[BLML] Do Alert rules need to change ? [SEC=UNOFFICIAL]

Robert Frick rfrick at rfrick.info
Thu Mar 22 02:35:57 CET 2012

On Wed, 21 Mar 2012 10:37:28 -0400, Nigel Guthrie <g3 at nige1.com> wrote:

> [Sven Pran]
> There is a tale from the youth of duplicate when Culbertson had just
> introduced his "asking bids". A drop-in guest in a club asked her (his?)
> partner: "Do we use asking bids?" and the reply was "yes".
> So during one auction the player suddenly asked {sic!} "Do you have the  
> King
> of Diamonds, partner?".
> Another incident that once really happened in Norway was the player who  
> bid
> 5 Hearts over a Blackwood 4NT. His LHO sitting there with his two aces
> thought for a while and then exclaimed: "You took the words out of my
> mouth!"
> Information exchange during the auction shall be by means of the limited
> bridge language consisting of 15 different tokens and nothing more.
> [Nigel] IMO
> Bridge would be a simpler, more enjoyable, more testing  game if the only
> table-communication between partners were their calls and plays.
> Unfortunately, law makers seem to disagree with Sven.
> 1. If players can get away with it, they seem to use partner's
> alert-explanations and announcements to wake them up to bidding mistakes  
> and
> to compensate for them .  (Admittedly,  a  handful of honest masochists  
> do
> penalize themselves). Unfortunately, the law specifically allows players  
> to
> use such information to change calls that they successfully claim to be
> "mechanical" errors.  This problem would be mitigated by
> law-simplifications:
> (a) Players should not be allowed to correct mechanical mistakes.

I saw a player pull a card out the bidding box, see that it was not what  
he meant, shake his head no, carefully place those cards in the played  
position in front of him, then immediately go to his bidding box to find  
the correct bid. Everyone at the table knew he did not mean the first bid.  
The director would not have been called.

This seems to be common, I just don't see it as director because no one  
calls me for the obvious replacement of mechanical bids.

Another time, the player pulled the correct bid out of the bidding box. A  
pass also came out and fell on the table by the bidding box. I noted at  
the time that according to ACBL regulations, the pass was a made call  
(which happens as soon as the call hits the table).

So, this particular proposal seems to be completely unfeasible.

> (b) Players should be allowed to *switch-off* opponents' alerts and
> explanations.
> 2.  After an infraction (like an insufficient bid), depending on RA
> electives, players may use the legal-options given to both sides, to vary
> their systemic understandings.  For example, if you accept an opponent's
> call out of turn,  you may agree that bids promise first round control in
> their suit. Whatever the RA elective, unauthorised-information problems
> remain.  if you knowingly accept an out-of-turn 4H opening bid and double
> it, common-sense implies that it is for penalties, whatever your normal
> conventional treatment of this double.  As usual, there is a simple
> solution:
> - The law should rectify the infraction without giving options to either
> side. (e.g. cancel the offending call and silence the offending side)
> 3. British players rely mainly on count signals. Americans, presumably,  
> rely
> mainly on attitude signals :)  This is a logical inference, given that  
> they
> are accustomed to receiving count-information, whenever players show out  
> and
> partners ask "having none". (Presumably, partners ask this question, when
> they haven't seem all outstanding cards in the suit).  Law-makers  
> recently
> decided to legalize this rich source of unauthorised information.  I  
> wonder
> how long it will be before UK players switch to attitude signals :) .  
> Again,
> Sven has the solution
> - Restrict partnership-communication to unadorned calls and plays.
> Unfortunately , the reverse trend appears to be a policy change by the  
> :( Arguably, however it is not as pernicious as reliance on (so-called)
> "Equity" :)
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