BBO Discussion Forums: Directorial shenanigans - BBO Discussion Forums

Jump to content

Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

Directorial shenanigans

#1 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 12,873
  • Joined: 2009-July-13
  • Location:England

Posted 2022-May-22, 13:48

We had an auction that proceeded 1N-X-2(alerted)-X-2-X end

2x was a foul contract but the defence was not optimal and I was heading for -500 (it should be at least 1100) but late in the play the roof fell in and I went for 800.

2 showed hearts and spades, both ops without asking assumed it was a transfer, hence didn't alert their penalty double of 2. They also failed to alert the penalty double of 2 which I think is also alertable if this was a transfer or in the actual meaning.

I unsurprisingly played for the majors in the wrong hands and thought I was taking a safe heart ruff but got overruffed.

This is now the second time a bid that's natural but with unforseen extra info to make it alertable has caused this sort of issue.

This one was ruled back to 500. I wonder if there is a better way the alerting regs can be couched, or whether you just have to ask.
0

#2 User is offline   mycroft 

  • Secretary Bird
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,382
  • Joined: 2003-July-12
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Calgary, Canada

Posted 2022-May-22, 18:35

Well, it looks like the fault is here (my emphasis):

EBU Blue Book 4E3 said:

Red suit transfers at the two level i.e. to and to , are announced, but only in response to a natural 1NT opening where there has been no intervention, and where the transfer shows at least five cards in the major suit concerned. Opener says ‘Hearts’ when 2 is bid, or ‘Spades’ when 2 is bid.

And it seems that enough players know that 1NT-p-2red is Announced, but 1NT-X-2red is Alerted that they expect an Alert, rather than assuming it's something not transfer-like.

Which means if 2 here is spades, as way too many people play, that "hearts" double is not Alertable (but a "cards" double would be. Do we know that? Do they know that?); but if it's majors, then suddenly it's a "suit bid that shows the suit" (4B2a) (which isn't Natural because it shows another suit as well, 4C1a, and therefore Alertable, 4B1a), and double for takeout is the only non-Alertable meaning.

I also believe (but have no experience, so I could be wrong. Vampyr says I am, but I'm guessing she's got a well-selected sample of players) that no matter what the Blue Book says, after the (not Alerted, as required) penalty double of 1NT, that further penalty doubles are "obvious" and not Alerted, because the non-Alertable meaning is "impossible".

I've said that the EBU's Alerting regulations around doubles are simple, straightforward, and possibly the most understandable out there. But also that they lead to several situations where the non-Alertable meaning is at best non-intuitive. Here's another one.

Add to that the fact that why should they require you to tell your partner that you understood their bid so they know what they have to Alert? Or should they Alert it and say "It shows hearts. If your 2 call was a transfer, that's not Alertable. If it's hearts and, it is. So we Alert it, because we don't know what you play [and "since it won't affect our bidding, we shouldn't ask." (2E1, bastardised)]"?

Were I the EBU Laws Commission, I would find the confusion about the Announce vs Alert nature of "systems on over double" to be a messy trap for players and change the "without interference" to "and pass or double" at least. But it's clear (?) from OP's explanation that they have got this drummed through the punters' heads, and changing it now would cause even more trouble.

Any situation where "I don't have to know what your bid means to know what partner's call means, but I do need to know what it means to know if I have to Alert it" is bad. Frankly, any situation where "I need to know what your call means to know whether partner's call is Alertable" is uncomfortable, because you're not allowed to ask at RHO's turn to call, but RHO needs to know if your partner's call is Alertable. You can't fix 100% of cases. That doesn't make them any less uncomfortable when they happen.

Disclaimer: I'm a TD, as you know, but not an EBU TD, and I'm just reading the same regs you are. I also have made assumptions about what English bridge players do relative to their requirements on the Alert chart based solely on how North Americans handle "but that's obvious, and what you're asking me to do is stupid". It could easily be that English bridge players are much more apt to "follow the rules, even when stupid" than my players, in which case my assumptions can be very wrong.
When I go to sea, don't fear for me, Fear For The Storm -- Birdie and the Swansong (tSCoSI)
0

#3 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 12,873
  • Joined: 2009-July-13
  • Location:England

Posted 2022-May-23, 00:29

The other situation we had was our 2 opener which is a natural weak 2 but 4+ cards and that makes it alertable, opps without asking assumed it was a multi and proceeded to play somewhere really stupid.

My solution online would be to have an extra alert button for "natural but alertable" which would remove the need for some questions.

Btw people do play 1N-X-2m-X for takeout because they play a forcing pass so it's not a given that 1N-X-2?-X is for penalties.
0

#4 User is offline   sfi 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 2,247
  • Joined: 2009-May-18
  • Location:Oz

Posted 2022-May-23, 00:49

View PostCyberyeti, on 2022-May-23, 00:29, said:

Btw people do play 1N-X-2m-X for takeout because they play a forcing pass so it's not a given that 1N-X-2?-X is for penalties.

We play double for takeout even without a forcing pass, so penalties is definitely not a given.
0

#5 User is offline   mycroft 

  • Secretary Bird
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,382
  • Joined: 2003-July-12
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Calgary, Canada

Posted 2022-May-23, 08:35

Online (or more specifically, with self alerts), EXPLAIN, don't just alert and wait for the question. It's what Skyblue wants you to do, and it's much safer.

2 "weak, 4+!D" solves your problems (unless they don't read). Frankly, it's what I do with 2 "natural, preemptive" online - even though it's the only non-Alertable meaning for 2 under ACBL rules - because that way the flat 13 doesn't ask-pass and get perfect balancing.

If you're online, you can 2 "majors" in the OP auction and avoid the problem that way too.

Partner Alerts, assuming the software doesn't "alert partner", go ahead and auto-explain as well. Won't be as successful, RHO might have called already, but oh well. If the "like FtF" software also does the "keep partner up to date on what I think his bids mean" thing, well, then you're stuck. Why would anyone do that?

I agree that takeout is common - which is why in the ACBL, neither "takeout" or "penalty" (of natural) is Alertable, and yes, if you need to know, you need to ask. I believe you need to ask only once it gets passed out, so you know who has the trumps :-). But "we doubled for penalty, why is a penalty double Alertable?" is quite a reasonable question, even if "no doubles of suits below game are for penalty" in general.
When I go to sea, don't fear for me, Fear For The Storm -- Birdie and the Swansong (tSCoSI)
0

#6 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 12,873
  • Joined: 2009-July-13
  • Location:England

Posted 2022-May-23, 08:41

View Postmycroft, on 2022-May-23, 08:35, said:

Online (or more specifically, with self alerts), EXPLAIN, don't just alert and wait for the question. It's what Skyblue wants you to do, and it's much safer.

2 "weak, 4+!D" solves your problems (unless they don't read). Frankly, it's what I do with 2 "natural, preemptive" online - even though it's the only non-Alertable meaning for 2 under ACBL rules - because that way the flat 13 doesn't ask-pass and get perfect balancing.

If you're online, you can 2 "majors" in the OP auction and avoid the problem that way too.

Partner Alerts, assuming the software doesn't "alert partner", go ahead and auto-explain as well. Won't be as successful, RHO might have called already, but oh well. If the "like FtF" software also does the "keep partner up to date on what I think his bids mean" thing, well, then you're stuck. Why would anyone do that?

I agree that takeout is common - which is why in the ACBL, neither "takeout" or "penalty" (of natural) is Alertable, and yes, if you need to know, you need to ask. I believe you need to ask only once it gets passed out, so you know who has the trumps :-). But "we doubled for penalty, why is a penalty double Alertable?" is quite a reasonable question, even if "no doubles of suits below game are for penalty" in general.


Realbridge, online but F2F alerting regs (which I believe is organiser's discretion), of course I'd be more explicit if self alerting
0

#7 User is online   paulg 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 4,922
  • Joined: 2003-April-26
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Scottish Borders

Posted 2022-May-23, 09:23

View PostCyberyeti, on 2022-May-22, 13:48, said:

We had an auction that proceeded 1N-X-2(alerted)-X-2-X end

2x was a foul contract but the defence was not optimal and I was heading for -500 (it should be at least 1100) but late in the play the roof fell in and I went for 800.

2 showed hearts and spades, both ops without asking assumed it was a transfer, hence didn't alert their penalty double of 2. They also failed to alert the penalty double of 2 which I think is also alertable if this was a transfer or in the actual meaning.

I unsurprisingly played for the majors in the wrong hands and thought I was taking a safe heart ruff but got overruffed.

This is now the second time a bid that's natural but with unforeseen extra info to make it alertable has caused this sort of issue.

This one was ruled back to 500. I wonder if there is a better way the alerting regs can be couched, or whether you just have to ask.

The main problem here is not the alerting regulations but the fact that your opponents did not ask about an alerted call in a situation where 2 could have at least two different meanings and there is no reason for them not to ask.

Even if 2 were not alerted, I would expect most people to ask about it.

At least you received a reasonable ruling, which looks right, although I would have asked about their doubles before playing the hand.
The Beer Card

I don't work for BBO and any advice is based on my BBO experience over the decades
0

#8 User is offline   mycroft 

  • Secretary Bird
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,382
  • Joined: 2003-July-12
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Calgary, Canada

Posted 2022-May-23, 09:39

Why should I ask? I have hearts, my double shows hearts no matter what your bid means. Especially in an auction where some pairs (not Cyberyeti, but I know they exist) aren't actually certain of their agreements.

I play my runout over 1NT-X, Alerted or not, without caring what the meaning is. From my experience a significant fraction - double digits? - of my opponents aren't on the same page about their defence to weak NTs. But depending on the meaning, my runout could be Alertable or not. Do I have to ask so that partner can Alert correctly? Does partner have to ask so they can retroactively Alert? Does partner Alert and explain the meaning if asked "sorry, it's Alertable on some meanings of your double, so I have to Alert because we don't know"?

Ah, Realbridge with FtF alerting has spoken queries and explanations. I can see getting that not to partner to be an actual technical challenge. Sure.
When I go to sea, don't fear for me, Fear For The Storm -- Birdie and the Swansong (tSCoSI)
0

#9 User is offline   blackshoe 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 17,287
  • Joined: 2006-April-17
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rochester, NY

Posted 2022-May-23, 12:45

View PostCyberyeti, on 2022-May-23, 00:29, said:

The other situation we had was our 2 opener which is a natural weak 2 but 4+ cards and that makes it alertable, opps without asking assumed it was a multi and proceeded to play somewhere really stupid.

Aw, gee, somebody was stupid and got a bad result at the bridge table. Ain't that a shame? B-)
--------------------
As for tv, screw it. You aren't missing anything. -- Ken Berg
I have come to realise it is futile to expect or hope a regular club game will be run in accordance with the laws. -- Jillybean
0

#10 User is offline   pescetom 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 5,122
  • Joined: 2014-February-18
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Italy

Posted 2022-May-23, 14:21

View Postmycroft, on 2022-May-23, 09:39, said:



Ah, Realbridge with FtF alerting has spoken queries and explanations. I can see getting that not to partner to be an actual technical challenge. Sure.

The platform allows both written self-alerts and virtual screens: it's the organiser (or his RA) that is challenged here.
0

#11 User is offline   sfi 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 2,247
  • Joined: 2009-May-18
  • Location:Oz

Posted 2022-May-23, 17:53

View Postmycroft, on 2022-May-23, 09:39, said:

Does partner Alert and explain the meaning if asked "sorry, it's Alertable on some meanings of your double, so I have to Alert because we don't know"?

That's the one, although you don't need to include the 'sorry'. That sort of alert seems entirely normal to me.
0

#12 User is offline   pescetom 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 5,122
  • Joined: 2014-February-18
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Italy

Posted 2022-May-24, 01:12

View Postmycroft, on 2022-May-22, 18:35, said:


Were I the EBU Laws Commission, I would find the confusion about the Announce vs Alert nature of "systems on over double" to be a messy trap for players and change the "without interference" to "and pass or double" at least. But it's clear (?) from OP's explanation that they have got this drummed through the punters' heads, and changing it now would cause even more trouble.

Any situation where "I don't have to know what your bid means to know what partner's call means, but I do need to know what it means to know if I have to Alert it" is bad.

FIGB doesn't have the specific problem about alerting some of these doubles (almost no doubles require alert) but it does make the same dubious decision to suppress announcements after interference. I don't see that things need to be limited to pass or double either: any transfer by responder could be announced after any interference, whether it is 2-level 'systems on' or 3-level Rubensohl or 4-level Texas come to that.
0

#13 User is offline   axman 

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Full Members
  • Posts: 778
  • Joined: 2009-July-29
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2022-May-24, 06:05

View Postmycroft, on 2022-May-23, 09:39, said:

Do I have to ask so that partner can Alert correctly? Does partner have to ask so they can retroactively Alert?




The time for finding out about conditional agreements is at the beginning of the round...or sooner.
0

#14 User is online   paulg 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 4,922
  • Joined: 2003-April-26
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Scottish Borders

Posted 2022-May-24, 08:45

View Postaxman, on 2022-May-24, 06:05, said:

View Postmycroft, on 2022-May-23, 09:39, said:

Do I have to ask so that partner can Alert correctly? Does partner have to ask so they can retroactively Alert? Does partner Alert and explain the meaning if asked "sorry, it's Alertable on some meanings of your double, so I have to Alert because we don't know"?

The time for finding out about conditional agreements is at the beginning of the round...or sooner.

If my partner makes a call that depends on the meaning of an opponent's call that I don't know the meaning, then I alert my partner's call.

It is quite possible that my partner understands what their call means (he has seen it before from the pair or has glanced at their system card). If asked, then I'd say that it depends on the meaning of their call. I regard this as the only practical approach.
The Beer Card

I don't work for BBO and any advice is based on my BBO experience over the decades
0

#15 User is offline   mycroft 

  • Secretary Bird
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,382
  • Joined: 2003-July-12
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Calgary, Canada

Posted 2022-May-24, 09:04

Okay, that makes sense. Seems like it will lead to a lot of non-Alert Alerts, but that's just the price we pay.

The thing is, there are several situations where I do need to know what your call means; but there are several - and 1NT-X is one of them - where I do not. We have had enough "but I have a penalty double" auctions, on both sides of the NT opener, to do anything else. But since the double *could be* "hearts and a minor" or "majors", I have to Alert my 2 call because it's natural in a suit the opponents have (potentially) shown. And we're going to get asked. And we're going to explain. And they're going to say that of course it didn't promise hearts, and now you've told your partner how you're taking their bid (because of course we forget our runout system. Well, people do, I agree there). And...

I do understand the POV of the regulators. We only want Announcements in auctions that nobody will forget, and 1NT-X "is different from" 1NT-p, or 1NT-(2) or 1NT-(2), or 1NT-(2) "majors", or... But when the "obvious" "systems on" is so prevalent as to be "the Alert", then those who play Alertable systems that aren't systems on get these problems.

Many say that there should be only one non-Alertable meaning for a call. I disagree. I think "one Alertable meaning that is so common that everyone takes it as the 'non-Alertable' meaning" is worse, if there is a reasonable case for another, also Alertable, meaning. It's what caused the "Special Alerts" back in the pre-Announcement times (which I used because we played 2-way in a world of transfers). It's what caused Announcements! Returning to this case by switching off Announcements seems to be a mistake, in my view, no matter the laudable goal.

But I come from the ACBL, where our Alerting document is massively more convoluted than almost anywhere else's, *and* still has obvious problems. So I will put my stone down now.
When I go to sea, don't fear for me, Fear For The Storm -- Birdie and the Swansong (tSCoSI)
0

#16 User is offline   mycroft 

  • Secretary Bird
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,382
  • Joined: 2003-July-12
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Calgary, Canada

Posted 2022-May-24, 09:14

In reply to Axman: this isn't a conditional agreement - we play the same thing over any meaning of the call in question. It's different disclosure requirements of the same call with the same meaning. And if I have to find that out every two board round just in case one of my natural calls are Alertable (and remember it, on the off chance it happens!), I'll never get what I do need to know.

Plus, I've griped about "why should we help the opponents remember their system?" before. And I am perfectly willing to take my lumps if, in fact, I *should have asked* (which the "why should we" people are trying to get out of, usually). But you should know your weak NT defence. If you don't, and you're not a new player(*), that is Not My Problem. After all, it's one of those conditional agreements you "should have checked at the beginning of the round", no?

* Look, we play crazy s---. I know that (and the weak NT is the least of it). I can see the "new to open game" people, and I want them to stick around. I'm going to ensure they're as prepared for us as possible for three boards. The ones that have been playing since Goren? You can take care of yourself. You know we play crazy s---.
When I go to sea, don't fear for me, Fear For The Storm -- Birdie and the Swansong (tSCoSI)
0

#17 User is offline   mycroft 

  • Secretary Bird
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,382
  • Joined: 2003-July-12
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Calgary, Canada

Posted 2022-May-24, 13:24

View Postpescetom, on 2022-May-23, 14:21, said:

The platform allows both written self-alerts and virtual screens: it's the organiser (or his RA) that is challenged here.

Ah, but:

realbridge said:

Alerts and explanations

The standard way of alerting in RealBridge is as in face-to-face bridge. When your partner makes a conventional bid, you click your alert card. The Alert card will briefly be displayed against partner's bid. Partner's bidding card will change colour to indicate that it has been alerted.

Explanations are as in face-to-face bridge too. An opponent asks you what the bid means by speaking, and you explain by speaking.

RealBridge also allows "self alerts" and written explanations. This option is explained in the Self alerts section later in this document.


"Oh, we 'also allow' doing it the normal online way" doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement that the organizers should consider, does it? And I remember from before that "just like face to face" - specifically including "partner alerts" - was used as a selling point for RealBridge.

It's been amusing as we go back to live bridge how much of the "oh yeah, that. I didn't miss *that* about FtF play" I've been hearing. No idea why I'd mention that, of course.

Note, pescetom, not a criticism, just pointing out that the "you can do both" line isn't the way *they* sell it.
When I go to sea, don't fear for me, Fear For The Storm -- Birdie and the Swansong (tSCoSI)
0

#18 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 12,873
  • Joined: 2009-July-13
  • Location:England

Posted 2022-May-24, 13:58

View Postmycroft, on 2022-May-24, 13:24, said:

Ah, but:


"Oh, we 'also allow' doing it the normal online way" doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement that the organizers should consider, does it? And I remember from before that "just like face to face" - specifically including "partner alerts" - was used as a selling point for RealBridge.

It's been amusing as we go back to live bridge how much of the "oh yeah, that. I didn't miss *that* about FtF play" I've been hearing. No idea why I'd mention that, of course.

Note, pescetom, not a criticism, just pointing out that the "you can do both" line isn't the way *they* sell it.


I much prefer F2F alerting rules. We have had issues with self alerts and (not having ever played with screens) I tend to forget to do them. It's flawed but in all the same ways as normal club bridge.
0

#19 User is offline   pescetom 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 5,122
  • Joined: 2014-February-18
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Italy

Posted 2022-May-25, 16:18

View Postmycroft, on 2022-May-24, 13:24, said:

Ah, but:

"Oh, we 'also allow' doing it the normal online way" doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement that the organizers should consider, does it? And I remember from before that "just like face to face" - specifically including "partner alerts" - was used as a selling point for RealBridge.

It's been amusing as we go back to live bridge how much of the "oh yeah, that. I didn't miss *that* about FtF play" I've been hearing. No idea why I'd mention that, of course.

Note, pescetom, not a criticism, just pointing out that the "you can do both" line isn't the way *they* sell it.


To quote their home page for players:

"Choice of partner-alerts/explantions or self-alerts/explanations.
With written explanations, store your explanations in a library, for later reuse. Pin and unpin favourite explanations at the top of the list."

Seems a neutral (diplomatic) message to me.

Of course the bulk of their revenue so far has come from club games moved online with minimal adjustments, so RB is not going to spit in their own soup or force players and directors to upgrade to to self-alerts or screens.
And of course myopic or cynical RAs and clubs think twice before exposing their customers to such treacherous "novity" or hinting that there is anything wrong with "oh yeat, that".
0

#20 User is offline   mycroft 

  • Secretary Bird
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,382
  • Joined: 2003-July-12
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Calgary, Canada

Posted 2022-May-25, 19:09

And if you noticed my link, it was their "player guide".

I am seeing an unclear message here, possibly caused by changing attitudes over time ("everybody wished they could have FtF conditions back, including partner alerts and talking and seeing faces. So, we gave it to them. Until they actually got it and remembered there were issues with that, too")
When I go to sea, don't fear for me, Fear For The Storm -- Birdie and the Swansong (tSCoSI)
0

Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

1 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users