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Some ethics to consider?

#1 User is offline   661_Pete 

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Posted 2017-May-13, 02:35

I'm sure these sort of situations have cropped up for lots of you, when playing live. This was during our local regular Pairs tourney (MPs) - which is played reasonably 'by the book' but not too formal!

Incidentally, this isn't really about Law as such - but move it if appropriate.

My LHO was in 4 and led Q from hand - wrongly, since lead was in dummy. This was pointed out before my partner had played, and she apologised and led a low from dummy instead. It looked as if she'd been planning to run it: anyway I had my K ready and I played it on the low card. Now declarer says "I've got to play the Q, I've already exposed it". I remonstrated: "no, no, play your natural card I don't want to penalise you". But she insisted, dropping her Q under my K.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the 'penalty card' rule doesn't apply to declarer, surely?

The consequence, as you'll probably have guessed, is that west went one down, whilst every other E-W pair made game or at least a part score. A complete bottom for her and a top for us, which I think we didn't really deserve.

The other incident, in the same session - different oppos - was that I revoked. I like to think that's a rare thing with me, I'm usually pretty careful! But I was victim of the 'sticky cards' syndrome (some other player had probably been eating chocolate biscuits)! Anyway declarer was drawing trumps from dummy, I discarded when my last trump was actually stuck behind another card. Luckily declarer, thinking he had a bad split, spent some time pondering what to play from hand and this gave me time to notice my revoke and quickly snatch up my discard and play the trump instead. I then realised I should have left my discard on the table as a penalty card, but declarer said "no, no, pick it up!" Very generous of him.

I redeemed my conscience by discarding that same card on the next trick, anyway - so it didn't affect the outcome.
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#2 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2017-May-13, 03:03

Why don't you just call the director, as you are required to do, rather than making your own rulings?
Gordon Rainsford
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#3 User is offline   661_Pete 

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Posted 2017-May-13, 10:58

As I explained, it's a fairly informal club (U3A). We have one organiser, who also functions as ad hoc Director if need be, but he has several other tables to look after, including beginners, and is hard-pressed. If it had been a serious competition, then yes of course I'd have done so.
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#4 User is offline   PrecisionL 

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Posted 2017-May-13, 12:40

You are correct, declarer does NOT have penalty cards, she does NOT have to play the Q.

Furthermore, either defender (without consultation) may accept the lead out of turn. Pointing out that declarer led from the wrong hand is NOT a command to lead from the right hand.

Larry an ACBL Club Director
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#5 User is offline   ahydra 

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Posted 2017-May-13, 13:04

View PostPrecisionL, on 2017-May-13, 12:40, said:

Furthermore, either defender (without consultation) may accept the lead out of turn. Pointing out that declarer led from the wrong hand is NOT a command to lead from the right hand.


Correct, though I'd say that if a defender points out declarer has led from the wrong hand, they are rejecting the lead out of turn and declarer must lead from the correct hand (laws 55A, 55B2).

ahydra
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#6 User is offline   ggwhiz 

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Posted 2017-May-13, 15:38

I agree with all of the above and the Director would have told your first declarer that penalty cards do not apply but it's awfully tempting to not disturb the ambiance and let it be.
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#7 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2017-May-13, 16:36

View Postahydra, on 2017-May-13, 13:04, said:

Correct, though I'd say that if a defender points out declarer has led from the wrong hand, they are rejecting the lead out of turn and declarer must lead from the correct hand (laws 55A, 55B2).

ahydra


My reading is the same as PrecisionL's. Pointing it out does not commit the defending side to reject the lead out of turn.
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#8 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2017-May-13, 17:37

View Postsfi, on 2017-May-13, 16:36, said:

My reading is the same as PrecisionL's. Pointing it out does not commit the defending side to reject the lead out of turn.

Also, declarer didn't even have to lead a club.
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#9 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-May-13, 21:42

View Postahydra, on 2017-May-13, 13:04, said:

Correct, though I'd say that if a defender points out declarer has led from the wrong hand, they are rejecting the lead out of turn and declarer must lead from the correct hand (laws 55A, 55B2).

ahydra

But if one of them rejects it and the other accepts it, 55A says how to resolve it -- the player to the left of the seat where it was incorrectly led from takes priority. So you're supposed to allow each opponent an opportunity to express their opinion.

In practice (at least in my experience), this almost never happens. It usually goes like in your case -- someone calls attention to the incorrect lead, and it's treated as a rejection, and the other defender doesn't contradict him, so declarer leads from the correct hand. But most players also know about the "no penalty card for declarer" rule, so they at least get that part right.

#10 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-May-14, 06:08

View Post661_Pete, on 2017-May-13, 02:35, said:

Very generous of him.

I redeemed my conscience by discarding that same card on the next trick, anyway - so it didn't affect the outcome.



View Post661_Pete, on 2017-May-13, 10:58, said:

As I explained, it's a fairly informal club (U3A). We have one organiser, who also functions as ad hoc Director if need be, but he has several other tables to look after, including beginners, and is hard-pressed. If it had been a serious competition, then yes of course I'd have done so.


I have honestly never understood why people like or even play in game where adherence to the rules is "casual".

View PostPrecisionL, on 2017-May-13, 12:40, said:

You are correct, declarer does NOT have penalty cards, she does NOT have to play the Q.

Furthermore, either defender (without consultation) may accept the lead out of turn. Pointing out that declarer led from the wrong hand is NOT a command to lead from the right hand.

Larry an ACBL Club Director


In practice the comment usually constitutes a request to play from the correct hand, unless the partner of the commentator says very quickly that they accept it.

When a declarer plays from the wrong hand and I don't mind I usually give it some time in case my partner wants to accept or reject the lead.

Stefanie a county director
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#11 User is offline   661_Pete 

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Posted 2017-May-14, 07:28

View PostVampyr, on 2017-May-14, 06:08, said:

I have honestly never understood why people like or even play in game where adherence to the rules is "casual".
I have the greatest respect for your viewpoint, but understand that the 'casualness' of our local U3A is what I like about it. We have two systems running, one is completely informal Chicago scoring where players are encouraged to seek help from the group leader, and explain bids to their partners, etc. etc. Serious bridge players may scoff but this helps tremendously with the social ambience - and helps the beginners to find their footing! It's not about winning but about passing a pleasant morning amongst friends. There is also a tuition group but I skipped that (thought I knew it already :unsure: !!).

The second level is a bit more serious: the fortnightly tourneys, pairs matches on seven tables with MP scoring. I try to get into one of those when I can (they have to be booked in advance and there's a waiting list), because sometimes I feel a 'competitive' streak in my bones, and the more formal atmosphere sometimes appeals to me. At these tables things are slightly stricter: there's a Director; you're not supposed to ask for help, not supposed to ask for or offer explanation to partner, and when an irregularity occurs we're supposed to adhere to the laws.

But loosely!

Seeing as everyone in the group finds these 'House Rules' pitched at exactly the right level, it all goes fine! And it's not really about winning, not for us!

The U3A does organise more serious contests at county level, and for these I understand the rules are applied much more strictly - probably more in the way you're familiar with. I've seen them at play but never tried to get into one of those events. I'm probably not good enough.....
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#12 User is offline   msjennifer 

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Posted 2017-May-14, 08:38

View Post661_Pete, on 2017-May-13, 02:35, said:

I'm sure these sort of situations have cropped up for lots of you, when playing live. This was during our local regular Pairs tourney (MPs) - which is played reasonably 'by the book' but not too formal!

Incidentally, this isn't really about Law as such - but move it if appropriate.

My LHO was in 4 and led Q from hand - wrongly, since lead was in dummy. This was pointed out before my partner had played, and she apologised and led a low from dummy instead. It looked as if she'd been planning to run it: anyway I had my K ready and I played it on the low card. Now declarer says "I've got to play the Q, I've already exposed it". I remonstrated: "no, no, play your natural card I don't want to penalise you". But she insisted, dropping her Q under my K.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the 'penalty card' rule doesn't apply to declarer, surely?

The consequence, as you'll probably have guessed, is that west went one down, whilst every other E-W pair made game or at least a part score. A complete bottom for her and a top for us, which I think we didn't really deserve.

The other incident, in the same session - different oppos - was that I revoked. I like to think that's a rare thing with me, I'm usually pretty careful! But I was victim of the 'sticky cards' syndrome (some other player had probably been eating chocolate biscuits)! Anyway declarer was drawing trumps from dummy, I discarded when my last trump was actually stuck behind another card. Luckily declarer, thinking he had a bad split, spent some time pondering what to play from hand and this gave me time to notice my revoke and quickly snatch up my discard and play the trump instead. I then realised I should have left my discard on the table as a penalty card, but declarer said "no, no, pick it up!" Very generous of him.

I redeemed my conscience by discarding that same card on the next trick, anyway - so it didn't affect the outcome.
I congratulate both the declarers and the defenders too for the social ambience .After all bridge hands are not death and life.The more we show such lenience the more popular one becomes in the circle.There is a saying that only fools fight in the law courts.The wise settle the matters amicably.
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#13 User is offline   RD350LC 

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Posted 2017-May-14, 08:52

View Postmsjennifer, on 2017-May-14, 08:38, said:

I congratulate both the declarers and the defenders too for the social ambience .After all bridge hands are not death and life.The more we show such lenience the more popular one becomes in the circle.There is a saying that only fools fight in the law courts.The wise settle the matters amicably.

I have played at a very nice bridge club in southern Ontario, where all the players are very friendly. However, there is no issue with making a director call, and players are not afraid to do so. It is not accusatory, but just a matter of making sure that the rules are followed.
In the case mentioned above, the other statements made are correct according to the laws.
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#14 User is online   blackshoe 

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Posted 2017-May-14, 22:18

People sure do have some strange ideas about how to play this game. :blink:
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#15 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2017-May-15, 06:50

View PostVampyr, on 2017-May-14, 06:08, said:

I have honestly never understood why people like or even play in game where adherence to the rules is "casual".

View Postblackshoe, on 2017-May-14, 22:18, said:

People sure do have some strange ideas about how to play this game. :blink:

The reality is that a great many people prefer a casual atmosphere at clubs, including a relaxed attitude toward penalties for infractions, and rectifications. They are at bridge club for a pleasant social experience and to play an entertaining game, not to engage in a fierce competition. Tournaments and leagues exist for serious play, people know this, and they choose to enter or not.

Perhaps a practical approach for clubs would be to establish one or two games a week as "serious" games with all rules enforced, thus catering to those who want such events. Then see what the relative attendance is, and let supply and demand do its work.





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#16 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-May-15, 09:19

View PostRD350LC, on 2017-May-14, 08:52, said:

I have played at a very nice bridge club in southern Ontario, where all the players are very friendly. However, there is no issue with making a director call, and players are not afraid to do so. It is not accusatory, but just a matter of making sure that the rules are followed.
In the case mentioned above, the other statements made are correct according to the laws.


Yes, I don't see how a club is less "friendly" when the game is played according to the rules. That's what they are there for. Everyone knows what to expect, and you don't look like an asshole when something happens that cannot be sorted without the director, and you have to call her.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#17 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2017-May-15, 09:41

View PostVampyr, on 2017-May-15, 09:19, said:

Everyone knows what to expect, and you don't look like an asshole when something happens...

So, there is someplace in the World where I wouldn't look like that?
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#18 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-May-15, 10:20

I wonder if there are families playing Monopoly where they waive the rent on houses and hotels to be friendly. Or chess games where taking enemy pieces is banned. To me, playing by the rules in bridge is no less friendly than sticking to the rules in any other game. Indeed, to me it is not playing by the rules that is the unfriendly action. I guess Stefanie, Ed and I are in the minority though. :unsure: :(
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#19 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2017-May-15, 11:34

View PostZelandakh, on 2017-May-15, 10:20, said:

I wonder if there are families playing Monopoly where they waive the rent on houses and hotels to be friendly. Or chess games where taking enemy pieces is banned. To me, playing by the rules in bridge is no less friendly than sticking to the rules in any other game. Indeed, to me it is not playing by the rules that is the unfriendly action. I guess Stefanie, Ed and I are in the minority though. :unsure: :(

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#20 User is offline   miamijd 

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Posted 2017-May-15, 13:43

View PostZelandakh, on 2017-May-15, 10:20, said:

I wonder if there are families playing Monopoly where they waive the rent on houses and hotels to be friendly. Or chess games where taking enemy pieces is banned. To me, playing by the rules in bridge is no less friendly than sticking to the rules in any other game. Indeed, to me it is not playing by the rules that is the unfriendly action. I guess Stefanie, Ed and I are in the minority though. :unsure: :(


I don't think the posters that said the club was "friendly" meant that not sticking to the rules is what makes a friendly game. At least I hope not. When there is any sort of irregularity, players should always summon the director in a cheerful manner, without any ill will toward the alleged offender.

In this case, I think the posters praising the club meant that the way the OP described the players there, they sounded like folks who were always very pleasant and tried to bend over backward to be nice. I'll take that any day over playing vs Negative Nigel and Crabby Cathy.

Cheers,
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