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Stayman may or may not have 4cM

#61 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-August-15, 09:21

Jilly, the ACBL has an entire page of charts, rules and regulations. And have had for at least 20 years.

They also have a codification of bylaws, many of which are regulations related to actual bridge play. Or at least the decisions that said regulation should exist.

The fact that they have proscribed a convention card, and have Convention Charts and Alert Procedures, are basically the de facto expression of "we're allowed to do this, and we have", no?

Their actual regulation for tournaments (not looking it up, so may not be word-for-word) is that a pair are required to have two identical and completed convention cards available at all times (something about "on the table" sometimes, but let's go with "available") to the opponents, with full names available. If a pair has *no* such card, they are required to make one at least ASAP, with penalties for each round they have not done so to the satisfaction of the directors; and they are required to play SAYC until they do so.

Their regulation for clubs is that they devolve this decision (like almost all RA decisions) to the club, but strongly recommend the use of the ACBL convention card, and encourage the director to enforce that regulation (pickup pairs, spares, ... aside).

How close that regulation comes to reality is, I guess, something you can find out from experience (yours or others'). The reason for the level of enforcement can also be worked out from experience (yours or others').

One thing I will say about the ACBL is that, because of the alternative expansion of that acronym, 90% of players without a card play 90% the same thing that 90% of the field do, and Alert the rest. And since that is the case, 90% of players never need to see their card at all (except for carding, which is why many players religiously ask about that). How that relates to the relative concerns of the multiple sides in the discussion I will also leave as an exercise for the reader.

Blackshoe: Now that I think about it, I bet the way it works in "legality" is that the various NBOs have "volunteered" to devolve their RA responsibilities to the ACBL for ACBL tournaments held in their country (or, in reality, have never chosen not to - after all, where do the directors for the games they *are* the RA for come from?). But yeah, in practise, it's an accident of history that the LC haven't yet realized that they've severed any legal connection through their various moves, but the 800lb. gorilla rule applies. The ABA, they get to go the other way: "We are an organization that runs bridge events outside the WBF. We choose to adhere to the Laws that the WBF use, except where they expect to override *our* regulations, and they have graciously allowed us to" Not that, given the givens, this white Canadian is going to speak for the ABA.
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#62 User is online   nige1 

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Posted 2021-August-15, 11:58

View Postmycroft, on 2021-August-14, 08:56, said:

I didn't say that - I said *you* wouldn't want the ACBL regulations. I can pretty much guarantee that 100 000 players "like" the ACBL regulations - if the alternative was the EBU ones, or the Aussies'.
Mycroft might be right but I feel that sensible players would prefer a unified simple clear set of rules to the current mess of minutes. laws, regulations, and conditions of contest.

Please note that the WBF has plenty of wriggle-room. They can still allow opt-out clauses for particularly daft regulations. But NBOs wouldn't be forced to plug gaping holes, as under the current laws. I hope that a complete set default rules would satisfy and be fully adopted by most jurisdictions
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#63 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2021-August-15, 12:09

View Postblackshoe, on 2021-August-15, 08:57, said:

Changes? Not sure what you're asking, but perhaps it's "where are the ACBL's system card regulations in the vast body of disorganized material the ACBL has published?" B-) If that's the case, look here. It's Items 4 and 5 under "Conventions and Convention Cards". Of course, this doesn't tell how to fill out the card. That's not in a regulation, it's in a series of articles in the ACBL Bulletin, which series is now obsolete but is or will be rewritten "soon", i.e., sometime this century.

Most relevant ACBL regulatory material can be found via this page. Be advised this is a starting place. Actually finding what you're looking for may take a while. :lol:

BTW, I'm also about confused by your phrase "an ACBL RA". There's only one, unless you're thinking of clubs.


Thanks, I am aware of the ACBL COC. After this thread morphed from "Which bid do I alert?" into a discussion on regulations and convention cards, Pran seemed to suggest that the RA could prescribe , or remove the requirement for a pair to have a CC. (Laws 40A1, 40B2). Perhaps I misunderstood and Directors are simply ignoring the regulation or have been instructed to ignore it.

Yes, when I referred to "an ACBL RA" I was thinking THE ACBL and clubs running ACBL sanctioned games. Clubs appear to have the same authority?
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#64 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2021-August-15, 12:29

View Postmycroft, on 2021-August-15, 09:21, said:

Their actual regulation for tournaments (not looking it up, so may not be word-for-word) is that a pair are required to have two identical and completed convention cards available at all times (something about "on the table" sometimes, but let's go with "available") to the opponents, with full names available. If a pair has *no* such card, they are required to make one at least ASAP, with penalties for each round they have not done so to the satisfaction of the directors; and they are required to play SAYC until they do so.
Yeah, I know what is says. This is one of the regulations players may ignore.


View Postmycroft, on 2021-August-15, 09:21, said:

One thing I will say about the ACBL is that, because of the alternative expansion of that acronym, 90% of players without a card play 90% the same thing that 90% of the field do, and Alert the rest. And since that is the case, 90% of players never need to see their card at all (except for carding, which is why many players religiously ask about that). How that relates to the relative concerns of the multiple sides in the discussion I will also leave as an exercise for the reader.

I disagree, many pairs have their own version of "Bergen", "Drury", "Flannery". Also, and an often overlooked aspect is that the CC is there if something goes wrong and the Director needs to unravel MI vs. a mis bid and so on.
Searching for your own mistakes is the only way to learn this game. - Fluffy

And no matter what methods you play, it is essential, for anyone aspiring to learn to be a good player, to learn the importance of bidding shape properly. - MikeH

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#65 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-August-15, 15:32

View Postmycroft, on 2021-August-15, 09:21, said:

The fact that they have proscribed a convention card…

I think you mean "prescribed". "Proscribed" means "forbidden".

View Postmycroft, on 2021-August-15, 09:21, said:

Their regulation for clubs is that they devolve this decision (like almost all RA decisions) to the club, but strongly recommend the use of the ACBL convention card, and encourage the director to enforce that regulation (pickup pairs, spares, ... aside).

How close that regulation comes to reality is, I guess, something you can find out from experience (yours or others'). The reason for the level of enforcement can also be worked out from experience (yours or others').

See below.

View Postmycroft, on 2021-August-15, 09:21, said:

One thing I will say about the ACBL is that, because of the alternative expansion of that acronym, 90% of players without a card play 90% the same thing that 90% of the field do, and Alert the rest. And since that is the case, 90% of players never need to see their card at all (except for carding, which is why many players religiously ask about that). How that relates to the relative concerns of the multiple sides in the discussion I will also leave as an exercise for the reader.

Not sure I understand this bit. What 'alternative expansion' do you have in mind?

View Postmycroft, on 2021-August-15, 09:21, said:

Blackshoe: Now that I think about it, I bet the way it works in "legality" is that the various NBOs have "volunteered" to devolve their RA responsibilities to the ACBL for ACBL tournaments held in their country (or, in reality, have never chosen not to - after all, where do the directors for the games they *are* the RA for come from?). But yeah, in practise, it's an accident of history that the LC haven't yet realized that they've severed any legal connection through their various moves, but the 800lb. gorilla rule applies. The ABA, they get to go the other way: "We are an organization that runs bridge events outside the WBF. We choose to adhere to the Laws that the WBF use, except where they expect to override *our* regulations, and they have graciously allowed us to" Not that, given the givens, this white Canadian is going to speak for the ABA.

It's been a while since I looked at the "ACBL Codification" wrt clubs, but assuming for the moment that the ACBL is legally a RA, Law 80A3 says "The Regulating Authority may delegate its powers (retaining ultimate responsibility for their exercise) or it may assign them (in which case it has no further responsibility for their exercise)." As far as I know, neither the ACBL nor any NBO has done this formally (maybe the EBU has, again, I haven't really looked into it). They've simply ignored clubs for this purpose. In practice it seems the ACBL at least has assigned these powers, while quietly retaining the right to stick their nose in if they really don't like something a club is doing. If they simply delegated the powers, they'd open themselves to having to deal at their level with appeals and probably other matters they don't want to deal with from clubs.

The relationships between the CBF and the ACBL, or the FBM and the ACBL, or the USBF and the ACBL has been a mess since about 1937, or whenever the ACBL was founded or the NBOs were founded, whichever came later. As for the ABA, well… I've said before that the ACBL is not an NBO. I haven't really addressed the question whether the ABA is. The term "NBO" is used, but not defined, by the WBF. Its plain English meaning would be something like "an organization within a country which regulates duplicate bridge and whose scope is the entire country". By that definition, the ABA is certainly an NBO so they're already covered by Law 80A1{c}. IAC, I don't think any of the 3 NBOs who are members of the WBF have "volunteered" anything. The 800 pound gorilla, as you call it, has simply arrogated those powers to itself. Whether you could stretch this definition to cover the ACBL is another question.

I suspect the members of the ACBLLC are well aware of the legal situation now that the ACBL is no long a part of the WBF (while retaining, as I think you said upthread, five seats on the WBF Executive Committee). What they intend to do with that knowledge… well, waiting is. B-)

This discussion has gone far beyond "Simple Rulings". Perhaps I should split the thread or move it entirely to "laws and rulings". Comments?
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#66 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2021-August-15, 15:45

I think splitting it would be best.
Searching for your own mistakes is the only way to learn this game. - Fluffy

And no matter what methods you play, it is essential, for anyone aspiring to learn to be a good player, to learn the importance of bidding shape properly. - MikeH

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#67 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2021-August-15, 17:34

View Postpran, on 2021-August-12, 07:32, said:

Do you want more members in your club or don't you care?

I always find the argument that bridge cannot be played by the rules because it would reduce membership to be disingenuous. One reason I tend to avoid playing in bridge clubs is precisely because I have far too often seen rulings that have little to no connection with the actual rules, while various levels of UI, MI and the like are routinely tolerated. And whether TDs like it or not, players calling for such issues tend to be regarded negatively by certain quarters of clubs.

The simple truth is that bridge rules at club level are a complete mess. I once asked when it is ok to call the TD and when it is frowned upon. The answer - "Well it depends on who it is." Really? How on Earth is a new member supposed to know when the rules should be enforced and when not? Against that, players that actively obfuscate their agreements rarely get any action taken against them.

The very first time I visited a bridge club there were 2 incidents that stuck out. The first was when our opponents claimed to the TD (without telling us) that my partner had hesitated with KJx in second seat. I certainly did not notice anything at the time so if there was a pause it must have been very subtle. Against that, we had another hand where LHO opened a weak 1NT, partner Doubled and RHO Redoubled with an alert. On asking I was told "Automatic". So I asked if that meant he would XX with any hand and received an affirmative. To this day I do not believe this explanation, since it just does not make any sense. It seems to me far more likely that they were playing the Automatic XX convention, which is where Pass forces XX and a direct XX has some other meaning. But what can one do? Without a CC, any call is essentially an accusation of lying (and hence cheating).

And then there is the last time I entered a non-club tournament. Before even going to it, we were warned about one well-known competitor who was known for routinely bidding a weak suit on the way to 3NT to misdirect the defence. There is of course nothing wrong with that in itself but after the first 20 times or so it is (to my mind) an agreement that requires an alert. This is Menagerie level bridge but I am willing to bet that he has never received a penalty for it despite it being done often enough that even occasional opponents noticed the pattern. At the tournament itself, it turns out that the (semi-) famous player was not in our section but one of the leaders in our part wanted to give the explanation "kitchen bridge" to literally every system question. Again, I am quite certain that they were using this term only to avoid giving full disclosure on the slightly unusual style that they were employing.

Is this ok? Is this type of behaviour something that will encourage new players to take the game seriously? Those that make excuses for lax policing of the Laws and Regulations are tacitly encouraging these players. So why should I pay to go to a bridge club and not get a game run according to the rules when I can play online and just kick any players that are cheating exchanging UI or failing to explain their agreements? It would be nice if, just for a change, bridge clubs and their TDs actually thought about those that want a game without all the funny business rather than just sinking to the lowest common denominator.
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#68 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-August-16, 09:18

Yep, yep, and yep.

And the (polite version of the) alternative expansion for ACBL is "ACBL's Correct Bidding Lessons". A dig at the homogeneity of bidding in the ACBL, and the resistance (unspoken, informal as well as formal) throughout the ACBL to changing that, at least at the "protected" levels (which are now <3000 MPs, so basically 95% of the ACBL).

Note that there are many pluses to that homogeneity, not least that I can sit down with basically anybody in the areas I play and, with 3 minutes discussion, play a session "on the same page" as my partner. At least, 90%.
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#69 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-August-16, 15:26

View Postmycroft, on 2021-August-12, 13:29, said:


The failure mode of Nigel's thinking, which has been pointed out before, is that everybody would love to have the same regulations the world over, from the novice game to the world championship - as long as it's the ones they are used to (with the fixes to them that *they* consider important). Which isn't something that *any* sport has done (although chess has come close). There's a reason for that - the flexibility is required to have any hope of a good environment for all (or even most).



Methinks you are wrong in principle and exaggerating in practice: none of the sports I have practised (rugby, cycling, athletics to name a few) concede much room to national regulations, nor is there much apparent need for such flexibility related to national conditions. Sure, it's easier to block the roads in Italy or Belgium and for low level races you might need more tolerance for short circuits in UK or USA, but that's about it: the distances and rules are the same, as are the rules about what equipment one can use in a time trial, or whatever else. A high jump is a high jump in all the world. And the few national rules that do exist are often either marginal/futile (can I race without my club jersey) or things that could/should be decided centrally (is electronic timing obligatory,should it be capable of detecting someone who started earlier than his due time).
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#70 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-August-16, 15:55

Perhaps. But I know of at least 5 codes for baseball (at least 3 in a single country!); things are different at the HS level than professionally; there are two completely different *codes* for rugby; BMX racing (the kind of cycling I do know about) has local track regulations and national regulations and ...

Perhaps what is regulated differently is less than in bridge; very likely in fact. As I said, I would be on board with trying to find places where we can unify things, and take that right to change it (or limit the right to change it, like L12C) away from the RA. But of course, that doesn't simplify the Laws, does it?
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#71 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2021-August-16, 16:28

View Postmycroft, on 2021-August-16, 15:55, said:

there are two completely different *codes* for rugby

Rugby League and Rugby Union are different sports. You might just as well include American Football as a code if you are conflating the two. And given that the bridge divide is typically between the ACBL and the rest of the world, that is even a more comparable situation. Similarly for cricket vs baseball, Touring Cars vs Nascar or F1 vs IndyCar. Is this really the kind of divide that people think would be good for the game of bridge?
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#72 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-August-17, 09:07

And why, exactly, are they two different sports?

They're as different as matchpoints and KO IMPs, if there had been a ban for 30 years on being allowed to hire a pro to play matchpoints. Scoring system's different, session length is different, how to survive to the next event is different, even how many players on the field and substitute rules,...

I am including American Football in this. Note the difference(s) between NFL, NCAA, HS, junior professional, WLAF (when that existed), XFL (when that existed)... and given where I am from, difference between all of that and the real rules (where you don't get two downs to fart around before making your 10 yards, you don't get to give up on kicks, and there's enough room to move), but it's clearly football and not rugby.
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#73 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-August-17, 12:35

Let's not get sidetracked with other sports here. This is supposed to be about bridge.
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#74 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2021-August-19, 09:04

View Postsanst, on 2021-August-11, 07:50, said:

In what other sport can the powers that be add some regulations to the laws?

"House rules" are common in many games. The Monopoly wiki lists dozens of them.

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