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Comparable Chaos Rueful Randomness

#21 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2017-October-23, 09:21

View Postbarmar, on 2017-October-23, 08:55, said:

Obviously you're in the camp that thinks specify = name, not specify = show.

We are talking about synonyms, are we not?

My Webster defines "show" (the verb) mainly as
to bring or put in sight or view; cause or allow to appear or be seen; make visible; exhibit; display etc.

Similarly the verb "specify" is defines as
mention, describe or define in detail etc.

I don't think that "specify" and "show" can be considered synonyms.
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#22 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-October-23, 09:44

View Postpran, on 2017-October-23, 09:21, said:

We are talking about synonyms, are we not?

My Webster defines "show" (the verb) mainly as
to bring or put in sight or view; cause or allow to appear or be seen; make visible; exhibit; display etc.

Similarly the verb "specify" is defines as
mention, describe or define in detail etc.

I don't think that "specify" and "show" can be considered synonyms.

Neither of those definitions clearly corelates with what we mean when we use these terms in regard to an auction. When you "show a suit" in an auction, you're obviously not making it physically visible, the word is used metaphorically to mean that you make it apparent that you have something significant (length, shortness, or control) in a suit.

That's not too far from the "describe or define in detail" definition of "specify".

But I'll just keep going back to the fact that the Laws use the words "name" and "specify" differently. For instance, the definitions of "Artificial Call" and "Contract" refer to the denomination named. And 29C says "the denomination(s) specified, rather than the denomination named." If naming and specifying were the same thing, what could this distinction mean? Was this a mistake, and they meant to say "shown"? The Laws never use the word "show" to refer to the meaning of a call, it's only used with the definition you quoted.

#23 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2017-October-23, 10:24

View Postbarmar, on 2017-October-23, 09:44, said:

Neither of those definitions clearly corelates with what we mean when we use these terms in regard to an auction. When you "show a suit" in an auction, you're obviously not making it physically visible, the word is used metaphorically to mean that you make it apparent that you have something significant (length, shortness, or control) in a suit.

That's not too far from the "describe or define in detail" definition of "specify".

But I'll just keep going back to the fact that the Laws use the words "name" and "specify" differently. For instance, the definitions of "Artificial Call" and "Contract" refer to the denomination named. And 29C says "the denomination(s) specified, rather than the denomination named." If naming and specifying were the same thing, what could this distinction mean? Was this a mistake, and they meant to say "shown"? The Laws never use the word "show" to refer to the meaning of a call, it's only used with the definition you quoted.

I don't think it is right to give a different meaning to a word based on inferences from other laws when the definition of "bid" is so "specific" ... I asked half a dozen social bridge players which denomination is "specified" in "One Club", "Two No trumps" etc, and they all answered "Club" and "No trumps" without asking whether it was a strong club, an unusual 2NT, etc. Any other interpretation is nonsense, and unless there is a minute to the contrary, I and I hope all sensible TDs will rule that in:

"if the insufficient bid is corrected by the lowest sufficient bid which specifies the same denomination(s) as that specified by the withdrawn call, the auction proceeds without further rectification"

means that the player can increase the number of odd tricks to the minimum sufficient level of the denomination he specified. I don't think it is possible to "specify" more than one denomination with bidding cards, although I suppose simultaneously making two insufficient bids of, say, One Spade and One No Trump might qualify and I guess we just apply the law as written in such a case. We still have 27D if we think someone has gained from the insufficient bid(s), so there is no need to distort this Law.

If we follow barmar's interpretation, then, after 3S-(2NT) we have a major problem in deciding which denomination(s) were specified by the 2NT bid. It could have been natural or it might have been unusual showing both minors if an overcall of 1S, or even if an opening bid depending on methods. Arguing that a different denomination is specified by a bid depending on its meaning is wrong. The "comparable call" Law is there when the person does not want to make it sufficient in the same denomination.
'When I write a Law,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'
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#24 User is offline   mink 

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Posted 2017-October-24, 03:28

View Postlamford, on 2017-October-23, 10:24, said:

... If we follow barmar's interpretation, then, after 3S-(2NT) we have a major problem in deciding which denomination(s) were specified by the 2NT bid. It could have been natural or it might have been unusual showing both minors if an overcall of 1S, or even if an opening bid depending on methods.


The only way to solve this problem is to take the offender away from the table and ask what did cause him to bid insufficiently. Then we know which denominations he intended to show. This is also a good opportunity to ask him which replacement calls he is considering, and tell him for each call if this shows the same suit according to Law 27B1a, or is a comparable call (Law 23) or would require his partner to pass (Law 27B2).

I used the word "show" instead of "specify" because I am quite confident that this is what the lawmakers meant. In the definitions of "bid" and "contract" the terms "specified denomination" and "denomination named" are used though they obviously mean the same in both contexts. Apparently the lawmakers did not put enough effort in a consistent terminology.

The German translation of the Laws uses the word "zeigt" in Law 27B1a. This translates to "shows". "specifies" would have been "spezifiziert". The translation had been carefully reviewed by the two German TDs who attended a meeting in Prague early this year where the new Laws were introduced at international level.
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#25 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2017-October-24, 04:00

View Postmink, on 2017-October-24, 03:28, said:

The German translation of the Laws uses the word "zeigt" in Law 27B1a. This translates to "shows". "specifies" would have been "spezifiziert". The translation had been carefully reviewed by the two German TDs who attended a meeting in Prague early this year where the new Laws were introduced at international level.

In the definitions in the German translation, how does it define "bid" and does the German edition use "spezifiziert" in other places? The English definition is:
"Bid: an undertaking to win at least a specified number of odd tricks (tricks in excess of six) in a specified denomination."

And specifically, which words does it use for "specified" and "named" in 29C?:

"If a call out of rotation is artificial, the provisions of Laws 30, 31 and 32 apply to the denomination(s) specified, rather than the denomination named."
'When I write a Law,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'
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#26 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-October-24, 09:00

View Postlamford, on 2017-October-23, 10:24, said:

"if the insufficient bid is corrected by the lowest sufficient bid which specifies the same denomination(s) as that specified by the withdrawn call, the auction proceeds without further rectification"

means that the player can increase the number of odd tricks to the minimum sufficient level of the denomination he specified. I don't think it is possible to "specify" more than one denomination with bidding cards, although I suppose simultaneously making two insufficient bids of, say, One Spade and One No Trump might qualify and I guess we just apply the law as written in such a case. We still have 27D if we think someone has gained from the insufficient bid(s), so there is no need to distort this Law.

There's simply no way you'll convince me that they put in "(s)" just to handle the remote possibility that someone makes multiple insufficient bids simultaneously. The Laws rarely are that careful to handle multiple irregularities at once, and where they are they're more explicit about it.

So they must mean "show" because while a bid names only one denomination, it can show more than one.

It seems to me that you've made up your mind that it should mean "names", and you're then looking for ways to justify this interpretation, no matter how much you have to twist the logic.

#27 User is offline   VixTD 

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Posted 2017-October-24, 11:23

View Postbarmar, on 2017-October-19, 10:44, said:

If 4NT is natural, the auction is allowed, and MM misbid in answering to Blackwood. Misbids are not an infraction, and getting to a making slam is just incredibly lucky and rub of the green.

This debate seems to have degenerated into a stubborn refusal to admit any flexibility in the intended meaning of "specify", and I don't see any point in pursuing it. Before I leave the topic, this is still niggling me. It's another point where I disagree with Barmar:

If 4NT is natural, you cannot allow Molly to respond as if it was Blackwood. If she does, it is sufficient evidence that they don't play it as natural.
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#28 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2017-October-24, 11:27

View Postbarmar, on 2017-October-24, 09:00, said:

It seems to me that you've made up your mind that it should mean "names", and you're then looking for ways to justify this interpretation, no matter how much you have to twist the logic.

As Pran points out, this law has meant "names" since 1932 and I think you are looking for ways to justify your interpretation. Do you think the WBFLC would not have used "shows" if they meant "shows".
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#29 User is offline   VixTD 

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Posted 2017-October-24, 11:37

View Postlamford, on 2017-October-24, 11:27, said:

Do you think the WBFLC would not have used "shows" if they meant "shows".

No, I don't. You've pointed out numerous instances of sloppy language in the laws, often with justification. Why shouldn't this be another example that we just have to live with?
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#30 User is offline   WellSpyder 

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Posted 2017-October-25, 03:38

View PostVixTD, on 2017-October-24, 11:23, said:

This debate seems to have degenerated into a stubborn refusal to admit any flexibility in the intended meaning of "specify", and I don't see any point in pursuing it.

Sorry, Vix, I'm found myself still pursuing it in another thread. I'm not trying to be stubborn at all in how I interpret "specify". In fact, I'm trying to be completely flexible and willing to adopt whatever interpretation the powers that be want me to. But I guess I am being stubborn in trying to get a clear answer, because when eminent authorities disagree then it is hard for lesser mortals to know how to handle a ruling.
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#31 User is offline   VixTD 

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Posted 2017-October-25, 06:47

View PostWellSpyder, on 2017-October-25, 03:38, said:

Sorry, Vix, I'm found myself still pursuing it in another thread. I'm not trying to be stubborn at all in how I interpret "specify". In fact, I'm trying to be completely flexible and willing to adopt whatever interpretation the powers that be want me to. But I guess I am being stubborn in trying to get a clear answer, because when eminent authorities disagree then it is hard for lesser mortals to know how to handle a ruling.

I wasn't referring to you, Wellspyder. I'm following the other topics with interest, and trying to learn from them, and help out in my small way when I can.

There are places where it makes no sense to interpret the laws literally, and setting your face against the obvious intentions of the lawmakers for the sake of being "right" is counterproductive (except in engendering a feeling of smugness). I appreciate that the intentions of the lawmakers are not equally obvious to all, but we need to distinguish between justify [sense 1] and justify [sense 2] and not try to conflate the two. It would have been helpful if the WBFLC had been more precise in their use of words.
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#32 User is offline   BudH 

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Posted 2017-October-25, 19:49

"if the insufficient bid is corrected by the lowest sufficient bid which specifies the same denomination(s) as that specified by the withdrawn call, the auction proceeds without further rectification...." Laws 26B and 16C do not apply but see D following.

" if the insufficient bid is corrected with a comparable call, the auction proceeds without further rectification...."

I never thought the principles used here were that difficult to understand. Perhaps I'm mistaken!

Assume a different auction (3)-2NT where 2NT is not accepted by LHO. The Director learns the 2NT bid was intended to show both minors over a 1 opening bid. So what is the lowest sufficient bid specifying the same denominations? In this case it is 4NT, assuming it also shows the minors, and assuming 3NT is natural and not showing the minors.

So the Director likely does need to know what the offender's thought process happened to be causing the insufficient bid. Also, this is probably a good reason why the Director should see offender's hand to check this reason is valid (although many think the Director should rarely consult a hand or hand record when at the table).

Therefore, I think "specifies" means "shows".

For the given 4-(Pass)-1NT, for me, the lowest sufficient bid which specifies the same denomination(s) is 6NT (assuming 4NT and 5NT are not natural)
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#33 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2017-October-25, 19:51

Quote

Laws of Duplicate Bridge, Chapter One, Definitions: Bid: An undertaking to win at least a specified number of odd tricks (tricks in excess of six) in a specified denomination.
You open 1NT, undertaking to win at least 7 tricks in notrump. So far so good. LHO passes, and partner bids 2 (transfer to hearts). If 'specified' in this definition means 'shown' instead of named, then partner is undertaking to win at least 8 tricks in hearts. Again, so far so good. But what if second seat bids 2 over your 1NT? You play stolen bid doubles, so partner doubles. He's saying "let's undertake to win at least 8 tricks in hearts". All of a sudden, 'double' is a bid. I don't think so. So 'specified' must mean 'named'.
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#34 User is offline   BudH 

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Posted 2017-October-26, 03:15

View Postblackshoe, on 2017-October-25, 19:51, said:

You open 1NT, undertaking to win at least 7 tricks in notrump. So far so good. LHO passes, and partner bids 2 (transfer to hearts). If 'specified' in this definition means 'shown' instead of named, then partner is undertaking to win at least 8 tricks in hearts. Again, so far so good. But what if second seat bids 2 over your 1NT? You play stolen bid doubles, so partner doubles. He's saying "let's undertake to win at least 8 tricks in hearts". All of a sudden, 'double' is a bid. I don't think so. So 'specified' must mean 'named'.


I’ve mentioned before it should have said “lowest sufficient call” and not “lowest sufficient bid”, where Pass is lowest, Double or Redouble is the next lowest, and the next bid is deemed the third lowest sufficient call.

That would solve a lot of these problems. But that’s not what it says.

In your example, I’d say the cheapest bid satisfying Law 27A is 3H. Fortunately, the stolen bid double is very likely comparable and can be used under that criteria.
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#35 User is offline   BudH 

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Posted 2017-October-26, 03:23

View Postpran, on 2017-October-20, 11:43, said:


In law 27B1(a) the meaning or purpose of an insufficient bid is completely irrelevant for the ruling(s) (until the play is completed and Law 27D should be tried).



Two suited bids such as Michaels showing majors or 2NT minors made insufficiently are extremely relevant.

With your interpretation, why would it give a plural option of “denomination(s)”?
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#36 User is offline   VixTD 

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Posted 2017-October-26, 06:44

View PostBudH, on 2017-October-25, 19:49, said:

"if the insufficient bid is corrected by the lowest sufficient bid which specifies the same denomination(s) as that specified by the withdrawn call, the auction proceeds without further rectification...." Laws 26B and 16C do not apply but see D following.

" if the insufficient bid is corrected with a comparable call, the auction proceeds without further rectification...."

I never thought the principles used here were that difficult to understand. Perhaps I'm mistaken!

I've not found the principles difficult, although I sometimes struggle to decide what possible meanings can be attributed to a withdrawn call, and (lately) under what circumstances the director can award an adjusted score after a sequence featuring a withdrawn call has worked out well for the offenders.

View PostBudH, on 2017-October-25, 19:49, said:

Assume a different auction (3)-2NT where 2NT is not accepted by LHO. The Director learns the 2NT bid was intended to show both minors over a 1 opening bid. So what is the lowest sufficient bid specifying the same denominations? In this case it is 4NT, assuming it also shows the minors, and assuming 3NT is natural and not showing the minors.

How would the director learn that the intention was to show the minors? He's not going to ask. He may of course decide that "showing the minors" is an attributable meaning for 2NT.

View PostBudH, on 2017-October-25, 19:49, said:

So the Director likely does need to know what the offender's thought process happened to be causing the insufficient bid. Also, this is probably a good reason why the Director should see offender's hand to check this reason is valid (although many think the Director should rarely consult a hand or hand record when at the table).

I agree that the director does not need to know offender's thought processes, as the possible meanings of an insufficient bid are those an outsider could attribute to it. The director may need to take the offender away to ask about their methods, as it may not occur to them that the offending partnership play certain conventions (e.g. transfers) in unusual situations.

I don't think it's ever a good idea for a TD to look at offender's hand in a live auction. If offender wants to choose a replacement call that doesn't show the cards they hold, they are free to do so, and the TD should not try to stop them. If the offending side get a good score as a result, the TD may need to have another look and possibly adjust the score, but I'm not the best person to ask about that at the moment.
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#37 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2017-October-26, 07:16

View PostVixTD, on 2017-October-26, 06:44, said:

I agree that the director does not need to know offender's thought processes.

I agree too. The law should just be stated and the player decides if he has a comparable call. If one decides that "specifies" means "shows", however, one does have to find out, in the simple auction 1H-(2D)-1NT which suit is specified by the IB. If the person thought he was opening 1NT then the "showers" will think it is no trump and the "namers" will also think it is no trump. If the person thought he was responding 1NT to 1H, then the "showers" will think it is "no trump" if 1NT was natural but will think "no suit" is specified if it is artificial and forcing and will think it is "spades" if 1H-(Pass)-1NT showed spades. The "namers" will continue to think it is "no trump". If 2NT would now be a heart raise, the "showers" would not allow it without penalty; the "namers" would. Most TDs will be nowhere near knowledgeable enough to rule if they are "showers", but the only problem they will have if they are "namers" will be deciding if the IB gained. They will both have the same problem with evaluating comparable calls. It seems that the "namers" accord much more with the intention of the relaxing of the laws to allow corrections which are just the wrong level to be made without elaborate investigation. I really think those that think otherwise are complete "showers".
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#38 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-October-26, 10:48

View PostBudH, on 2017-October-25, 19:49, said:

Assume a different auction (3)-2NT where 2NT is not accepted by LHO. The Director learns the 2NT bid was intended to show both minors over a 1 opening bid. So what is the lowest sufficient bid specifying the same denominations? In this case it is 4NT, assuming it also shows the minors, and assuming 3NT is natural and not showing the minors.

So the Director likely does need to know what the offender's thought process happened to be causing the insufficient bid. Also, this is probably a good reason why the Director should see offender's hand to check this reason is valid (although many think the Director should rarely consult a hand or hand record when at the table).

You don't need to know the offender's thought process, you can infer it from the replacement.

If he replaces 2NT with 3NT, the IB was presumably intended to be natural, so you allow it with no further rectification.

If he replaces it with 4NT, it was presumably intended to be unusual, so you also allow it with no further rectification.

If he replaces it with anything else, it doesn't show the same denomination(s) as any meaning that could be attributable to 2NT, nor would it be comparable, so partner is barred.

It's possible that a player who intended 2NT as unusual could replace it with 3NT. But making a replacement with a totally different meaning than originally intended is not likely to be successful, so the opponents will rarely be damaged (I know, I just threw down the gauntlet to Lamford). And if it is, the TD will likely be able to adjust based on 27D.

#39 User is offline   axman 

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Posted 2017-October-26, 11:22

View PostBudH, on 2017-October-26, 03:15, said:

I’ve mentioned before it should have said “lowest sufficient call” and not “lowest sufficient bid”, where Pass is lowest, Double or Redouble is the next lowest, and the next bid is deemed the third lowest sufficient call.

That would solve a lot of these problems. But that’s not what it says.

In your example, I’d say the cheapest bid satisfying Law 27A is 3H. Fortunately, the stolen bid double is very likely comparable and can be used under that criteria.


I'm at a loss as to what 'That would solve a lot of these problems.' means. Am I crazy to believe that first and foremost, law's purpose is to provide solutions to players' problems. And what you appear to be talking about is giving infractors two or three turns to one for the non-infractors.
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#40 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-October-26, 16:25

View Postaxman, on 2017-October-26, 11:22, said:

I'm at a loss as to what 'That would solve a lot of these problems.' means. Am I crazy to believe that first and foremost, law's purpose is to provide solutions to players' problems. And what you appear to be talking about is giving infractors two or three turns to one for the non-infractors.


Yes, this is what barmar is doing too. Allowing the offender to choose his replacement call with no input from the director will be, as in the title of the thread, chaos. For calls that may have been intended as natural or artificial, the director still needs to know what the offender intended to do. I mean, obviously you have to say that if you IB (legally) meant a you can bid b, if it meant c you can bid d. So it is just the same as before, except that you now determine offender's intention at the table instead of away from it. So 95% of the time there will be an artificial adjusted score.

Maybe someday the Laws will include a legal requirement to make sufficient bids.
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