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New 2017 claims law

#21 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2017-April-11, 09:44

Judging from BBF and BridgeWinners, one of the problems with the old law was missing or inadequate claim statements. Top players assumed quite elaborate plays are obvious. Commentators vilified those who disputed such "claims" as unethical lawyers. Difficulties with language and expression exacerbated such problems.

"Playing it out" isn't a perfect solution. (e.g. Declarer might wake up to a problem). It's just better than anything else. It encourages claims even by those who have difficulty expressing themselves. It skirts language-problems. it's simple, fair (same for everybody). It provides a table-result rather than relying on director judgement. It makes claim-law shorter and simpler.
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#22 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2017-April-11, 13:54

I would say that missing or inadequate claim statements is not "one of the problems" with claims, it's the problem. I don't think the problem will go away with the new laws, and I'm not at all sure that asking claimer to play it out is as wonderful as you seem to think. if it were, why would TPTB have included the option to refuse the request?
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#23 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2017-April-11, 16:02

I promise you, even when my claim is "pull the last trump, A, K-pitch-a-spade, board is good", I'm asked to "play it out". Sure I sometimes just face my hand without comment; if it turns out to be a bad idea, well, then I made my bed, didn't I?

But even the full claims, all the time, doesn't stop the "I shouldn't have to deal with claims" mentality (that frequently, but not always, goes along with "I claimed and got ruled against once, so I'm never doing it again" and the "I'm not claiming, I'm just playing misere and waiting for you to concede" (because they claimed once and got ruled against, and this is how to shift the risk to the non-claimers. I gotta tell you, I play those out with 200% of my normal concentration, and it takes for*ever*. Pisses 'em off somewhat fierce. "But I'm...(and everybody recites it with me)")).
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#24 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2017-April-11, 17:23

Sure, people who, whatever their reason, don't want to accept a claim are another problem. But some of them are the ones who got burned because they failed to make a proper line of play statement, and some of them just can't be bothered to pay attention to your line of play statement, and some of them feel like they got burned, rightly or wrongly, because their opponent didn't make a proper claim statement, and they didn't realize there was a problem. Some of them, it's true, are just obstinate. "I never claim, and I never accept a claim." "Why not?" "Because I don't want to." :blink:
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#25 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2017-April-11, 19:07

View Postblackshoe, on 2017-April-11, 13:54, said:

I would say that missing or inadequate claim statements is not "one of the problems" with claims, it's the problem.

I wrote that It's one of the problems with old claim law.

View Postblackshoe, on 2017-April-11, 13:54, said:

I don't think the problem will go away with the new laws, and I'm not at all sure that asking claimer to play it out is as wonderful as you seem to think. if it were, why would TPTB haveincluded the option to refuse the request?

As I wrote before, a problem with the new law is the option to refuse to play on.
It seems that many writing here would take that option.

View Postblackshoe, on 2017-April-11, 17:23, said:

Sure, people who, whatever their reason, don't want to accept a claim are another problem. But some of them are the ones who got burned because they failed to make a proper line of play statement, and some of them just can't be bothered to pay attention to your line of play statement, and some of them feel like they got burned, rightly or wrongly, because their opponent didn't make a proper claim statement, and they didn't realize there was a problem. Some of them, it's true, are just obstinate. "I never claim, and I never accept a claim." "Why not?" "Because I don't want to." :blink:


My suggestion would overcome that problem.
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#26 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2017-April-11, 20:28

There's nothing wrong with the old (current) claim law. At least, not that part of it. And as I said, I'm not so sure your solution would solve the problem.
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#27 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2017-April-11, 21:20

View Postblackshoe, on 2017-April-11, 20:28, said:

There's nothing wrong with the old (current) claim law. At least, not that part of it. And as I said, I'm not so sure your solution would solve the problem.

With my suggested law-change, defenders must either
  • Play on or
  • Acquiesce to declarer's claim

Blackshoe shares his opinion with most directors and rule-makers :)

Perhaps, my problem is that I disagree with the aims of Bridge law-makers (to devolve responsibility to directors and local rule-makers).

Prospects of radical change diminish, year on year. For half a century, a few of us have ploughed a lonely furrow. I admit defeat when persuaded by argument. But here I feel I'm right. And I enjoy discussion :)
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#28 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2017-April-12, 02:30

View Postnige1, on 2017-April-11, 21:20, said:

With my suggested law-change, defenders must either
  • Play on or
  • Acquiesce to declarer's claim

I think such a law is just too generous to stronger players and puts the weaker players at a disadvantage. It also encourages people to claim when they don't have a valid claim because there is no downside.

My advice to my club members next September will be to accept a claim or call the Director if you don't think that it is right - there is no upside to playing to out for the non-claimants. I expect this law change will have zero effect on play at the club.
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#29 User is offline   WellSpyder 

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Posted 2017-April-12, 04:11

View Postpaulg, on 2017-April-12, 02:30, said:

I expect this law change will have zero effect on play at the club.

I don't. There are defenders now who ask me to play it out when I claim, not because they doubt the claim at all, just because they can't actually see it. At the moment I have to say that I'm not really allowed to do that. In future I will have no problems in playing a few more cards until they have worked out what I am doing. I agree there is no upside to the non-claiming side in playing on in terms of the number of tricks they are likely to take (and I expect the law change to have zero effect on play above the club level), but there is still an upside in terms of them feeling more comfortable with the outcome.
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#30 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-April-12, 06:36

View Postpaulg, on 2017-April-12, 02:30, said:

I think such a law is just too generous to stronger players and puts the weaker players at a disadvantage. It also encourages people to claim when they don't have a valid claim because there is no downside.


Of course there is a downside -- the opponents can contest the claim instead of asking to play it out. I think that your advice is correct, and that probably the best response to this law change is to keep knowledge of it contained insofar as this is possible.
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#31 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2017-April-12, 09:54

Yes, I will admit that "as a restatement of my claim", I will occasionally move a couple of cards around in dummy (trump, push over a spade, A push over the heart, K push over a spade, x showing that the board is up). That's not "playing it out", it's graphically demonstrating what I said in case they only can see it in pictures (the "oh, I don't get my spade?" problem).

But I don't like Nigel's idea, because it removes my ability to avoid misplays by claiming (the Hallborg gambit); it removes the opponents' current advantage, replacing it with "why aren't they accepting? Better figure out how to play against the 5-0 break/check for lurkers/..."; and because the people that currently pull this ("I'm not claiming, I'll just play with my hand face up until you concede") - well, as I said before, that slows my game down as I work twice as hard to look for cards in my partner's hand to break the contract. Which seems to counteract the purpose of claiming (of course, the reason I do that is because they're pushing the risks of the claim on to me. With the Law written Nigel's way, that issue may be moot).

I guess I'm stuck with "I'm sorry, I make mistakes when I play it out, so I choose not to. Director, please." I guess I don't mind looking like an idiot, especially if that is my publicly stated reason for claiming in the first place.

Vampyr, the rule Paul is referring to is Nigel's rule - which has no way to contest the claim - not the new 2017 rule. "Accede, or play it out" are the only two options. There is a serious downside to that one, as stated above and in Paul's statement.
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#32 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-April-12, 13:52

View Postmycroft, on 2017-April-12, 09:54, said:

Yes, I will admit that "as a restatement of my claim", I will occasionally move a couple of cards around in dummy (trump, push over a spade, A push over the heart, K push over a spade, x showing that the board is up). That's not "playing it out", it's graphically demonstrating what I said in case they only can see it in pictures (the "oh, I don't get my spade?" problem).


I am willing to do this to a small extent, but I usually don't have to because I tend to claim later than I would prefer. Sometimes I arrange it so that one hand is high. Also it can make it clearer to defenders if you just count out the tricks you have -- one spade, two hearts and the AK of diamonds. Then they won't think that they have a trick that they don't have.

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Vampyr, the rule Paul is referring to is Nigel's rule - which has no way to contest the claim - not the new 2017 rule. "Accede, or play it out" are the only two options. There is a serious downside to that one, as stated above and in Paul's statement.


Oh, I see. What a terrible rule. But I do still think that the fewer people who know that it is legal to play it out, the better.

Some people have indicated that they get more requests to play it out than I do (which is maybe once a year.). Probably people know better than to try that sh it against me.
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