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Thinking early in the play in various jurisdictions - and potential UI

Hi All,

I've been mulling over how best to ask this question for a few days, and still not sure I have it in the optimal form.  Therefore, with apologies in advance, if needed ...

... I understand that in some jurisdictions, there is a right for the defenders (and/or declarer) to think as long as they wish at trick one (and maybe in other specified situations?).  With this in mind, what, if anything, do the following say about doing so?

  1. The Laws of Bridge
  2. WBF Regulations
  3. ACBL Regulations
  4. EBU Regulations


I have two angles here, one broad, one narrow

  • Broad:  Unless the regulations marry up, there is a danger that techniques developed which are regarded as ethical/legal in one jurisdiction are not in the other, which makes the potential adjustment difficult/dangerous.  For example, imagine winning the qualification in one jurisdiction being allowed to think as long as needed at trick one without confering UI, but not being allowed to do the same in the event qualified for?
  • Narrow:  I am considering switching to the "Suit Preference at Trick One" method that Kit often writes about.  I believe this would be easier to do ethically in a jurisdiction where taking time at trick one cannot confer UI.  That said, I think that it and other qualitative* signals (pretty much anything other than count and mixed signals) can be played ethically in any case.  However, I have a partner who subscribes to what I understand to be Hamman's view that it is somewhere between difficult and impossible to play Smith Echos ethically, so we don't play them.  In my mind this puts us at a considerable disadvantage, but credit to him standing by his ethical views.

If my partner could be reassured, he might change his mind.  If not, of course, he (and we) shouldn't.

Thoughts - not about us, but about the overall topic?

Ian C

* Qualitative (as opposed to Quantitative) signals:  Attitude, Suit Preference, Odds'n'Evens/Roman, Smith, Suit Preference at Trick One  etc

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