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WBFLC Commentary on 2017 Laws

#1 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-January-17, 16:40

WBF has published a commentary on the 2017 laws. It can be found at

http://www.worldbrid...sCommentary.pdf

#2 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-January-17, 16:44

Wow. These guys move fast B-)

It is however very well written and useful.
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#3 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-January-22, 12:25

The commentary on Law 27 – Insufficient Bid is enlightening.

In particular I was struck by examples 23+24:
"A take-out double normally does not show specified suits. When West opens 1♠ and North follows with 1♥, not accepted, we would not allow a change to double."
But "1♣ - 1♠ - 1♥ (showing 4 or more hearts and 6+ high card points)" can be substituted by double, even if this shows +.

The following sheds light on some previous discussions here:

Procedure after an Insufficient Bid
All of the above notwithstanding, after a player makes an insufficient bid his LHO gets the option
to accept it. It might however be relevant for LHO to first discover whether the offender has a
call available that would allow the auction to proceed undisturbed, hence Law 20F1 allows him
to ask the offender’s partner about the meaning of any potential replacement call, prior to
deciding whether to accept the infraction.
The TD might also need to ask the offender what he meant to do when making the insufficient
bid. The TD should do this away from the table, to avoid creating UI. If the offender wants to
know whether a replacement call fulfills the conditions of Law 27B1 the TD should tell him, also
away from the table.

So the TD must consider what the offender meant to do, but the non-offending side have no right to know, although presumably they will be able to deduct this once a replacement call has been judged acceptable by TD.
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#4 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-January-23, 11:49

If the replacement is judged a CC, then the offender originally intended to make a call with approcimately the same meaning.

But if they replace it with a non-comparable call (barring partner), what they originally intended may be harder to determine. You may be able to figure it out from the fact that they probably didn't have a comparable call available.

#5 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2019-January-23, 14:58

Preface to 2017 Laws of Duplicate Bridge said:

The trends begun in the 2007 Revision have been continued - the increased discretion given to Tournament Directors, the attempts to rectify a situation rather than to penalise, and maintaining the position of Regulating Authorities.

Thus, main aims of tjhe WBFLC are
  • Equity (restoring the status quo) rather than deterrence
  • Delegation of responsibility to directors and local regulators.

This results in rules that are too sophisticated, subjectrive, and opaque.
Rather than try to explain current rules, the WBFLC would do better to
  • Scrap the worst and
  • Simplify the rest.

Take illegal calls (e.g insufficient bid mentioned above) as an example. Somebody suggested a simple new rule :
"Cancel the offending call, resume the auction, treat the offending call as UI to the offender's partner".

Just one possibility -- conforming with the rule-makers Equity obsession, Alternative sensible rectifications are possible. But almost any simple rule would be better than the current complex kludge.

Arguably, such changes would make the rules easier to understand and the game more enjoyable, Unfortunately, from the WBFLC point of view, they drastically reduce director involvement.
.
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#6 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2019-January-23, 18:14

View Postnige1, on 2019-January-23, 14:58, said:

.......
Rather than try to explain current rules, the WBFLC would do better to
  • Scrap the worst and
  • Simplify the rest.

Take illegal calls (e.g insufficient bid mentioned above) as an example. Somebody suggested a simple new rule :
"Cancel the offending call, resume the auction, treat the offending call as UI to the offender's partner".

Just one possibility -- conforming with the rule-makers Equity obsession, Alternative sensible rectifications are possible. But almost any simple rule would be better than the current complex kludge.

Arguably, such changes would make the rules easier to understand and the game more enjoyable, Unfortunately, from the WBFLC point of view, they drastically reduce director involvement.
.

I take the liberty to disagree: Instead of simplifying the situation treat the offending call as UI to the offender's partner will burden the TD beyond what is feasible. UI cases are the most demanding situations for any TD to handle and invariably tend to let the result on a board be a question of ruling rather than of play.

The way I understand WBFLC policy is as far as possible to have results at bridge be a question of bridge skills rather than of more or less random TD judgement.

They have changed their course in recognition that TD skills today are significantly improved from what you could expect some 40 years ago.
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#7 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-January-24, 10:29

View Postpran, on 2019-January-23, 18:14, said:

I take the liberty to disagree: Instead of simplifying the situation treat the offending call as UI to the offender's partner will burden the TD beyond what is feasible. UI cases are the most demanding situations for any TD to handle and invariably tend to let the result on a board be a question of ruling rather than of play.

I agree. You're basically just changing from one judgement call (is it a comparable call) to another judgement call (did offender's partner take advantage of UI). The intent was that determining a CC would be easier than determining whether Law 16 was violated.

#8 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2019-January-24, 10:53

View Postbarmar, on 2019-January-24, 10:29, said:

I agree. You're basically just changing from one judgement call (is it a comparable call) to another judgement call (did offender's partner take advantage of UI). The intent was that determining a CC would be easier than determining whether Law 16 was violated.

I think it's also the case that a UI ruling is more likely to create acrimony and accusations of accusations, than would a comparable call ruling.
Gordon Rainsford
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#9 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2019-January-24, 11:49

View Postgordontd, on 2019-January-24, 10:53, said:

I think it's also the case that a UI ruling is more likely to create acrimony and accusations of accusations, than would a comparable call ruling.

That was just one person's suggestion . Other sensible simplifications have been proposed. I would prefer that an illegal call be cancelled and the offender's partner silenced for the rest of the auction But almost any simplification seems better than the current complex law.
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#10 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2019-January-24, 16:27

View Postnige1, on 2019-January-24, 11:49, said:

That was just one person's suggestion . Other sensible simplifications have been proposed. I would prefer that an illegal call be cancelled and the offender's partner silenced for the rest of the auction But almost any simplification seems better than the current complex law.

That would definitely counteract the desired objective to obtain the most "normal" result possible on a board after (and in spite of) an irregularity.

In order to avoid any complicated rulings for rectification the Director might (immediately) cancel a board in case of an irregularity and award AVE- to a side at fault and AVE+ to a side not at fault. (This was essentially the law in the very early years of contract bridge)
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#11 User is offline   BudH 

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Posted 2019-January-25, 19:51

As has been mentioned in at least one thread, the WBF Laws Committee released it's Commentary on the 2017 Laws of Duplicate Bridge:

http://www.worldbrid...sCommentary.pdf

It has some excellent information. The one thing it is missing is a few very specific examples that would answer many of the questions Directors have been waiting for.

Example we've all seen since the comparable call law has been in place:

Dealer's LHO opens 1 out of rotation, not accepted, dealer opens 1 and offender overcalls 1. What systemic range of overcall strength would allow 1 to be considered comparable to an opening bid?

I didn't expect an EXACT answer. But it should have at least indicated if the lower end of the overcall range was near 5 or 6 HCPs it would not be comparable and if the lower end of the range was at least 9 or 10 HCP, then it would be comparable, and for the gray area between (7 or 8 HCP), it could say it was a gray area to be determined by the Director.
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#12 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2019-January-26, 03:34

In the draft of the commentary there are examples. And some more here.
BTW, it’s remarkable that the ACBL website doesn’t use the more secure https protocol, but still operates on http.
Joost
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#13 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-January-26, 14:14

Admin: I suggest that this topic should be united with the existing topic:
My link
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#14 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-January-26, 21:18

View Postpescetom, on 2019-January-26, 14:14, said:

Admin: I suggest that this topic should be united with the existing topic:
My link

Done.

#15 User is offline   jvage 

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Posted 2019-January-31, 04:05

There is now also a separate "Commentary on Law 23" written by the Chairman of the WBF Laws Committee. Among other things it also clarifies the situation mentioned above about whether a one-level overcall of 1 is a CC after an out-of-turn 1 opening (it is normally not):

http://www.eurobridg...arable-Call.pdf

My guess is that the next clarification may be linked to corrections after "serious error". There seems to be a couple of mistakes in example 13 in the original document. First that they seem to judge the error in relation to "serious error" when the threshold in Law 12C1e is increased to "extremely serious error". Second that the calculation as given will result in a negative MP score for the non-offending side (assuming they get an average for -420, one is instructed to subtract the difference in MP between +50 and -920, likely worth respectively a top and a bottom in MP).
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#16 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-January-31, 08:25

View Postjvage, on 2019-January-31, 04:05, said:

There is now also a separate "Commentary on Law 23" written by the Chairman of the WBF Laws Committee. Among other things it also clarifies the situation mentioned above about whether a one-level overcall of 1 is a CC after an out-of-turn 1 opening (it is normally not):

http://www.eurobridg...arable-Call.pdf


It looks as if this lecture by Ton Kooijma was based upon his proposals to WBFLC almost a year ago.
So I guess that the Commentary has precedence over anything he says here, although it's deprecable that the Commentary does not go into similar detail.
There are some things unclear to me in the lecture. The proposal that if the legal call shows less suits than the withdrawn call it is not comparable surely contradicts the principle that a call is comparable if it defines a subset. The maximum difference of 1 King in strength seems to be more rigid that the spirit of the proposal. More in detail, examples 10,11,12 seem to elude the case when they are playing No Transfer Breaks and Opener passes - which I imagine is not comparable.
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#17 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2019-January-31, 11:45

View Postpescetom, on 2019-January-31, 08:25, said:

It looks as if this lecture by Ton Kooijma was based upon his proposals to WBFLC almost a year ago.
So I guess that the Commentary has precedence over anything he says here, although it's deprecable that the Commentary does not go into similar detail.
There are some things unclear to me in the lecture. The proposal that if the legal call shows less suits than the withdrawn call it is not comparable surely contradicts the principle that a call is comparable if it defines a subset. The maximum difference of 1 King in strength seems to be more rigid that the spirit of the proposal. More in detail, examples 10,11,12 seem to elude the case when they are playing No Transfer Breaks and Opener passes - which I imagine is not comparable.

Hands with spades and a minor are a subset of hands with spades, not the other way around.
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#18 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-January-31, 12:13

View Postgordontd, on 2019-January-31, 11:45, said:

Hands with spades and a minor are a subset of hands with spades, not the other way around.


You're right, of course.
I was thinking about the case where the multiple suits are mutually exclusive (e.g. 2 showing or ) rather than present simultaneously (e.g. 2NT showing and ).
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#19 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-January-31, 18:53

View Postpescetom, on 2019-January-31, 08:25, said:

It looks as if this lecture by Ton Kooijma was based upon his proposals to WBFLC almost a year ago.
So I guess that the Commentary has precedence over anything he says here, although it's deprecable that the Commentary does not go into similar detail.

I agree. His paper begins with "the content might be changed when incorporated in the upcoming commentary to the 2017 Laws." That clearly implies that the commentary takes precedence. This was just one committee member's opinions when they were producing the new Laws.

#20 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-February-04, 04:18

View Postgordontd, on 2019-January-31, 11:45, said:

Hands with spades and a minor are a subset of hands with spades, not the other way around.


It is interesting that you use the term "subset" here. But it seems from his commentary that the subset test is to be strictly applied. On page 1 he writes:

Quote

A call is comparable if:
1) it has the same or a similar meaning as the withdrawn call; or
2) it defines a subset of the hands described by the withdrawn call; or
3) it has the same purpose as the withdrawn call (examples given are an asking bid and a relay, but there may be more).

Only 2) is a description without flexibility in the interpretation of it. A subset is well defined.


He then goes on to investigate the first test ("same or similar meaning") and states (page 1):

Quote

Suits
If the legal call shows less suits than the withdrawn call it is not comparable. A bid that just shows spades that replaces an out of turn opening 2-bid showing spades and a minor is not a comparable call.


It would seem to me that these three tests are not to be considered as stand-alone independent tests, but the concept of "subset" is used to inform our interpretation of "same or a similar meaning".

His examples (6) and (7) on page 8 are used to illustrate this point. In example (6): A (one-suited) 2 Opening Bid Out Of Turn is replaced by a 2 over-call of a 1NT opening (showing spades and a minor). This was stated as Comparable - but it didn't state which test it meets. I would argue that, it meets the subset test in terms of the number of suits shown, but it usually won't meet the subset test if a strict interpretation is applied because a 2 opening shows (say) 5-9 HCP whereas a 2 over-call typically shows (say) 8-15 HCPs. It will only meet a strict interpretation of the subset test if the point range for the over-call is contained within the point range for the two-level opening.

It seems to me that a strict interpretation of the subset test would render the test almost pointless since it will be rarely, if ever, fulfilled. But a better interpretation is to not consider the test as separate and use the concepts of "subset" and "similar" as informing each other.
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