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All comments by Paul Gibbons
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As an ageing director I like to do anything which reduces my reliance on my memory.

When you have table cards everything is usually fine.

The difficult I have found using an arrow switch on the first round when playing a standard mitchell with an arrow switch is with entering names on the Bridgemates. Players who are expecting to play NS for most of the session have to enter their numbers as EW and vice-versa and many of them get it wrong.

I have always thought it would be easier to arrow switch on the second round. This did not used to be possible with EBUScore but this has now changed with a recent release so next time when a one-winner movement is needed I will give it a go.
Oct. 7
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Here in England most clubs have a playing director so checking the unusual contracts in EBUScore during the event is not possible. I reckon that having the opening lead validation turned on stops between 5 and 10 incorrect score entries per session. Beside getting the right score for the right board it also stops many cases of entering the score against the wrong board and making a board unplayable. There is almost no way of using this facility for cheating so long as players are not allowed to delete scores. As a director I would always have it switched on. For some time it has been the main justification for using Bridgemates over their cheaper competitors.
Oct. 4
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My contact with BBO support suggests it is quite likely that support for Bridge Movies will not be implemented in the new BBO client
Oct. 3
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And the use of a substitute in the trials didn't produce a thousand item thread in Bridgewinners??? What a different time.
Aug. 21
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“allow correction of the revoke”. It seems that the WBFLC did not consider the situation where there was more than one card which could correct the revoke and that different cards would lead to different results. East only ‘played’ the K of spades after he/she had seen the other cards. There surely must be some doubt however small as to which card East would have played if he/she had not revoked or with which card he/she would have corrected the revoke if he/she had not seen the other hands and if so that doubt should be resolved against the revoker reversing the normal situation where ‘any doubtful point as to a claim shall be resolved against the claimer’.
July 31
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A point on which nobody has yet commented is that East has several cards which he/she could legally play on the Q of spades. Although the revoke must be corrected play ceases when the director is called following the claim. The director is his/her adjudication under Law 70A decides which card East would play on this trick. Unfortunately this is not a situation where the director can award a weighted score. So the director has to decide between 1-off and an overtrick based what he/she thinks would have happened. I was not there to find out all the circumstances but if East was paying so little attention as to play his/her one non-legal card perhaps a ruling of playing a low spade is at least possible. I certainly think the director should have consulted other directors before giving a decision although they might come to the same decision in the end.
July 31
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It also depends on the how the stronger player plays. When I play with a sub-45 player in a sub-45 field it usually in the club's gentle duplicate session which I direct and host. We play more slowly. It is aimed those who are fresh from their classes and supervised play but is attended by some weaker more experienced players. If it is one of the latter I will ask them if they want to try to win or try to learn.

If they say ‘try to win’ then I do not assume he/she has a good hand when he/she reverses etc. I bid 3NT whenever it seems like it might be a possible contract and if he/she is playing the hand settle for a safe part-score rather than a tight game etc.etc. In this case most times my NGS would not suffer.

With the students or if I am told ‘try to learn’ then I do trust his/her bids, bidding to what should be the correct contract irrespective of who will be playing it. He/she (and I) suffer the consequences of his/her mistakes and hopefully he/she can learn from them. Going down this route I expect a significant hit to my NGS but maybe we will get an improving player in the main club sessions in a little while.
July 13
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While the major penalty card, a trump, is on the table that South has a trump is authorised information.
July 8
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When the TD ruled that the heart is a major penalty card did he/she not explain to declarer that when offender's partner was next on lead (as North was after this trick), the declarer could insist on the lead of a heart (or prohibit the lead of a heart, although that seems less likely).

If he/she had insisted on the lead of a heart then the penalty card would have been picked up but knowledge of it and how it was created would by Law 50E2 become UI and Law 73C1 requires the partner “carefully avoid taking any advantage from that unauthorized information” and Law 16B1(a) states “A player may not choose a call or play that is demonstrably suggested over another by unauthorized information if the other call or play is a logical alternative.” So in this case if North did not have a heart and was therefore not bound by declarer's instruction he/she was not being ethical but simply following the laws of bridge in leading spade (assuming it was a logical alternative). Doing so of course saved you having call the TD a second time and saved the TD from having to make a judgement ruling so the action is indeed to be commended.

If your partner did not insist on (or prohibit) the lead of heart then Law 50E1 states “Information derived from a penalty card and the requirements for playing that penalty card are authorized for all players for as long as the penalty card remains on the table”. Therefore in this case North would not be in possession of unauthorised information and so would be free to lead a diamond and it would be perfectly ethical for him/her to do so.

One hopes that this was all explained by the TD when you or your opponents called him/her as soon as South said “I didn't mean to play that”.

Of course if you did not call the TD and just made up your own ruling ignoring the Laws you may be playing a nice game but it is not Bridge.
July 8
Paul Gibbons edited this comment July 8
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BBO bought Funbridge. I assume in part to replace GIB with Funbridge's Bots.
July 4
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The meaning of the word subset is as I have said above only if all hands which would have doubled would have opened 1 will ‘Double’ define a subset of the hands which open 1. The whole purpose of the comparable call is that the withdrawn call provides no extra information over and above that provided by the replacement call which is why there will be no question of unauthorised information.

For some guidance see here

http://www.worldbridge.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/2017LawsCommentary.pdf
June 27
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No A2 is not met. A takeout double includes some hands which would open 1 but also a great many hands which would not open 1. Set B is a subset of Set A if all the members of Set B are also members of Set A. Not all of the hands which would make a take out double would have opened 1 therefore ‘Double’ does not define a subset of the hands which would open 1.
June 27
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This is not quite true. If the pair concerned play sound 2-level overcalls then 2 will be opening values or close enough to be comparable. Equally if they play intermediate or strong jump overcalls 3 will be comparable.

The question is ‘Would all the hands which made the replacement call have made the withdrawn call?’ Clearly there are many hands which would justify take out double which would not be opened 1. At the very least there will be hands that would have been opened 1 or 1NT so ‘Double’ is not a comparable call
June 27
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Take a look at the English National Grading Scheme

https://www.ebu.co.uk/documents/miscellaneous/ngs/very-brief-intro.pdf

https://www.ebu.co.uk/documents/miscellaneous/ngs/full-guide.pdf

If you look at the top players https://www.ebu.co.uk/ngs

you will see it is a pretty good guide to who are the top English players
June 2
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In England (other parts of the UK may differ) the regulations state “At the end of the auction the calls should remain in place until the opening lead has been faced and all explanations have been obtained, after which they should be returned to their boxes. If the hand is passed out then the passes are immediately returned to their boxes.”

As the defenders should have asked all their questions before the opening lead is faced the bidding cards should remain on he table beyond the facing of the opening lead if the declarer has any questions.

I believe this system works much better than the alternatives and speeds up obtaining explanations. It also prevents accusations of unauthorised information if the opening leader's partner was slow to remove one or more of his/her bidding cards.
May 30
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Most people above have got the subset provision of Law 23A2 the wrong way round. It is the replacement call which must define a subset of the hands covered by the 2 bid. So for example a penalty double which might be made purely on high cards including AQ only of spades would not define a subset of the hands which would bid 2. Similarly many hands that would justify a bid of 3 over 2 would be short in spades and so 3 would not define a subset of the hands which would bid 2 over a Pass. I do not think that there is likely to be a call which fulfils 23A2, the subset requirement.

However I do think there is one call which will fulfil 23A1 or 23A3 provided that the second 2 bidder has not indicated that he/she did not see the first 2 bid. A possible meaning attributable to the second 2 call is that it was meant to be a cue bid of the opponent's suit but was done a level too low. In this case 3 is a comparable call. This option is ruled out if the second 2 bidder has indicated that he/she had not seen the first 2 bid, as that meaning will no longer be attributable to the insufficient bid, which is why the TD should be careful not to enquire what the insufficient bidder meant by his/her bid as that may constrain his/her actions.

Whether bidding 3 is the optimum bridge solution to the problem created by the insufficient bid is another question but it is a call which will not silence partner in the circumstances I have described.

Of course the question may not arise as it maybe in LHO's best interested to get his/her partner out of a misfit by accepting the insufficient 2 bid.
April 26
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What will our American cousins make of this thread when they wake up?

I suspect that the argument over VAT on Jaffa Cakes was proportionately less important to United Biscuits than that over VAT on competition entries was to the EBU. So perhaps it was worth pursuing the argument that Bridge is a sport to achieve that saving.

If only bridge-players got harder with age instead of going soft…….
March 28
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The Law has been changed. Under the 2007 Laws the call actually made had to be a logical alternative if Law 16 was going to be applied so supposedly a player could get away with an illogical call.

Now under the current laws it doesn't matter whether 4 is a logical alternative or not so long as Pass is a logical alternative and the UI suggests 4 (possibly amongst other calls) over Pass then we can adjust
March 26
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In England TDs have specific guidance on this issue which I set out below.

“8.73.1 Hesitating with two small cards
Pausing to consider whether to signal is an infraction, under Law 73D1. The player has failed to be ‘particularly careful in positions where variations (in tempo) may work to the benefit of their side’ and to do so is not usually considered ‘a demonstrable bridge reason’ for the purposes of Law 73E2.

8.73.2 Pauses at trick one
8.73.2.1 Pause by declarer before playing from dummy
A pause by declarer before playing from dummy at trick one should not give rise to the possibility of an allegation by a defender that they have been misled; indeed, such a pause is recommended practice.
8.73.2.2 Pause by third hand
Whether or not declarer plays quickly from dummy at trick one, a pause by third hand should not be considered to transmit any unauthorised information to partner, nor to convey potentially misleading information to declarer. No disclaimer is necessary.
The freedom for third hand to think about the deal generally at trick one applies irrespective of their holding. Thus, for example, it is perfectly legitimate to think about the deal generally at trick one even if third hand holds a singleton in the suit led. As a consequence, TDs should not entertain claims that declarer has been misled by a pause from third hand at trick one.”

So if South thinks without removing a card from his hand the TD will not adjust. However where where South removes a card from his/her hand and replaces it leading the declarer to think the thought is about the play to Trick 1 we might adjust.
March 25
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I assume 3 spades was slow. Yes West should have bid 4 straight away and given up on a slam but only TDs will think pass is an LA here.
March 18
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