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Law 41 in theory and practice in various RAs

#1 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2018-March-13, 10:26

LAW 41 - COMMENCEMENT OF PLAY
A. Face-down Opening Lead
After a bid, double or redouble has been followed by three passes in rotation, the defender on presumed declarer’s left makes the opening lead face down 9. The face-down lead may be withdrawn only upon instruction of the Director after an irregularity (see Laws 47E and 54); the withdrawn card must be returned to the defender’s hand.
B. Review of Auction and Questions
Before the opening lead is faced, the leader’s partner and the presumed declarer (but not the presumed dummy) each may require a review of the auction, or request explanation of an opponent’s call (see Law 20F2 and 20F3). Declarer 10 or either defender may, at his first turn to play a card, require a review of the auction; this right expires when he plays a card. The defenders (subject to Law 16) and the declarer retain the right to request explanations throughout the play period, each at his own 11 turn to play.
C. Opening Lead Faced
Following this Clarification Period, the opening lead is faced, the play period begins irrevocably, and dummy’s hand is spread (but see Law 54A for a faced opening lead out of turn). After it is too late to have previous calls restated (see B), declarer or either defender, at his own11 turn to play, is entitled to be informed as to what the contract is and whether, but not by whom, it was doubled or redoubled.


This looks fairly straight forwards to me (except for the fact that it doesn't leave a clear trace of what the final contract was) and my Regulating Authority has nothing extra to say about it, so I guess we should be following it literally.
Unfortunately it doesn't spell out what should happen when bidding boxes are in use - and what actually happens here (Italy) seems contrary to the spirit of the law.
Once the third pass is reached (or even before) people will immediately retire their bidding cards, and then the lead is made.
Of course this makes any further clarification difficult, and a player asking for it gets little sympathy.

What is the situation in other countries, and what if any regulations do they have in place on this matter?
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#2 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2018-March-13, 11:10

A lot of people ask their questions after bidding has ended and before they lead. Never hear anyone complain anymore than they do about any question which does happen. Or if not on lead hopefully partner puts card face down and then ask. Facedown leads are the rule but I don't think there is a penalty for not doing so other than losing rights for your side. Canada.
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#3 User is offline   WellSpyder 

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Posted 2018-March-13, 11:17

In England it is quite common (though far from universal) for the bidding cards to be left on the table until the opening lead is faced. If they have not been and I want to ask about the bidding, I will typically ask for the bidding cards to be re-instated. I don't recall anyone making difficulties about doing this.
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#4 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2018-March-13, 11:41

View PostWellSpyder, on 2018-March-13, 11:17, said:

In England it is quite common (though far from universal) for the bidding cards to be left on the table until the opening lead is faced. If they have not been and I want to ask about the bidding, I will typically ask for the bidding cards to be re-instated. I don't recall anyone making difficulties about doing this.

I think the countries of the British Isles are unusual in this, though in my experience when others encounter it they tend to think it's a good idea.
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#5 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2018-March-13, 12:44

View Postgordontd, on 2018-March-13, 11:41, said:

I think the countries of the British Isles are unusual in this, though in my experience when others encounter it they tend to think it's a good idea.

The UK protocol for using bidding-boxes is so obviously a sensible idea that it should be stipulated in the law-book.
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#6 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2018-March-13, 13:35

View Postnige1, on 2018-March-13, 12:44, said:

The UK protocol for using bidding-boxes is so obviously a sensible idea that it should be stipulated in the law-book.


It sounds to me so sensible that I wonder why it never caught on elsewhere.
Is it merely widely accepted there, or is it imposed by national regulations?
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#7 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2018-March-13, 13:42

View Poststeve2005, on 2018-March-13, 11:10, said:

A lot of people ask their questions after bidding has ended and before they lead.

That happens here too.
If the player asking questions is due to lead then that would seem to violate Law 41 if taken literally.
Or so it looks to me: nobody asks the Director to rule in such cases.
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#8 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2018-March-13, 15:20

After 3 passes in succession have followed a call, if that call was not a pass by the dealer on his first turn, the last denomination and level named is the contract, the side that set that contract is the declaring side, and the player who for the declaring side first bid the denomination of the contract is the declarer. The contract may have been doubled, and if doubled may have been redoubled, but that does not change any of the foregoing. At this point, the player on declarer's left is the opening leader. This player may ask for a review of the bidding (Law 20C2) or an explanation of the declaring side's auction (Law 20F2) or (presumably) both. Reviews and explanations to be given by the declaring side. Opening leader then chooses his lead and places it face down on the table (Law 41A). At this point, opening leader's partner and declarer may both require a review of the auction or request explanation of an opponent's call (Law 41B). The right to a review of the auction expires for a player when he plays a card (for declarer, the care will be from dummy). After all the questions are answered, the opening lead is faced, dummy goes down, and play proceeds.

In North America, the bidding box regulation omits any mention of when to pick up the bidding cards. It is quite common here afaik (North America's a pretty big place) for the bidding cards to be picked up as soon as the final pass is made, if not sooner. It is also more common than it should be for opening leader's partner to say "no questions, partner" before his partner has chosen his lead. To be honest, I've never seen this become a problem, but it's definitely not proper procedure.
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#9 User is offline   ahydra 

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Posted 2018-March-13, 15:29

In NZ we use written bidding and the bidding pad stays face-up until third hand has played to the opening trick (though in practice this becomes "until all four hands have played"). This allows both defenders and declarer to "at his first turn to play a card, require a review of the auction".

Personally, I don't see why we have this somewhat arbitrary rule. IMHO one should be able to request a review at the auction at any point in the play.

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#10 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2018-March-13, 15:58

View Postahydra, on 2018-March-13, 15:29, said:

IMHO one should be able to request a review at the auction at any point in the play.

ahydra

And get reminded of "what was it you bid, partner?" :P
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#11 User is offline   RMB1 

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Posted 2018-March-13, 16:40

View Postpescetom, on 2018-March-13, 13:35, said:

It sounds to me so sensible that I wonder why it never caught on elsewhere.
Is it merely widely accepted there, or is it imposed by national regulations?


National Bidding Box regulation.

Quote

End of the Auction
1. At the end of the auction the calls should remain in place until the opening lead has been faced and all explanations have been obtained, after which they should be returned to their boxes. If the hand is passed out then the passes are immediately returned to their boxes.

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#12 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2018-March-14, 07:29

View PostRMB1, on 2018-March-13, 16:40, said:

National Bidding Box regulation.

End of the Auction
1. At the end of the auction the calls should remain in place until the opening lead has been faced and all explanations have been obtained, after which they should be returned to their boxes. If the hand is passed out then the passes are immediately returned to their boxes.



Thanks.
So it does not foresee leaving the final call out of the box until play has ended and the score has been agreed.
I wondered, because I've seen that done during informal rubber games in UK and it struck me as a good idea:
in our club we have one lady who is always eager to argue that the contract was doubled when it wasn't, or vice versa :)
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#13 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2018-March-14, 08:51

View Postpescetom, on 2018-March-14, 07:29, said:

Thanks.
So it does not foresee leaving the final call out of the box until play has ended and the score has been agreed.
I wondered, because I've seen that done during informal rubber games in UK and it struck me as a good idea:
in our club we have one lady who is always eager to argue that the contract was doubled when it wasn't, or vice versa :)

That sounds reminiscent of the "trump indicators" that were a holdover from whist, but are now just historical oddities.

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Posted 2018-March-14, 08:54

View Postnige1, on 2018-March-13, 12:44, said:

The UK protocol for using bidding-boxes is so obviously a sensible idea that it should be stipulated in the law-book.

The word "box" never appears anywhere in the Laws. Hard for them to mandate a particular way to use them when they don't even acknowledge their existence. Mechanics of bidding are left entirely to local regulation.

#15 User is online   Tramticket 

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Posted 2018-March-14, 10:08

View Postnige1, on 2018-March-13, 12:44, said:

The UK protocol for using bidding-boxes is so obviously a sensible idea that it should be stipulated in the law-book.


For those not familiar with the method used in the UK: http://www.ebu.co.uk...idding-box-regs

It is easy to criticise the EBU, but this is an eara where they have produced a clear and simple regulation that works.
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#16 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2018-March-14, 10:25

View Postbarmar, on 2018-March-14, 08:54, said:

The word "box" never appears anywhere in the Laws. Hard for them to mandate a particular way to use them when they don't even acknowledge their existence. Mechanics of bidding are left entirely to local regulation.

Not hard to adapt the law-book for the new millenium; but yes it's a pity that the WBFLC won't cull sensible law-book defaults from local regulations.
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#17 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2018-March-14, 11:37

View Postnige1, on 2018-March-14, 10:25, said:

Not hard to adapt the law-book for the new millenium; but yes it's a pity that the WBFLC won't cull sensible law-book defaults from local regulations.


It is probably appropriate for the laws to avoid taking account of specific bid-tracing systems, including bidding boxes which are probably nearing the end of a well spent life. But they should at least take account of the possibilities of such systems: to view or review the entire bidding sequence at any point without having it verbally restated, to hide the sequence during play if this is the intent of the law, to refuse bids that are insufficient, illogical or out of turn, and so on.
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Posted 2018-March-14, 11:39

View PostRMB1, on 2018-March-13, 16:40, said:

National Bidding Box regulation.

Quote

End of the Auction
1. At the end of the auction the calls should remain in place until the opening lead has been faced and all explanations have been obtained, after which they should be returned to their boxes. If the hand is passed out then the passes are immediately returned to their boxes.


Can a PP be awarded for not returning them quickly enough?
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Posted 2018-March-14, 11:53

View PostTramticket, on 2018-March-14, 10:08, said:

For those not familiar with the method used in the UK: http://www.ebu.co.uk...idding-box-regs

It is easy to criticise the EBU, but this is an eara where they have produced a clear and simple regulation that works.


Thanks. Yes, it's better than ours, both in the instruction that at the end of the auction the calls should remain in place and in the instruction to place calls from the left and neatly overlapping.
It's strange that they didn't mention whether to pull out only the specific call or a block containing the specific call and any remaining lower calls.
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#20 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2018-March-14, 12:10

View Postbarmar, on 2018-March-14, 08:51, said:

That sounds reminiscent of the "trump indicators" that were a holdover from whist, but are now just historical oddities.

I think leaving the contract visible is a good idea, although it would probably be necessary for the declarer to add any double (or redouble) to his contract rather than rely on the defenders to keep the double on the table (also because the laws don't want reminders about which defender doubled).
But it does seem odd that the laws permit such an important piece of information to go unregistered for several minutes and that there is no just way to resolve a dispute if attack and defence remember differently.
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