how much of a jerk the opponent is. And I've had horrendous rulings of all kinds: club directors (ACBL) sometimes (read: often) don't know the laws. It's hard to fault them for this, since the players don't either, so no one ever calls them. But they often just don't know the laws. So, don't call them on matters of law.

Basically my new attitude is: club games and results don't matter. I play them for practice or just for fun, and calling the director will undoubtedly make the situation (and my rapport with the opps) more uncomfortable, leaving aside the fact that like > 50% of the time -- even if the director agrees with you -- you won't get a ruling, since the director often has a financial interest in the club, which is sustained by the 5-game-a-week LOLs. Guess who's not getting a PP for saying, mid-auction, "why don't you ever trust my bids?"

Yes, you can handle these things gently; ordinarily I do so pleading ignorance of the laws ("I always forget what the laws say about this, so I'm going to just call the director to ask -- no problem"). However, this is disingenuous, and it ends up being on you to tell the director what the law is anyway so (s)he can look it up, so it's hard to pull this off except in the most basic of cases.

I would get an ulcer if I called the director as often as the laws suggest I should. The takeaway? Play top-flight regional games where the BCDs have been quarantined in some other section so that they can fight each other for a few red or gold points. The game up top is far tougher, but you learn more, and it probably improves your life expectancy unless you have like an amazingly balanced chi when dealing with morons.

Edit: Per aguahombre's comment below, which is fair, I realize that the implication, which was unintended, was that BCD and/or club players are morons. I conflate my impatience in these situations with my impatience when dealing with morons (by which I don't even mean the uneducated -- I mean those who are unwilling to see more than one side of an issue, for example). In this situation, the issue is often a lack of education -- not just about the laws and the game, but about the purpose of director calls and the intent of the laws. My issue is never with players who don't know the laws. It's with ones who are rude, ones who are abusive and intimidatory, and ones who violate the laws with disregard for fairness and for others' enjoyment of the game. And it's with the directors who -- rationally or not, depending on their financial stake -- refuse to learn the laws and/or adjudicate. Thank you for calling me out; upon a reread, that statement read far differently than it was intended.
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#58 User is online   aguahombre 

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Posted 2012-January-27, 10:38

post deleted by me, because of first-class edit by Wyman
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#59 User is offline   wyman 

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Posted 2012-January-27, 11:15

View Postaguahombre, on 2012-January-27, 10:38, said:

I was really getting super enthused. This paragraph reflected perfectly my opinion about director calls at Club games, BCD restricted events, and playing up. Then, the bubble burst with one word.


modified -- please see above. And thanks.
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#60 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2012-January-27, 11:18

View Postjillybean, on 2012-January-27, 09:00, said:

Is this true in ACBL, if there has been an infraction can an opponent of the OS decide to waive the penalty? Where does it say this?

It's true everywhere. Either non-offending player can ask the TD to waive rectification. Only the TD can decide to do it.

Quote

Law 81C5: The director (not the players) has the responsibility for rectifying irregularities and redressing damage. The director’s duties and powers normally include also the following:
[snip]
5. to waive rectification for cause, in his discretion, upon the request of the non-offending side.

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