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Ignoring the stop card

#1 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2020-January-10, 04:59

This was in a German club, but I'm not really looking for a ruling. I'm just thinking out loud. The bidding went:

1-2NT-4-5
p-p-5 all pass. +450.

The mechanics of the bidding were as follows:

1 in tempo
2NT with a stop card, taken away in 10 seconds
4 instantly after the stop card was taken away, with a stop card of its own.
5 about 3 seconds after the 4 bid was on the table. The stop card had not been taken away. The 4 bidder took away the stop card after the 5 call had been made.
pass from opener: about 5 seconds after the 5 call. (no agreement whether this is forcing)
pass from 2NT: in tempo
5: in tempo.

Before making his opening lead, the guy with both minors said (in a friendly, slightly condescending tone): "next time try to pass in tempo."
Dummy said, in an annoyed tone "next time tell your partner to respect the stop card. My partner is also helped by it, he can prepare for his own responses to the expected 5m bids. Furthermore, passing very fast would itself be UI, usually opener needs a few seconds in this sequence."

OK dummy was me, who am I kidding. I had KQxx Jxxxxx xx Q and had no idea what my partner's "BIT" even suggests, probably trying to figure out if we have forcing pass agreements. But anyway, my main question is, is there such a rule somewhere? Stop card regulations are regional. The German law (translated by me in italics) says:

Quote

Wenn ein Spieler eine Ansage macht, bevor die Reizung freigegeben ist, oder wenn er erkennbares Desinteresse zeigt (z. B. Sekunden laut vorzählt), kann der Turnierleiter einen berichtigten Score nach § 16 TBR zuweisen.

If a player makes a call before the bidding is opened again {gwnn: ie the stop card is taken away}, or when he shows a recognisable lack of interest (for example by counting seconds out loud {gwnn: lol I'd probably go crazy if someone did that to me}), the director can award an adjusted score according to Law 16.


I don't think this quite covers what happened here. I don't care what UI my LHO passed to my RHO, but I do care that she disturbed my partner and kind of forced him to commit a BIT or to make a rushed decision.

edit: Added the bold face since apparently some people misread it. The stop card had not been removed prematurely. The 5 call was too fast.

This post has been edited by gwnn: 2020-January-11, 14:45

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#2 User is offline   FelicityR 

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Posted 2020-January-10, 06:36

I would hope that a director would automatically rule in your favour as the first violation - bidding 5 quickly after 3 seconds ignoring the stop card - was made by the opponents. Since the 5 bidder chose to ignore the rules, your partner (as opener) has every right to break tempo as he expecting a 10 second hiatus after the 4 bid, and the immediate 5 bid caught him unawares.

Glad you as dummy, gwnn, gave the condescending player a piece of your mind :angry:
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#3 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2020-January-10, 07:44

The Norwegian regulation on STOP explicitly states that LHO (to the player who should use STOP) is entitled to a pause of 10 seconds where STOP is required, regardless of whether or not STOP was used or was withdrawn prematurely.
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#4 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2020-January-10, 07:54

View Postpran, on 2020-January-10, 07:44, said:

The Norwegian regulation on STOP explicitly states that LHO (to the player who should use STOP) is entitled to a pause of 10 seconds where STOP is required, regardless of whether or not STOP was used or was withdrawn prematurely.

The German regulation says the same thing, but what about the partner of the STOP card user if the player between them ignores the STOP card (which is the scenario I described)?

View PostFelicityR, on 2020-January-10, 06:36, said:

Glad you as dummy, gwnn, gave the condescending player a piece of your mind :angry:

Thanks, although TBH, I wish I had just said something like "If you think there was an infraction, please call the director. Otherwise, I'd appreciate it if you kept your remarks to after the session." Starting/continuing an argument never leads anywhere, however tempting it is at the time.
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#5 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-January-10, 08:02

The Italian regulations do not discuss the situation when STOP is not respected by LHO, or it's implications for partner.
But they do set an interesting precedent when discussing the situation where Declarer fails to pause before playing from dummy for the first time: such a pause is only recommended, but "in it's absence RHO may take an equivalent pause without giving rise to UI".
Hopefully the two situations will be fully aligned in future.
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#6 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-January-10, 08:20

View Postgwnn, on 2020-January-10, 07:54, said:

TBH, I wish I had just said something like "If you think there was an infraction, please call the director. Otherwise, I'd appreciate it if you kept your remarks to after the session." Starting/continuing an argument never leads anywhere, however tempting it is at the time.


I would also try not to add "Otherwise, I'd appreciate it if you kept your remarks to after the session.", which is still a bit konfrontativ. But it's easier to give such advice than follow it.
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#7 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2020-January-10, 09:03

View Postpescetom, on 2020-January-10, 08:20, said:

I would also try not to add "Otherwise, I'd appreciate it if you kept your remarks to after the session.", which is still a bit konfrontativ. But it's easier to give such advice than follow it.

Well my main goal would be to try to get them to stop. So yes I want to confront them about their "I'm not saying... just saying" remarks.
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#8 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2020-January-10, 09:07

View Postgwnn, on 2020-January-10, 07:54, said:

The German regulation says the same thing, but what about the partner of the STOP card user if the player between them ignores the STOP card (which is the scenario I described)?

I don't see how that can affect the partner of the STOP card user (unless the STOP card itself is withdrawn prematurely)?
The fact that a player ignores the STOP card does not oblige any other player to call while the STOP card is still exposed.

Correct procedure in your situation should be:
1: Player "A" presents his STOP card
2: He makes his skip bid
3: His LHO calls while the STOP card is still exposed (of course a violation of the STOP regulation)
4: The STOP card is eventually withdrawn (presumably after a total pause of say 10 seconds).
5: Partner to player "A" makes his call.
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#9 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2020-January-10, 09:09

Well, I was the STOP card user. I thought there is no point to have the STOP card on the table if I saw that LHO ignored it and made their call. I removed it about 2 seconds after LHO made her premature call. I didn't know I was supposed to keep it there for 10 seconds in this case. Do others really keep it there after LHO made their call? I guess I'll do it next time and that way we're all OK.
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#10 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2020-January-10, 10:07

View Postgwnn, on 2020-January-10, 09:09, said:

Well, I was the STOP card user. I thought there is no point to have the STOP card on the table if I saw that LHO ignored it and made their call. I removed it about 2 seconds after LHO made her premature call. I didn't know I was supposed to keep it there for 10 seconds in this case. Do others really keep it there after LHO made their call? I guess I'll do it next time and that way we're all OK.

Your only problem here can be if your partner thinks (long?) during what should have been a 10 seconds STOP period but which was now interrupted by you withdrawing your STOP card.

I would (as Director) not have accepted any objection or claim from your opponents in this situation. Your LHO alone was at fault by violating the STOP regulation.
However, I can see a possible case for your opponents when you removed your STOP card early because you are the player responsible for actually timing the duration of the STOP period.

There can be no case against you or your partner if you leave your STOP card exposed during the full 10 seconds whatever your LHO does during this time.
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#11 User is online   barmar 

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Posted 2020-January-10, 10:18

View Postpran, on 2020-January-10, 10:07, said:

However, I can see a possible case for your opponents when you removed your STOP card early because you are the player responsible for actually timing the duration of the STOP period.

But the STOP period is intended to be for LHO's call. If they call prematurely, I can understand thinking that keeping the STOP card on the table has become pointless.

BTW, I wouldn't expect this to be a FP situation. I assume your 4 bid is not strong, since you have a cue bid available (two of them, in fact).

#12 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2020-January-10, 10:20

View Postbarmar, on 2020-January-10, 10:18, said:

But the STOP period is intended to be for LHO's call. If they call prematurely, I can understand thinking that keeping the STOP card on the table has become pointless.

BTW, I wouldn't expect this to be a FP situation. I assume your 4 bid is not strong, since you have a cue bid available (two of them, in fact).

I agree with the second part (as well). But I could see how someone in a first-time partnership would have to think of that first, and then think of what to do, and how this would take a bit of time, pretty much regardless of their holding.
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#13 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2020-January-10, 10:46

View Postbarmar, on 2020-January-10, 10:18, said:

But the STOP period is intended to be for LHO's call. If they call prematurely, I can understand thinking that keeping the STOP card on the table has become pointless.

I agree, but the skip bidder does not violate any law or regulation by leaving his STOP card exposed for the full 10 seconds, it is LHO who violates regulations by calling while the STOP card is still exposed.

The fact that leaving the STOP card exposed for the full 10 seconds might be to the advantage for partner is in this situation entirely immaterial.
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#14 User is online   barmar 

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Posted 2020-January-10, 10:49

View Postgwnn, on 2020-January-10, 10:20, said:

I agree with the second part (as well). But I could see how someone in a first-time partnership would have to think of that first, and then think of what to do, and how this would take a bit of time, pretty much regardless of their holding.

Of course -- when the auction reaches a high level quickly, things are usually murky. I think some RAs have specific allowances for hesitations in situations like this.

#15 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2020-January-10, 10:50

Thinking for 5 seconds before passing over 5 is hardly unexpected after such a spirited auction.
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#16 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-January-10, 11:02

View Postbarmar, on 2020-January-10, 10:18, said:

If they call prematurely, I can understand thinking that keeping the STOP card on the table has become pointless.

I can understand it too, but thanks to pran I know understand why that thought is wrong.
It's a subtle point which probably should be made explicit in regulation, but explains why no "can take time without UI" clause was deemed necessary.
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#17 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-January-10, 11:11

View Postgwnn, on 2020-January-10, 09:03, said:

Well my main goal would be to try to get them to stop. So yes I want to confront them about their "I'm not saying... just saying" remarks.


In real life I would probably say (on a good day) "I suggest that your partner's failure to wait out the STOP is the only problem here. But if you disagree please call the Director". That gets things off my chest without being too provocative, if they go on arguing then I call the Director myself.
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#18 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2020-January-10, 11:44

View Postpescetom, on 2020-January-10, 11:11, said:

In real life I would probably say (on a good day) "I suggest that your partner's failure to wait out the STOP is the only problem here. But if you disagree please call the Director". That gets things off my chest without being too provocative, if they go on arguing then I call the Director myself.

Well in context (big club, 1 director, he was also playing as well, very fast changes) I think that's probably the most practical solution. But in a vacuum I think that ideally we should avoid making any remark about irregularities without addressing them to the TD, and responding to these remarks in kind is in a way adding to the problem. Two wrongs don't make a right. But it's all a grey area, however much I'd like to pretend it's not. For example saying "excuse me, the stop card is still there" in this case, or "excuse me, that was not even close to 10 seconds" if the stop card is taken too fast, or "sorry I think it's been 10 seconds" if the stop card is not taken at all, similar remarks, I can live with them as shorthand mini-rulings. Ideally I want to avoid explaining the rules to my opponents, regardless of context, but we don't have infinite time nor infinite directors.
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#19 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2020-January-10, 13:18

Bidding before the stop card is removed is an infraction of the stop card regulation. Call the director right then. Now the partner of the stop card user will have at least a couple of minutes to think about what he wants to do, while everyone waits for the director. B-)

Oh, and leave the stop card on the table until the director tells you to pick it up, or makes his ruling and indicates play should continue.
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#20 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-January-10, 14:56

View Poststeve2005, on 2020-January-10, 10:50, said:

Thinking for 5 seconds before passing over 5 is hardly unexpected after such a spirited auction.


No, and I am envious of jurisdictions that require use of the Stop card after any 3-level+ bid in a contested auction.
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