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All comments by Steve Willner
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Steve C's last paragraph makes a lot of sense. In particular, using 2S to show primary spade support and no other hand types seems a bad idea. It's just too low a bid to have such a restricted meaning.

I wonder what they do on hands that support neither hearts nor spades but are not eager to declare NT. I like to be able to bid 2S on those and see what opener can offer, but that's a different minority view.

March 27, 2015
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I stand corrected. I'm sure an earlier version said “bids,” but the present version of the “Procedures” says “calls” as Michael reports. I think this takes precedence over the “Chart,” which is probably now out of date.

Anybody know when or why the change was made? This being the ACBL, I can imagine someone just randomly changed the language without understanding the implications. If an opponent makes a “funny” pass, double, or redouble, finding out after the auction is likely to be too late.
March 27, 2015
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Tiny addition: any alert of a redouble is also immediate (in the ACBL). The rule about delayed alerts applies only to _bids_.

I don't think normal Blackwood and responses thereto are alertable, but it doesn't hurt for the declaring side to explain them.
March 26, 2015
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Does anyone understand how the ACBL is better-protected against potential future legal issues if it owns the copyright than if it doesn't?
March 26, 2015
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On Roger's example, it seems fair to treat it as “serious error” in a national championship, but I wouldn't do so in an average club game. If the player is looking at the high cards himself and fails to cash them, _that_ would be SE.

On Ed's comment, I for one have no problem with TD panels as long as the TDs are reasonably competent players. What I object to is not having the panel introduce themselves, interview the appellants and make sure they've gathered all the facts, and at the end explain their ruling.
March 26, 2015
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Lots of people misunderstand how MI rulings work. As Ed wrote above, what happened in “MI-world” is only of secondary importance and rarely matters. The primary questions are “What would a correct explanation have been,” and then “What would have happened after the correct explanation?”

“Serious error” means something such as not cashing the setting trick when you are looking at it or “cashing” a suit starting with a low card instead of a high one. It doesn't include the ordinary bridge errors we all make on every deal. What actually happened after the MI is relevant to a ruling only if it's SEWoG, which is very rare and even then only affects the NOS score.
March 25, 2015
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I understood that events at NABCs other than “NABC+ events” have TD panels rather than player panels hearing the appeals. If appellants aren't permitted to attend, that's news to me. It seems bizarre. How is the panel supposed to get the facts? Sure, the appeal form will have the basics, but it's up to the panel to decide what's relevant and what's not.
March 25, 2015
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I don't understand that last. The GCC says “ONE CLUB OR ONE DIAMOND may be used as an all-purpose opening
bid (artificial or natural) promising a minimum of 10 high-card points.” If that doesn't include hands that have hearts, where is the prohibition written? Or put another way, what defines which 1m bids are legal and which aren't, other than having to have at least 10 HCP.

As others have written, clubs can allow or prohibit whatever they want. I tend to suspect (along with others) the original problem was inadequate disclosure rather than an undefined system, but I wasn't there. If I managed the club, I wouldn't allow such an ill-defined system and would insist on proper disclosure. One pair like this can drive away too many paying customers.
March 25, 2015
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Ed has the right principle, as usual. Actually the principle is a little stronger than Ed indicates. Law 41D specifies how dummy is supposed to display his hand. Failing to do it that way is an irregularity, though not one that's penalized in itself. However, if opponents are damaged, Law 12A1 allows an adjusted score. (Law 64C _requires_ an adjusted score if a revoke causes damage.)

On the actual case, I'm surprised the revoke and ruff at trick one didn't cost the defending side a trick, but if it didn't, “score stands” is the correct ruling. If it did cost one or more tricks, the defending side should get that back.
March 25, 2015
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The official masterpoint rules are those voted by the BoD. They should be captured in Chapter 2 of the ACBL Handbook:
http://www.acbl.org/clubs_page/club-administration/club-managers/acbl-handbook-of-rules-and-regulations/
(This is the ACBL we're talking about, so whether the rules _are_ properly captured is a different matter.)

Whether ACBLscore implements the rules correctly is unknown, and I don't think it should be a requirement to match ACBLscore in all cases. You'd probably want to do a bit of testing for common game types. It would be bad PR for the club players to find themselves receiving 0.26 when they'd previously gotten 0.27 for the same achievement, but I don't think extensive matching can be justified. You would have to test against the written specifications.
March 14, 2015
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EBL is the Zonal organization. It has member NCBOs, not individuals. The ACBL is an anomaly, being both a ZO and acting as, if not technically being, and NCBO.
March 14, 2015
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Coming in a little late here, but do you play strong jump shifts? If so, some of the hands people have suggested would have started with 3C. I think the heart bid is natural, not a splinter, but what strength is in question. (Playing SJS, I'd play it as a minimal GF with 3-4c support and at least one control in a pointed suit.)
Jan. 27, 2015
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Thanks, Ed. I see the problem with 2D, but then I don't understand why the Romex in the line just below is GCC.

In Romex Forcing Club, I'd have thought you could put all the strong balanced hands into 1C. Is that a problem? Regardless, it doesn't help in usual Romex.
Jan. 26, 2015
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Why isn't the R/RFC combo GCC-legal?

You must get dealt a lot more strong hands than I do if you devote so many bids to them.
Jan. 25, 2015
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If the purpose is to improve GIB, and you are required to evaluate “points,” why not use either straight Goren count or COBRA?
Dec. 29, 2014
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As usual, I'm coming late to the discussion. The official minutes are at
http://www.acbl.org/acbl-content/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Spring-2014.pdf

Odd that the complete botch of the natural two-card 1C opening in the GCC never came up.

Dec. 28, 2014
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Interesting cases that raise a lot of issues. I'll comment on them in order.

1. Dale J. is right that prior to 1975, the Laws on UI were nothing like now. “Using UI” was a _conduct_ offense, and “I was always going to bid slam” was a sufficient defense. Of course “old black magic” flourished, as one might expect. We've come a long way.

2. The issue of how to treat psyching is still a mess, probably because most authorities hate psychs but can't ban them without punishing LOLs (and the rest of us!) every time they (we) accidentally misbid. There are two separate issues to deal with: ensuring adequate disclosure, and deciding when a so-called psychic is really systemic and subject to the normal system rules. It doesn't help that the legal definition of “psychic” differs from the meaning most players understand. I have no hope the situation will improve in my lifetime.

3. The artificial scores (avg+/-) were arguably illegal and certainly wrong-headed; the TD should have assigned a score for 4H down whatever. Giving artificial scores was automatic back then, though, and is still too common today. As for the AC, it's hard to know why they went wrong, but one possibility is that the TD failed to explain the Laws. As mentioned in 1, the UI rules were fairly new at the time and still poorly understood, and there was little effort (so far as I can tell) to make sure ACs understood what the Laws actually said. That problem still exists but is much less. (I think Rich Colker had a lot to do with improving things, for which effort he was ousted from his position.)

4. Ruling whether 2NT was legal strikes me as very hard, and I wouldn't consider myself competent to rule on a player at Kit's level. Nowadays TDs would try to poll players of similar skill to see how they would approach the problem. If the 2NT bid was ruled illegal, then Kit is again right that the TD needs to determine what the result in 2Sx would be. In most of the world, that can be a weighted score (perhaps 20% 2Sx=, 50% 2Sx+1, 30% 2Sx+2, or whatever). The ACBL doesn't allow that, but there can be a split result. (With the above weights, it would be 2Sx+2 for the OS, 2Sx+1 for the NOS, but I've completely made up the percentages to give an example.) Anyway, as Kit wrote, the TD (or in this case AC) should do their best to work out what would have happened without the infraction, perhaps with a small (10%-ish) dose of favor to the NOS.
Nov. 19, 2014
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There are lots of opinions about what is better, but has anyone besides Mike Ma answered the question about what is standard? As he wrote, I'd expect NMF unless something else has been agreed. That doesn't deal with club stoppers, but it does find the spade fit if one exists.
Oct. 30, 2014
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Henry

Your question would be easy to answer with a simulation, but I don't know of anyone who has run one. My naive expectation would be that there should be lg2(M)+lg2(N)+1 rounds, but I don't have much confidence in this. (lg2 means base 2 logarithm.) My second guess is one more round than the above, but as I say, a simulation would settle the question.

If you are talking about a serious event, there should also be a “strength of schedule” correction. This correction compensates teams who have played against tougher opponents. Roughly speaking, you add to each team's score some fraction of the VPs scored by all that team's opponents other than in the head-to-head match. This has been simulated (contact me offline if you want details), and unfortunately the fraction depends on the exact format of the event. I believe some Australian events implement the SoS correction. One could also devise an entirely different scoring method (mathematically equivalent to some form of rating system but only applied to the specific event) that would have the same effect.
Oct. 30, 2014
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To John Adams: who is the “you” who is not consistent? And about what? My position “the regulations apply alike to all artificial opening bids” was stated just above your message. I don't understand why some people disagree.

To Ed: you seem to be fishing for reasons not to implement the regulations as written. OK, I guess, if that's what your club management wants. In fact, clubs are free to ignore ACBL regulations about play, and if that's what your club has decided, great! I took the OP question (with “ACBL” in the title) to imply that all ACBL regulations were in effect.
Oct. 30, 2014
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