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UK laws on 1NT

#1 User is offline   etha 

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Posted 2019-March-10, 10:10

Just discovered I may be breaking the rules. Note I am in the UK. I am playing a 14-16NT. If I sometimes open these with a singleton I just discovered they are alertable. Now if my partner who never opens these with a singleton bids 1NT is that alertable and what do I write on the CC.
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#2 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-March-10, 10:14

View Postetha, on 2019-March-10, 10:10, said:

Just discovered I may be breaking the rules. Note I am in the UK. I am playing a 14-16NT. If I sometimes open these with a singleton I just discovered they are alertable. Now if my partner who never opens these with a singleton bids 1NT is that alertable and what do I write on the CC.


If you're in England, you announce "14-16 may contain a singleton".

You are supposed to play the same system as your partner, so either you agree to open it with a singleton or you don't.
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#3 User is offline   etha 

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Posted 2019-March-10, 10:21

thanks. Ok so playing the same system as someone means making the same bids they do with the same hands ? I am not allowed to think I want to open this hand with a singleton which I know my partner won't ?

It seems worse to agree we can have a singleton but not tell the opponents partner can't have one, Or to play we can't have a singleton but occasionally bid 1NT with one.
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#4 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2019-March-10, 10:54

View Postetha, on 2019-March-10, 10:21, said:

thanks. Ok so playing the same system as someone means making the same bids they do with the same hands ? I am not allowed to think I want to open this hand with a singleton which I know my partner won't ?

It seems worse to agree we can have a singleton but not tell the opponents partner can't have one, Or to play we can't have a singleton but occasionally bid 1NT with one.


Not exactly. I think where an announcement is involved you need to know whether your partnership agreement is that you do it with a singleton or not. I'd be inclined to announce "may contain a singleton, but that's more likely if I open it than when he does" or the reverse, but no doubt Gordon will say you shouldn't do this.
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#5 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-March-10, 12:16

View Postetha, on 2019-March-10, 10:21, said:

thanks. Ok so playing the same system as someone means making the same bids they do with the same hands ?

Not necessarily. If your system allows for multiple bids with the same hand, you can each use your own judgement, and players can have different styles, different levels of aggression, etc.. Just because you've agreed that you're allowed to open 1NT with a singleton, it doesn't mean you have to do it.

My partner and I have different styles when we're 4-4 in the minors. He usually opens 1, I usually open 1. We're still playing the same system.

#6 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2019-March-10, 13:15

View Postetha, on 2019-March-10, 10:21, said:

Or to play we can't have a singleton but occasionally bid 1NT with one.


This really depends on what “occasionally” means to you.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#7 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-March-10, 13:22

View Postbarmar, on 2019-March-10, 12:16, said:

My partner and I have different styles when we're 4-4 in the minors. He usually opens 1, I usually open 1. We're still playing the same system.

I think that is pushing the concept of style too far.
But again, over to Gordontd and the experts.
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#8 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-March-10, 13:44

View Postpescetom, on 2019-March-10, 13:22, said:

I think that is pushing the concept of style too far.
But again, over to Gordontd and the experts.

Our convention card just says that each of these bids shows 3+ cards in the suit. There's nothing on the ACBL CC that says anything about which you bid when you have a choice.

Another case: In the auction 1 1 1NT I'm more likely to bypass 4-card majors to bid 1NT than he is (we play Walsh style, so 1 usually denies a major unless responder has invitational+ strength). If the opponents ask about such an auction, we'll disclose this tendency difference, but I don't think it requires a proactive alert.

#9 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-March-10, 14:22

View Postbarmar, on 2019-March-10, 13:44, said:

Our convention card just says that each of these bids shows 3+ cards in the suit. There's nothing on the ACBL CC that says anything about which you bid when you have a choice.

ACBL hears a different drum, but it is pretty odd that there is no obligation to clearly define the inferences from a 1 of a suit opening, or that the definition can depend on which partner opens. In most RAs you would already be in violation of the rules if you failed to alert (or announce) a 1 opening that does not deny clubs of equal length, however common that agreement might be.
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#10 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2019-March-10, 17:28

View Postetha, on 2019-March-10, 10:10, said:

Just discovered I may be breaking the rules. Note I am in the UK. I am playing a 14-16NT. If I sometimes open these with a singleton I just discovered they are alertable. Now if my partner who never opens these with a singleton bids 1NT is that alertable and what do I write on the CC.


IMO,
  • If you open 1N with a singleton but partner won't, then, arguably, those are treatments.
  • Treatments should be disclosable.
  • Hence partner should announce "might have a singleton" but you shouldn't.

This seems to be a grey area, without clear guidelines. Yet another candidate for rule rationalization.
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#11 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2019-March-10, 20:43

View Postpescetom, on 2019-March-10, 14:22, said:

. In most RAs you would already be in violation of the rules if you failed to alert (or announce) a 1 opening that does not deny clubs of equal length, however common that agreement might be.
One citation of a regulation would be nice.

Only one I deal with ACBL no alert would be required.
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#12 User is online   marklaf 

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Posted 2019-March-10, 23:11

In Japan you are allowed to open 1nt with a singleton A or K or Q--otherwise it is forbidden
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#13 User is offline   dsLawsd 

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Posted 2019-March-10, 23:29

ACBL allows 1 NT with A,K, Q.

One of the main problems with 1partner only can do is that it creates so many ethical issues involving Unauthorized Information that can lead to discipline or at least a severe playing penalty that might lead to an issue with your reputation.

Play one system binding on the partnership: and in certain situations whereby partner would GENUINELY not suspect that you have deviated from your treatment based on looking at your hand (and any future problems in the the auction that you anticipate). Doing something frequently causes the presumption that there is partnership knowledge.

You should ask whoever is the authority in the UK of course about specific situations...

(ACBL CERTIFIED CLUB DIRECTOR)
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#14 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-March-11, 03:04

View PostCyberyeti, on 2019-March-10, 10:14, said:

If you're in England, you announce "14-16 may contain a singleton".


Correct.

I must admit that I find the test "May Contain a Singleton" to be a pretty high hurdle.

In my main partnership I have bid 1NT with a singleton exactly once (and partner has never to my knowledge bid 1NT with a singleton). The one time that I bid 1NT with a singleton, I held a 4441 hand (playing a weak NT and four-card majors) with a singleton club, a 13-count and soft, NT-type values. This is a difficult hand for the system - if I open 1 (or 1) and rebid 2, I guarantee a five-card heart (or spade) suit. I could open 1 and rebid 2 over a 2 response (choosing to lie in the minor rather than the major). This is an improvement but it is hardly ideal to pretend to hold a single-suited diamond hand. With 12 points I might pass, with 14 points I might upgrade, but with this specific hand I chose to open 1NT. In discussing the hands at halfway (in a Swiss teams), I mentioned to partner that I had chosen to open 1NT on hand X. She looked at the hand-record, shrugged and said "yes, I see what you mean".

So I have now made the bid and discussed with partner. Do we now have an agreement (explicit or implicit) that "we may open with a singleton". Should we be announcing this? I feel that this would be an unhelpful announcement! Our response structure does not make any allowance for the possibility of a singleton.

On the other hand, I know of partnerships who treat any 4441 shape as balanced and will regularly open 1NT with this shape (and have responses geared to catering for this possibility). I would certainly want to be informed of this possibility.
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#15 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2019-March-11, 03:17

View Postpescetom, on 2019-March-10, 13:22, said:

I think that is pushing the concept of style too far.
But again, over to Gordontd and the experts.

The Blue Book says:

Quote

3 D Matters of style
3 D 1 If a partnership has understandings such as opening lighter in third and/or fourth position or
overcalling on four card suits, these should be disclosed on the system card.
3 D 2 If a partnership agrees to make take-out doubles of suit bids on almost all hands with opening
bid values including length in opener’s suit, this should be disclosed on the system card.
Similarly the practice of doubling for take-out on unusually weak hands should be marked on
the front of the system card.
3 D 3 Members of a partnership may play a different style from each other, for example while
opening pre-empts one player may take more liberties with suit quality than the other. Any
relevant information about style should be explained in answer to a question, and, where
appropriate, disclosed on the system card.


I think that would cover which minor to open with 4-4, especially in an Acol setting where there seems to be so much variation and it's not infrequent for a pair not even to have discussed this.
Gordon Rainsford
London UK
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#16 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2019-March-11, 03:21

View PostCyberyeti, on 2019-March-10, 10:54, said:

Not exactly. I think where an announcement is involved you need to know whether your partnership agreement is that you do it with a singleton or not. I'd be inclined to announce "may contain a singleton, but that's more likely if I open it than when he does" or the reverse, but no doubt Gordon will say you shouldn't do this.

The aim of announcing and alerting is to try to give your opponents as much information as is useful, so in general more is more. In this instance you might vary your announcements slightly so that one of you says "...may contain a singleton" while the other says "...may very rarely contain a singleton". Note that this has just come out of my head and is not an official position.
Gordon Rainsford
London UK
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#17 User is offline   etha 

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Posted 2019-March-11, 03:44

OK thanks
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#18 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-March-11, 04:00

View Poststeve2005, on 2019-March-10, 20:43, said:

One citation of a regulation would be nice.


WBF Systems Policy, Appendix 3:
Policy
The following classes of calls should be alerted:
1. Conventional bids should be alerted, non-conventional bids should not.
2. Those bids which have special meanings or which are based on or lead to special
understandings between the partners.

This is still the backbone of the Alert policy of many RAs - alert anything that is not natural or has hidden meanings. Of course the perception of what is natural or not is in part linked to specific bridge culture, in this case how rigidly or not suits are bid up the line in the traditional national systems.
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#19 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2019-March-11, 04:11

View Postpescetom, on 2019-March-10, 14:22, said:

In most RAs you would already be in violation of the rules if you failed to alert (or announce) a 1 opening that does not deny clubs of equal length, however common that agreement might be.

I wonder if you meant something different to what you wrote? Surely you aren't saying it's alertable to open 1D when 4-4 in the minors?
Gordon Rainsford
London UK
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#20 User is offline   661_Pete 

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Posted 2019-March-11, 05:37

In our club all 1NT openers should be announced - which is rather pointless since every pair I've met invariably plays 12-14 - but it's the rule. Sometimes I forget to announce - and get pulled up for it! Stayman and transfer replies must also be announced of course.

Although I've never played the system described in the OP, I sometimes wish I could open 1NT on 14 points with a singleton. 4-4-4-1 is my least favourite shape (probably everyone else's, too!) especially if the singleton is a major. I bid a suit; partner needless to say responds with that major - then what do I do?
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