Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Michael Rosenberg
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
“Would you change your opinion if better TD training were in the offing?”

No. But I would feel less bad about the current system.
Feb. 12, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Ed: I think you either have to take the position that PP's follow some pre-determined format (such as the revoke penalty), or that they are subjective in nature (such as score adjustments for UI or MI). I'm not sure which one you are espousing, but I don't like either.

When should the penalty be assigned? How much should the penalty be? It will inevitably be decided differently by different Directors on different occasions (even if the circumstances are identical)

You say “Personally, I would give PPs more often and would usually give 10% unless I have reason to believe more is appropriate.”

That is my worry. I worry that even Ed Reppert will not be able to assign these penalties in a consistent way. If Ed's mind is wiped clean, I have no confidence that Ed ((who I regard as highly intelligent, logical and fair) will give the same ruling on Friday as he did on Tuesday.

As for the “speed limits” analogy. I'm not sure that Directors would wish to be considered with the same ‘love’ that traffic cops are. However, I'd point out that speed limits are there in an attempt to save people from getting physically maimed or dying, so I don't think that it's really a good analogy.
I'd also point out that when driving is COMPETITIVE - such as race-car driving - then there ARE no speed limits. I guess they want those events decided by the actual driving.
Feb. 12, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Ed: You said “Is a five (or ten, or fifteen) yard penalty part of a “normal result” in football? Or is it extraneous, and something which should be eliminated?”

It has been said more than once on this site, and by more than one person (you MAY have been one of them) that other sports are not bridge, and we should not attempt to be bound by the way they do things.
However, since you brought it up….I think football is more like score adjustments than PP's. (Warning: I don't know much about football.)

1) In the case of certain penalties, such as offside and holding, if the NOS achieved a greater result, the penalty is normally waived. If there is no damage to the NOS, the penalty is ignored. (No ‘PP’)
If there was no gain (or a gain lesser than the penalty) then the penalty is assigned. In football, it's almost always impossible to determine what ‘would’ have happened (and it would take too long to do so - impractical), so they have a formula that determines the number of yards for each type of penalty.

2) One case where football goes to a “what would have happened” scenario is pass interference by the defense. They place the ball at the spot of the foul (where it ‘would’ have been caught). The exception being that, if you are in the end zone, they won't give you a touchdown (I guess they want actual touchdowns) and will place the ball on the 1-yard line.
I think this is pretty close to ‘score adjustment’ in bridge.

I think your football analogy argument is strongest when one considers penalties AFTER the play is over (such as personal fouls). Here, there is no possibility that the penalty affected the outcome. I would justify this ‘PP’ by saying those penalties are there to prevent players getting physically hurt. (Which, aside from being a sensible goal, might also affect future plays in the game.
In bridge, nobody is getting maimed. However, as you may remember, that was the one situation I deemed PP's reasonable - a blatant violation but no damage.

Football needs their penalty structure to run their game. I don't see that bridge really needs PP's (although I accept them as stated above). Often, the bridge violation will lead to a score adjustment unfavorable to the OS. When it doesn't, we could either have a PP system (which should be a formula) or we could go to disciplinary action (especially for repeat offenders).
Feb. 12, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Ed: I would say if a pair won an event without the PP and lost it with the PP, that the PP ‘decided’ the event. Yes, I know many other bids and plays could also have ‘decided’ the event. But the PP is different from all other score ‘changes’ - it was not part of a true bridge result that actually occurred - or could have occurred.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree about ‘decided’. Maybe it's just semantics. Maybe I need to say something like “I want the standings of a tournament to be, as far as possible, based exclusively on bridge results that occurred, or could have occurred, under normal bridge scoring.”

Your second paragraph seems to me to bolster my point. You say the following: “It is my impression”; “maybe the higher number is appropriate”; “I think PP's should be less rare than they are” “should it be more?”.
These are exactly the sort of questions and doubts that are currently in Directors' minds when ‘applying’ PP's. Is it justified? How much should it be? The results are arbitrary and inconsistent penalties. And, until and unless there is some equitable and consistent way to penalize players in this matter (and I can't imagine what that way would be), I think we are better off without this can of worms. (Yes, I know it's not fair to call it a "can of worms as part of my argument.)



Feb. 11, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Phil: You can't rule that they play 4 unless there is evidence that North gave south UI. Here, it seems south was never that sure about 2
Feb. 11, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Poor Kathryn. Somebody will understand what you are saying someday…
Feb. 11, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The club shift gains when declarer is 4-5-2-2 with Ax
Feb. 11, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I agree, Tom. That is why I prefaced my interminably long answer with that caveat.
Feb. 11, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
“East, at least, could see all the spots below the spade lead.”

How do you know this? The 5 was led and dummy has the 4. what about the 2 and 3? How do we know East could see them?
Feb. 11, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Agree. Except the Badger would say it should be “That'll learn 'em”
Feb. 11, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I brought up automatic penalties in case you were going to argue (as I have heard some people do) that it should work that way for PP's. They have said that in response to my statement that they are likely to be assigned arbitrarily and inconsistently.
Obviously, you are not one of those people, so I'm sorry I mentioned it.

The rest of your post seems to ignore my stated problem with PP's (as opposed to score adjustments. PP's create a score that could not have been achieved at the table. I don't want an event decided by a result that could not have been achieved at the table.

Even if somebody thinks there is “good reason” to assign a PP, how much should it be? Should it vary with the heinousness of the offense? Should it vary depending on whether there was already damage?
I think Directors are a million miles away from applying PP's consistently (or even thinking about them consistently). And I see virtually no need for them.
Feb. 11, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Ed: “Events are no more decided by a single PP than they are by the score (adjusted or otherwise) on one board out of 27 ”

This is where we differ. When an adjusted score is given, it is to a score that COULD have actually occurred at the table. So I'm fine with an event being decided that way.
Whereas a PP is an ‘artificial’ penalty. It has nothing to do with an actual result that could have been achieved.
I want events to be decided by results that were (or could have been) achieved.
Also, many cases of MI or UI don't ever come to light. I don't want automatic penalties for MI or UI - any more than I want them for revokes.
Feb. 11, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
John: Actually, I am generally against PP's as a solution. A ruling, such as the Draconian one I would give here, doesn't need the additional add-on of punishment.

The problem with having PP's is that they are too likely to be assigned arbitrarily or inconsistently.
I don't want an event decided by a PP.

The only situation I think a PP is even reasonable is when a somebody did something intentional that was blatantly wrong, AND there was no actual damage. Even there, you could go with having a disciplinary hearing, and forgo PP's altogether.

Jeff: Of course, the director (or committee) should not be hostile. It's an education process, not a punishment process.
My rulings might seem hostile. My words to the OS are (hopefully) never hostile.
Feb. 11, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
How about bidding 5 over 3?. That should clearly be Exclusion KC. If partner bids 6 (else no grand), now follow with 6 of the red suit that would systemically ask for K. For me, that would be 6. 6 would ask for 3rd round control.
Feb. 11, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Multiple issues here.

Because this is a club game, it's never clear how strict a ruling ‘should’ be. Therefore, that makes discussion less relevant and interesting to me.
For the purposes of my discussion below, I will assume a “serious” event.

First for N-S: North's 3 bid was a blatant use of UI. If partner had said “2 is natural” and bid 2, North would (or at least is quite likely to) pass. Partner already knows you have , and you have reasonable support for hearts where partner preferred to play. (It would be tougher to take this position had South bid 2 (North's stiff) - but not impossible.)

If it then went double-pass-pass back to North, I still see no reason that North would remove.
So I would rule 2 doubled down 6 - -1700 - (the defenders get the benefit of the doubt, and this is what correct defense leads to) - UNLESS something North did (other than the 3 bid itself) tipped off South to the idea that partner had .
For example, if North should her head, or glared at partner, I would then say that South's interpretation of the 3 bid was also based on UI. Therefore I would have South interpret 3 as a game try, and South bids 4 - doubled down 2300. I probably can't get it any higher than 4 (unless I can show that 4 would systemically be Redwood).

Ok, that last paragraph is going to look a little nuts to most people (who am I kidding - to everybody). But my point is that disasters of this sort do occur - BUT ONLY BEHIND SCREENS. And when a player tries to unfairly extricate themselves from a UI situation, we should be looking to see what further trouble they might get into.
My ruling (even if it's only the paltry -1700) will hopefully educate N-S (and anybody else watching) about two matters:

1) It's a good idea to know what conventions you have agreed

2) It's NOT a good idea (in fact, it's a REALLY BAD idea) to try to extricate yourself by illegally using UI

(2) is especially important. Had North passed, maybe West (with this or a different hand) might pull the double of 2. N-S lost whatever chance there was to ‘escape’ BECAUSE North used UI.

Now for EW:

I noticed at least one person saying that EW didn't deserve any bonanza ruling. The write-up in the article is a little unclear to me. The Director says EW had a misunderstanding, but I did not see the writer explicitly stating that.
However, I'm not sure it even matters. No pair is going to have an agreement about a double of 2 that shows majors, followed by a double of 3 that suddenly shows instead.
The idea that East ‘should’ have bid 4 is crazy. What if partner was 3=3=4=3? East could have passed 3 if they had some agreement this would be forcing, but they didn't.
So, unless I'm missing something, E-W did nothing wrong. And even if they did something that was wrong, it shouldn't prevent them from achieving the same score that they would against a pair that lived up to its ethical responsibilities.
And even if E-W did something VERY wrong, it would not matter to me, unless they had some way of achieving an equal or better score than they ‘should. Bidding a game (even if it were clear to do so as opposed to defending 3 doubled) is poor compensation for 1700.
Why do E-W ’deserve' this bonanza/ Because there opponents made a terrible mistake. Think of it as opponents bidding a grand slam off an ace, or playing in a (re?)doubled cuebid, or playing AJx opposite K10x by taking the finesse both ways.
When your opponents do something really stupid, it's ok if that means something very good for you.

So my ruling for EW would be the ‘mirror’ of the ruling for N-S. As it usually would be after blatant use of UI.


Feb. 11, 2015
Michael Rosenberg edited this comment Feb. 11, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Why can't the lead be a doubleton?
Feb. 11, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
“East's club shift looks nuts.” Well, yes if partner is guaranteed to have a stiff. But what if declerer has J10xx, KJxxx, xx, AJ? Now the club shift leads to 2 down, cashing the spade to 1 down.
I'd accept that the club shift is “wrong” or even “clearly anti-percentage”. But I thought “nuts” was a little strong (unless the 5 was readable as not a doubleton).

East's not putting up the K WAS absurd (nuts+ ?) - ESPECIALLY if holding the 9 as shown by Mark above. Regardless of the hand, K never loses in the suit.
Without the 9 it would be a little different - at least in the suit. But still clear to play the king with that dummy.

West had one chance, and failed to find a good play to help partner. East had two ‘chances’, and made one error and one nullo play.
Feb. 10, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
This “one” wouldn't think that….
Feb. 10, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Robin: “Is our position all that unusual?” I don't think it's that unusual, but I think it's the minority. I believe the majority would bid 1-2 with a GF 3=4=3=3.

David: I completely agree. if 1M-2 promises 5-card, that it should be part of any description that is made.

So I think the “yes” answer in this article, whether deliberately obfuscative or unwittingly dim, was not appropriate.
Had they been playing what I think of as 'Standard" 2/1 - 2 only 3 if 3=4=3=3 - I would think the answer reasonable. Although outside the US, I think one should add the 3-card club possibility (and perhaps should anyway, as you suggested elsewhere).
Feb. 10, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
David: You said “to me “2/1” means that “a two-level non-jump new-suit response to a one-level opening bid in a suit is natural (4+ cards if 2m, 5+ cards if 2)”

How can it “mean” that? What if the opening is 1 and responder is 3=4=3=3?
Feb. 10, 2015
.

Bottom Home Top