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

Robert Frick rfrick at rfrick.info
Thu Mar 22 03:52:58 CET 2012

On Wed, 21 Mar 2012 22:20:52 -0400, Nigel Guthrie <g3 at nige1.com> wrote:

> {nigel]
> (a) Players should not be allowed to correct mechanical mistakes.
> [Robert Frick]
> 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.
> [Nigel]
> Robert implies that players would be unhappy if the law prevented them  
> from
> correcting a bidding mistake by claiming it to be a mechanical error.  I
> agree that some would be unhappy. It seems to many, however,  that most
> bidding errors that are allowed to be corrected are are not mechanical at
> all.

I am guessing this is not true. I started collecting the times I was  
called to the table to judge mechanical error, and I would guess that half  
or more are mental mistakes. The most recent was someone overcalling 1NT,  
claiming it was a mechanical error, and wanting to change to a double. I  
didn't allow that, and I was not the least bit surprised that he had 16  

But I noticed that when I played, there were frequent mispulls, they were  
obviously mechanical, the table allowed the change without calling me, and  
no one thought anything of it.

So my guess is that at least 80% of the errors are mechanical and the  
director isn't called. The director gets called when there is something  
suspicious, and those are likely to be mental.

  They are slips of the *mind* rather than the *hand*. Hence this law
> penalizes honest players.
> Players accept the consequences of *other* mistakes -- even mechanical
> mistakes.  Two examples from the weekend.
> In a notrump contract, I was left with five good clubs (AKQxx) and no  
> side
> entry. I led a small club rather than an honour and took no more tricks.  
> A
> slip of the hand.
> In a diamond contract, I mistook my ace of hearts for the ace of  
> diamonds. I
> ruffed a heart and led to the next trick. The established revoke cost me
> about thee tricks. A slip of the eye.
> I'm not complaining. Bridge is an game of mistakes and I enjoy playing by
> the rules. I shall try to be less careless in future.

There are some excellent games for following the rules, like Simon Says. I  
don't particular enjoy them. It is worthwhile to think about what makes  
bridge enjoyable and to try to increase that.

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