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Revokes

#1 User is offline   661_Pete 

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Posted 2017-December-09, 14:41

First some background.

After two or three years of 'casual' BBO and informal U3A-group playing, a few days ago, with much trepidation :unsure: I put in my first appearance at a more formal club, EBU-affiliated. I went without a partner, so as the club operates a host system, the TD offered to partner me for the pairs session (scored MPs). This was a daunting experience and worries about 'breaking the rules' meant I didn't play very well that evening! But no matter.

It so happened that twice during the evening an opponent revoked. First time, I was drawing the last trump and to my surprise both opponents showed out. My first reaction was to murmur - automatically: "funny - have I mis-counted?" and then I looked over my hand to see if it was mis-sorted (these things happen!). However, the offending opponent, on hearing me, muttered a quick apology and put down his trump, leaving the mis-played card as a penalty card.

Meanwhile my partner (i.e. the TD) had "shushed" me - I suppose he meant I should have kept my mouth shut - and I should! Difficult to remember these things!

Question is: I know that the Laws on revokes are extremely complicated. What would have happened if I'd allowed the revoke to become established? I won the offending trick anyway. I don't really like the idea of benefitting from penalty tricks awarded after an established revoke - however much I'm entitled.

The second time (different opponents), I was again declarer, and this time I knew the opponent was revoking, so I alerted her. Again my partner wasn't too happy, but surely as declarer I'm entitled to ask an opponent if they've revoked?

I'm down to go back to this club next week - and hopefully there'll be no irregularities next time!
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#2 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2017-December-09, 16:40

View Post661_Pete, on 2017-December-09, 14:41, said:

First some background.

After two or three years of 'casual' BBO and informal U3A-group playing, a few days ago, with much trepidation :unsure: I put in my first appearance at a more formal club, EBU-affiliated. I went without a partner, so as the club operates a host system, the TD offered to partner me for the pairs session (scored MPs). This was a daunting experience and worries about 'breaking the rules' meant I didn't play very well that evening! But no matter.

It so happened that twice during the evening an opponent revoked. First time, I was drawing the last trump and to my surprise both opponents showed out. My first reaction was to murmur - automatically: "funny - have I mis-counted?" and then I looked over my hand to see if it was mis-sorted (these things happen!). However, the offending opponent, on hearing me, muttered a quick apology and put down his trump, leaving the mis-played card as a penalty card.

Meanwhile my partner (i.e. the TD) had "shushed" me - I suppose he meant I should have kept my mouth shut - and I should! Difficult to remember these things!

Question is: I know that the Laws on revokes are extremely complicated. What would have happened if I'd allowed the revoke to become established? I won the offending trick anyway. I don't really like the idea of benefitting from penalty tricks awarded after an established revoke - however much I'm entitled.

The second time (different opponents), I was again declarer, and this time I knew the opponent was revoking, so I alerted her. Again my partner wasn't too happy, but surely as declarer I'm entitled to ask an opponent if they've revoked?

I'm down to go back to this club next week - and hopefully there'll be no irregularities next time!


I disagree that the revoke laws are extremely complicated, on the contrary I consider them (mainly Law 64) very straight forward:

On your first question (see Law 64A2): If the offending side won [...] any subsequent trick, after play ends one trick is transferred to the non-offending side.

On your second question: I appreciate your action in social events and/or when your offending opponent is inexperienced, but not in serious events.
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#3 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-December-09, 17:17

View Post661_Pete, on 2017-December-09, 14:41, said:

The second time (different opponents), I was again declarer, and this time I knew the opponent was revoking, so I alerted her. Again my partner wasn't too happy, but surely as declarer I'm entitled to ask an opponent if they've revoked?

Yes, declarer is allowed to ask a defender about a possible revoke. But it's practically never to your advantage to do so. It's rare that the benefit of a penalty card will be better than the adjustment due to an established revoke.

#4 User is offline   661_Pete 

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Posted 2017-December-10, 03:29

Thanks. I still maintain that Law issues (to non-experts like myself) are often tortuous and difficult to follow! Happily, that's why TD's are usually on hand to adjudicate! After that session, I came home and did have a bit of a read through the Laws - but I didn't get very far... :huh:

Incidentally, since on that occasion the TD was partnering me, he warned me that he might be called away at any time to resolve an issue at another table. As things turned out, he wasn't. I suppose most experienced players can resolve issues amicably without recourse to the TD. If the TD's duties had involved him having to look at a board which he was due to play later, I don't know how he'd have handled that - possibly by averageing the board when it reached our table.

And of course, these sort of things (revokes, out-of-turn bids or leads, etc.) can't possibly happen on BBO! I wonder how things might be if the software were amended to allow this sort of infraction (don't get me wrong - I'm not asking for this!) One benefit would be to better acquaint less-informed people, like myself, with the Laws.
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#5 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2017-December-10, 03:55

View Post661_Pete, on 2017-December-10, 03:29, said:

I suppose most experienced players can resolve issues amicably without recourse to the TD.

Things would generally go better if they didn't try to.
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#6 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2017-December-10, 04:13

View Postgordontd, on 2017-December-10, 03:55, said:

Things would generally go better if they didn't try to.

Indeed!
And even experienced directors occasionally go wrong unless they double-check their (pocket-sized) lawbook.

As for the revoke laws, the 1987 revision introduced a seemingly simple change, but this change resulted in a law that often became very complicated to apply.
Luckily that change was reversed in 2007, so the only "complication" we now have to deal with on established revokes is the "safety catch" (Law 64C) to ensure that an offending side shall never gain from a revoke.
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#7 User is offline   weejonnie 

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Posted 2017-December-10, 04:25

I hope that the OP had a generally good evening at a club. As Skid Simon said (WYLAB), there are going to be players of all abilities and there will alomst always be someone whose skills are at a level commensurate with the OPs. The TD is there primarily to ensure that everyone has a good time and that the laws of duplicate bridge are strictly obeyed. (It says so, so it is so). It was thoughtful of him to give advance warning of the possibility of having to be called away.

The problem the OP may have had, primarily, is that when you play online, you can't revoke (I don't see why the software cannot be programmed to allow this, to better replicate real-life situations), so you don't find out the problems it can cause.

Although the partner may not be happy that the OP asked whether an opponent had revoked, as TD they should a) have known that he could; b) be happy that they aren't going to have to look at the Equity position and that their partner has the chance to play the contract with correct information; and c) shouldn't have shown any reaction - this seems, understandably, to have upset the OP somewhat (The term 'poker face' also applies at bridge). For many (mainly male) players, the aim is to take advantage of any legitimate chance to win and once you are in that mindset then anything that happens that reduces those chances will meet with disapproval

With regard to 'entitlement' of tricks, a revoke often means that the non-offending side gets to miscount the hand. This can cause the hand not to be played optimally so the laws, instead of forcing the TD to work out what would have/ might have happened had the revoke not taken place, simply assign 1 (if the revoke card did not win the trick) or 2 tricks (if it did) that the offending side won from the moment of revoke - with the proviso that in exceptional cases more tricks can be awarded. (In previous versions of the laws, the penalties were much greater.)
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#8 User is offline   661_Pete 

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Posted 2017-December-10, 04:38

Thanks also, WJ. Yes the evening went OK for me (the fact that I came second-to-last in the final placings was purely incidental :mellow: ). Otherwise I wouldn't be going back (next time I expect to have one of my regular partners - from the U3A group - so I'll be less nervous)!
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#9 User is offline   StevenG 

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Posted 2017-December-10, 05:38

View Postgordontd, on 2017-December-10, 03:55, said:

Things would generally go better if they didn't try to.

Unfortunately, the game would become impossible for the playing director if he was called every time the law demanded it.
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#10 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-December-10, 08:40

View Postpran, on 2017-December-10, 04:13, said:

Indeed!
And even experienced directors occasionally go wrong unless they double-check their (pocket-sized) lawbook.

As for the revoke laws, the 1987 revision introduced a seemingly simple change, but this change resulted in a law that often became very complicated to apply.
Luckily that change was reversed in 2007, so the only "complication" we now have to deal with on established revokes is the "safety catch" (Law 64C) to ensure that an offending side shall never gain from a revoke.


"Luckily" is not the word I would use, but it is typical that a simple law cannot be understood by a player who is not already familiar with it. Nice job, WBFLC. Perhaps the need for a translation from Kaplan/Grattanese into English can be taken seriously.

View PostStevenG, on 2017-December-10, 05:38, said:

Unfortunately, the game would become impossible for the playing director if he was called every time the law demanded it.


I don't think that is true.

At the North London Club we rely on playing directors, so we have a "movement director" and a "tournament director". This splits the workload and allows people to,participate if they don't like or aren't comfortable with one aspect of the director's role. I recommend this practice.
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#11 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2017-December-10, 09:28

View Postpran, on 2017-December-10, 04:13, said:

Luckily that change was reversed in 2007, so the only "complication" we now have to deal with on established revokes is the "safety catch" (Law 64C) to ensure that an offending side shall never gain from a revoke.

View PostVampyr, on 2017-December-10, 08:40, said:

"Luckily" is not the word I would use, but it is typical that a simple law cannot be understood by a player who is not already familiar with it. Nice job, WBFLC. Perhaps the need for a translation from Kaplan/Grattanese into English can be taken seriously.


No, I should have written "Fortunately".

The problem with the 1987 revision was that suddenly (unless the offender won the revoke trick) we could no longer determine the automatic revoke "penalty" until play was ended.
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#12 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-December-10, 09:37

View Postpran, on 2017-December-10, 09:28, said:

No, I should have written "Fortunately".


Also not my choice.

Quote

The problem with the 1987 revision was that suddenly (unless the offender won the revoke trick) we could no longer determine the automatic revoke "penalty" until play was ended.


That is still the case, as the director needs to be sure that the automatic penalty is enough.
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#13 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2017-December-10, 10:17

View Postpran, on 2017-December-10, 09:28, said:

The problem with the 1987 revision was that suddenly (unless the offender won the revoke trick) we could no longer determine the automatic revoke "penalty" until play was ended.

View PostVampyr, on 2017-December-10, 09:37, said:

That is still the case, as the director needs to be sure that the automatic penalty is enough.


During that time he had to "confuse" the offending side by giving them "extraneous information" on how they could in many cases influence the automatic penalty by carefully selecting which player should win various tricks (if any).

Such tactics have no place in bridge and now (again) the Director can announce the automatic penalty right away with just a reminder of possible Law 64C adjustment.
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#14 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2017-December-10, 11:38

View PostStevenG, on 2017-December-10, 05:38, said:

Unfortunately, the game would become impossible for the playing director if he was called every time the law demanded it.

You're guessing.
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#15 User is offline   StevenG 

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Posted 2017-December-10, 12:06

View Postblackshoe, on 2017-December-10, 11:38, said:

You're guessing.

Of course I'm guessing. But I know from experience that the social players in the club almost never call the director. If there's an insufficient bid it will just be replaced by a sufficient bid without a director call. An unestablished revoke will be left on the table as a penalty card without a director call - and nobody will have a clue about lead restrictions. And so on. Also, the experienced players won't call the director if they know the ruling. I've seen (or heard from the next table) a lot of simple rulings given (correctly) by players who know the laws (qualified TDs, say) in circumstances where the director call wouldn't make a difference. If all these incidents actually involved a director call, I reckon, at least in the club games I play, the director would be called on average more than once each round. And that's without any judgement rulings that only tournament-level players might notice.

It's not even just in club bridge. Once, in a tournament with a proper director, opponents were upset when we called the director after our opening lead out of turn - "we all know the ruling, why bother?".
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#16 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2017-December-10, 12:21

View PostStevenG, on 2017-December-10, 12:06, said:

"we all know the ruling, why bother?".

The thing is, these threads show they don't all know the ruling at all.
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#17 User is offline   ye17 

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Posted 2017-December-10, 14:29

View Postgordontd, on 2017-December-10, 12:21, said:

The thing is, these threads show they don't all know the ruling at all.

Unfortunately, neither do some TDs. Last Friday, a defender revoked. Once it was established, I called the director. He first attempted to persuade the offender to swap the last 2 cards she had played, until she revealed that she had yet another card in the suit led. Correctly, he then ruled that we should finish playing the hand and call him back. He then asked whether I had been damaged by the revoke. I said that I wasn't. (I now realise that I was, in the sense that I would have played differently and made 2 overtricks.) Despite the fact that the defence had won further tricks, the TD ruled that the result should stand on the basis that to award me a trick would unfairly benefit me because of the revoke compared with others.
I know that I had the option to appeal. I am a relatively new member at the club, but I also do my share of directing. The TD has been a member for over 40 years. I feel I just have to accept that we are playing by different rules.
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#18 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2017-December-10, 14:45

View Postye17, on 2017-December-10, 14:29, said:

Unfortunately, neither do some TDs. Last Friday, a defender revoked. Once it was established, I called the director. He first attempted to persuade the offender to swap the last 2 cards she had played, until she revealed that she had yet another card in the suit led. Correctly, he then ruled that we should finish playing the hand and call him back. He then asked whether I had been damaged by the revoke. I said that I wasn't. (I now realise that I was, in the sense that I would have played differently and made 2 overtricks.) Despite the fact that the defence had won further tricks, the TD ruled that the result should stand on the basis that to award me a trick would unfairly benefit me because of the revoke compared with others.
I know that I had the option to appeal. I am a relatively new member at the club, but I also do my share of directing. The TD has been a member for over 40 years. I feel I just have to accept that we are playing by different rules.

What are his qualifications as TD? Over 40 years experience as a player, or has he passed some training and exams?

I have met (expert) players with more than 50 years experience that would not pass a TD exam. Not that they care - they just call the Director whenever there is an irregularity.
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#19 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-December-10, 18:08

View Postye17, on 2017-December-10, 14:29, said:

Unfortunately, neither do some TDs. Last Friday, a defender revoked. Once it was established, I called the director. He first attempted to persuade the offender to swap the last 2 cards she had played, until she revealed that she had yet another card in the suit led. Correctly, he then ruled that we should finish playing the hand and call him back. He then asked whether I had been damaged by the revoke. I said that I wasn't. (I now realise that I was, in the sense that I would have played differently and made 2 overtricks.) Despite the fact that the defence had won further tricks, the TD ruled that the result should stand on the basis that to award me a trick would unfairly benefit me because of the revoke compared with others.
I know that I had the option to appeal. I am a relatively new member at the club, but I also do my share of directing. The TD has been a member for over 40 years. I feel I just have to accept that we are playing by different rules.


Which rule did the director read out? If none, you should have asked him to.

What score did the offenders receive?
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#20 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-December-10, 22:04

View Postpran, on 2017-December-10, 14:45, said:

What are his qualifications as TD? Over 40 years experience as a player, or has he passed some training and exams?

In ACBL, you just have to pass an open-book test.

When I got my club director certification (15-20 years ago) I took a 6-hour class at an NABC, at the end of which they gave the exam. But I suspect you can do it from home these days. To get certified as an assistant Tournament Director a few years ago they emailed me a PDF of the exam.

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