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All comments by Michael Rosenberg
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If you grab a card intending to play it, and you place it on the table, and it is a legal play, it is a played card.

1) The classic situation is leading towards AQ in your hand. You play the queen, not seeing your opponent played the king - the queen is a played card.

2) Another common situation is a player getting ahead of himself. For example, in the original case here, a defender might be planning to play a spade after cashing his hearts, but forgets to cash the last one first. here, the spade is a played card.

3) In the actual case, where the card clearly dropped out of the player's hand, the card is not a played card.

The above cases are all clear to me, and I think the rules in these cases (assuming I am correct about the dropped card) are optimal.
What is not clear to me is the case where a player takes a card out of his hand thinking it is a different card from what it actually is, and then plays it. It might be difficult for the player to prove he was not part of the (2) category. But, if it is clear he was not, then I think (not very confidently) that the card should not be considered a played card. (Of course, the card would be subject to whatever penalty is appropriate for exposing it).
May 10, 2012
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So does that mean you have no problem with my not enforcing the revoke penalty (if I am consistent about it) as long as the Director agrees?
May 10, 2012
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Even worse than asking to see the last trick are those players (some of whom are experts) who actually pick up the cards and turn them over.
If we are going to have automatic penalties, I'd prefer to have one for that - where a player is actively trying to help himself, than for a revoke - where a player is not.
May 10, 2012
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Peg,

But do I have the right to call the Director and request that he or she not enforce the penalty?
May 10, 2012
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Lynn J.

If you look at your earlier post, I think you will see you did not actually ask a question about the weak 2-bids. Here is the question you asked:

“ I think it's weird that you can play transfer responses to 1C in a GCC event if your 1C bid shows at least 15 HCP, but not if it could be a minimum opening bid. But if I allow my opponents to do as they please, but other competitors call the director to penalize their opponents, I have given my opponents an advantage over other competitors. Why is that “fair”?”

I didn't answer this question because it appeared to me to be rhetorical. Even had I not thought that, I would not have known the question was intended specifically for me - I would have thought it was a general question to readers of the thread.

My answer is that this is a messy subject, to which I have devoted very little thought. It would never have occurred to me to call the Director in the weak-2 case. I don't think there should be automatic proscriptions on judgment, or even psychic bids, except where the bid is artificial AND strong (in which case I think the proscription is reasonable).

I think that an “infraction” that can only be brought to light by detailed knowledge of our ever-changing laws is difficult to police.

Maybe in the distant future when we have advanced technicologically, the computer will “forbid” actions that are outside certain parameters.

If I were to call the Director on a systemic-legal issue, I would do it regardless of the identity of my opponents.

Sorry if I haven't answered your question - your welcome to try again!

Regarding your “similar case”, Andy already answered. But even if UI were not an issue then, under the current rules, the spade ace would be a penalty card, and declarer could forbid a spade lead.

You say “most players don't (deliberately drop a card) on purpose, but some of them do.” That is the main reason people are against changing the automatic penalties - the fear that players will drop cards or revoke on purpose.
I don't think this would be a frequent problem. After all, in my ‘rules world’, they could never theoretically gain (since any doubt is decided against them). And repeat offenders would be subject to disciplinary action.
I worry a lot more about “impossible” tricks and contracts being made - that is what I wish to change.
May 10, 2012
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Greg:

It may be “the proper course of action would be to pay the proper taxes and donate the additional tax in a proper manner”.

But I obviously have the right to deduct the item and stuff the savings in a sock.

The question is, as I just asked Phillip, do I have the right not to deduct the item?
May 9, 2012
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sorry - forgot tomake it clear that my last post was in reply to Phillip
May 9, 2012
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Thought you'd say that - almost word for word.

The question is: do I have the right not to deduct the item?
May 9, 2012
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Greg:

Your post appears to ignore the fact that Andy, I, and now Peg think the Laws as written say the spade five is NOT played card.

Since we're getting into philosophy - you say:

“People's unwillingness to follow laws that they disagree with conjoined with the expectation that it is acceptable for them to not do so (for whatever reason, usually either because the law is “stupid”, lack of enforcement, or lack of enforceability) is, in my opinion, one of the most fundamental problems of contemporary Western society.”

I think there is one clear exception. When people don't follow the law AGAINST THEIR OWN SELF INTEREST, it may be permissible. For example, if I believe a certain expense should not be deductible on my income tax, even though it legally is, my choosing not to deduct it is not a problem for contemporary society - in fact I am helping it.
May 9, 2012
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Maybe I'm dense, but I still don't see where you answered my question. I will now extend it, as I did for Phillip.

If YOU were the person responsible for making the law, would you have the law be that the five of spades accidentally dropped on the table is a played card?
May 9, 2012
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Ross:

The card was not “placed” on the table. It fell on the table.

No matter how you parse it, it appears that the Laws do not specifically address a dropped card. Those who believe as you do probably find your arguments persuasive. Those who believe as Andy does, they probably find his arguments persuasive.

I said (a long time ago) that I don't know what the actual Law is in this case, and I don't care. What I do believe is that the law should be that the spade five is not a played card. I am still waiting for anyone to say that the laws should be such that the spade five is a played card.
I only asked two people that directly. Phillip, who refused to answer (even when pressed), and Peg who did not resond to that specific question.
May 9, 2012
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Interesting My conclusion on reading of 45C1 is exactly the opposite. A defender card “held”. How can a dropped card be said to be “held”?
May 9, 2012
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Steve B.

Maybe declarer didn't “grab the trick”. Maybe he had no idea that he was allowed to concede it. And, whether he did or not, you are still talking about the symptom.

Greg H.

No, you did nothing blasphemous or disgraceful (or even wrong).

There is clearly nothing wrong with enforcing the laws, as long as you do so in an entirely consistent manner.

It is MY position of NOT enforcing particular laws in an entirely consistent manner that is open to question. (Though I would remind everyone that there seems to be disagreement about what the law actually is in the case originally presented.)

For me, it is undesirable to have an automatic penalty for an illegal play. Or for a totally accidental play such as a card dropping out of someone's hand.
I think the rule should be there is only redress if there is actual damage (including UI) - with any doubt accruing to the non-offenders.
I would estimate (a total guess) than in over 90% of such cases there is no actual damage
May 9, 2012
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Unfortunately, a Director call (for tempo-related or misinformation issues) is generally perceived AT ANY LEVEL (including world-class experts) as an accusation.
Personally, I love it when my opponents call the Director against me (I gotta be different). And I only call when I feel I really must.
But maybe Gordon is correct that the way to improve the situation in the long run is to start calling more (in the short run, it might lead to pistols at dawn).
May 9, 2012
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Steve,

Attacking the declarer for not conceding, or attacking those who believe in following the letter of the law is attacking the SYMPTOM. Maybe the declarer was an inexperienced player who didn't know how many hearts were left (this could even happen in a National Championship); or maybe declarer's mind was wandering.
I have zero doubt that, the cases of, Phillip and Peg, they believe what they believe regardless of any self-serving factor. They simply think things operate more fairly and efficiently their way.
The DISEASE is having a dropped card be a played card, or having it be possible that a grand slam makes off the trump ace.
It's the automatic score penalties for extraneous/non-legal events that we need to “cure”.
May 9, 2012
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I disagree. The discussion (at least my part of it) suggests that, if someone takes a long time time and their partner takes an abnormal action (or a dubious action that was clearly suggested by the break in tempo), the score will be adjusted.

Hopefully, such rulings will discourage players from trying to improve their bidding success by using tempo as a weapon.
May 9, 2012
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It's true we don't know precisely what his problem is. What we do know is that, had he bid a smooth 3N, that is where he clearly wants to play. I think my hand is a pretty good example of that.

To look at it another way, what hand do you think WOULD make a smooth 3N bid?
May 9, 2012
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Jeff Aker made a lot more sense to me in less than four lines than Kit did in about seventeen. AND that's with Jeff making an error - Hendik did in fact bring up the issue of the slow bid alerting partner to the “agreement” (boy, does that word NEED quotation marks in this case).

Here's where I disagree with Kit:

1)The alert to 3N does not indicate to me that he interpreted the bid as showing 5 spades - not after a slow bid and a slow alert.

2) The production of system notes does not show to me that “this is the partnership agreement”. Not when it took a long time to alert and at least one partner thought the agreement no longer existed.

3)It isn't clear to kit what one should do if permitted to take advantage of the huddle. It's clear to me to bid. Partner could have:
a) The 5-card spades hand
b) A hand thinking about slam
c) A hand not sure 3N was the best game.

If a) or b), it would be a clear pull (you have a good hand for slam). If c) then less clear - but overall, pulling is CLEARLY indicated.

4) The one thing we know partner does NOT have is something like Kxxx, KQx, KJ, QJxx.
Apparently, in Kit's world, it's OK to have two agreements about 3N. An in-tempo 3N, producing a no-thought pass (both players forgetting their “agreement”) and a slow 3N producing an alert, and a pull with suitable hands. In the latter case, they have system notes to show their “agreement.” In the former case, who would even know there was an issue?

May 8, 2012
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Phillip M.:

Now I know that you are talking about the actual case and not generally, what about Andy B's point (which he has made repeatedly, but has mostly been ignored) that the Laws in fact do NOT say that the spade five is a played card?

Furthermore, this discussion has provoked me into doing something I rarely do - actually look at the Laws. Law 45(A) defines a card played as follows:

“Each player except dummy plays a card by detaching it from his hand and facing it on the table immediately before him”

It would take some fancy lawyering to argue that the spade five was “detached” given the evidence we have heard.

So in answer to your question:

“What if you were West and your opponent allowed you to pick up your five of spades and play a heart? Now you won the event. Could you live with THAT?”

I would say yes. I would feel fine, both morally and legally.

May 8, 2012
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Lynn J.

You are correct - the word unfair was poorly selected on my part.
Maybe “undesirable” would have been closer to what I was trying to convey.
I think it is ok not to enforce a law you believe to be undesirable, as long as you do so uniformly; for example, I wouldn't make either a friend or my worst enemy play a card that I could see had dropped accidentally out of his or her hand. I regard that as “fair” - though I'm fairly certain I would be in the minority
May 8, 2012
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