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ABOUT CURRENT SYSTEMS CLASSIFICATION WHY THE "WBF SYSTEM POLICY"?

#1 User is offline   carpia 

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Posted 2017-February-23, 04:43

ABOUT CURRENT SYSTEMS CLASSIFICATION

Currently all Systems adopted by teams in the world are regulated and classified according to the contents of the “WBF Systems Policy” document.
When in the document the Ruler, in order to discriminate the Systems, goes to define the “average hand”, he adopts a measuring unit other than the contractual tricks (CT) always used by the Game in all the operative technical phases where we call, play and judge.
He defines it: “a hand containing 10 high card points (Milton Work) with no distributional values”.
Later in the document he asserts: “Bridge must be played in accordance with a set of Laws established by the World Bridge Federation. The following Laws are currently available: International Code Laws of Duplicate Bridge - 2007 edition”.
But in those referred Laws never a hand evaluation phase is taken into account since, one can presume, it’s a mental and personal phase! Never those Laws make a reference to “High Card Points”! Not even they mention a measuring unit other than the Contractual Tricks (CT)! Practically those fundamental Laws ignore, and therefore leave free, the personal evaluation phase, correctly considering it an absolute personal action, and dictate no limits about how to do it or about how and if to open a hand. The referred Laws leave only the faculty to the Regulation Authority to discriminate among the “special understanding”, that is among conventions between partners.
We cannot think that such a choice ought to provoke a regulatory void, because “quisque suae fortunae faber est” (everyone is responsible of his own fortune).
Wanting to realize that faculty, the WBF Systems Policy Ruler rightly intervenes in order to fix criterions about that. But unfortunately he widens the intervention field without a direct mandate and decides to establish rules about when and how to open a hand. That by itself could be acceptable, if correctly done, although it would limit the free will and confine the honest choice. To such a purpose he introduces the definition of “average hand”. It would seem a normal thing! Instead it upsets all the preexisting technical and liberal scenery framed by the 2007 Laws, the same Laws that Ruler tells and has to respect. Let’s see why.
First of all the given definition brings doubts on the same meaning of “average hand”. What does it mean average hand? Perhaps, not as formulated, the Ruler wanted to define a hand of average strength (such as thereafter referred to).
This last sentence too can be better clarified by saying: “a hand of average contractual strength”. What else?
Owing to that, we must talk and define the contractual strength of a hand. Incontrovertibly that can be defined as “its power to win a certain share of 13 tricks”! What else?
Under this profile, now it’s easy to define what must be said: “the average contractual strength”. It suffices to divide 13 tricks by 4 players and have 3.25 tricks for it. What else?
Only “a hand capable to win 3.25 tricks” can be said “a hand with average contractual strength”. What else can be added?
Now there is no more room neither for the MW/HCP points, born only to try to understand roughly the hand contractual strength, nor for whichever other shoddy measure stick!
Such a new definition could allow the Ruler to stay in the technical framework of the Game configured by the 2007 Laws. It would delete also the need to configure virtuous prototypes of average hand with “balanced distribution such as not to provoke extra values”. Further there it would be no more need to talk about distributions because 3.25 tricks are always 3.25 tricks in any manner a hand could be configured!
That is the democratic lesson that the Game gives us!
Perhaps the Ruler wanted not to cause the average hand evaluation a hard task, but the possible difficulty to evaluate a hand according to the feasible contractual tricks could not have affected the Ruler who wanted to stay fair and rooted into the technical Game framework framed by the 2007-Laws.
Having instead done so, he exposed himself to the following objections:
1. The MW/HCP measuring unit pushes one away from the technical content of the Game always based only on the Contractual Tricks (CT) in all its operative phases.
2. It does not exist just only one Bridge hand without distributional values! Even the most uniform kind of distribution, 4-3-3-3, which totally involves only a 10% of all the possible Bridge hands, has a distributional value next to, at least, half a trick, due to its fourth suit and to the other 3 groups of 3 cards.
3. Wanting, at any cost, to introduce that distributional criterion, that already reduces the average hands model to a 10% of the total hands, the successive obligation of selecting there only the “10 MW hands” minimize it to a minimum, shearing off the same meaning of “average hand”.
4. There is a self-evident difference of precision and of compatibility between the two measuring units MW/HCP and CT, garishly and mathematically irrefutable comparing not only the most extreme hands:
A) ♠ AKQJ ♥ AKQ ♦ AKQ ♣ AKQ worth 37 MW or 13 CT
B) ♠ AKQJ1098765432 ♥ - ♦ - ♣ - worth 10 MW or 13 CT,
but even comparing the two virtuous idealized “average hands”:
C) ♠ AKQJ ♥ 1098 ♦ 1098 ♣ 1098 worth 10 MW or 4,45 CT
D) ♠ A43 ♥ K32 ♦ Q74 ♣ J652 worth 10 MW or 2,95 CT,
as any sectorial software can impartially demonstrate. The A and B hands are reconcilable only using the CT units, whereas the C and D hands, though having the same MW/HCP score, and the same virtuous uniform distribution do not have the same CT score!

More generally never there is a way to realign satisfactorily an artificial measuring unit such as MW/HCP to the unique natural CT measuring unit implicitly demanded and defined by the Game itself and by the Mathematics!

Let’s have the curiosity to see which and how many hands would fall in the category of hands with average contractual strength:
E) ♠ J10987 ♥ A2 ♦ 654 ♣ 432 worth 3.25 prese (5-2-3-3 distribution)
F) ♠ 765432 ♥ Q32 ♦ 953 ♣ J worth 3.25 prese (6-3-3-1 distribution)
G) ♠ AK10 ♥ 9876 ♦ 9876 ♣ 32 worth 3.25 prese (3-4-4-2 distribution)
H) ♠ Q1043 ♥ Q1054 ♦ A4 ♣ J52 worth 3.25 prese (4-4-2-3 distribution)
I) ♠ 765432 ♥ 7654 ♦ J10 ♣ 2 worth 3.25 prese (6-4-2-1 distribution)
J) ♠ 76543 ♥ 76543 ♦ - ♣ J102 worth 3.25 prese (5-5-0-3 distribution)
K) ♠ A43 ♥ Q1032 ♦ Q43 ♣ QJ9 worth 3.25 prese (3-4-3-3 distribution)
L) ♠ AK32 ♥ Q105 ♦ 976 ♣ J94 worth 3.25 prese (4-3-3-3 distribution)…..
As one can see, many hands of many types of distribution automatically can intervene together with the most “balanced” ones! Only the most extreme types of distribution cannot intervene! The same measuring unit “CT” has selected automatically the useful kinds of distribution! It’s an ample spectrum of hands and of distributions as it’s convenient to be for an “average hand” of more than 635 billions of possible hands!
Now it’s very easy to define a “weak hand” as “a hand having less than 3.25 CT” and a “strong hand” as “a hand having more than 3.25 CT”. Certainly one hundredth more or less is not easily perceptible, therefore it could be fixed a range value of 0.25 CT more or less than 3.25 to avoid errors of classification of those hands. In that way are “strong” hands, the hands such as:
M) ♠ K65432 ♥ Q32 ♦ 743 ♣ 852 worth 3.95 CT
N) ♠ AK9 ♥ 5432 ♦ 6543 ♣ K3 worth 3.50 CT
O) ♠ Q1043 ♥ Q1054 ♦ A4 ♣ K52 worth 3.75 CT
P) ♠ 765432 ♥ K654 ♦ 754 ♣ - worth 3.95 CT
Q) ♠ 76543 ♥ 76543 ♦ - ♣ K102 worth 3.80 CT
R) ♠ J10987 ♥ A2 ♦ K54 ♣ 432 worth 3.85 CT
All the above hands, except N, are worth more than:
♠ A32 ♥ K732 ♦ Q43 ♣ KJ7 = 3.70 CT
surely to be opened by every traditional System.
There is no more need now to use the value of a K to distinguish among the hands, also because its value mathematically varies depending on the cards number of the same suit following it!
As we can see the WBF Ruler has introduced a selection criterion of the opening contractual strength, implicitly not required by the 2007 Laws to be respected, totally incompatible with Mathematics and with the technical and fundamental rules of the Game!
Wanting to maintain at any rate a threshold for a hand to be opened, as the Ruler does, that may be that which theoretically permits to reach at least 7 contractual tricks (CT) for the partnership line, that is at least 3.5 CT for the declarer. Would fall in the category hands like:
S) ♠ K102 ♥ K432 ♦ K43 ♣ K103 worth 3.5 CT
T) ♠ 765432 ♥ 7654 ♦ Q92 ♣ - worth 3.5 CT
U) ♠ KJ2 ♥ KJ2 ♦ KJ3 ♣ 10732 worth 3.5 CT
W)♠ AQ2 ♥ K32 ♦ K83 ♣ 7432 worth 3.5 CT
X) ♠ 76543 ♥ 65432 ♦ K3 ♣ 2 worth 3.5 CT ….

As one can see the right natural measuring unit “CT” triggers also here a “super partes” filter, completely democratic and devoid of any arbitrary deviation far off the Game. In the category of the hands to be opened now come in all types of distribution and with every possible MW score! They have only to be worth 3.5 CT! Nothing else! This is Democracy! Some kinds of distribution starting from the 6-5-1-1 have an intrinsic contractual strength such that the hand can be opened even with null MW score! The more unbalanced the distribution, the contractually stronger the hand! Having ♠ 1098765432 ♥ 5432 ♦ - ♣ - one would have a contractual strength worth 8 CT! Two tricks above half a slam. But why on earth one cannot open it at level 1? Or at any level he prefers to tell it? It would suffice an honest explanation. It wouldn’t be no need to talk of anything else for regulating other than the contractual strength expressed in contractual tricks like the Game itself dictates for the development of all its objective technical phases, and it wouldn’t be no more need to talk about distributions, or Kings, or virtuous models to open a hand.

How all that applies to the Systems classification?
At that purpose, we must cite a Rule given in “WBF Systems Policy” for distinguish HUM Systems: “By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level may be made with values a king or more below average strength”.
Now the sentence must be rightly replaced: “By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level may be made with values below 3.25 CT”.
And truly that would be a weak hand!
Would remain the question: “if not at the one level, at which level?”. The weaker a hand the lower ought to be the level for its opening bid, and vice versa! One could even open at 1 level having near a null hand but that would automatically reduce his bidding space for all the other hands compromising definitively the dialectic space and the value of his used System. As we see the need to have bidding space automatically cut off all the weak hands from opening. But if one would wish to try … let’s him do!
At any rate, the WBF classification made by the Ruler distinguishes so the Systems:
• GREEN (Natural)
• BLUE
• RED
• YELLOW (HUM)
The word “Natural” is not and never defined by the “International Code Laws of Duplicate Bridge - 2007 edition”, but instead is introduced and defined by the “WBF Systems Policy” like that: “a call or play that is not a convention [“special partnership understanding” as defined in Law 40B1(a)]”.
According to such a definition any System containing even one convention cannot be said “Natural” or “Green”, otherwise a limit per System to their number ought to be fixed. But which limit? At such purpose it could help what the Law 40B 2007 tells:
“……
B. Special Partnership Understandings
1. (a) In its discretion the Regulating Authority may designate certain partnership understandings as “special partnership understandings”. A special partnership understanding is one whose meaning, in the opinion of the Regulating Authority, may not be readily understood and anticipated by a significant number of players in the tournament.
(b) Whether explicit or implicit an agreement between partners is a partnership understanding. A convention is included, unless the Regulating Authority decides otherwise, among the agreements and treatments that constitute special partnership understandings as is the case with any call that has an artificial meaning”.
A convention or “special partnership understanding” is so always a prefixed behavior rule in a prefigured situation, usually, possibly and generally not known. The inner spirit of the 40B 2007 Law is so always that which do not let the hard conventions explanations continually run one after another causing unbearable delays, and so entrusts the “Regulation Authority” for Ruling on that. We already saw how the “Regulation Authority” deals with the object, and how unfortunately deviates from the technical environment of the Game adopting she too a convention like the MW/HCP score very far away from a “Natural” measuring unit. Such an adoption brings ill-fated consequences everywhere in the technical framework of the hand evaluation phase and so in the other successive phases, but, for what here we are concerned, also in the current Systems classification.
Useless so, and not so right against the one’s free will, it is to distinguish the Systems according to how they treat the contractual strength if the same Authority is wrong about that. It needs, as usual, to catch and follow the spirit of the 40B-2007 Law. If the examined System had a myriad of conventions potentially delaying unnecessarily the Game, or had just one of them but very hard to understand or to anticipate, that is just the aspect the Law would want to be regulated. Since nowadays every System has at least a couple of conventions, “Natural”, according to the given definition, no System exists, but could be redefined that System which uses a number and a quality of conventions such as to permit always the game conclusion within the fixed time. The more improbability it would be in that, the more “artificial” or “unusual” ought to be labelled the System.
Hoping were not only hopes ….
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#2 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2017-February-23, 09:41

Ely Culbertson popularised Bridge, world-wide, when it had a few simple rules. Since then Bridge rule-makers have made the rules ever more complex and sophisticated. The laws make the directors' life more challenging but seem to cater less for the interests of players. To this end, the WBF delegates more and more power to directors. For example "weighting" sometimes allows the director to fine-tune the scores to decide who wins a tournament. "Equity" (restoring the status quo) is preferred to deterrence. Hence the laws often appear to reward their own infraction.

For bizarre reasons, the rules are fragmented into laws, regulations, minutes etc. The WBF makes regulations for international competition. Unfortunately the WBF also delegates powers to local regulators to concoct their own idiosyncratic and chauvinistic local variants,

At all levels, system regulations are controversial and unclear. For example, regulating the minimum strength of bids is fraught because it's hard to agree on a method of hand evaluation. Few players seem to read or understand relevant regulations. Top internationals don't appear to comply with them.

IMO, we should all play Bridge by the same rules, which should be simple and clear enough for most of us to understand. For system-regulation, the WBF might permit only 2 levels of competition
  • Standard system. (a pair can delete conventions but not amend or add them).
  • Anything goes, provided it is fully disclosed. (strong pass, encrypted signals, etc).

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#3 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2017-February-24, 22:25

"For example "weighting" sometimes allows the director to fine-tune the scores to decide who wins a tournament."

Yes, I'm sure directors routinely craft their weightings to ensure the "right" contestant wins the tournament. :o :huh: :blink:

Sometimes, Nigel, you go a bit too far. :(
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#4 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2017-February-25, 00:50

View Postblackshoe, on 2017-February-24, 22:25, said:

"For example "weighting" sometimes allows the director to fine-tune the scores to decide who wins a tournament."
Yes, I'm sure directors routinely craft their weightings to ensure the "right" contestant wins the tournament. :o :huh: :blink:
Sometimes, Nigel, you go a bit too far. :(
:) Yes I suppose so.

The idea behind weighting is an attempt to restore the result absent the infraction. i.e. so-called "Equity" rather than deterrence. In the old days, the NOS used to get the best likely score. Now, with weighted scores, they usually get less.

Not all infractions are detected or attract an adverse ruling. In practice, TDs rarely impose PPs (whatever the rule-makers intended). Hence, in the long run, current laws damage the OS and reward the NOS. IMO, this sends the wrong message to players and spoils an excellent game.

This argument is almost tautologous. Rule-makers are aware of the anomaly but notice that an "Equity" ruling has a considerable upside. It entails less hassle for the director. The offender breathes a sigh of relief. The victim tends to grit his teeth and bear it, knowing that an appeal is unlikely to change the weighting. And even were it improved, he still wouldn't get the score to which he feels entitled.

I appreciate that no argument is likely to sway current rule-makers. Perhaps a future-set of rule-makers will become frustrated by the sophistication of current-laws, and enact radical simplifications, in time to prevent the demise of our wonderful game.
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#5 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2017-February-27, 10:30

No-win. With the old 12C1e, a "random windfall" given by "directors who can't play at this level" won tournaments for opponents who "got lucky and sat against the pair who made a minor mistake"; and a "ludicrous result" given to the offenders that "would never happen in real life" (at least, to people who can *play*) would drop them from second to out of the money. Now we go for sympathetic equity, and there's "no incentive" to play by the rules, and in fact, the "current laws damage the OS and reward the NOS".

And anyone who says that increasing equity rulings is less hassle for the director is in a different world. More polls, more checks on previously "obvious" rulings, more discussion with everybody, even entering weighted scores is more hassle. The only thing it gets (from the TDs side) is fewer nasty arguments (of the 'but I'm better than that' variety) when delivering the ruling.

We have a new(ish) TD in town. He is very very good at all the things required to own and TD a club, but he's still a novice player. He hit what (if it was explained to me completely) was the most complicated UI case I have seen in years at a random club game. L12C1e would at least make it easy to assign a ruling. Whether it would be a good ruling or not is another question.
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#6 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-March-01, 03:17

View Postmycroft, on 2017-February-27, 10:30, said:

No-win.

But simple to fix. Give the NOS equity+ and the OS enough of a penalty to discourage gamesmanship. The scores do not have to match in an age of computer aids after all.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#7 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2017-March-01, 10:51

So, what is equity-*plus*? "The best score that was likely without the infraction?" (where did I get that quote from?) Now we're back into "random windfall winning the event" territory. And, of course, we don't get around the "equity rulings are harder, and less likely for inexperienced or 'less-than-player-level' TDs to get right."

Scores have never had to match - that was the whole point of L12C1e, after all. But penalties shouldn't affect the score - that's one of the things I do like about the refocus on the Laws. We rectify the score to what is Legally expected, and then we apply a penalty if we choose to do so.

I wouldn't apply a penalty, at least not for revokes/IBs/BOOT/LOOT, until it was clear that either they don't care, or they are actively attempting to gain from the practise. Almost nobody is there (same TD as above did ask me about one pair who had racked up three revokes in two sessions, and this was so normal for them that the NOS and others were asking if there was anything he could do about it; so "almost").
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#8 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2017-March-01, 11:20

A typical case illustrating the message that current law-makers want to send with equity-law:

Suppose you're in receipt of UI that suggests a winning action over a losing action. Suppose you decide to use that UI.

Although use if UI is common, it's rarely reported. You succeed unless opponents notice your infraction, report it, and the director rules against you.

Even after all that, however, the weighted-ruling still leaves your victims worse off and you better off than had you complied with the law.

Sorry, Carpia, all this should be a separate thread for 2027 or later. :(
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#9 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2017-March-01, 13:21

I agree with a lot of this, but it's neither the Law's nor the TD's fault. It's education, right down the line. It's the people pushed into Flight A (because they've played to 1000 MPs) who have no clue that UI is being used against them, never mind that they're doing it (or 2300 MPs and a state-wide 0-2500 championship, in the case of a certain pair in the record, who happened to be playing this time against - someone who knew the Law). It's the fact that we don't teach ethics in our bridge courses, even as a side note. It's the fact that we don't have "law of the day" during vugraphs like we have "rule of the day" in golf broadcasts. It's...

What I don't agree with is the last statement before "Sorry." Barring Reveley, the weighted ruling should not leave you better off than if you did the right thing (which the TD will force you to have done when adjusting the auction) and used your superior bridge skills to play it as well as possible (which the weighted ruling should mitigate in the NOS' favour). Case?

In short, "Bridge is one of the few games in the world where it is a badge of honour to not know the rules under which you play." This has to change, from the novice level up (and from the pro level down); and until it does, people will get away with murder (and the people that call them on it will be demonized).
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#10 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2017-March-02, 09:17

View Postmycroft, on 2017-March-01, 13:21, said:

In short, "Bridge is one of the few games in the world where it is a badge of honour to not know the rules under which you play." This has to change, from the novice level up (and from the pro level down); and until it does, people will get away with murder (and the people that call them on it will be demonized).

Hear, hear!
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#11 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2017-March-02, 14:49

View Postmycroft, on 2017-March-01, 13:21, said:

In short, "Bridge is one of the few games in the world where it is a badge of honour to not know the rules under which you play." This has to change, from the novice level up (and from the pro level down); and until it does, people will get away with murder (and the people that call them on it will be demonized).

View Postblackshoe, on 2017-March-02, 09:17, said:

Hear, hear!

For some players, Bridge is a game. For them. studying reams of laws, regulations, minutes, COC, etc is too much like work. But even the few prepared to go to all that trouble are unlikely to understand the rules, as discussions in forums like this demonstrate. Even brilliant players like the Jeff Rubens seem to misinterpret the rules. after decades of in-depth analysis. Witness the latest Bridge World editorial. Hence the fault is certainly not with ordinary players and directors. The fault lies with rule-makers and their fragmented, sophisticated, subjective rules that, so often, are non-deterrent, incomprehensible and unnecessary,
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#12 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2017-March-02, 18:29

If you play "casual golf" at even the club competition level, and you fail to not only recognize the penalty but apply it correctly, you get disqualified.

Every place I ever curled, the rules (on a poster-sized sheet) were on the wall of the locker room, or on the wall in the rink.

Anyone who plays poker "for fun" knows the rules well enough that they don't get too badly cheated, and even in the $1/$2 peanut game at the casino, if you don't follow the rules, you pay the same price as the pros do, up to and including getting banned from the event or casino.

Even the people who play bridge "as a game" spend hours in lessons or system discussions every year. The Lawyerly stuff isn't "reams" - it's 93, mostly bite-size Laws (half of which you can ignore as "trivial") that only fit in a 100 page book because they're printed six words to a line in big font; and even in the EBU, where things are written out much better than most organizations, it's another small paperback of stuff to read the White and Orange book.

Jeff Rubens writes editorials pushing the way he would want the Laws to be, and sometimes misreads them in order to do so. So does Michael R, Kit W, and Bobby W. As an editorial trying to move the game to where they think it should be, that's their prerogative. But a lot of people, from the full-time professionals on down, are actually proud of not knowing the laws or the regulations; are proud of not following them because in their minds, that is the more "ethical" path; and that opinion propagates down (to people who have a less finely tuned sense of ethics, and less of an ability to "get it right by bridge logic"). And then they act so surprised when "oh I didn't know there was a penalty for doing that" "oh, I didn't know what the penalty was" "oh, I didn't know what to do with this one".

The fault is entirely with the players and the directors, and the rule-makers, and the bureaucracy, you, me, Uncle Tom Cobbley and all. If more than just the rule-makers and the SBs actually *cared* about the Laws, they'd complain enough about the lack of ethical knowledge among the community that bridge courses would include ethics from the first lesson; ethics courses would have enough people interested in them to not be a loss (but, of course, it's not *me* that needs an ethics class, it's all the rest of the players); and people would take their lapses in judgment serenely and their opponent's lapses as a genuine mistaken attempt to do right, not an affront to their very soul.

If it was important enough to enough people, there would be a Law of the Day discussion during vugraphs the way there is a Rule of the Day during golf broadcasts. The commentators would be Law-knowledgeable enough that they could explain during commentary what the issues were and what the resolution options are. (I was watching a curling match last night, and Team A burned a rock. Not badly, and very late (so the rock wasn't going very far anyway) but enough to affect it. Team B skip just pulled the rock completely, when most skips would just modify its position to where it would be expected to end up. The commentators were explaining all of this, but all of them ended with "she didn't have to do that, but she was entirely within her rights, and as you see, there is no objection." Because they knew enough to be able to do that - because it's important enough in curling to know the rules that they just did, and because anyone who got scammed by someone not following those rules would be greeted by "didn't you know they can't do that?")

We wouldn't have issues about whether the STOP card is a tool used primarily to tell partner you're preempting, or whether there was a hesitation this time because the last three preempts got passed before the bidder got their hand off the cards, even though it was 6 seconds; we wouldn't have a set of appeals like the recently released New Orleans casebook where the standard commentary was "why weren't 75% of these given an Appeal Without Merit warning?"; we wouldn't have a lot of things. We'd also have a better set of laws and regulations because the players would insist that they were more readable; and we wouldn't be punting very useful rewordings and clarifications to *2027* because they figured that nobody would actually care to review the 2017 Laws, or at least there wouldn't be many changes, so two weeks of review and no rewrite after public review would be sufficient - and they wouldn't think that a once-every-ten-year review process was sufficient, because all of their players would be griping and demanding to see the interpretations.

The ones that really get me are the ones who expect their opponents to have a perfectly complete explanation for a fourth-round call, but the Laws are too confusing, and don't know what of their system is blackletter Alertable because they can't be bothered to read the Procedure (I will absolutely agree that there are cases - fairly simple cases as well - where the Alertability of a call is arguable. But when it's actually the first example in the list...!)
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#13 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-March-04, 22:37

What exactly did JR say?
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#14 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2017-March-05, 03:36

View Postmycroft, on 2017-March-02, 18:29, said:

Jeff Rubens writes editorials pushing the way he would want the Laws to be, and sometimes misreads them in order to do so. So does Michael R, Kit W, and Bobby W. As an editorial trying to move the game to where they think it should be, that's their prerogative.

Jeff Rubens imagines he's explaining the laws. When arguing for a law-change, he says so.

In on-line discussion about Bridge rules, top TDs disagree about simple basic cases with undisputed facts. As an ordinary player, I've participated in such discussions for about 30 years and I confess I don't understand the rules. Especially when the intended interpretation depends on some obscure WBF minute.

View Postmycroft, on 2017-March-02, 18:29, said:

The Lawyerly stuff isn't "reams" - it's 93, mostly bite-size Laws (half of which you can ignore as "trivial") that only fit in a 100 page book because they're printed six words to a line in big font; and even in the EBU, where things are written out much better than most organizations, it's another small paperback of stuff to read the White and Orange book.

Discussion groups show that experienced directors don't always find all the laws in the law-book, relevant to a case. Rule-makers' intentions require interpretation in WBF minutes, White books, etc.

Each local jurisdiction can vary laws and must plug holes in the laws. Hence players must cope with different local regulations (e.g. the Orange book), especially system and disclosure regulations,

We're not all lazy and stupid. The fault is with the rules themselves. The rules of a game should be simple and clear enough for most ordinary players to understand. The current rules of Bridge are unnecessarily sophisticated, subjective, fragmented, etc.


View PostVampyr, on 2017-March-04, 22:37, said:

What exactly did JR say?

You have to read the original. He wrote a page-long editorial. He wrote a previous editorial with the same interpretation.

Precis: You should take your normal action, even when that's suggested by UI.
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#15 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-March-05, 04:52

I can't read the original, as I don't currently subscribe to the BW.

Anyway, the cases that show up on discussion boards are hard ones.
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#16 User is online   sfi 

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Posted 2017-March-05, 05:09

View Postnige1, on 2017-March-05, 03:36, said:

Precis: You should take your normal action, even when that's suggested by UI.


Is he saying he would like the rules to be changed to say this, that the rules already do say this, or that it is too hard to work out the various courses of action in light of UI and recommends this as the best practical alternative?

This is definitely one of the least well understood situations that players face at the table, and was the cause of multiple appeals at our most recent major event. So I can understand wanting to clarify what players should do.
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#17 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2017-March-05, 05:37

View Postsfi, on 2017-March-05, 05:09, said:

Is he saying he would like the rules to be changed to say this, that the rules already do say this, or that it is too hard to work out the various courses of action in light of UI and recommends this as the best practical alternative?

This is definitely one of the least well understood situations that players face at the table, and was the cause of multiple appeals at our most recent major event. So I can understand wanting to clarify what players should do.

He thinks that the rules already say this
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#18 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2017-March-05, 10:30

View Postnige1, on 2017-March-05, 05:37, said:

He thinks that the rules already say this

He's wrong.
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#19 User is online   sfi 

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Posted 2017-March-05, 14:45

View Postnige1, on 2017-March-05, 05:37, said:

He thinks that the rules already say this


Hmm, ok. Seems like it would take some creative reading of the rules to come to that conclusion. It's disappointing to see such a widely read magazine advocate that view.
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#20 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2017-March-06, 13:19

BWorld: Because, frankly, most of the time, that's sufficient. Provided it was appended with "here's what the law actually says, but if you 'do what you always would have done', most of the time it will be sufficient. The times when it's not, take your adjusted score with good grace, and see if you can understand why it's wasn't, in fact, what you would have always done." My problem with that line (and it does get passed around a lot!) is that "but that's what I always would have done" is used as a criticism against an adjusted score. In other words, like everything the TD announces to bridge players, they only hear what they want to hear, and ignore the rest.

On the rules: Nigel, I agree with everything you say. But that doesn't mean that it's not the players', etc. fault. Note that the number of corner cases, disputable Alertability (or actively unhelpful Alertability), and rules ambiguities is what, maybe 1000 in a year? Worldwide? Compared to tens of thousands of totally unambiguous (or at least, with exactly one correct answer) TD calls in thousands of bridge clubs *every day*. And only laws wonks like us actually care when it happens (unless it happens to them).

I find it frustrating that we aren't scheduling a 2018 Law review; maybe not every year, but at least the year after the major one, knowing there will be things to tweak.
I find it frustrating that there *aren't* at least annual interpretation casebooks, and that the NBO LC doesn't punt the most interesting or universal ones up to the WBF to suggest that there be a world-wide interpretation (and, of course, that their view should stand...)
I find it frustrating that Old Wives' Tales like "datum" or "Dummy can't revoke" or "in the same breath" or "I was told that you don't have to Announce 15-17 NTs any more" or even "what we have to Alert keeps changing, how can I keep up with it?" don't go away, and if we can't get the players to care *that much*, how will we get them to care about the Laws consistency process?
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