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convention cards explaining bids to opps

#1 User is offline   Rkjonaas 

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Posted 2020-July-01, 04:21

I have been asked more and more to alert my bidding or explain my bidding. I thought the convention card should take care of most of that. I am going to spend time with my partner tomorrow to upset our convention card. if we put on there that we bid short club as a demand bid and 1 diamond is the weak response to indicate less than 6 points will the alerts be made for me by the card. Some people with really fancy systems alert all their bids and some explanations are lengthy. I have to believe that is an automated alert.

Any help you can give me would be appreciated. is there a way to automate the alert process so i don't have to type and explanation during the bidding, at least for the common ones?
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#2 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-July-01, 04:57

View PostRkjonaas, on 2020-July-01, 04:21, said:

I have been asked more and more to alert my bidding or explain my bidding. I thought the convention card should take care of most of that.

A CC is in no way a sufficient substitute for alerting. It is your responsibility to alert your opps that you are playing unusual or artificial methods, not their job to trawl through your CC and find the specific part that relates to the current auction. if you do not alert when the local alerting rules say that you should then you are at some point going to get an adverse ruling for misleading the opps. In some cases you might even receive a suspension if you refuse to alert your calls and this is causing disruption to club tournaments.


View PostRkjonaas, on 2020-July-01, 04:21, said:

Any help you can give me would be appreciated. is there a way to automate the alert process so i don't have to type and explanation during the bidding, at least for the common ones?

I assume here that you are talking specifically about BBO now. There used to be a method of automatic alerts on BBO called "Full Disclosure". I personally used this extensively when I was playing a complicated strong club system online, although even then some manual alerting was necessary. Unfortunately FD is no longer available in the current iteration of BBO so you will need to alert manually (similarly to when playing f2f behind screens).
(-: Zel :-)

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#3 User is offline   Rkjonaas 

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Posted 2020-July-01, 09:03

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-July-01, 04:57, said:

A CC is in no way a sufficient substitute for alerting. It is your responsibility to alert your opps that you are playing unusual or artificial methods, not their job to trawl through your CC and find the specific part that relates to the current auction. if you do not alert when the local alerting rules say that you should then you are at some point going to get an adverse ruling for misleading the opps. In some cases you might even receive a suspension if you refuse to alert your calls and this is causing disruption to club tournaments.



I assume here that you are talking specifically about BBO now. There used to be a method of automatic alerts on BBO called "Full Disclosure". I personally used this extensively when I was playing a complicated strong club system online, although even then some manual alerting was necessary. Unfortunately FD is no longer available in the current iteration of BBO so you will need to alert manually (similarly to when playing f2f behind screens).

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#4 User is offline   Rkjonaas 

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Posted 2020-July-01, 09:06

Thank you,Zelandakh, for you reply. it clearly answers my questions, especially as they relate to BBO. I will be more attentive to Alerting my bids as I understand my responsibility. I really like how you worded your answer. Thank you again.

Rkjonaas
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#5 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-July-01, 09:50

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-July-01, 04:57, said:


I assume here that you are talking specifically about BBO now. There used to be a method of automatic alerts on BBO called "Full Disclosure". I personally used this extensively when I was playing a complicated strong club system online, although even then some manual alerting was necessary. Unfortunately FD is no longer available in the current iteration of BBO so you will need to alert manually (similarly to when playing f2f behind screens).


Sort of similar. Of course behind screens you alert both your bids and your partner’s to your screenmate.
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#6 User is offline   jwccsllc 

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Posted 2020-July-01, 13:35

View PostRkjonaas, on 2020-July-01, 04:21, said:

I have been asked more and more to alert my bidding or explain my bidding. I thought the convention card should take care of most of that. I am going to spend time with my partner tomorrow to upset our convention card. if we put on there that we bid short club as a demand bid and 1 diamond is the weak response to indicate less than 6 points will the alerts be made for me by the card. Some people with really fancy systems alert all their bids and some explanations are lengthy. I have to believe that is an automated alert.

Any help you can give me would be appreciated. is there a way to automate the alert process so i don't have to type and explanation during the bidding, at least for the common ones?


The BBOalert extension to Chrome and Firefox browsers is very useful for this. See the BBOalert pages on Facebook for discussion.

I've been using this with several of my partners as we play fairly complex 2/1 systems with lots of gadgets, and it works very nicely.
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#7 User is offline   nekthen 

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Posted 2020-July-02, 02:06

View Postjwccsllc, on 2020-July-01, 13:35, said:

The BBOalert extension to Chrome and Firefox browsers is very useful for this. See the BBOalert pages on Facebook for discussion.

I've been using this with several of my partners as we play fairly complex 2/1 systems with lots of gadgets, and it works very nicely.


Seconded. BBO Alert is a really useful tool. Shame I cant use it in the app
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#8 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-July-02, 07:42

View PostVampyr, on 2020-July-01, 09:50, said:

Sort of similar. Of course behind screens you alert both your bids and your partner’s to your screenmate.


On BBO it is better, because both opponents receive the same explanation and alerts. And if you suspect the explanation was incorrect, you can ask the other partner to explain the agreement without waking up the person who first explained the bid. Wow - there is an aspect of playing on BBO that is better than real bridge (besides, of course, playing in your underwear. And I must admit it is nice to be playing with overseas friends.
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#9 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-July-03, 03:35

On the same issue, and since we are now all 'playing behind screens'. All the Clubs that I play in are virtual and will remain so for the foreseeable. Two of these are FTF - Stepbridge which is played as a Swiss under Australian ABF regulations. You can call the TD, get rulings in just the same way as at a physical club. Step is based in Adelaide, the Server is in the Netherlands and the players are all over Australia and the world. I joined up in November 2019. SInce the pandemic began, Step has become Australias largest Club.
The other Club is the BIL. It operates through BBO and has been going for a very long time and has nurtured many players. Its tournaments are played as Mitchell's. TD calls are almost unheard of in the BIL.
They are frequent on Step. The convention card on BBO is difficult to find during play, occupies much of the screen is not completely informative and would slow play to a grinding halt if used in the usual way. As a tool for players to gain an understanding of their system it may be great, but not as a way to inform the opposition. That is what the alert box is for.
Now to my question. I often get conflicting rulings. I am sometimes told that natural bids must be alerted, then not, then I am told that cue bids should be alerted then not, then I am told that nothing over 3NT needs to be alerted, then I am told to alert everything, Remember that on Step it's a Blitz game. If you do not get the last board down by the 5-minute marker then imps/MPs will be awarded against you.
Here is a typical conversation from today.

Private from S> 2H? Ref to a michaels cue bid
Private to S> s and another
Private to S> probably not clubs :-) (S's partner had just bid 3)
S> please reply to ops and specs and not just me so my p can see

S. had opened the bidding 1, I made a self-alerting Michaels Cue bid of 2,

S finally asked me in chat to reply so that her partner could also see the response. So, this may be a case where the rules vary depending on the jurisdiction. Since in Australia the MCB is self-alerting, Is S. asking me to disclose information for the benefit of her partner just in case her partner did not know what a MCB is? What do the Directors from other regions make of this and other similar situations?


One advantage of not playing in FTF clubs is that there are far fewer Director calls. In general, people seem to be much more concerned about enjoying the game. This seems to make for a more 'free-flowing' game as they say in ball sports, allowing one to focus more on the cards and bidding. That's my view anyway.
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#10 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-July-03, 04:24

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-July-03, 03:35, said:

Now to my question. I often get conflicting rulings. I am sometimes told that natural bids must be alerted, then not, then I am told that cue bids should be alerted then not, then I am told that nothing over 3NT needs to be alerted, then I am told to alert everything

Alerting regulations vary by regulating authority so you should always quote that in any questions about alerting.In addition, many of the TDs now being forced to run their tournaments online are not fully aware of the implications of online play and therefore will only quote the offline regs. In online play, since self-alerts have no UI considerations, the rule is that you should alert anything unusual. If in doubt, alert.

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-July-03, 03:35, said:

Here is a typical conversation from today.

S finally asked me in chat to reply so that her partner could also see the response. So, this may be a case where the rules vary depending on the jurisdiction. Since in Australia the MCB is self-alerting, Is S. asking me to disclose information for the benefit of her partner just in case her partner did not know what a MCB is? What do the Directors from other regions make of this and other similar situations?

First of all it is illegal to ask a question for partner's benefit, so the request is inappropriate unless the partner has some disability that makes asking questions difficult. Secondly, if you self-alerted properly then their partner already has the explanation and there is no need for a direct message. That said, if your self-alert was just "Michaels" then that is also wrong. Write something like "5+ 5+other, 0-11 or 16+" or whatever your actual agreement is and not just a convention name. That would probably have avoided the entire exchange and kept the game moving.
(-: Zel :-)

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#11 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-July-03, 04:30

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-July-03, 03:35, said:


S finally asked me in chat to reply so that her partner could also see the response. So, this may be a case where the rules vary depending on the jurisdiction. Since in Australia the MCB is self-alerting, Is S. asking me to disclose information for the benefit of her partner just in case her partner did not know what a MCB is? What do the Directors from other regions make of this and other similar situations?
h

One advantage of not playing in FTF clubs is that there are far fewer Director calls. In general, people seem to be much more concerned about enjoying the game. This seems to make for a more 'free-flowing' game as they say in ball sports, allowing one to focus more on the cards and bidding. That's my view anyway.


While the idea of self-alerting calls really tickles me, just explain your artificial bids. Calls above 3NT, well I believe that in most jurisdictions a call on the first round of the bidding is alertable. In the EBU strange doubles are too, but I expect that in other places no doubles above 3NT are alertable.

Most of the director calls in real bridge are for errors in procedure, which don’t happen online. In any case the negative view you have about director calls is very sad.
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#12 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-July-03, 05:06

Perhaps I was unclear in my original comments. Here is an extract from the Australian regulations:
"2.4 Self-alerting calls there are five different types of self-alerting calls, viz.• Doubles• Redoubles• Cue bids of an opponent's denomination/suit• All calls at the four-level or higher, except conventional opening bids• Any 2♣ response to a 1NT opening bid in an uncontested auction. These calls carry their own alert and should not be alerted. It may be risky to make assumptions as to the meaning of such a call. A player is entitled (at their turn to call) to ask for their own protection, but bear in mind that unnecessary questions may be more helpful to the opponents than to the enquirer's own side, and may convey unauthorised information thereby limiting partner's options."
Specifically what this means is that I am not meant to say what my 2 bid means because it is self-alerting. To do otherwise would mean that it had a meaning that was other than its natural meaning as specified in 2.4. As 2.4 states a player is entitled to ask. In this case, it was the opener, not the responder, that asked. It seemed to me that Opener wanted to be sure that her partner understood the meaning of my self-alerting MCB. When she asked me privately to her what it meant I replied S and another.

I have no positive or negative views about Director calls. Other than to say, as in any sport if all runs smoothly there should be no need for any. The happiest Director is surely the Director that sees a sea of smiling faces quietly enjoying a session of Bridge.
What I am saying is that jurisdictions may differ. TD's may differ. and the cognisance of players may also differ. One quick way to destroy peoples interest in any sport is the heavy-handed application of laws and rulings. A much worse way is arbitrariness. The big problem that is faced with the globalisation of Bridge on BBO is that nobody seems to want to tackle this in a spirit of internationalisation. By sticking to the outmoded systems of regional authorities I am concerned that the Laws and Rulings aspect will become a barrier for newcomers, This is at a time when Bridge could be on the threshold of a boom as people seek alternative activities. This Discussion has clearly gone beyond this topic and perhaps others more qualified than me may wish to discuss it elsewhere in a more appropriate part of the Forum: or not.
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#13 User is offline   TSgro 

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Posted 2020-July-03, 06:12

When playing speedball, there is really no time for me to read your card. Even playing a 7 min hand it is hard to read your card. Playing at a club with your card sitting out, you still have to alert everything that is in red. I have several beginning players as partners and they do not even know some of the conventions being played, so a good explanation is import for them. Thank you.
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#14 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-July-03, 08:53

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-July-03, 05:06, said:

Perhaps I was unclear in my original comments. Here is an extract from the Australian regulations:

As is made clear in the blurb, the reason that the regs are structured like this is to avoid unnecessary UI. This is not an issue online. It is only made an issue if you bid without providing an explanation and LHO thus has to wait for you to type it in before making a call. So the answer is for you to type the explanation into the alert box yourself before you make the call. This is a key difference between online play and f2f play without screens. To me it sounds here like you really want to weasel out of your alerting responsibilities. If you did this with me, I would click on every call that you made thereafter against me any time we played. Mostly though such players just get black-listed, which is easy on BBO.

And in case you are not aware, bridge communities tend to be small ones. Players with dubious disclosure tendencies tend to get noticed. There is one pair I know for whom I have the above rule and, indeed, the last time playing against them both boards got cancelled because they refused to provide an explanation for their bids. That pair currently stands banned from the tournaments of the largest local club for cheating/lack of disclosure. So I strongly suggest you do disclose your methods and follow the golden rule of online bridge - if in doubt, alert. Forget the self-alerts of f2f bridge, do it yourself properly by using the alert box provided.
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#15 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-July-03, 09:53

I agree with Zelendakh that L20G1 applies. I know IRL that questions about calls get answered to both opponents, but if partner is confused, partner gets to ask their own questions. If partner relies on you to point out where she should pay attention, it's time to learn to think on her own. Also, it is not up to me to let your partner know that you are asking questions (never mind, you think she should hear the answers). Online allows you to (sometimes) ask questions in a way that partner doesn't know about that fact; there's a reason for that (oh wait, do I hear "L20G1" again?).

I do, however, stand by "it's on my card" is totally in violation of any reasonable disclosure requirements. "Failure to alert promptly where an alert is required by the Regulating Authority is deemed misinformation", (L21B1, excerpt). "The Regulating Authority: (iii) may prescribe alerting procedures and/or other methods of disclosure of a partnership’s methods." (L40B2a, excerpt) Online the requirement is to self-Alert Alertable bids, and by preference, self-explain at the time of the bid, rather than "alert and wait for questions". Anything else is just lazy and, in many cases, an attempt to frustrate the opponents.

"1 is a demand bid" - yes, but does it promise strength (like Precision, 16+)? Or could it be strong with or without clubs (like Polish, weak NT or clubs 15-18, or 19+, not suitable for 2)? Or is it just 12-21, at least 2 clubs, but denies another 5-card suit (Montreal relay - passable, but "we never do")? Or is it "15+ BAL, or 14+ unbalanced with clubs" (Bill Jacobs' system)? Or is it "12-21, clubs or balanced outside of NT ranges) (common, but this one is passable)? Or is it old-fashioned "we open 1 when we have clubs, but also when we have a 2-bid hand (usually strong), so don't pass, please, partner"?

I am not required to know your system. I am allowed to use what information you provide me, but I am also allowed to rely on you Alerting and explaining as required. As you are when my auction goes 1NT-2; 2-3; 3NT (hint, opener likely has, but does not guarantee, 4 spades, and you might be surprised about the strength as well) or (1)-1NT; 2-2; 3-pass, (hint: the second heart gets ruffed in hand.)
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#16 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2020-July-04, 12:05

I had a run in with a pair that RMB identified from the system. They legally randomise whether they open 1/1 with balanced hands (something to do with the polarities of the lowest card in each suit I think), but also play 4 card majors. So I asked the question what influenced their decision to open a 4 card major rather than the minor at which point they try to hide behind general bridge knowledge. Nobody has this GBK because nobody plays their system (particularly whether if the polarities say you should open a 2 card club rather than a 4 card diamond, are they more likely to open a 4 card heart instead) and there are bound to be CPAs because they've played it a while.
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#17 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-July-04, 15:36

Here's the problem. We are discussing "replying to convention cards" in BBO Forums, an online Bridge playing Forum in the Novice and Beginner Forum. Very quickly, the conversation has turned into an acronymic discussion of laws and rulings that is irrelevant to the readership of this section.
"..RMB identified from the system"
"...legally randomise.."
"...L20G1 applies. I know IRL that questions about calls ..."
What I see a lot of in the Club, online, and in general discourse is unawareness. It works like this From the Director "please alert your 1club bid"
1. "we play Schenken club
2. "We play Myxi 2's
3. "We play Precision
4. "3
5. "2
6. "1
7. "says nothing about clubs
I have seen all of these "explanations" and many more.
What does GIB say "Minor suit opening -- 3+ ♣; 11-21HCP; 12-22 total points".
Players arrive at the table with big grins and say We play ACOL (sic) - you and I know that there are at least 7 types of Acol with multiple no trump ranges. saying we play Acol is as useful as saying we play Bridge.
I learned to play Bridge from BBO and from probability theory as a teenager by studying Bayes theorem. I also sometimes randomise to avoid giving away information because of the law of restricted choice. This information is available on the GIB system card. In my experience of training people, I often encounter frustration when they are unaware of something and do not have insight into that unawareness.
I once asked a prominent Director the following question.
As a defender, if the opener bids 1club and it is announced as 2+ rather than 3+, should I have a different response as LHO? Is there a reason for 2+ compared with 3+? He had no reply other than to say that it's in the laws of Bridge and that's that.
We are discussing Online Bridge. Even if we were not, full disclosure requires competency on the part of the recipient. The reason that the world is in the disastrous position it is in today is that although the President of the United States was alerted daily about the impending catastrophe, he is insufficiently educated to comprehend the import of what it meant (I think there are other problems as well). It's the same at the table. you can provide a certain amount of information, but you are constrained by time, by your own ability to explain, by your partner's ability to comprehend, and by the ability of the listener to understand.



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#18 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-July-05, 06:30

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-July-04, 15:36, said:

As a defender, if the opener bids 1club and it is announced as 2+ rather than 3+, should I have a different response as LHO?

I am not sure I understand your question. It is completely up to you what system you want to play. I have used several structures that treat a 3+ 1m opening as natural but a 2+ opening as artificial. For a 2+ 1 opening there is the added complication that it might be 2 only with specifically 4432 or it might be any balanced hand outside of range including 3352 or even (53)32. It is not unreasonable to play different defences against these alternatives meaning that you have to ask about a 2+ opening but not a 3+ opening.


View Postpilowsky, on 2020-July-04, 15:36, said:

Is there a reason for 2+ compared with 3+?

There are several reasons why the method has increased in popularity. On a purely theoretical level, it makes for a better split of hands between 1 and 1 according to the available bidding space. Tactically it means that difficult hands tend to have slightly more space to resolve themselves. If you play transfer Walsh, it maximises the advantages of that structure and it also allows for an unbalanced 1 opening, and in some cases also unbalanced 1M openings.
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#19 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-July-05, 14:58

I know what system I play. When I ask for an explanation of a bid or call, I want that information so that I can structure a defence against it. If the Opponents open 2 meaning I have a weak hand with 6+ clubs, that is a very different thing to I have a hand with 8-9 playing tricks. I want to know so that I can devise an appropriate defence. As I stated in my question "As a defender..." I want to know what action I need to take if the pair that I play against choose to open 2+ rather than 3+. In Australia anyway, Pairs sit at the table saying we play SAYC and then bid 1C 2+ or 3+. How am I assisted in structuring my defence? Is there any important Bridge difference that the Defenders need to be aware of?
You say that it is "not unreasonable to play different defences against these alternatives" suggesting that you do understand my question. What are these alternatives? I would like to know.
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#20 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2020-July-05, 16:25

Against 1 showing 3+ I play a 2 overcall as showing both major suits, and 2 as a weak jump overcall. Against 1 as 2+ I play 2 as real(!), showing a hand that is too strong for a normal 3 weak jump overcall. Here I sacrifice the natural 2 to show the majors instead. The biggest point here (which might also come up in other auctions) is that clubs may well be the best suit for your side to play in over an opening showing 2+, which might come up for example after take-out doubles or scrambling bids.

Also perhaps relevant: if the opening bid shows only 2+, there is more value to be had in obstructing the bidding than if it shows 3+ (which is usually considered 'a real suit'). So ideally all your overcalls can be a bit more aggressive, putting the pressure on the opener to describe his hand later. Especially if they are playing a weak NT this is difficult for opener to do due to the wide possible set of hands and lack of anchor suit for 1.
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