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All comments by Cornelia Yoder
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While I understand what you are trying to accomplish, I think it's insane that someone should have to prealert that they think before they play a card, trick one or any other.
Sept. 12, 2015
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Wayne, you're getting way too paranoid. Partner leads, dummy drops a singleton in the suit, declarer plays it instantly, and I'm not allowed to pause before playing a card for fear of “hesitation”? Try to remember … bridge is a game in which you are SUPPOSED to think.
Sept. 12, 2015
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Is there a point to this poll?
Sept. 12, 2015
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Jenni, if the player said, “I don't understand”, what would you do next?

If the answer is, repeat your statement, you have missed the point. Your ruling was impeccable, but the communication apparently wasn't. That is no reflection on your knowledge of the Laws, but it is a problem nevertheless.

What is totally clear to you (and me) may not have been so clear to the player, and a really good way to continue would be to look for a totally different way to explain the same thing, perhaps an example.

Even a statement such as “…required to pass for the remainder of the auction …” would not work for someone who does not process oral information easily. A statement such as “…your partner will have to Pass…” is almost identical but easier to process.

If you run into this kind of thing in the future, just look for totally different ways to say the same thing.
Sept. 11, 2015
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Different people learn differently, process information about the world differently. Some learn by hearing, some learn by reading, some learn by doing, touching. Some people are visual and learn best from pictures. Everyone is different.

The problem arises when someone who is teaching or explaining uses THEIR method rather than the method needed by the student or listener.

If your director explained in spoken words repeatedly, and your partner still did not understand, then most likely your partner learns by visual (pictures or written word) and simply cannot learn by hearing.

Neither of them is right or wrong, smart or stupid, just different. Such a mismatch causes huge problems in communication.

As for how to handle that in a situation such as you described, the best way is to ask for a different director, and hope the second one is more able to communicate with your partner as s/he needs.

If that is not possible, then you might say something like, “can you draw a picture?” or “can you show us in the Laws?”. Reading the pertinent Law might work better for someone who is very visual than hearing it explained.
Sept. 10, 2015
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I agree 100% with you, Peg. If the declarer does not do it, then third seat should always give everyone that time, and definitely before selecting a card.

IMHO, that should be a rule/guideline/protocol/whatever. And I know I have read it, because I didn't just invent it myself, but apparently not in the official ACBL protocols.
Sept. 10, 2015
Cornelia Yoder edited this comment Sept. 10, 2015
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Of course the problem is that neither the declarer nor partner are entitled to know if you have a problem on trick one or not. Playing a card and then pausing provides UI that in fact you do not need to think about your play to trick 1.

So I asked rulings@acbl.org about this. Here is the exchange.

===========
Cornelia: I recall reading that declarer is supposed to pause for 10-15 seconds before playing to the first trick, to give everyone time to look over the dummy and plan their play or defense. I also recall that if declarer does not do this, third seat is entitled (or maybe supposed) to do so, even if they have no problem playing to that trick. Is this true, and is it written anywhere you can give me a reference?



ACBL Director at rulings@acbl.org: It is good practice to allow for that thinking time. We encourage declarers to do so when teaching bridge (count your winners, count your losers, develop a plan…).

Defenders should be doing the same (what does declarer’s hand look like? What is our source of tricks? What does my partner’s lead mean?), but we have no requirements that such practices be followed.



Cornelia: The problem arises when the declarer fails to do this but third hand wants to study the dummy and plan. Is there any hesitation problem if third hand does so, even if he has no problem on the first trick itself (for example he has a singleton).



ACBL Director at rulings@acbl.org: In that case I’ve seen 3rd seat place his card face down on the table, indicating he has chosen the card he will play to the trick, and maybe even say “I’d like a little time to study the whole hand.” It’s also possible to play to the trick, in tempo, but then ask for all the cards to remain face up.

I would not penalize even if 3rd hand took a decent 15 seconds before even selecting his card to play to this trick. Both he and his partner are entitled to that time and I would not look upon it as UI.
===========

That last paragraph says it clearly.

Sept. 10, 2015
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Actually, if I said, “if Trump gets elected as President, I'm moving to Canada,” I would mean it as a compliment to a country that has its political act in a lot better order than the US does and would be an extremely nice place to live.
Sept. 9, 2015
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Wayne, I am under the impression that (at least in the ACBL) a declarer is expected to wait 10-15 seconds before playing to trick 1 to give everyone time to look over the dummy and assess the hand. If the declarer fails to do this, then 3rd hand defender is expected to pause for that time period before playing.

EXPECTED, not required, but certainly should.

I recall reading this in a director's guide when I was studying to become an ACBL director, although I can't lay my hands on it at the moment.
Sept. 9, 2015
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Diego: “It should be forbidden to think …”

Now there is a totally new take on the game of Bridge!
Sept. 8, 2015
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“….With reform apparently underway, we ask …”

I think this remains to be seen. Will the NBOs and other organizations up to the WBF actually be proactive in rooting out the “others”? Or will this flap all die down with F/S being banned or whatever and the rest being ignored for “lack of proof”?
Sept. 7, 2015
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Beautifully said, Peg!!
Sept. 6, 2015
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Yes, and either monitors or keystroke recording would prevent it entirely, which is why I have specifically listed those as part of the deal.
Sept. 6, 2015
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Can someone enlighten us on how that merge was done? Was it automated, or did someone have to manually combine the videos?
Sept. 5, 2015
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Ummm, JoAnna,

Comprise: verb (used with object), comprised, comprising.

1. to include or contain:
The Soviet Union comprised several socialist republics.

2. to consist of; be composed of:
The advisory board comprises six members.

I believe you are thinking of “compose”, wherewith you would say, “the team is composed of…”.
Sept. 5, 2015
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It's easy, and I have evidence that satisfies me, but would not stand up in a court of law, that roughly half the participants are cheating. That figure is from actual data plus two conversations. However, I am not about to explain here and teach everyone who reads this how to cheat. If someone from the ACBL would like to email me, I'll be happy to explain the method. Unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing that can be done to prevent it, so it may not be worth the effort.

The BBO robot tourneys are not real bridge anyway, since everyone already gets UI and you almost never play defense, but they are a good way to sell masterpoints. The good news is that this method would not be available in monitored settings nor on tablets that recorded keystrokes.


Focusing anti-cheating efforts where it really matters is better.

Sept. 5, 2015
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Yep, cheating is rampant there, too, but at least it's for peanuts, not world championships. With limited resources, where should the anti-cheating energy be focused?

Electronic play will still need supervision, monitors, keystroke/mouse recording, etc.
Sept. 5, 2015
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Fishy Behavior

Just like the break-in at the Watergate, the subsequent coverup, and scandal added a new suffix to our language, the -gate suffix, this month's scandal in the bridge community has added a new meaning for an adjective to the vocabulary of bridge.

Telling someone “that's a fishy cough” will have new implications. Fishy plays and fishy bids will abound, and fishy shirt-pulling will cause askew glances. Fishy water bottles will need to be left on the floor. Fishy elbows on the table, and most of all, fishy opening leads will eventually have to be investigated.

I can see the scene now!

Player 1: “That's a fishy cough you have.”

Player 2 (between coughs): “Sorry, it's not fishy, I have a cold.”

Player 4 (handing his partner a bottle of club soda): “Have a drink, partner.”

Player 3: “That's a fishy bottle! Are you asking for a club lead?”

Player 4: “Sorry, my shirt was caught in my zipper, it's not a fishy pull.”

Player 2 (still coughing): “Thanks, pard, no, I don't want club soda, something else please.”

Sept. 5, 2015
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Congratulations to Israel, the IBF, and the remainder of the team for an ethically strong action! This sends a message almost as powerful as Boye's actions that cheating will not be tolerated by ethical players even at great cost to themselves. I feel very badly for everyone who was not involved in any cheating and got caught up in this mess.

If nothing else, these kinds of miserable after-effects should help inspire the authorities to take a much more proactive role in investigating any remaining pairs that are suspect and in finding stronger prevention methods.
Sept. 5, 2015
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(moved to the other thread)
Sept. 5, 2015
Cornelia Yoder edited this comment Sept. 5, 2015
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