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Bidding Cards Removed

#1 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 07:19

Again, the auction does not matter much, but I think it was probably 1S-(Pass)-1NT-(Pass)-2C-(Pass)-2S-All Pass. The person who opened 1S removed his bidding cards before the opening lead, but none of the three others did. The player to declarer's left, seeing just the 2S bid and no other bids, led out of turn, face down and face up after getting an "ok" from his partner who never asks any questions. I was called, and established that the opening bidder's cards had been removed prematurely, and I ruled that the opening lead now stood, and the correct declarer played second to the first trick after seeing dummy. The relevant EBU bidding box regulation is

"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."

Was I right to deny rectification for the OLOOT, and was I right that the original declarer should remain?

Remarkably, two "simple rulings" in one evening at the North London Club, but neither was that simple to me!
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#2 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 08:33

I have no idea how this EBU regulation is usually applied or enforced, but your decision about the lead looks odd to me. The player who led out of turn was present during the auction and if he really cannot remember it he only had to look. Seeing 1NT-2S on his right he must have asked himself how they ended up in 2S, and seeing no cards at all on the left should spark some neural synapse. So my first thought would be that this is a LOOT like any other and should be treated as such.
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#3 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 09:00

The use of bidding boxes doesn't absolve players of paying attention to the auction.

If you want to enforce the bidding box regulation, give the player who removed his cards prematurely a PP. But it doesn't change the actual auction, so this should be treated as a normal OLOOT.

#4 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 09:11

View Postbarmar, on 2019-October-31, 09:00, said:

The use of bidding boxes doesn't absolve players of paying attention to the auction.

If you want to enforce the bidding box regulation, give the player who removed his cards prematurely a PP. But it doesn't change the actual auction, so this should be treated as a normal OLOOT.

I think one should rule that the player who picked up the bidding cards prematurely committed the first infraction, and he could have been aware that this would damage the non-offending side. The offender had won national titles and the leader had only been playing for about nine months.
I prefer to give the lawmakers credit for stating things for a reason. - barmar
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#5 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 09:25

View Postpescetom, on 2019-October-31, 08:33, said:

Seeing 1NT-2S on his right he must have asked himself how they ended up in 2S, and seeing no cards at all on the left should spark some neural synapse.

The person in question was not capable of anything beginning with "neural".
I prefer to give the lawmakers credit for stating things for a reason. - barmar
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#6 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 09:35

Law 21A: "No rectification or redress is due to a player who acts on the basis of his own misunderstanding." The first infraction doesn't change this.

If he sees an incomplete auction, he could have asked for a review. I understand that the regulation is intended to obviate this, but given that some of the cards were no longer on the table, he should be more careful.

Like I said before, give declarer a PP.

#7 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 09:37

View Postlamford, on 2019-October-31, 09:11, said:

he could have been aware that this would damage the non-offending side.

"I've been playing for decades and I do this all the time, it's never caused someone to lead out of turn -- how could I have known it would damage them?"

#8 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 09:47

View Postbarmar, on 2019-October-31, 09:37, said:

"I've been playing for decades and I do this all the time, it's never caused someone to lead out of turn -- how could I have known it would damage them?"


It is considered normal in England to leave bidding cards in place until the opening lead is faced and there are plenty who will tell him to put his bidding cards back as soon as he tries to scoop them up. So he might argue that nobody has led out of turn, but it would be difficult to argue that he has been doing this all the time for decades and never been picked up on this deviation from the procedures.
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#9 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 09:50

View Postbarmar, on 2019-October-31, 09:37, said:

"I've been playing for decades and I do this all the time, it's never caused someone to lead out of turn -- how could I have known it would damage them?"


You are misunderstanding what “could have known” really means.

And I don’t think that there are many experienced players who habitually remove their bidding cards prematurely. It also seems that there was ample time for the declaring side to notice that the wrong player had led face down.

I am not sure whom I would require to make the opening lead, but I would not apply lead restrictions.
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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#10 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 10:20

View PostVampyr, on 2019-October-31, 09:50, said:

You are misunderstanding what “could have known” really means.

And I don’t think that there are many experienced players who habitually remove their bidding cards prematurely. It also seems that there was ample time for the declaring side to notice that the wrong player had led face down.

I am not sure whom I would require to make the opening lead, but I would not apply lead restrictions.


If Director thinks the removal of bidding cards was a callous ploy to confuse a beginner (and his presumably equally inexperienced partner) then impose a stiff PP by all means. I still fail to see how this infraction (merely technical or not) absolves the LOOT. The OP does not detail the time available to declaring side to notice that wrong player had led face down, but again if the declaring side is at fault they might deserve a penalty. I still don't see what law permits the Director to endorse a lead that is out of turn and has not been accepted. The question of who should then become dummy is mute, given that we are already well outside the laws.
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#11 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 10:48

View Postlamford, on 2019-October-31, 07:19, said:

Remarkably, two "simple rulings" in one evening at the North London Club, but neither was that simple to me!

I agree the ruling is not as simple or obvious as it seems. To me, however, the other one looks more complex.

View Postlamford, on 2019-October-31, 07:19, said:

Was I right to deny rectification for the OLOOT, and was I right that the original declarer should remain?

If the opening lead was made face down and faced only after the "OK", both defenders were at fault. Either one should have paid more attention to the auction and realised the error.

I'm with pescetom on this one: I fail to see how the early removal of bidding cards by one player absolves the LOOT.
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#12 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 11:49

View Postbarmar, on 2019-October-31, 09:35, said:

Law 21A: "No rectification or redress is due to a player who acts on the basis of his own misunderstanding." The first infraction doesn't change this.

If he sees an incomplete auction, he could have asked for a review. I understand that the regulation is intended to obviate this, but given that some of the cards were no longer on the table, he should be more careful.

Like I said before, give declarer a PP.

Giving declarer a PP would normally be harsher than allowing the lead to stand. Assuming the PP is 10%. The average gain from a lead out of turn in my database is 4.3%
I prefer to give the lawmakers credit for stating things for a reason. - barmar
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#13 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 11:54

View Postbarmar, on 2019-October-31, 09:37, said:

"I've been playing for decades and I do this all the time, it's never caused someone to lead out of turn -- how could I have known it would damage them?"

At our club, SB would have called the TD every time you did this (after the first when he asked you to leave them there) and requested a PP, so assuming you play 24 boards a week for two decades, and declare one quarter of them, by now the TD would have given 6,000 PPs, or an average of 60/24% per week. That would be spotting the field 2.5% per week. And SB would have circulated all members asking them to call the TD whenever you did this.

Against any less observant person removing the bidding cards before the lead is obnoxious, against a near-beginner it is despicable.
I prefer to give the lawmakers credit for stating things for a reason. - barmar
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#14 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 11:55

View Postshyams, on 2019-October-31, 10:48, said:

Either one should have paid more attention to the auction and realised the error.

Why should they make a mental note of the auction when they can see it before the opening lead if they wish?
I prefer to give the lawmakers credit for stating things for a reason. - barmar
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#15 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 12:32

View Postpescetom, on 2019-October-31, 10:20, said:

If Director thinks the removal of bidding cards was a callous ploy to confuse a beginner (and his presumably equally inexperienced partner) then impose a stiff PP by all means. I still fail to see how this infraction (merely technical or not) absolves the LOOT. The OP does not detail the time available to declaring side to notice that wrong player had led face down, but again if the declaring side is at fault they might deserve a penalty. I still don't see what law permits the Director to endorse a lead that is out of turn and has not been accepted. The question of who should then become dummy is mute, given that we are already well outside the laws.

Rubbish. We are not outside the Laws at all:
90A The Director, in addition to implementing the rectifications in these Laws, may also assess procedural penalties for any offence that unduly delays or obstructs the game, inconveniences other contestants, violates correct procedure, or requires the award of an adjusted score.

Even if you argue that implementing the rectifications in these Laws does not include deciding that there is no rectification for the LOOT (and I would disagree) I can see nothing in the laws which prevents the loss of rectification being the penalty for the violation of correct procedure.
I prefer to give the lawmakers credit for stating things for a reason. - barmar
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#16 User is offline   TylerE 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 12:50

It's not clear at all to me that any law has been violated (other than the LOOT). The EBU reg quoted doesn't proscribe any penalties, and "should" is not "must" or even "shall".
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#17 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 13:27

View Postlamford, on 2019-October-31, 12:32, said:

Rubbish. We are not outside the Laws at all:
90A The Director, in addition to implementing the rectifications in these Laws, may also assess procedural penalties for any offence that unduly delays or obstructs the game, inconveniences other contestants, violates correct procedure, or requires the award of an adjusted score.

Even if you argue that implementing the rectifications in these Laws does not include deciding that there is no rectification for the LOOT (and I would disagree) I can see nothing in the laws which prevents the loss of rectification being the penalty for the violation of correct procedure.


"Assess procedural penalties" seems to me both clear and limited, it cannot be intrepreted to include "deciding that there is no rectification for the LOOT" or any other arbitrary disregard of the laws.
Which if either of our positions is rubbish I leave others to judge.
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#18 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 13:38

View PostTylerE, on 2019-October-31, 12:50, said:

It's not clear at all to me that any law has been violated (other than the LOOT). The EBU reg quoted doesn't proscribe any penalties, and "should" is not "must" or even "shall".

I agree it doesn't proscribe any penalties. Even in the USA.
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#19 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 13:43

View Postpescetom, on 2019-October-31, 13:27, said:

"Assess procedural penalties" seems to me both clear and limited, it cannot be intrepreted to include "deciding that there is no rectification for the LOOT" or any other arbitrary disregard of the laws.
Which if either of our positions is rubbish I leave others to judge.

I think you need to read the definitions:
Penalty (See also ‘Rectification’) - penalties
are of two kinds:
<snip>
procedural penalties (additional to any rectification) assessed at the Director’s discretion, Nothing in the Laws prevents the TD assessing the penalty as the player being obliged to accept the LOOT because of his own irregularity. And Nothing says that they have to be 10% of a top which I assessed as too severe compared with the rectification being waived. Note "the Director's discretion".
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#20 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2019-October-31, 14:22

View Postpescetom, on 2019-October-31, 10:20, said:

If Director thinks the removal of bidding cards was a callous ploy to confuse a beginner (and his presumably equally inexperienced partner) then impose a stiff PP by all means.


This is why the words “could have known” are used. The point is not to accuse anyone of anything.

View Postlamford, on 2019-October-31, 13:38, said:

I agree it doesn't proscribe any penalties. Even in the USA.


If no penalty is proscribed, then all are permitted.
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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