Currently all Systems adopted by teams in the world are regulated and classified according to the contents of the "WBF Systems Policy" document.
When in the document the Ruler, in order to discriminate the Systems, goes to define the "average hand", he adopts a measuring unit other than the contractual tricks (CT) always used by the Game in all the operative technical phases where we call, play or judge.
He defines it: "a hand containing 10 high card points (Milton Work) with no distributional values".
Later in the document he asserts: "Bridge must be played in accordance with a set of Laws established by the World Bridge Federation. The following Laws are currently available: International Code Laws of Duplicate Bridge - 2007 edition".
But in those referred Laws never a hand evaluation phase is taken into account since it's a mental and personal not operative phase! Never they refer to "high card points"! Not even it is mentioned a measuring unit other than the contractual tricks (CT)! Practically the referred Laws ignore and therefore leave free the personal evaluation phase, correctly considering it an absolute personal action, and dictate no limits about how to do it or about how and if to open a hand. The referred Laws leave only the faculty to the Regulation Authority to discriminate among the "special understanding", that is among conventions between partners.
We cannot think that such a choice ought to provoke a regulatory void, because "quisque suae fortunae faber est".
Wanting to realize that faculty, the WBF Systems Policy Ruler rightly intervenes in order to fix criterions about that. But unfortunately he widens the intervention field without a direct mandate and wishes to establish rules about when and how to open a hand. That by itself could be acceptable if correctly done, although it would confine the free will and the honest choice. To such a purpose he introduces the definition of "average hand". It seems a normal thing, but instead it upsets all the preexisting technical and liberal scenery framed by the 2007 Laws that the Ruler tells to respect. Let's see why.
First of all the given definition brings doubts on the same meaning of "average hand". What does it mean average hand? Perhaps, not as formulated, the Ruler wanted to define a hand of average strength (such as thereafter referred to).
This last sentence too can be better explicited by saying: "a hand of average contractual strength". What else?
Owing to that we must talk and define the contractual strength of a hand. Incontrovertibly that can be defined as "its power to win a certain share of 13 tricks"! What else?
Under this profile, now it's easy to define what must be said: "the average contractual strength". It suffices to divide 13 tricks by 4 and have 3.25 tricks for it. What else?
Only "a hand capable to win 3.25 tricks" can be said "a hand with average contractual strength". What else can be added?
Now there is no more room neither for the MW/HCP points, born only to try to understand roughly the hand contractual strength, nor for whichever other shoddy measure stick!
Such a new definition could allow the Ruler to stay in the technical framework of the Game configured by the 2007 Laws. It would delete also the need to configure virtuous prototypes of average hand with balanced distribution such as not to provoke extra values. Further there it would be no more need to talk about distributions because 3.25 tricks are always 3.25 tricks in any manner a hand could be configured!
That is the democratic lesson that the Game gives us!
Perhaps the Ruler wanted not to cause the average hand evaluation a hard task, but the possible difficulty to evaluate a hand according to the feasible contractual tricks could not have affected the Ruler who wanted to stay fair and rooted into the technical Game framework framed by the 2007-Laws.
Having instead done so, he exposed himself to the following objections:
- The MW/HCP measuring unit pushes one away from the technical content of the Game always based only on the contractual tricks (CT) in all its operative phases.
- It does not exist just only one Bridge hand without distributional values! Even the most uniform kind of distribution, 4-3-3-3, which totally involves only a 10% of all the possible Bridge hands, has a distributional value of more than half a trick, due to its fourth suit and to the other 3 groups of 3 cards.
- Wanting at any cost to introduce that distributional criterion that already reduces the average hands model to a 10% of the total hands, the successive obligation of selecting there only the "10 MW hands" minimize it to a minimum, shearing off the same meaning of "average hand".
- There is a self-evident difference of precision and of compatibility between the two measuring units MW/HCP and CT, garishly and mathematically irrefutable comparing not only the most extreme hands:
B) ♠ AKQJ1098765432 ♥ - ♦ - ♣ - worth 10 MW or 13 CT, but even comparing the two virtuous idealized "average hands":
C) ♠ AKQJ ♥ 1098 ♦ 1098 ♣ 1098 worth 10 MW or 4,45 CT
D) ♠ A43 ♥ K32 ♦ Q74 ♣ J652 worth 10 MW or 2,95 CT, as any sectorial software can impartially demonstrate.
The A and B hands are reconcilable only using the CT units, whereas the C and D hands, though having the same MW/HCP score, and the same virtuous uniform distribution do not have the same CT score!
More generally never there is a way to realign satisfactorily an artificial measuring unit such as MW/HCP to the unique natural CT measuring unit implicitly demanded and defined by the Game itself besides the Mathematics!
Let's have the curiosity to see which and how many hands would fall in the category of hands with average contractual strength:
E) ♠ J10987 ♥ A2 ♦ 654 ♣ 432 worth 3.25 prese (5-2-3-3 distribution)
F) ♠ 765432 ♥ Q32 ♦ 743 ♣ J worth 3.25 prese (6-3-3-1 distribution)
G) ♠ AK10 ♥ 8732 ♦ 6543 ♣ 97 worth 3.25 prese (3-4-4-2 distribution)
H) ♠ Q1043 ♥ Q1054 ♦ A4 ♣ J52 worth 3.25 prese (4-4-2-3 distribution)
I) ♠ 765432 ♥ 7654 ♦ J10 ♣ 2 worth 3.25 prese (6-4-2-1 distribution)
J) ♠ 76543 ♥ 76543 ♦ - ♣ J102 worth 3.25 prese (5-5-0-3 distribution)
K) ♠ A43 ♥ Q1032 ♦ Q43 ♣ QJ3 worth 3.25 prese (3-4-3-3 distribution)
L) ♠ AK32 ♥ Q105 ♦ 876 ♣ J94 worth 3.25 prese (4-3-3-3 distribution)…..
As one can see, many hands of many types of distribution automatically can intervene together with the most "balanced" ones! Only the most extreme types of distribution cannot intervene! The same measuring unit "CT" has selected automatically the useful kinds of distribution! It's an ample spectrum of hands and of distributions as it's convenient to be for an "average hand" of more than 635 billions of possible hands!
Now it's very easy to define a "weak hand" as "hand having less than 3.25 CT" and a "strong hand" as "hand having more than 3.25 CT". Certainly a hundredth more or less is not easily perceptible, therefore it could be fixed a value of 0.25 CT more or less than 3.25 to avoid errors. In that way are "strong" hands such as:
M) ♠ K65432 ♥ Q32 ♦ 743 ♣ 852 worth 3.95 CT
N) ♠ AK9 ♥ 5432 ♦ 6543 ♣ K3 worth 3.50 CT
O) ♠ Q1043 ♥ Q1054 ♦ A4 ♣ K52 worth 3.75 CT
P) ♠ 765432 ♥ K654 ♦ 754 ♣ - worth 3.95 CT
Q) ♠ 76543 ♥ 76543 ♦ - ♣ K102 worth 3.80 CT
R) ♠ J10987 ♥ A2 ♦ K54 ♣ 432 worth 3.85 CT
All the above hands, except N, are worth more than:
♠ A32 ♥ K732 ♦ Q43 ♣ KJ7 = 3.70 CT
surely to be opened by every traditional System.
There is no more need now to use the value of a K to distinguish among the hands, also because its value mathematically varies depending on the cards number of the same suit together with it!
As we can see the WBF Ruler has introduced a selection criterion of the opening contractual strength, implicitly not required by the 2007 Laws to be respected, totally incompatible with Mathematics and with the technical and fundamental rules of the Game!
Wanting to maintain at any rate a threshold for a hand to be opened, as the Ruler does, that may be that which theoretically permits to reach at least 7 contractual tricks (CT) for the partnership line, that means at least 3.5 CT for the declarer. Would fall in the category hands like:
S) ♠ K102 ♥ K432 ♦ K43 ♣ K103 worth 3.5 CT
T) ♠ 765432 ♥ 7654 ♦ Q92 ♣ - worth 3.5 CT
U) ♠ KJ2 ♥ KJ2 ♦ KJ3 ♣ 10732 worth 3.5 CT
W)♠ AQ2 ♥ K32 ♦ K83 ♣ 7432 worth 3.5 CT
X) ♠ 76543 ♥ 65432 ♦ K3 ♣ 2 worth 3.5 CT ….
As one can see the right natural measuring unit "CT" triggers also here a "super partes" filter, completely democratic and devoid of any arbitrary deviation far off the Game. In the category of the hands to be opened now come in all types of distribution and with every possible MW score! They have only to be worth 3.5 CT! Nothing else! This is Democracy! Some kinds of distribution starting from the 6-5-1-1 have an intrinsic contractual strength such that the hand can be opened even with null MW score! The more unbalanced the distribution the contractually stronger the hand! Having ♠ 1098765432 ♥ 5432 ♦ - ♣ - one would have a contractual strength worth 8 CT! Two tricks above half a slam. But why on earth one cannot open it at level 1? Or at any level he prefers to tell it? It would suffice an honest explanation. It wouldn't be no need to talk of anything else for regulating other than the contractual strength expressed in contractual tricks like the Game itself dictates for the development of all its objective technical phases, and it wouldn't be no more need to talk about distributions, or Kings, or virtuous models to open a hand.
How all that applies to the Systems classification?
At that purpose, we must cite a Rule given in "WBF Systems Policy" for distinguish HUM Systems: "By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level may be made with values a king or more below average strength".
Now the sentence must be rightly replaced: "By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level may be made with values below 3.25 CT".
And truly that would be a weak hand!
Would remain the question: "if not at the one level, at which level?". The weaker a hand the lower ought to be the level for its opening bid, and vice versa! One could even open at 1 level having near a null hand but that would automatically reduce his bidding space for all the other hands compromising definitively the dialectic space and the value of his used System. As we see the need to have bidding space automatically cut off all the weak hands from opening. But if one would wish to try …let's him do!
At any rate, the WBF classification made by the Ruler distinguishes so the Systems:
- GREEN (Natural)
- YELLOW (HUM)
According to such a definition any System containing even one convention cannot be said "Natural" or "Green", otherwise a limit per System to their number ought to be fixed. But which limit? At such purpose it could help what the Law 40B 2007 tells:
B. Special Partnership Understandings
1. (a) In its discretion the Regulating Authority may designate certain partnership understandings as "special partnership understandings". A special partnership understanding is one whose meaning, in the opinion of the Regulating Authority, may not be readily understood and anticipated by a significant number of players in the tournament.
(b) Whether explicit or implicit an agreement between partners is a partnership understanding. A convention is included, unless the Regulating Authority decides otherwise, among the agreements and treatments that constitute special partnership understandings as is the case with any call that has an artificial meaning".
A convention or "special partnership understanding" is so always a prefixed behavior rule in a prefigured situation, usually, possibly and generally not known. The inner spirit of the Law 40B 2007 is so always that which do not let the hard conventions explanations continually run one after another causing unbearable delays, and so entrusts the "Regulation Authority" for ruling on that. We already saw how the "Regulation Authority" deals with the object, and how unfortunately deviates from the technical environment of the Game adopting she too a convention like the MW/HCP score very far away from a "Natural" measuring unit. Such an adoption brings ill-fated consequences everywhere in the technical framework of the hand evaluation phase and so in the other successive phases, but, for what here we are concerned, also in the current Systems classification.
Useless so, and not so right against the one's free will, it is to distinguish the Systems according to how they treat the contractual strength if the same Authority were to be wrong in that. It needs, as usual, to catch and follow the spirit of the 40B-2007 Law. If the examined System had a myriad of conventions potentially delaying unnecessarily the Game, or had just one of them but very hard to understand or to anticipate, that is just the aspect the Law would want to be regulated. Since nowadays every System has at least a couple of conventions, "Natural", according to the given definition, no System exists, but could be redefined that System which uses a number and a quality of conventions such as to permit always the game conclusion within the fixed time. The more improbability it would be in that, the more "artificial" or "unusual" ought to be labelled the System.
Hoping were not only hopes ….
This post has been edited by diana_eva: 2017-January-09, 17:27
Reason for edit: fixed formatting