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All comments by Joe Hertz
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Ed, let me be clear here.

Note my wording above.

I asked if it occurred to them that they might want to ask to speak to the director away from the table.

If they had thought something like, “Hey…I want that double back. I want it to be a pass now that I have the correct explanation. Can I say that? No, I can't – It would transmit UI. Okay he's going to be asking me to step away from the table right? No?!? WTF. How can I ethically stop this? Grrrrr…who is this idiot?” then I'm totally with you.

If, conversely, they did not think along the lines of “Hey, I don't want to be doubling now that I know this” at that very moment, then I'm going to go and say that the director's failure to inquire was not connected to the poor result they got, and that blame for this particular director's error as the proximate cause of the damage is unwarranted. These aren't newbies. They would know if they still wanted to double at that moment. Did they or didn't they?

Yeah, if the director's error actually prevented them from trying to mitigate the damage, it should be fixed.

But what I'm reading here is that N/S believe that they had no such obligation to do that under any circumstances at all. They feel they are entitled to have the double removed simply because they doubled due to MI. Indeed, once that got pointed out to them, they stated that they didn't say anything because they didn't think they had been damaged “yet”. Schrodinger's cat was still alive in their minds.

It makes me wonder what the purpose of informing them of the MI before the opening lead served. It's to prevent or mitigate any damage from the MI. This was now N/S chance to do so and yes, the director failed to give it to them.

And if turned out that they wanted it at that moment and never got it, I'd be totally with you. But they only wanted it after seeing the result. They said as much.

If that's not expecting that a second bite at the apple is going to be coming their way, what is?

I wanted to hear one of them say that if they had been asked before the opening lead, then they would have asked for the double to be removed. Then, and only then would the failure of the director to ask them matter. The argument to the director at the time likely would have been, “Why didn't you ask us if we wanted to keep the double!?! I wanted it to be a pass but I couldn't say anything!”

If turns out that it was said and that I missed it in my reading of this thread, I'll change my position.

If I wasn't said earlier in this thread, but then it gets said and some point after this one…? Then it's going to seem like an awfully self-serving statement.
Nov. 2, 2019
Joe Hertz edited this comment Nov. 3, 2019
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I want to vote for not one.
Nov. 2, 2019
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Yes ui would be a concern. The director should take you away from the table to ask you this question for this reason. Are you saying you would have told him you would not have doubled there had he done so?

If so, then yes, you get to take back your double. It sure didn't sound like this was your position though. If partner is on lead, it didn't occur to you to ask to speak to the director away from the table? (not trying to blame the victim here. Just if you're aware of the UI problem blurting it out would cause, I'd think you'd also be aware that the point still needed to be made asap)

The director being very lame at his job though is so stipulated
Nov. 2, 2019
Joe Hertz edited this comment Nov. 2, 2019
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The director can still adjust the score to remove the double. If you said you wouldn't have doubled at the time you found this out, you'd have that possibility.

Director should have asked you this away from the table before the hand was played. Failing to do that is a hideous blunder of his.
Nov. 2, 2019
Joe Hertz edited this comment Nov. 2, 2019
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It totally matters. South doubled for a reason.

If it turned out that the reason you wanted to double was incorrect, then you need to tell the director at the moment you found that out.

If you do not do so, then it is logical to assume that this incorrect explanation was not the reason you decided to double and so it stays.

You were damaged before the contract made. You just didn't *know* you had been damaged yet. And when presented with an opportunity to mitigate the possible damage, you declined. You don't get the benefit of 20/20 hindsight. They don't get forced to play doubled if they go down/undoubled if they make it. Good luck resurrecting Schrodinger's cat.

Your points about the director's ruling are correct. He should have corrected the opponents about the unsolicited announcement. You should have been offered the opportunity to remove your double at the time the MI was corrected. It's a bad ruling, even it coincidentally gets you to the same result that a good ruling would have.
Nov. 2, 2019
Joe Hertz edited this comment Nov. 2, 2019
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Okay, that about does it for any UI issues then.

So now to the MI:

I want to know when South called the director about his double being made on MI. I can totally believe he isn't doubling for t/o with a flat hand and 4 spades but he does not get to claim the course of action after the result is discovered. His chance to have the double pulled is right after the correct explanation is offered.
Nov. 2, 2019
Joe Hertz edited this comment Nov. 2, 2019
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Misread comment replied to
Nov. 2, 2019
Joe Hertz edited this comment Nov. 2, 2019
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Mike –

I will totally buy that this case is close to being on the borderline and we probably should have some reference hands to show as to where the psychs begin and the deviations end.

But just because the resulting hands in those differing categories might be similar doesn't make the underlying rules hard to understand.

How I would teach this to Flight C people is:

1) Small deviations in your agreements are legal but if you do it too much they may become part of your agreement. So if you deviate at all, be aware of that potential.

Because:

2) Some agreements are actually *illegal* to have. And since deviations can become part of your agreement, you, by regulation, can't ever deviate into such territory.

Ex: If expanding your agreement to include a hand you just opened 1NT would be illegal, you can't open it that way ever. If it could be made part of your agreement by doing it every so often, then you can't do it at all.

3) If bidding your hand that way was so clear that it never could be desirable for that to be part of such an agreement, then you can do it because that's a psych. That's not expanding/deviating/using judgement. The difference between them is that you can't have the realistic hope that if your partner actually plays you for your agreed hand-type, he will go right. If there's no way anyone would have such hope by taking such an action, knock yourself out.
Nov. 2, 2019
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I guess the question becomes when you measure the size of the deviation from the agreement, which part of the agreement do you pick – the closest one or the most operative one.

Mike: What's the big deal on the source law for things on the disallowed list coming from different places? Of course they might be disallowed for different reasons. The idea for having that list was to have all of the things you cannot do enumerated in one place.

It's not a bug. It's a feature.
Nov. 1, 2019
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Goalpost moving* aside there Ed, I could really buy into that.


Heck, I've had many such arguments with Wizards of the Coast when they make Magic: The Gathering rulings that seemed incompatible with their own rule book. I've even had them tell me to “Not worry about the rules unless I'm trying to apply for…(a high level judge of those rules)” – how's that for hubris? It just never occurred to them that I was playing in an unsanctioned tournament format, so yes, they do need to explain themselves if they want me to abide by their interpretation.

But I digress:

In this case though, you've got two different bodies writing the laws and the regs respectively.

So I'd tell you what I'd tell anyone who thought a law was unconstitutional: Surely a court of said law (or whomever is responsible for interpreting them) would agree with you if you are right. In this case, you probably don't even need to show you were damaged by the illegal reg.

I have a hard time imagining that this regulation wasn't already vetted and others have addressed this elsewhere in the comments.

* == Why do I think you made goal post move?

Before you said the “ruling” the directors made was illegal, now you say the “regulation” itself is.

The former I would take to mean as directors making a ruling incompatible with either regs or laws and that's the point I addressed.

I personally do not expect directors to be acquainted with what authority the ACBL has in writing its regs. That's above their pay-grade.
Nov. 1, 2019
Joe Hertz edited this comment Nov. 1, 2019
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It's legal to deviate from your agreements but it's not legal to deviate from the edge conditions of your agreements such that your deviation, if it were part of said agreement, would make the agreement illegal.

That, does eat oats, and little lambs eat ivy.

Now if you want to go so far as to deliberately deviate from your agreements, you can do that, as long as you aren't trying to widen the agreement's “strike zone”

Specifically, your deviation must be both gross and deliberate.

It's the gross part that is usually missing.
Nov. 1, 2019
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I felt that way until I got zen with the idea that the opps aren't the ones that need to understand how the line of play I state will work – the director is. And so I offload the frustration to him if I think it might be coming.

So when I claim, I really do try to make it as clear and easy-to-follow as anyone can expect, but I don't try to restate it any other way. If they don't understand where those spades they thought they would get are going and insist that I explain how it is that they won't get them, I simply won't go there. “I'm playing it the exact same way I said I was. Want me to repeat it?”. If that's not sufficient for them, that's to my mind, a disputed claim, and I'll call the director to evaluate if my claim is good.

It's also safer this way for both sides. There are some people who, if you try to make the wording of your claiming statement easier to understand the second time, they will take that as evidence that you “realized” that your initial claim was not going to work – and conversely, why should any claimer get a chance to change what they said they were going to do the first time?
Oct. 30, 2019
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I don't think partner broke any law. Look upthread and you'll see I made that very same point about the popular misconception about dummy's ability to call the director.

What I believe is that it doesn't require one to break the law for something to be an irregularity. A disputed claim isn't a case of not following the law. I totally agree. But does that qualify as an irregularity?

On a questionable claim, do you or do you not need to wait until the opponents say something disputing it? And to that question, I think the answer is no, you don't need to wait…but I needed to think about it for a while.

I think if P tried to concede a trick she could not have not and the opps “agreed” with it, then of course you can call the director. That's when the hand is over. Your situation was trickier.
Oct. 29, 2019
Joe Hertz edited this comment Oct. 29, 2019
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She saw her error. Now what? So I think this boils down to “Does this constitute an irregularity?”.

I think we're more likely to blast you John if you had called the director as dummy without sufficient cause to do it. In this case, the question of if you had sufficient cause is a pretty good one.

With time to mull it over, I now think that if you had called the director, the worst that would have happened is you get told you lost your right to redress because you drew attention to the irregularity…which gets you exactly the same result as you got. So the worst I can say about not calling the director is that I might disagree with you, but only after having 24 hrs to think about it (a luxury that you did not have).
Oct. 29, 2019
Joe Hertz edited this comment Oct. 29, 2019
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I wouldn't want the bid-box exemptions pulled (unless we go to electronic bidding with a UI that won't let you make such mistakes).

More than once I've had things like what Craig describe happening.

1-1. Partner alerts. I look down and see I really had bid 2. I apparently pinched the cards maybe about 1/10“ lower than I intended. I even had one tournament assistant try to rule that my 2 bid counted and the fact I wanted to bid 1 was UI for partner. A higher ranking TD did a remarkably good job of putting humpty dumpty back together.

OTOH, as an NLM, I had a LHO that started an auction with X and after he tried to correct it to 1, the director was summoned. That's not mechanical and so now they had to play ”one-bid". That's totally not bridge, which was what I showed up to play. I couldn't even accept the X if I wanted to do so. I don't think I could even waive the barring of the opp's partner from the auction. That restriction never made sense to me.
Oct. 28, 2019
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I'm certainly in agreement about the 5-6 part.

Why no redouble with that hand?
Oct. 28, 2019
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Canada lets you smoke weed in public?
Oct. 27, 2019
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I'm also kind of curious what people think P should be holding for this sequence.
Oct. 27, 2019
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USEBIO had changes put it for the adoption of it by the ACBL for the 1.3 version. This was back when USEBIO adoption was the big plan™ by the ACBL.

I caught some problems in the format (going back to 1.0) just before 1.3 was going to be released and they got it fixed. Some features of the format were not usable the way it was laid out. Apparently nobody had been using those features to that point.

But the XSD that the ACBL came up with to implement the 1.3 spec didn't have those late changes. You'll see a disclaimer on the USEBIO site about the XSD stating that “This is courtesy of the ACBL and may not enforce the complete specification”.

I sincerely wonder if the USEBIO people feel like they made all of these changes for nothing.
Oct. 27, 2019
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You gotta point there. I assumed the claim was in dispute already for there to be a problem.
Oct. 27, 2019
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