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All comments by Steve Willner
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No. There is never a “bridge reason” for any gratuitous remark. In contrast, there is usually (not always) a bridge reason for taking a long time to think about choice of call or play. One exception made in case law is that taking a long time to think about which spot card will most deceptive is not considered a bridge reason.

Whether the other conditions for an adjustment are met is a different story. Right now I'm not seeing how they are, but I'm ready to be persuaded.
Dec. 8
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Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times….
Dec. 8
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Are the new charts as presented, i.e., after taking the latest comments into account, available anywhere?
Dec. 2
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“… Law 70.D.1 that states the director should take into consideration the ”the class of the player involved“

That is the opposite of what L70D1 says. A paraphrase of the Law would be ”Even the best player can miss something, so when ruling on a claim you treat careless lines as normal even for very good players."
Dec. 2
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If I were in this position, I'd bid 1NT barring partner. Do you think that would run afoul of L72C?

If opening 1NT were 10-12, I think 1NT overcall (presumably something in the 15 to 18 ballpark) would be a comparable call. It would also be a mis-description of the hand so perhaps not a good choice.

If opening 1NT were 12-14, I doubt the player ever would have bid 1.
Nov. 30
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Rewording was recommended to at least some members of the WBFLC prior to the 2007 revision, but I have no way of knowing whether the issue was considered.
Nov. 30
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It's perhaps worth mentioning that the 1975 Laws were the version in which handling UI via score adjustment was first introduced. Prior to that, “using UI” was a conduct offense and therefore rarely redressed.
Nov. 30
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Sorry, let me try to be clearer. Suppose East had the Q, having ducked the first round. After the revoke is corrected and dummy's play is changed to the J, can East now play the Q? In other words, has East's original low club _already_ become a major penalty card, which must be played immediately, or does it become a MPC only after the revoke trick is corrected and completed?
Nov. 28
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I agree with Ed up to “East may change his play as well.”
L62C2 says that East may withdraw his card but that it becomes a penalty card. Neither L62C2 nor L50B is explicit whether the penalty card is major or minor, but “exposed through deliberate play” seems closer to the mark than “unintentionally.” That makes the penalty card major, and it has to be played at the first legal opportunity, which is on the second round of clubs. So as far as I can tell, the practical result is that East may not change his club play.

Is there an interpretation somewhere saying that this is wrong?
Nov. 27
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It's worth keeping in mind that “normal tempo” depends on the auction. If it goes 1S-P-4S-5H- to me, I guarantee my action – whatever my hand looks like – is going to be a lot slower than it would have been if RHO had passed.

In the OP auction, RHO's interventions were both somewhat unexpected, and it is normal to take some time to reset one's evaluation. The appropriate pause is something much shorter than the “10 s” for a skip bid, but you want to avoid an insta-pass or insta-double, either of which would give a strong suggestion about the likely hand type held. A pause of 2 s or so would be about right for most players, both for the double and for the pass on the first round. In other words, I think the OP had the right idea but may not have executed it well.
Nov. 27
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Were there revisions in response to comments sent prior to Oct 15? Is the final version as presented to the BoD available anywhere?
Nov. 27
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I agree that real directing is far harder than discussing things on BW. Making the first (substantive) PP a small one might help a little, but it still won't be fun.
Nov. 25
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This is an old thread, but if there's anyone still following, it might be worth having a close look at the relevant Laws.

For incident 1 – player has picked up his cards before the Director could arrive – Law 9B2 provides: “No player shall take any action until the Director has explained all matters in regard to rectification.” (The B header “After Attention Is Drawn to an Irregularity” is implicitly included.) The Introduction tells us that “shall” means “a violation will incur a penalty more often than not.” That means in principle you need a specific reason not to give a PP in this case. That could be that club management wants you not to give PPs, or the player is a beginner and didn't know better.

The real problem is that the ACBL “standard PP” of a quarter-board is far too large. That makes Directors hesitant to give it. The EBU standard of one-tenth of a board makes much more sense. You could also give a PP in the form of a warning: no matchpoints lost this time, but a repeat offense will cost in the score. Of course you have to be prepared to follow through if you take this route. At a minimum, you could advise the player that in a tournament, there would likely be a matchpoint (or IMP) PP.

It seems to me the important point to make is just what the Law says: once attention has been called to an irregularity, don't do anything except call the Director.

For incident 2 – insufficient bid – Roland and Jacob above have it right: Law 72C is the relevant one. The way to think about this is, would a villain looking at the offender's hand think it a good idea to bar partner and then bid 3C? I don't see responder's hand given, but if it was 2425 shape with a few points, that seems very unlikely. Even the worst villain would want to use Stayman or pass 2NT or bid 3NT or something like that. With a (321)7 zero-count, the villain would have a different opinion.

Another way to look at it is to consider what adjusted score you would assign if you needed to. For that, you would consider what would happen if the infraction – the IB – had not occurred. It looks as though responder might pass or use Stayman (either passing or raising a 3H bid) or bid a direct 3NT. You would need to figure out some weighted outcome of all these possibilities and assign the appropriate matchpoints. Here it looks as though all of them would be better than the result in 3C, so there's nothing to consider.

For an ordinary IB, even one where you apply L72C, there's no reason to consider a PP. If you ever have a case where you think the player is a villain and did it deliberately, then a PP is nowhere near enough. In that situation, you need serious disciplinary action by whatever process is appropriate. That would be a committee for tournaments, but I think clubs can have their own procedures.

Of course what you actually do depends on club policy.
Nov. 24
Steve Willner edited this comment Nov. 24
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The ACBL rules are unclear (“highly unusual and unexpected,” as Dave quoted), but I think the relatively common holding of a 3c suit makes 1C!-1D-1M alertable in ACBL jurisdiction.

1C!-1D!-1NT showing 18-20 is explicitly alertable. 1C!-1M-1NT is weak in WJ (Polish Club), as it is for most other players, so is not alertable.
Nov. 15
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“the claimer is the ”offending“ party”

Well, no, a claim is not an infraction. Claiming without a proper statement is an infraction, though (Law 69C).

“(a term used in other Laws),”

Other Laws are not relevant to claims.

“so doubtful cases should be resolved in favor of the non-claiming side.”

Law 70A says so.
Nov. 15
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I had a similar situation years ago with a lock at about trick 3 but with a complex line of play needed. Like Doug, I decided to play a few more tricks to simplify the claim but in the process managed to discard the wrong loser for down 1 in a cold slam. That experience has motivated me to claim as early as possible.

By the way, the important thing about a claim statement is the order in which the remaining cards will be played. Stating the number of tricks that will result is irrelevant. I will, from time to time, make a bad claim (having miscounted, for example), but the number of resulting tricks is never in doubt.
Nov. 6
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“That would cut out a lot of pages”

If I wanted to bet on what fraction of ACBL Directors could rule correctly in such a world (not every single ruling perfect but at least be right a lot more often than wrong), what fraction would you consider worth even odds? (If someone offered me an even bet at 10% and there were a way to settle the bet fairly, I'd take the under.)

I'm given to understand some other jurisdictions do better, but that's not the question.
Nov. 6
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Stu gave the disciplinary position, but what score to give is a separate matter. The walkouts are presumably disqualified from the event, but you have to balance the interests of Mike's team and the third team. There's no completely fair way to do that once it's too late to change the match assignments. I am pretty sure the regulations specify an artificial score for this situation, probably 12-0 or 13-0 in VPs. That's not perfect, but “no chance to win” was an exaggeration (though an understandable one under the circumstances).
Nov. 5
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“it might be better if the Law came be reworded from the negative side…”

That is the effect of the current wording. Failure to state a line of play jeopardizes the claimer's rights, i.e., is detrimental to the claimer. “Not often penalized” means in practice never in an isolated case, but someone who persistently refuses to claim properly might be penalized.
Nov. 5
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Claim rulings always provoke the longest discussion threads. I wish there were better official guidance in an easily accessible form.
Nov. 5
Steve Willner edited this comment Nov. 5
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