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All comments by Joe Hertz
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So if the ACBL got a 10% discount because the copyright remained with HS, it would stand to reason that HS would be willing to sell the copyright to HS for 10% above the amount paid to date?

Assuming that's 10% of $1.9M, then I would think the problem could have been “solved” for $190K instead of the 600K numbers I've seen thrown around for future development costs (I'm still hazy on what exactly they will be on or what we'll get for that money).

And assuming this is all correct, then there seems to be only one possible reason why the ACBL would balk at this solution. I know this because I've been there.

Those missing specs.

It can't be finished without the specs. Complaining about copyright ownership is like saying the grapes are sour. Even if HS gave the ACBL copyright ownership for free, I'd be betting that the application couldn't be finished for lack of those specs.

Nobody can deliver on those missing “milestones” without them and I've got a nickel that says Horn Lake still hasn't finished them.

The ACBL initially intended the existing app to serve as a “living spec”. And as Nicolas found out, in many places, what the application *did* and what it actually *should have been doing* were different. This required the ACBL to think through many of it's processes in ways that it took for granted before. Yes everything had worked before, but how? That inevitably turns into a much more interesting question than the customer realizes it will be. It's *always* a lot of work. Good projects have customers who realize that because it's work you can't do for the customer and you are at their mercy when they take too long to get that work done.

A big customer might just think, “Wow…well, this might delay things but we'll get to it eventually. No big deal” but the reality is, you can't just let your developers sit around without work for them to do while they figure out how masterpoints really are computed in each possible configuration of a pairs game. Something has to generate the money to pay your people. Even if you had the other work, you just can't pull them off of that other project every time the dithering customer comes back up for air.

Every time I hear about missing specs, I nod, thinking, “Nicolas can't and won't assume the risk the delay on them poses, and the ACBL now realizes how big a task it will be to write them”. So here the project will sit and excuses will be made about why and what really went wrong.

And it's not like I know anything I haven't read here. I've just been here on other projects with big companies that had aging IT infrastructure.
April 8, 2015
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-“I mean, if you make a bad claim, the opponents can make you play carelessly but not irrationally.”

“That turns out not to be the case.”

It doesn't? I thought the wording was “Inferior or careless, but not irrational”.

I'm all for it getting strict scrutiny. Nothing gets my dander up more than the opp who jumps on any impropriety claiming, “If I knew I could have played it better” but doesn't actually *know* how they would have (and if you ask me, needs to know right then and there in most cases).

The only case I'm sure meets this is the one described here and in the other thread I started. I need to object to the lead that is trying to be compelled out of me because I have N tricks and no entries, making it clear they are all “win now or won't ever”.

To use Jay's soccer example from the other thread:

Yes, my teammate went off-sides, but the ref, by rule, won't blow the whistle until a pass heads his way when he is in that off-sides position. If I can score without any involvement from him, that's 100% kosher. In this case, I want an even tougher standard: Clear that I won't get another chance and/or there is a peer who wouldn't do the same thing I want to do. Heck, after the poll, tell the people that they know the “location” of the penalty card to see if it matters.
April 1, 2015
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If we're going to try to be equitable. How about making sure the rules are consistent in how they award that equity? That's been my beaten dead horse since the last thread.

I mean, if you make a bad claim, the opponents can make you play carelessly but not irrationally. That's a *perfectly* good standard to apply. It's so good in fact, I think it should apply here.

The face up penalty card shouldn't require you to do something irrational. The goal of the penalty card sanction is to keep the partner of the person who showed the card from taking advantage of the UI he now possesses.

So if the opps tell the penalty card's partner to lead something irrational, he should be able to claim something like, “I have N tricks in my own hand and no other entries. I must take them now. It is a 100% decision. Nobody would make any other choice in this situation, UI or not”. The director (a/o committee later) then gets to decide if it's really 100% like anything else.

The card the guy with the long running suit wants to play couldn't possibly be suggested by any UI. That's the standard that he must follow when in possession of almost any other form of UI, right? So why in the name of sweet muppety cthulhu can't we apply that same standard here??

If the rule can require one to cease playing bridge, i.e. make me play irrationally, I suggest it is the rule and not the player that is irrational.
March 29, 2015
Joe Hertz edited this comment March 29, 2015
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Ed-

According to the rules you quote, a player must correct his revoke *if* he becomes aware of it but is under no obligation to draw his attention to fact he made it?

An individual's interpretation of this rule can cause wild swings, and there is no possible way to know when the player became aware of his infraction besides what that very player tells you.

No, this isn't going to be a recurring problem. Not at all.
March 28, 2015
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Small Quibble, Jay.

In this situation, the penalty incurred is entirely up to the *offender*. The offense only gets “whistled” when it is announced. The rules essentially give the offender of taking his choice of possible penalties. Same foul, same “box” position.

The real analog to this in soccer I think is the intentional foul to stop an obvious goal and at least there they red card you for trying that noise. Our rules say it's entirely permissible. Well, almost. In this case the foul wasn't intentional, but the decision to delay mentioning it could very well be and that's fine and dandy…it should *not* be. How you enforce that? Dunno. Don't think there is. Revokes have to be called from the trick they occur.
March 28, 2015
Joe Hertz edited this comment March 28, 2015
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To make it more interesting. Say you lacked the A and did not have another entry to your hand besides the spades, the opponents would have a legitimate complaint that a 1 trick penalty was not sufficient, and would have gotten more.

In that situation, the rules I think do a much better job of restoring equity. Or at least recognizing it might be called for when it crops up.
March 28, 2015
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I've been known to ask the opps if the answer might “change the bid they are about to make” because if it won't and they will pass anyway, it's not real cool to ask a question to simply to put me in a position that gives UI to my partner.

It hasn't happened yet, but I'd hope that if they insisted on being given an answer right away, chose to pass anyway, but called for a director over a UI issue, this plot point might matter.
March 26, 2015
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+1 to Dave. This way lies madness. Disclose your agreements. Not things that aren't.

There are players out there who prey on people who try to be super-nice like that when something doesn't happen they way they described it “just to be nice”.

I think in this case is, “We have not discussed this bid. I'm making an ad-lib and hoping he will work it out” is more than enough. The next step, if one, is a director call. I mean, you wouldn't make that bid unless you'd figure he'd have a chance to figure it out so there must be some recurring partnership principle at work, like “NT bids out of the blue are typically for the minors” so you must say something. What that is can vary.

Note that there is no way the opp can get away with the “Are you showing the minors?” question without waking the bidder's partner and providing UI to his partner if NOT for the screens.
March 26, 2015
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I can tell you the day at a National I started to get militant on the subject.

I had a quibble with the way the opps were alerting on the first board but I gave them some slack since they were both scoring on the back of the no-fat card. Must be relative new players, right?

Next hand, LHO opens a 12-14 NT. I ask to see the convention card and discover that THEY DIDN'T HAVE ONE FILLED OUT.

All the reactions youre having now? I've been there and back several times.
March 25, 2015
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I'm more curious what the replacement agreements were. If Fantunes didn't register a Superchart agreement (and even if they did, shouldn't there be a prepared defense available?), I know I'd be all over them just from being a Fantunes geek.

I'd want to know how they handle the situation in the US because, besides a legitimate need to know for competitive purposes, this would be my big chance to find out what mortals normally don't get told. Surely they've run up against someone whose wanted these answers too.
March 24, 2015
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Yes, please. Do tell. If Not 1NT, what do they do?
March 24, 2015
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It's not 12-14 4441 you would pass. It's 12-13 4441 you would pass.

I find that the usual opening bid for those in a US legal version of Fantunes is an X.
March 24, 2015
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Unless I miss my guess, Fantunes is easy to make GCC Compliant. Take the Mid-Chart version and do the following.

2 gains one HCP and becomes 10-14 points. Everything else about it remains the same.

1 becomes 15+ regardless of if it is clubs or balanced.

Am I missing something?
March 24, 2015
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Tom Peters quotes it accurately. It refers to conventional opening bids and conventional responses below the level of 2NT.

So that means you can forget but you cannot deliberately psyche Strong 2C openers, flannery 2D (or 2H if thats your thing), transfer responses below 2NT, Multi 2D opener, 2D carosel openers, but you can psyche any 2 openings of any strength provided they are natural.

This restriction is officially my least favorite thing in the laws. Please dont ever do it at my table. It's ridiculous. The only way for me to point it out though is to call for the director when someone gets the bright idea to say…psyche a transfer on the way to 3NT to get a favorable lead.
March 5, 2015
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replied to wrong comment chain
March 5, 2015
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I've actually wondered this myself, as I have a partner who is blind and have almost no doubt this would not have been applied had I been the one to revoke.
Feb. 27, 2015
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I'd like to make it clear that I have zero problem with the player who calls for the director and uses every legal ethical option available to him to improve his score.

When the options seem inappropriate, that's not the fault of the player. It's the job of the folks who make the rules to improve them.

I had a case once where someone held back a trump when I ran them. I noticed, but thought I just miscounted. He found he had dropped it on the floor when he was short a card at the end. I say, “Well youre not entitled to that trick obviously”, and he responds, “Well but I would have won the last one anyway because I was squeezed without having that trump in my hand”.

At that point, I didn't point out that he doesn't get the benefit of 20/20 hindsight because he was the offender. This is when you stop talking. We called for the director, and he got the (unfair imho) two trick penalty that gave me a contract result that would be impossible for me to get otherwise. I've had revokes turn a trump Ace into a loser. I get that rules are rules, but sometimes I wish we could do better at writing them.
Feb. 27, 2015
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I'd actually prefer if it was more like the off-sides rule. If a player goes into an off-sides position, it's not a problem for the guy with the ball, provided he doesn't use that to his advantage. Try to pass the off-sides man the ball, and the flag goes up.

I just wanted to ignore the man who went off sides.

Which means that soccer/football is the best comparison to make I think.
Feb. 27, 2015
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That's what I realized well afterward. No way for him to know that though. And I hate it that the rules make that legal and preferable. We're supposed to try to do the right thing…

I should have asked the director if I could have a 2 trick established revoke penality instead.
Feb. 24, 2015
Joe Hertz edited this comment Feb. 24, 2015
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I'm not looking for sympathy. Just rationality.

My point is that it was better for us to establish the revoke rather than let a penalty card sit on the table. I know the laws regarding the obligation to point out an irregularity can be mighty inconsistent, but if we could “not notice it initially” and do so ethically, I'd be quite surprised.

Heck, if I didn't lead the spade despite having one, would that “only” be a established revoke penalty?

To be clear: I didn't consider any of these things at the table. I dont think they should merit consideration. But if the rule makes it possible, legal, and ethically clean, then I'd say this rule might need some changing. That's all.
Feb. 24, 2015
Joe Hertz edited this comment Feb. 24, 2015
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