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All comments by Nicolas Hammond
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I edited Board 20. Bad grammar. Correct on board 22 - had them the wrong way round.
Dec. 3, 2018
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Peg: Take time to read Law 16. ACBL rules are here: ACBL Laws are here: http://web2.acbl.org/documentlibrary/play/Laws-of-Duplicate-Bridge.pdf

I'll copy it below:

LAW 16
AUTHORIZED AND
UNAUTHORIZED INFORMATION
A. Players’ Use of Information
1.A player may use information in the auction or
play if:
(a)it derives from the legal calls and plays of
the current board (including illegal calls and
plays that are accepted) and is una‘ected
by unauthorized information from another
source; or
(b) it is authorized information from a
withdrawn action (see C); or
© it is information specified in any law or
regulation to be authorized or, when not
otherwise specified, arising from the legal
procedures authorized in these laws and in
regulations (but see B1 following); or
(d) it is information that the player possessed
before he took his hand from the board
(Law 7B) and the Laws do not preclude his
use of this information.
2. Players may also take account of their
estimate of their own score, of the traits of
their opponents, and any requirement of the
tournament regulations.
B. Extraneous Information from Partner
1. Any extraneous information from partner that
might suggest a call or play is unauthorized.
This includes remarks, questions, replies to
questions, unexpected alerts or failures to
alert, unmistakable hesitation, unwonted
speed, special emphasis, tone, gesture,
movement or mannerism.
(a) A player may not choose a call or play that
is demonstrably suggested over another by
unauthorized information if the other call or
play is a logical alternative.
23
(b) A logical alternative is an action that a
significant proportion of the class of players
in question, using the methods of the
partnership, would seriously consider, and
some might select.

From my reading: 16 A 1 a applies. If North had made his lead somehow (top of his stacked cards on the table) before the BIT then his lead is not affected by the BIT and is allowed.

However, given the BIT, 16 B 1 a applies. North is now effectively banned from leading the diamond.

You really need video of the play to see the timing, BIT and lead selection.

It would also really help in the write-ups if the Director(s) discussed the logic behind their decisions particularly as it applies to the specific Laws that they applied. This is clearly a confusing case - AI, UI, BIT, Bridge logic to be applied, repeat polls.
Dec. 3, 2018
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From the write-up, I believe it was West that called the directors. East is supposed to call before the screen is raised. West has to wait to call until after the hand is over.
Dec. 3, 2018
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ACBL only shows the final table results so there is no auction. You are correct that I should have put a Meckwell auction in there. I went with a generic 2/1 auction for all boards. Apologies for Meckwell - they would not bid that way! I only mentioned that your opponents were Meckwell because sometimes people get nervous against them.
Dec. 3, 2018
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I would have no problem with full disclosure of the ACBLscore+ contract; along with all of the Monthly Status Reports that were part of the project; and all documentation regarding the Copyright issue.

Note that the board had to implement lots of changes to its By Laws because of the “overblown allegations”. Check out the changes to the By Laws at the Atlanta meeting this summer. The Board was not compliant in many, many ways.
Dec. 3, 2018
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I disagree. As players we have a responsibility to call the directors in situations like this.

I do not fault Mr. Levin. Had the initial director ruling been in his favor, we may never have heard about this incident.
Dec. 3, 2018
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South. Fixed. Thanks. Had a p in the wrong place.
Dec. 3, 2018
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Hand is at https://live.acbl.org/event/NABC183/BLUE/5/board-detail/A?board_num=23 For Section B, replace the last ‘A’ with ‘B’. It's not as easy to bid as you would think. Try bidding with your regular partner and find out what your auction is.
Dec. 2, 2018
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For the legal types, the ACBL screen regulations are at http://web2.acbl.org/coc/AppendixG.pdf.

The ACBL laws are at http://web2.acbl.org/documentlibrary/play/Laws-of-Duplicate-Bridge.pdf. See Law 16.

16 A. 1. a. seems to apply. If North had placed lead on the table; or made no attempt to change the lead (i.e. he put the lead on the top of his cards, and just turned it over), before the BIT, then the diamond lead might have been allowed. With the BIT, Law 16 B. 1. a kicks in.

The problem with 16 B 1 a is the words “demonstrably suggested”, “significant portion”, “seriously consider, ”might select“. Each of these phrases are open for interpretation.

These laws need to written so that there is some clarification; or specific examples given.

Is ”demonstrably suggested“ 50%, 60^%, 70%, 80% or 90%. Same with all of the other phrases. What is the threshold. ”Significant portion" is how much? If you eat a signification portion of my pie, how much am I left with?

I made this suggestion two months ago to the WBF Laws Committee. I request that others make the some request.
Dec. 2, 2018
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The point with these write-ups is that it is not a bidding competition. You can make the “right” bid but get a bad score. There is also luck in MPs. I worked out that the best score you could achieve would be about 71%.
Dec. 2, 2018
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Getting legal and IANAL, but do the ACBL specific regulations override the Rules?

I gave you the URL. Here's the actual text:

A. When a player takes more than a normal time to make his call, his screenmate
should not inform those players on the other side of the screen. The screenmate should
not report the delay to the director prior to the completion of the hand.
B. If a player on the side of the screen receiving the tray considers there has been
a break in tempo and consequently there may be unauthorized information under Law
16B2, he should reserve his rights or call the Director. He may do so without prejudice at
any time before the opening lead is made and the screen is opened.
C. Failure to do as (2) provides may persuade the Director that it was the partner
who drew attention to the break in tempo. If so, he may well rule there was no perceived
delay on the other side of the screen and thus no unauthorized information.

For A, this is Mr. Levin. He correctly waited until the hand was completed and then called the director.
For B, this is Mr. Grue. There is no indication that he called the director.
There is no mention in the ACBL write-up on B or C. There should be. This would indicate that the panel correctly went through the motions.

Screens are rare in ACBL events. In the past, directors have been shown not to know the ACBL/USBF rules in place when screens are used. Not saying that they did so in this case; but it would be helpful if they had mentioned the relevant sections in their write-up. Would have avoided a lot of confusion.
Dec. 2, 2018
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https://live.acbl.org/event/NABC183/BLUE/5/board-detail/A?board_num=2
https://live.acbl.org/event/NABC183/BLUE/5/board-detail/B?board_num=2

These are the 5 N/S pairs that ended up in 2X:

John Hurd-Steve Weinstein
Jovanka Smederevac-Alexander Wernle
Eric Greco-Brad Moss
Ari Greenberg-Tom Carmichael
Bart Bramley-Kit Woolsey

These are only the ones that ended up playing in 2x. I suspect more made the overall but E/W ended up in 4.

I tried to make the bidding reflect what the results showed; it was clear that several bid 2.
Dec. 2, 2018
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Thanks. Fixed.
Dec. 2, 2018
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@TomT: ACBL's Laws are at http://web2.acbl.org/documentlibrary/play/Laws-of-Duplicate-Bridge.pdf
Law 16. Page 22/23 in part:

(a) A player may not choose a call or play that
is demonstrably suggested over another by
unauthorized information if the other call or
play is a logical alternative.

(b) A logical alternative is an action that a
significant proportion of the class of players
in question, using the methods of the
partnership, would seriously consider, and
some might select.

I have previously asked (a couple of months ago for a similar issue), some members of the WBF Laws Commission exactly what the words “significant proportion”, “seriously consider” and “might select” mean. They did not want to provide any specifics such as percentages etc.

Meaning that until there are specific guidelines we will keep having semantic arguments.
Dec. 2, 2018
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“A lead away from a king against a grand slam is high (sic) unlikely, especially when the location of the king is known, so there is no guess on alternative lines of play.”

I love comments like this which are made as statements of fact without any supporting documentation. Strictly this is the opinion of Gary Zeiger, Matt Koltnow, David Metcalf, Kevin Perkins. It is NOT a bridge fact.

The ACBL does not track leads; therefore those 4 directors have no factual basis on which to make that claim.

I looked at leads from high level events that are on VuGraph. I found 207 tables where the final contract was 7NT. Of those 207, the opening leader had a King in 71 of those hands.

Guess how many of those 71 hands did the opening leader select the suit in which he/she had a king?

(I should point out that in 18/71 of these hands, the opening leader had KQ in a suit.

What number of leads is “highly unlikely”?
Dec. 2, 2018
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@Jonathan. See Law 16 (a) 1 (a). Then see Law 16 (a) 1 ©.

The comment seems to be in 16 a 1 c. But 16 a 1 c, has a proviso (see B1 following). (See the rules for explanations).

The question then becomes…. was the comment made before the BIT was established or not?

I am not sure that the Laws cover this situation. Arguably, the timing of the comment, and the establishment of the BIT are important. If the BIT is established before the comment was made then 16 a 1 c applies, and therefore 16 B1 applies.

BUT… if the comment is made before the BIT is established, the rules are not clear.

ACBL Laws are here: http://web2.acbl.org/documentlibrary/play/Laws-of-Duplicate-Bridge.pdf
Dec. 1, 2018
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For reference, the ACBL screen regulations are at http://web2.acbl.org/coc/AppendixG.pdf. See Page 2, Law 16.
West, as screenmate of the delay, should not report the delay until the completion of the hand. According to the write-up, West did this.
East, as recipient of the tray, should “reserve his rights or call the director”. There is no mention in the write-up if East did this.
Dec. 1, 2018
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Atlanta Regional has a seeded open KO bracket. Number of sessions is dependent on number of teams but in the past has been 5 sessions (17-32 teams).
Nov. 30, 2018
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The people playing in Gold Rush like it. Don't punish them. They are there to have a good time competing against their peers.

It's not their fault that the masterpoint awards for other events is tied to their attendance and type of event.

But… if you fix the masterpoint formula, there will be lots of complaints from those Sadly, they are more vocal than the GR players. The perception is with lower awards, fewer people will come.

Reality is that if you have a fun, enjoyable tournament, the MP awards are irrelevant.
Nov. 29, 2018
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