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ABOUT CURRENT SYSTEMS CLASSIFICATION WHY THE "WBF SYSTEM POLICY"?

#21 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2017-March-06, 13:25

More particularly, if we did just do "what you always would have done", we probably would only rarely have a problem. But because us humans are pattern matching creatures, we are extraordinarily good at convincing ourselves that what we want to do (because of the UI) is what "we would always have done", even if, if you asked about "a problem with my hand" in the bar a month later, they'd say "what's the problem? It's obvious to do [not what they "would always have done" and did at the table]".

I think several experts are so sure of their bridge ability that they believe they would be able to counteract that bias (they're not), or that their bridge skill is sufficient that they would do the right thing even without the UI (not that either), and that this skill is transferable to the rank and file (it isn't).

I am probably impugning said world-class players. But they impugn me-as-TD all the time (one of the reasons I don't really read BW - not that one, the other one), so eh, whatever. The Laws are on my side.
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#22 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-March-06, 20:55

View Postmycroft, on 2017-March-01, 13:21, said:

In short, "Bridge is one of the few games in the world where it is a badge of honour to not know the rules under which you play." This has to change, from the novice level up (and from the pro level down); and until it does, people will get away with murder (and the people that call them on it will be demonized).


This ignorance is so cool people will feign it. This happens most often when it is the regulation that required alerting a penalty double (actually a non-takeout double) of a natural bid if it is below 3NT. "Oh really, that is alertable? God, I just can't keep up with all the changes". Meanwhile, this regulation has been in force for a decade, and is so simple you could explain it to a five-year-old. The latter is why it is such a sensible regulation, even if there are cases where the penalty nature of the double seems obvious. Consistency and simplicity are way more important than intuitiveness.
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#23 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2017-March-07, 12:45

Again, exactly. Now:

Why is it "so cool"? Why is it not like Advanced Squad Leader, where:

Quote

"A.2 ERRORS: All results stand once play has progressed past the point of commission. In other words, if an error is discovered after play has passed that point, the game cannot be backed up to correct the error, even if such error is in violation of a rule...."

The Footnote to this sentence:

"A.2 ERRORS: To the unscrupulous, these mechanics for handling errors might be viewed as a license to steal. We do not mean to insinuate that cheating is acceptable behavior; rather, that backing up a game to accommodate a forgotten rule/unit is a drag on play...[T]he player's knowledge of the [rules] becomes an added skill factor...Ultimately, the only protection against a cheater is not to play him."


or poker, where lack of knowledge of the table rules is grounds for an immediate hand loss, and repeated violations will simply get you removed from the table, to be replaced by someone who isn't (potentially) cheating?

or golf, as I've said before?

or...?

I have been watching M:tG podcasts recently, in particular ones involving cheating allegations disciplinary penalties in high level tournaments. Anyone familiar with these discussions would have little trouble recognizing the issues or the attitudes (even with zero knowledge of how M:tG works, but a basic, freemium game tutorial knowledge wouldn't hurt) on all sides.

Now one thing I would actually encourage is Magic's idea of "Rules Enforcement Levels", where - translating madly - at the clubs, a violation will be noted, and explained, and forgotten, perhaps; whereas the same violation at a Regional would be formally recorded in your record (and penalized), and in an NABC+ event would likely have you lose the game for a first offense, and if you have a record of this kind of violation, a trip to C&E as well.
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#24 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-March-07, 13:35

I doubt this is really unique to bridge. I'll bet 90% of people who play most board games (e.g. Monopoly) have never read the instructions that come with the game. They just learn the game from friends and family, the same way they learn card games, including bridge.

#25 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2017-March-07, 13:47

So would I. But I bet the people that play in Monopoly tournaments (yeah, they exist) do...

I bet the people at the Scrabble club events know their rules, on average, better than most Flight A bridge players know theirs. In fact, I bet there's at least one person who is a flight A bridge player and knows the Scrabble rules better than the bridge Laws. Okay, I cheat - I know him (and he is, thankfully, one of the most ethical bridge players I know).
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#26 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-March-07, 14:09

View Postmycroft, on 2017-March-07, 13:47, said:

So would I. But I bet the people that play in Monopoly tournaments (yeah, they exist) do...

I bet the people at the Scrabble club events know their rules, on average, better than most Flight A bridge players know theirs. In fact, I bet there's at least one person who is a flight A bridge player and knows the Scrablle rules better than the bridge Laws. Okay, I cheat - I know him (and he is, thankfully, one of the most ethical bridge players I know).

Yes, I know there are Monopoly tournaments, and you're probably right about that.

I just found the Monopoly instructions on the web, they're 6 pages long. As far as I can tell, they don't provide any instructions for what to do if someone violates correct procedure, such as someone playing out of turn, not advancing their token the number of spaces of their dice throw, pulling the wrong card from Chance/Community Chest, etc. Are there more elaborate rules that are used at tournaments? I found the Official Game Tournament Kit which is more than 2 dozen pages, but most the additional material is related to the process of planning and running a tournament, not the play of the game itself, which looks to be just a verbatim copy of the above rules.

And none of these games involve things like bidding and card play agreements -- there are very few situations where a ruling needs to be made on judgement rather than objective facts. About the only judgement calls in sports tend to be when deciding whether something is in or out of bounds when it's really close to the line (at high levels of many sports they replace these judgement calls with automation), or in timed sports a ref may have to decide whether something took place before or after the buzzer when they're really close.

#27 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-March-08, 03:42

View Postbarmar, on 2017-March-07, 14:09, said:

And none of these games involve things like bidding and card play agreements -- there are very few situations where a ruling needs to be made on judgement rather than objective facts. About the only judgement calls in sports tend to be when deciding whether something is in or out of bounds when it's really close to the line (at high levels of many sports they replace these judgement calls with automation), or in timed sports a ref may have to decide whether something took place before or after the buzzer when they're really close.

You are kidding right? Take football, players hold each other all the time. When does it stop being 6 of one, half of dozen of the other and become a foul? It is a judgement call and the ref makes well over a hundred such calls every game. This is similarly the case for basketball, ice hockey, American football, rugby, etc. In fact practically any contact sport (yes I know basketball is technically a non-contact sport). In the case of tactical fouls, the ref also needs to make a judgement call about what was in the player's mind to decide whether to show a card or not. Sound familiar?

Subjectivity also comes up, obviously, in all sports with judge's grades. Ski jumping, figure skating, ice dancing, gymnastics, X sports, etc. It is difficult to watch these sports for any length of time without coming away with the impression that the marks do not always reflect the reality shown in the performance. Another area where this comes up very clearly is driver penalties in F1. Who gets a penalty is often very much a matter of point of view and the severity of the penalty is also hugely subjective.

In any case, the idea the subjectivity is not an incredibly major part of sports is strange to me and I think you should think again about it.
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#28 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-March-08, 09:37

View PostZelandakh, on 2017-March-08, 03:42, said:

In any case, the idea the subjectivity is not an incredibly major part of sports is strange to me and I think you should think again about it.

OK, I plead ignorance because I don't watch much sports.

But I stand by my argument that most board and card games don't involve much in the way of subjectivity. In chess it might require judgement to tell if a touch was accidental or not, that's about it, right?

#29 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-March-08, 09:50

View Postbarmar, on 2017-March-08, 09:37, said:

OK, I plead ignorance because I don't watch much sports.

But I stand by my argument that most board and card games don't involve much in the way of subjectivity. In chess it might require judgement to tell if a touch was accidental or not, that's about it, right?

Chess is a little different, yes. The thorniest issue in chess in recent times is probably ascertaining if a player is using computer analysis during a game, which is not always as obvious as it sounds. Some other issues that have come up on occasion are the clocks not working correctly, irregularities in pawn promotion, whether 3 times repetition has occurred in a blitz finish where the players are not recording the moves, the activities of kibitzers (famously Karpov's second staring at Korchnoi, for example) and the playing conditions (see Spassky-Fischer for an extreme on this), health issues (eg Karpov-Kasparov 1984). In general though, judgement calls in chess are rare. It could be argued that this makes chess much more "pure" in a sporting sense than the vast majority of physical sports but that would be a completely different discussion.
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#30 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-March-08, 09:57

View PostZelandakh, on 2017-March-08, 09:50, said:

Chess is a little different, yes. The thorniest issue in chess in recent times is probably ascertaining if a player is using computer analysis during a game, which is not always as obvious as it sounds. Some other issues that have come up on occasion are the clocks not working correctly, irregularities in pawn promotion, whether 3 times repetition has occurred in a blitz finish where the players are not recording the moves, the activities of kibitzers (famously Karpov's second staring at Korchnoi, for example) and the playing conditions (see Spassky-Fischer for an extreme on this), health issues (eg Karpov-Kasparov 1984). In general though, judgement calls in chess are rare. It could be argued that this makes chess much more "pure" in a sporting sense than the vast majority of physical sports but that would be a completely different discussion.

I played chess casually when I was a kid, but I have no idea what most of that refers to. Are they things that are addressed in the chess laws, and most tournament players would be expected to be familiar with?

#31 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2017-March-08, 14:02

View PostZelandakh, on 2017-March-08, 03:42, said:

You are kidding right? Take football, players hold each other all the time. When does it stop being 6 of one, half of dozen of the other and become a foul? It is a judgement call and the ref makes well over a hundred such calls every game. This is similarly the case for basketball, ice hockey, American football, rugby, etc. In fact practically any contact sport (yes I know basketball is technically a non-contact sport). In the case of tactical fouls, the ref also needs to make a judgement call about what was in the player's mind to decide whether to show a card or not. Sound familiar?

Subjectivity also comes up, obviously, in all sports with judge's grades. Ski jumping, figure skating, ice dancing, gymnastics, X sports, etc. It is difficult to watch these sports for any length of time without coming away with the impression that the marks do not always reflect the reality shown in the performance. Another area where this comes up very clearly is driver penalties in F1. Who gets a penalty is often very much a matter of point of view and the severity of the penalty is also hugely subjective.

In any case, the idea the subjectivity is not an incredibly major part of sports is strange to me and I think you should think again about it.



You raise an important point regarding objective calls vs subjective calls. Take your holding in football example. I agree there is holding, illegal per the rules holding on every play. I disagree with your conclusion the lack of calls is based on subjective reasons rather than objective ones. I far as I can tell refs decide before the game they simply are not going to call most holding penalties. This is based on an objective reason. It would ruin the game by making it unwatchable.

The same could be said for traveling fouls in basketball.

This is an objective decision sports make all the time. We need rules of conduct so the sport does not descend into chaos but we need to objectively decide before hand that we will not enforce all the rules all the time as the sport becomes unwatchable, less profitable.
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#32 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2017-March-08, 14:48

View PostVampyr, on 2017-March-06, 20:55, said:

This ignorance is so cool people will feign it. This happens most often when it is the regulation that required alerting a penalty double (actually a non-takeout double) of a natural bid if it is below 3NT. "Oh really, that is alertable? God, I just can't keep up with all the changes". Meanwhile, this regulation has been in force for a decade, and is so simple you could explain it to a five-year-old. The latter is why it is such a sensible regulation, even if there are cases where the penalty nature of the double seems obvious. Consistency and simplicity are way more i portan

The EBU blue book has a lot to say about doubles. For instance ...

EBU Blue Book 4 B2 said:

Doubles. The rules for alerting doubles are:

(a) Suit bids that show the suit bid: Alert, unless the double is for take... but
(b) Minor suit openings which may be shorter than three cards but which may be natural and which do not promise a strong hand:Alert, unless the double is for take-out.©
(c ) No trump bids: Alert, unless the double is for penalties.
(d) Suit bids that do not show the suit bid. Alert, unless the double shows the suit bid.

Doubles are also alertable if they convey a potentially unexpected meaning in additionto take-out or penalties (see 3H2 and 3H3In 4B2(a) and (d) the word 'show' is defined as follows
.:'it is natural, or shows willingness, in the context of the auction, to play in the suit, or it has bid,

EBU Blue Book 4H5 said:

Doubles that must not be alerted
(a) Any 'negative'or 'responsive' doubleplayed in a traditional manner, such as
1 – 1 – dbl showing 4 hearts.
1/ 1 –1 – dbl is not alertable either if it shows exactly four spades, it may have four spades or if it shows general values without four spades (other meanings, such as 4+ spades, are alertable)
(b) A take-out double of a transfer completion such as
1NT – pass – 2 – pass – 2 – dbl since this is deemed to show the suit bid
(c )A take-out double of a'pass-or-correct' bid such as
2 Multi–pass –2 – dbl since this is deemed to show the suit bid

.
You might need to find a five-year old to explain them to you :)

I would prefer if all this were replaced by

"Alert partner's double unless it's for penalty "

That would require a lot of alerts but save reams of paper.

Compared with ACBL regulations, however, the EBU Blue book is a masterpiece of clarity and brevity.
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#33 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-March-08, 16:08

View Postbarmar, on 2017-March-07, 13:35, said:

I doubt this is really unique to bridge. I'll bet 90% of people who play most board games (e.g. Monopoly) have never read the instructions that come with the game. They just learn the game from friends and family, the same way they learn card games, including bridge.


Don't know about this. I always cared about playing games by the rules, and read the Monopoly rules, probably when I was five.

View Postnige1, on 2017-March-08, 14:48, said:

The EBU blue book has a lot to say about doubles. For instance ...


There might be some passes missing from these example sequences :)
You might also need to find a five-year old to explain them to you :)

I would prefer if all this were replaced by

"Alert non-penalty doubles"


That would require a lot of alerts but save reams of paper.

Compared with ACBL regulations, however, the EBU Blue book is a masterpiece of clarity and brevity.


The thing about the EBU regulations about doubles is that they can be distilled into a couple of simple sentences. Alerting all non-penalty doubles is a ludicrous idea.
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#34 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-March-09, 08:33

View Postbarmar, on 2017-March-08, 09:57, said:

I played chess casually when I was a kid, but I have no idea what most of that refers to. Are they things that are addressed in the chess laws, and most tournament players would be expected to be familiar with?

I will go through them...

the clocks not working correctly: Practically all serious chess games are played with chess clocks, where you have a restricted amount of thinking time, which only runs when it is your turn to move. It sometimes happens that these do not work correctly. It happened a few years back to Karpov for example. In such cases the arbiter has to use their judgement as to the correct time to allocate to the replacement clock. This has naturally the potential of being highly arbitrary, not to mention giving the players a lot of additional thinking time while the clock is replaced, which might be critical in a blitz game.

irregularities in pawn promotion: This is an area that should be easy as it is fully covered in the rules but arbiters still get it wrong sometimes. It has happened, for example, that a player has been given a loss for not first placing the pawn on the 8th rank before replacing it with the replacement piece. This is absolutely wrong and the laws now explicitly state that this is not necessary.

whether 3 times repetition has occurred in a blitz finish where the players are not recording the moves: This is one that actually came up for me in a tournament game. The rules state that if the same position occurs 3 times in a game with the same player to move then it is declared a draw. Usually the players record their moves so proving that the same position was indeed reached is easy. In blitz games and in the last minutes of a long-play game the players do not need to record the moves at the time, although they are meant to record them later for the long-play format. Thus showing that the position was the same and also the same player to move is not at all easy and might require the arbiter to exercise judgement if the players have a different recollection of the moves made.

the activities of kibitzers: The specific case I mentioned is that of Dr Zukhar in the Karpov-Korchnoi world chapionship match of 1978. Dr Zukar was a parapsychologist and hypnotist and sat in the front row of the hall staring intently at Korchnoi. Korchnoi tried to have him removed but the arbiters allowed him to remain. There were many other judgement calls in this WC too - are mirrored sunglasses under strong lighting a distraction for the opponent? how about swivelling in your chair while your opponent is thinking? should a person playing in a different country from their birth but not having changed nationalities be allowed to play under the flag of their adopted country? can kibitzers send items, specifically a yoghurt, to a player during a game without request? and whether anyone with a criminal record should be allowed to kibitz. And that was just one match.

health issues The Karpov-Kasparov WC match of 1984 is perhaps best remembered for being cancelled after 48 games because the arbiter, FIDE President Campomanes, considered the players to be under undue strain. The decision was extremely controversial and was widely greeted with derision across the chess world. There is basically no provision in the rules for a player to be unable to continue on health grounds, especially where the players are stating, publicly at least, that they want to continue.

As mentioned though, these sorts of things are very much the exception. That such things are often associated with world championships is itself interesting. Basically normal chess tournaments are just not important enough to worry about the little things that make up judgement decisions. One can perhaps draw parallels to bridge there too.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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