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All comments by Paul Gibbons
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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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John, I think you will find there is an ocean of difference between the way you use ‘insure’ and the way most of the posters on this site do.
March 7
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In England teams in the past have often been selected by committee and recent trials formats have not been without controversy but it seems we are now committed to trials. From the latest draft minutes of the EBU Selection Committee here is the current position.

EBU TRIALS 2019-2020
The EBU Selection Committee has undertaken to hold trials for all international events, and we have agreed dates and the provisional format for trials to select the England teams for the European Championships and the Olympiad in 2020. More information will be supplied once applications for these trials are open.
Proposed Formats
These formats are provisional and may be amended should entries be more or less than anticipated.
For series that are played at the same time (Open, Women and Senior Europeans; and all events in the Olympiad) players who qualify for an event will not be accepted into trials for later events. We will be flexible with closing dates and with changes to pairs/teams as a result of this. Full conditions of contest will be published as soon as is practicable.
European Championship Open Team – Pairs Trial
Stage 1: 3 day qualifier, open to all.
Stage 2: 3 day 16 pair semi-final (with a number of pairs exempted directly to this stage).
Stage 3: 4 day 8 pair final (with a number of pairs exempted directly to this stage).
European Championship Women’s Team – Pairs Trial
Stage 1: 3 day qualifier, open to all.
Stage 2: 4 day 8 pair final (with a number of pairs exempted directly to this stage).
European Championship Mixed and Senior Teams & Olympiad Open / Women / Senior / Mixed Teams – Team Trials
(Please note that the EBU does not fund teams in these events, other than to pay entry fees and provide uniform)
Single events, open to all.
If 2 teams enter then 2 day KO only.
If 3 teams enter then 2 day round robin followed by 2 day 2 team KO.
If 4 to 8 teams enter then 3 day round robin followed by 2 day 2 team KO.
If 9 or more teams enter then 3 day round robin followed by 2 day 4 team KO.
Dec. 11, 2018
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Phillips appears to have written in the ‘News Chronicle’ on bridge as ‘Ninespot’ and on other subjects as ‘Dogberry’ as well as writing the anonymous leading articles. So he was no stranger to the use of pseudonyms but I have no evidence about ‘Petronius’
Sept. 4, 2018
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My earliest copy of ‘Contract Bridge in 20 minutes’ gives the following dates for the early editions:
1st Dec 1930
2nd Jan 1931
3rd Feb 1931
4th Apr 1931
5th Aug 1931
6th Nov 1931
7th Nov 1931
8th Feb 1932
9th Feb 1932

It also carries an advertisement for ‘Advanced Contract Bridge Simplified’ saying it is ‘Now Ready’ presumably in Feb 1932.

I also have the 1954 Edition where some 15 pages have been added to the 1949 edition.

Thorne also wrote ‘The Contract Bridge Omnibus’ published in 1933.

Subsequent revised editions were published in 1935, 1936 and 1939.
This 4th Edition was entitled ‘Thorne’s Complete Contract Bridge' and was revised by ‘Petronius’. Perhaps Ken can enlighten us as to his/her real name. I am not sure if he/she was also responsible for the earlier revisions.

There was apparently a 5th Edition after the war ‘revised and rewritten’ by Hubert Phillips.

It is interesting that Reese apparently described it as ‘An all-round book and a good one’. His opinion of Phillips was that ‘Cards were something of a blind spot for him’ and if as Richard says he thought Thorne never played bridge it was a surprising generous review although he did collaborate quite extensively with Phillips.
Sept. 3, 2018
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DB your complete sentence was ‘I don’t need no stinking regulation, Andy.' Andy Bowles referred to White Book 1.4.5.2.

Minute 5.2 of the Laws and Ethics Committee meeting of 27/05/15 suggests that you were to write this paragraph of the White Book. Perhaps you could confirm whether you did write it? Or was it someone else based on your report to the meeting of the Committee on 21/01/15 as chunks of it are direct quotes from that report?

As I have said above your report and that paragraph were written under the 2007 Laws. Your argument that the 2017 Laws are more in support of the approach you suggest here has some justification. However if you are interested in winning the argument rather than scoring points you need to address the arguments of:

1. Those who are concerned about the effect of putting off inexperienced players, who are more likely to misbid, by adjusting for unfielded misbids.

2. My argument that if we do not adjust for psyches which are not fielded you will make life very difficult for the TD if you want to adjust for misbids which are not fielded.

Finally, as we have elected you to be one of the publishers of the White Book, are you going to propose changes to 1.4.5?
Aug. 13, 2018
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It is of course interesting that the ‘stinking regulation’ to which DB refers was, according to the minutes of the EBU Laws and Ethics Committee in 2015, drafted by one David Burn.

It is fair to note as DB does that the Laws have changed since the regulation was written. However the minutes of the Laws and Ethics Committee (of which DB is still a member) reveal no suggestion either last year or this of amending this regulation.

There is a sound reason why a ruling in the manner DB suggests should, as that regulation suggests, only be given where the player who has given explanation X caters for partner actually having Y. Consider what would happen if afterwards the original bidder said, ‘I didn’t misbid I psyched'. Now in accordance with the laws if his partner has not fielded it, it has not by repetition become an agreement and there is evidence that the agreement is X then we would not adjust.

I feel that we should, as far as possible, avoid creating situations where the TD has to delve into the mind of a player. If player explains a bid as X and acts as if it is X, there is evidence that the agreement is X and it has never been Y before and his partner does not act on UI then I do not think there are grounds for adjustment. However the Laws and Ethics Committee will next be meeting on 24th October when if they wished they could clarify the matter.
Aug. 13, 2018
Paul Gibbons edited this comment Aug. 13, 2018
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On the version of Funbridge on my phone and on my PC there are icons at the bottom of the screen. The rightmost of these is like an old TV set and this takes you to Vugraph.
Aug. 9, 2018
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Firstly we need to determine what the North/South agreements are. If the correct explanation is ‘no agreement’ then there has been misinformation and the TD may award an adjusted score if the non-offending side has been damaged. However there is also unauthorised information as North knows how South has interpreted his bid and we need to consider whether bidding 5 was suggested by the unauthorised information and if it was whether there was a logical alternative. This can require investigation and polling by the TD so I have voted ‘other’.
July 3, 2018
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Ed. Of course according to George Orwell ‘Airstrip One’ is part of Oceania not Eurasia
June 26, 2018
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If the event is using pre-dealt boards the hand records can be loaded into the bridgemate control program and the bridgemates set to check that the opening lead card is actually in the hand making the opening lead. If it is not the bridgemate does not accept the score and so the scores at other tables are not revealed. This stops 75% of such problems. Of course it does mean that the TD gets calls saying. ‘The bridgemate is wrong the 2 is in my hand’ before the TD points out they played the boards out of order. If he/she mentions that both pairs would have got 40% if the bridgemate hadn't stopped them they may be so relieved that when they play the next board they don't notice that they know that one of the hands does not hold the 2 and thereby save the director making a ruling under Law 16D.
June 26, 2018
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This is not a surprise.

There is also a BW thread after the appeal.

https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/phil-ivey-loses-his-appeal/

If you read my post there (repeated below for convenience) you will see that Phil Ivey was unlucky. It appears that he was allowed to waste his money on an appeal to the Supreme Court not because the judges thought his appeal had any merit (they pretty much just repeated the reasoning of the lower court in rejecting it) but because they wanted a case which they could use to overturn R v Ghosh.


“Whilst the discussions above are what is probably of most interest to bridge players there is also a fascinating insight into the UK legal system. This is a civil case which is governed by the law of England and Wales but the Supreme Court has used it to change the criminal law in the UK. What the justices needed to do find against Phil Ivey is contained in the early pages of the judgement and is certainly virtually complete by Page 17. If you watch the video of the judgement being delivered this is where the speech ends. The remaining 11 pages are about overturning the test for criminal dishonesty established in R v Ghosh. It is obvious from the text that the Supreme Court Justices think that the subjective element of the test is very undesirable and is allowing defendants who ought to be convicted to be let off. It is also clear that they have been looking for several years for a criminal case to come before them where they could overturn this test but none has. They have therefore used the opportunity of this civil case to change the test for what constitutes dishonesty in criminal cases in the UK. Contrary to David B above, I don't think this part of the judgement is well written. The R v Ghosh test may not have been a good one but at least could be explained fairly easily to a jury. I would hate to be the first judge who has to try to explain the new test set out here to a jury. However perhaps the last 11 pages are so tangential to the case that they might be regarded as obiter dicta and not set a precedent but I suspect the wishes of the justices are not to be denied”
June 22, 2018
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An even more positive person might mention that they lost in the semi-final by 1 IMP, that the England Women's team regularly make the final of the Venice Cup and that England is one of only 3 countries to win the d'Orsi World Seniors
June 22, 2018
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As I think you now realise Geoff It is illegal because Law 12C1 says inter alia

(b) The Director in awarding an assigned adjusted
score should seek to recover as nearly as possible
the probable outcome of the board had the
infraction not occurred.
© An assigned adjusted score may be weighted to
reflect the probabilities of a number of potential
results, but only outcomes that could have been
achieved in a legal manner may be included.

So awarding the NOS the maximum score they might have got is contrary to the Laws of Bridge
June 21, 2018
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