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is this legal?

#1 User is offline   DJNeill 

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Posted 2004-August-24, 10:24

Hi all,
Say you play with a certain partner that forgets conventions whenever you bid quickly (how could a fast bid be a gadget?). Say that your normal pace is rather quick against most opponents (using the time generate your call-choices based on opponents's possible bids).

Is it unethical to make gadget bids at a purposefully-slower pace, if that slower pace is normal for most people?

Thanks,
Dan
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#2 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2004-August-24, 11:01

I'm all for allowing pairs to experiment with conventions and even make mistakes.
With this said and done, if your partner can't handle artificiality, then you shouldn't be employing lots of gadgets.

More significantly, using an out-of-band signal (in this case, your bidding tempo) to convey information to partner seems extremely "suspect". Some would not hestitate to label this a deliberate violation of the laws.
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#3 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2004-August-24, 11:05

I'm afraid it is not legal. The pace has to be consistent with YOUR normal pace, not the normal pace of the rest of the room. The way around it I guess is to slow down the rest of your game when playing with this individual, so that all bids etc are in line with the slowest common denominator. It will not slow up the total game noticeably.
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

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Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.

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#4 User is offline   inquiry 

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Posted 2004-August-24, 11:22

It is EXTREMELY illegal. If you want me to quote specific law, it would be law 16, which states, in part, that "Players are authorised to base their calls and plays on information from legal calls and or plays, and from mannerisms of opponents. To base a call or play on other extraneous information may be an infraction of law."

The law goes on to state what a legal call is (number and denomination or double, redouble and pass), and specifically tells you EXTRANOUS information from partner is not alllowed to be used, and this includes "unmistakable hesitation, unwonted speed, special emphasis, tone," I am sure that you will agree that a person who in F2F slams his fist on the table and says in a booming voice after an opening bid of a weak two in hearts, "I DOUBLE YOU", would never be allowed to stand as a penalty double, while a meek little "double" in the softest of voices would be for takeout. This is akin to what you are suggesting. One is not allowed to vary the meaning of ones auctions by hestitations. If so, a 3 second then bid 1S might be minimum, a 6 second hesitation then 1S might be king more than minium, and add king more for every three second hestitation. That isn't bridge, and neither is what you are suggesting,

Ben
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Posted 2004-August-24, 11:43

This just can't be legal, since you can give 2 meanings to any bid, and your p will know what it is. As an example, you can use 2 as checkback or bid it as natural whenever you want, just by a difference in pace, and only your p will know when it's either option. Btw, how do you write this up on your convention card? Bidding withing 5 seconds is natural, thinking 5 or more seconds it's checkback?? ROFL
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#6 User is offline   JRG 

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Posted 2004-August-24, 12:29

DJNeill, on Aug 24 2004, 10:24 AM, said:

Hi all,
Say you play with a certain partner that forgets conventions whenever you bid quickly (how could a fast bid be a gadget?).  Say that your normal pace is rather quick against most opponents (using the time generate your call-choices based on opponents's possible bids).

Is it unethical to make gadget bids at a purposefully-slower pace, if that slower pace is normal for most people?

Thanks,
Dan

Ben has quoted the specific Law involved (16 - Unauthorized Information) that indicates you may not do what you question.

I'm continuing to study the Laws (I wrote the Local Director's examination for our Zone, but haven't heard the results yet). There is a somewhat old book (it is based on the previous version of the Laws, but they are so similar it is still very relevant) called, "Commentary on the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge 1987" (it was published in 1992 by the European Bridge League). It has a set of examples from real play, including from various championships. I happened to have read one last night that is relevant (Example 16 E) because it shows just how large an onus there is on players not to base calls on unauthorized information.

The reason I found this example particularly interesting is that there did not appear to be any particular mannerism or other source of UI, but simply the opposite -- there was no possible source of AUTHORIZED information on which the player could have based his call. Here is the example (I corrected a couple of typos - hopefully I did not introduce any new ones!):

Example 16 E
Law 16
Commentary p16.1, p75.11



(The auction shown was:)

West North East South
1(1) 1(2) Double(3) Pass
1NT Pass 2(4) Pass
2 Pass 3NT Pass
Pass(5) End

(1) Strong; 16+ HCP.
(2) Two suits of same rank.
(3) 8+ HCP positive, any shape.
(4) Alerted. Subsequently explained as "transfer to hearts".
(5) At the end of the hand, West stated that he "thought partner had forgotten".

Director: when this action was questioned by N/S, the Director ruled that West had used information which he was not entitled to use. He could not decide what was a likely result on the hand, so he cancelled the result, gave average plus and average minus and also penalized E/W 10% for a breach of the laws on propriety.

Apeals Committee: not appealed.

Comments: East has misbid. West has recognized this, probably because of an awareness that East tends to forget his system. West has no authorized information upon which to base action that takes into account a possibility that East does not have the hand he has shown. Law 16 sets out clearly what information may be used legitimately.
JRG
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#7 User is offline   EricK 

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Posted 2004-August-24, 12:33

inquiry, on Aug 24 2004, 05:22 PM, said:

It is EXTREMELY illegal. If you want me to quote specific law, it would be law 16, which states, in part, that "Players are authorised to base their calls and plays on information from legal calls and or plays, and from mannerisms of opponents. To base a call or play on other extraneous information may be an infraction of law."

The law goes on to state what a legal call is (number and denomination or double, redouble and pass), and specifically tells you EXTRANOUS information from partner is not alllowed to be used, and this includes "unmistakable hesitation, unwonted speed, special emphasis, tone," I am sure that you will agree that a person who in F2F slams his fist on the table and says in a booming voice after an opening bid of a weak two in hearts, "I DOUBLE YOU", would never be allowed to stand as a penalty double, while a meek little "double" in the softest of voices would be for takeout. This is akin to what you are suggesting. One is not allowed to vary the meaning of ones auctions by hestitations. If so, a 3 second then bid 1S might be minimum, a 6 second hesitation then 1S might be king more than minium, and add king more for every three second hestitation. That isn't bridge, and neither is what you are suggesting,

Ben

It would seem that partner is behaving illegally under this law - he will bid one way if you bid quickly and another if you bid slowly. I wonder if he realises that?

You should, of course try and make all your bids in tempo. You also shouldn't play any conventions which partner is liable to forget - it just isn't worth it!

Eric
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