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All comments by Tom Peters
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The legal formulation is “for a player in possession of the new AI, the UI no longer suggests one action over another.”
16 hours ago
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“If they aren't UI, then there is a tremendous advantage to ‘accidentally’ revoking more often.”

Corrected revokes result in major penalty cards. That is a very strong reason to avoid revoking.

Naturally there will be exceptions where a clever player can foresee that revoking would be a “good” play. Law 72C allows the Director to adjust the score in these cases.
Aug. 24
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“No doubt I will be corrected but it seems to me that you have to rule that (for NS) they will find the correct defence part of the time. (Maybe 40%)”

That would be 40% -110 and 60% -130 for NS.

You cannot give a non-offending side an adjusted score that is worse than their table result. If both sides are treated as non-offending then NS gets to keep their table result of -110.
Aug. 24
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“The fact the East holds the ♣J and that South holds (and would play) the ♣3 fourth on the trick are UI to North when he must select his play.”

What Law supports this? Note that Law 16C does not apply as these cards have not yet been withdrawn.
Aug. 24
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It's not that uncommon for ACBL Directors to leave the table and never come back with a ruling.
Aug. 21
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Marty, under the previous convention chart system all Mid-Chart and Superchart methods required pre-alerts.

By abolishing and replacing these charts the ACBL made almost all of these methods not pre-alertable.

Your committee basically gutted the pre-alerting regulations without even having significant discussions about what you were doing.

Did the BoD understand what was happening to the *disclosure* regulations when they approved the new charts?

Why was almost nothing said about this major change when the new charts were presented to the mebership?
Aug. 21
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How a top expert would bid the South hand is completely irrelevant.
Aug. 20
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Not all artificial bids.

The ACBL bans psyching of artificial opening bids, artificial overcalls, and artificial responses below 2NT to opening bids and overcalls.
Aug. 11
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“The defense must be provisionally approved. A method is “provisionally approved” if an acknowledgement receipt was sent by the ACBL upon submission and either: (a) the committee sends an email granting provisional approval; or (b) it was submitted at least 30 days before the ACBL sanctioned event in which it is used and the committee has not rejected it;”
Aug. 11
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If you accept that agreeing to the 2 convention and using it are two separate infractions, then NOS is entitled to the best of 1) table result, 2) illegal agreement made but 2 not opened, and 3) no illegal agreement was made.

In practice 2) would be North passes and 3) would be North opens 3.

A theoretical objection to two separate infractions is it can lead to deadlock. An ethical player realizes that because of his unintentional illegal agreements, all of his possible calls are infractions. Being ethical and law-abiding he refuses to intentionally commit an infraction. Therefore he never bids and the deal just stops.

I think it is better to make the rule that it is an infraction to make the agreement but once the deal starts the players are free to play bridge. I don't like the game reduced to a farce. Better to play real bridge using illegal methods and award an adjusted score at the end if necessary. Hand out generous PPs for serious infractions to ensure this doesn't happen often.
Aug. 11
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Steve, notice that your B without A, opening the North hand with 2 without first agreeing to play 2 as conventional is not illegal.
Aug. 11
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How to adjust for two infractions.

Suppose I abuse UI (infraction A) and on the next round of bidding I abuse UI again (infraction B).

My score should be adjusted to the worst of three possible outcomes:

1. A happened and B happened: this is the table result.

2. A happened and B did not happen: this should have been the table result once A happened. I'm not allowed to commit infraction B in an attempt to make this better.

3. Neither A nor B happened: this is what should have happened in the first place.

Notice that there is no mention of A did not happen and B did happen. That's not even a thing. Once I don't commit infraction A, the situation where I committed infraction B does not even arise.

An assumption when adjusting the score is that the two sides will play out the remainder of the deal without breaking any more rules.
Aug. 11
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I don't know what the Directors said but I think the following explanation is reasonable and agrees with what Michael has told us.

In order to play this convention there must be an approved defense. That should not be an issue as there is already an approved defense for the Multicolor 2 opening.

Except that defense is actually for “2 Opening Showing a Weak Two in a Major, may have additional Strong Meanings”.

I think the Director ruled that the 10-14 HCP spade meaning of the bid is not weak and therefore this a different convention for which there is no approved defense. The pair is free to submit a defense for approval, but depending on when they asked there probably wasn't enough time to get approval before the NABC.
Aug. 11
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It is a preempt under ACBl regulations regardless of the spade range:

Definitions #22: “Preempt”: A jump bid (by either pair) that does not promise at least Average strength.“

There are two ”Disallowed Opening Bids“ rules on the Open+ chart that potentially apply to this agreement:

”7. In segments of fewer than 6 boards, an Artificial opening Preempt below 3NT that does not show at least one known suit.“

Not an issue in the Roth Swiss but like any multicolor 2 it cannot be played in a pair event with 2-board rounds.

”13. *** A non-Forcing 2-level opening bid in first or second seat that has a Range greater than 9 HCP and could show less than Average Strength.“

It must be played as strictly forcing. No passing with a diamond bust.

Another issue is whether it is so different from the usual multi 2 that it is deemed not to have an official ACBL written defense.

”Official ACBL defenses must be provided when possible. In the event that a convention does not yet have an official ACBL defense, the pair must, before using it in an ACBL sanctioned game:

● Submit a full description of the convention and a proposed defense to the ACBL committee for approval. The defense must be provisionally approved. A method is “provisionally approved” if an acknowledgement receipt was sent by the ACBL upon submission and either: (a) the committee sends an email granting provisional approval; or (b) it was submitted at least 30 days before the ACBL sanctioned event in which it is used and the committee has not rejected it; and

● Provide the submitted defense to any opponents.“

The official defense refers to a ”2 Opening Showing a Weak Two in a Major, may have additional Strong Meanings“. The term ”Weak Two" has no official definition AFAIK but 10-14 HCP seems outside of common language usage.

Conclusion: this is a legal convention but it may need to be submitted in advance for approval of a suggested defense.
Aug. 7
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A conclusion of “no damage” is not sufficient to complete the Director's job.

The Director should still consider whether there has been an abuse of UI so serious that a PP is warranted. Only by considering the other three tests can he do that.

For each of the other three tests, a “no” verdict implies no infraction and hence no PP.
Aug. 7
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How is that different from any MI or UI case?

There is no such thing as certain knowledge of what would have happened if a bridge hand were played out a different way. The Director should identify likely possible results, assign them weights, resolve doubts in favor of the NOS, and compute an adjusted score.
Aug. 5
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Developing new arbitrary reasons why people cannot play in the events they want is not the way to improve player happiness, tournament attendance, or ACBL finances.
Aug. 4
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Ed's post above in which he quoted the relevant Laws is right on target. The Directors are legally obligated to try and figure out what likely would have happened in the absence of the infraction. Apparently they tried to do that and I think they did a good job.

“I can only suggest that it be decided as a matter of law that the use of an illegal convention results in damage and an artificial adjusted score.”

That's fine but it requires changing the Laws.

“To use Ed's language above: ‘The possible results are too numerous or are not obvious’.”

Whether the possible results are too numerous or not obvious is a question of fact for the Director to determine in a specific case. It's not a generally true statement about all illegal convention cases.
Aug. 4
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You mean the Director should have carefully asked about relevant methods before conducting the poll.

In my experience this is a very common failure by Directors.
Aug. 4
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The requirements for an opening pass are just as much part of a bidding system as the requirements for opening 3.

We acknowledge this when we refer to a “passed hand”. We expect a hand that has passed in first position to meet certain requirements which vary from partnership to partnership according to system and style.

In my preferred methods x/xx/KQJT987/xxx does not meet the requirements for an opening pass. If my partner passes I will assume that he does not have this hand.

If you rule that I would pass with this hand then you have “invented an auction involving different methods than those actually in use”.

Similarly it appears that the agreed opening bid for the North hand in the NS system is 2. Whether you change it to 3 or change it to pass, you have changed NS's system to something they were not playing.

There is no reason the Directors should give automatic preference to pass. It is a judgment decision as to whether 3 or pass is a more reasonable construction of what would have happened if NS had not agreed to use an illegal convention.

My personal opinion is the Directors used good judgment by choosing 3. It seems likely NS would have defined 3 as a preempt if no conventional alternative were available. It also seems likely based on the 2NT opening that this North would consider his hand to be a preempt. But this is merely my opinion and open for debate.

Edit: my mind drifted when I wrote 2NT instead of 2
Aug. 4
Tom Peters edited this comment Aug. 4
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