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ChCh's clever chat Law 73?

#21 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2021-July-05, 19:54

View Postlamford, on 2021-July-04, 15:42, said:

The problem is that even if the long BIT is designed to trick SB, it is a demonstrable bridge reason, to get SB to think he has a different hand with a genuine decision. Clearly a bridge reason, albeit a devious one.

The Law specifically says that you may not try to deceive an opponent by varying tempo, so this is not a valid reason, even if you can argue that it's a "bridge" reason. A "demonstrable bridge reason" means making a decision about your bridge action.

#22 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2021-July-05, 19:59

View Postlamford, on 2021-July-05, 16:21, said:

ChCh argues that the delay was not unwonted. It is usual to spend as much time as one needs to think of a way to make the contract.

And bridge regulators generally allow both declarer and defenders to think for extended periods at trick 1, to plan the hand after dummy comes down. If there's actually a difficult problem, they shouldn't have to concern themselves as well with whether an opponent will take an incorrect inference from their planning time.

I think this is clearly a case of SB making an inference at his own risk.

#23 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2021-July-06, 01:11

View Postbarmar, on 2021-July-05, 19:59, said:

And bridge regulators generally allow both declarer and defenders to think for extended periods at trick 1, to plan the hand after dummy comes down. If there's actually a difficult problem, they shouldn't have to concern themselves as well with whether an opponent will take an incorrect inference from their planning time.

I think this is clearly a case of SB making an inference at his own risk.

But Declarer wasn't thinking when Dummy was faced at trick 1 (which would have been perfectly legal) - he was thinking at trick 2! That is a major difference.
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#24 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2021-July-06, 02:45

View Postbarmar, on 2021-July-05, 19:54, said:

The Law specifically says that you may not try to deceive an opponent by varying tempo, so this is not a valid reason, even if you can argue that it's a "bridge" reason. A "demonstrable bridge reason" means making a decision about your bridge action.

That Law says "may not" which is the weakest of "may not", "shall not" and "must not". And the delay was considering whether to lead the six of spades or the queen of spades. Or even to win in hand and lead a low spade. All demonstrable bridge reasons. I can live with ruling that the comment was a breach of Law 73, but not with the time taken to plan the hand. If he had taken five minutes and then led the six of spades without a comment, I would not adjust. The fact that taking five minutes deceived the opponent into thinking the contract had a chance is irrelevant.
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#25 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2021-July-06, 03:14

View Postpran, on 2021-July-06, 01:11, said:

But Declarer wasn't thinking when Dummy was faced at trick 1 (which would have been perfectly legal) - he was thinking at trick 2! That is a major difference.



View Postlamford, on 2021-July-06, 02:45, said:

That Law says "may not" which is the weakest of "may not", "shall not" and "must not". And the delay was considering whether to lead the six of spades or the queen of spades. Or even to win in hand and lead a low spade. All demonstrable bridge reasons. I can live with ruling that the comment was a breach of Law 73, but not with the time taken to plan the hand. If he had taken five minutes and then led the six of spades without a comment, I would not adjust. The fact that taking five minutes deceived the opponent into thinking the contract had a chance is irrelevant.


I do indeed wonder how you read (and understand) the laws?

INTRODUCTION TO THE 2017 LAWS OF DUPLICATE BRIDGE said:

“must not” is the strongest prohibition, “shall not” is strong but “may not” is stronger – just short of “must not”.

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#26 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2021-July-06, 04:47

View Postpran, on 2021-July-06, 03:14, said:

I do indeed wonder how you read (and understand) the laws?

It seems strange that may not is stronger than shall not, when "may" is less strong than "shall".

Established usage has been retained in regard to “may” do (failure to do it is not wrong), “does” (establishes procedure without suggesting that violation be penalised) “should” do (failure to do it is an infraction jeopardising the infractor’s rights but not often penalised),”shall” do (a violation will incur a penalty more often than not) “must” do (the strongest word, a serious matter indeed). Again “must not” the strongest prohibition, “shall not” is strong but “may not” is stronger – just short of “must not”.

And can you show me where in the Laws it says declarer must think before playing from dummy rather than after trick one?

Also, there is no evidence that the tempo break is for the purpose of deceiving. Furthermore, the play of a low spade from dummy is not deceptive. The ONLY issue, for me, is the remark. Establishing that the slow play is with intent to deceive is impossible.
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#27 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2021-July-06, 06:12

View Postpran, on 2021-July-06, 03:14, said:

I do indeed wonder how you read (and understand) the laws?

View Postlamford, on 2021-July-06, 04:47, said:

It seems strange that may not is stronger than shall not, when "may" is less strong than "shall".

The reason is of course that 'may' implies (for instance legal) permission so 'may not' implies just the opposite, i.e. prohibition.
The practical consequence is that while a violation of a 'must not' clause almost certainly will result in a procedure penalty, a violation of a 'may not' clause more often than not will result in such penalty.

View Postlamford, on 2021-July-06, 04:47, said:


Established usage has been retained in regard to “may” do (failure to do it is not wrong), “does” (establishes procedure without suggesting that violation be penalised) “should” do (failure to do it is an infraction jeopardising the infractor’s rights but not often penalised),”shall” do (a violation will incur a penalty more often than not) “must” do (the strongest word, a serious matter indeed). Again “must not” the strongest prohibition, “shall not” is strong but “may not” is stronger – just short of “must not”.

I am glad to see that you have discovered this.

View Postlamford, on 2021-July-06, 04:47, said:

And can you show me where in the Laws it says declarer must think before playing from dummy rather than after trick one?

Law 73A2 said:

Calls and plays should be made without undue emphasis, mannerism or inflection, and
without undue hesitation or haste. But Regulating Authorities may require mandatory
pauses, as on the first round of the auction, or after a skip-bid warning, or on the first trick.

I believe the first lesson to any newcomer in Bridge includes the importance of planning the play before playing to the first trick.
Frankly, I was genuinly surprised now when discovering that this is explicitly considered in the Laws, it is simply common knowledge.

View Postlamford, on 2021-July-06, 04:47, said:

Also, there is no evidence that the tempo break is for the purpose of deceiving. Furthermore, the play of a low spade from dummy is not deceptive. The ONLY issue, for me, is the remark. Establishing that the slow play is with intent to deceive is impossible.

Law 73E2 said:

If the Director determines that an innocent player has drawn a false inference from a
question, remark, manner, tempo or the like, of an opponent who has no demonstrable
bridge reason for the action, and who could have been aware, at the time of the action,
that it could work to his benefit, the Director shall award an adjusted score
(my enhancement)

There is no question of evidence (of guilt) here, it is up to the player who may have violated Law 73E to convince the Director that he had no such illegal intent in mind.
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#28 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2021-July-06, 07:05

View Postpran, on 2021-July-06, 06:12, said:

I believe the first lesson to any newcomer in Bridge includes the importance of planning the play before playing to the first trick.

I am not aware of the Regulatory Authority, which would be the EBU, requiring a pause at trick one. The White Book does indicate that a pause by the third hand when declarer does not pause will not normally give UI, even with a singleton.

But this is very different. If you say that anyone taking five minutes over a hand is doing it to deceive, then I think the onus is on the defender to show why he was deceived, not the declarer. And the director must decide that there was no demonstrable bridge reason to think about the whole hand; I don't think any TD will decide that. The fact that he played quickly at trick one is irrelevant.
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#29 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2021-July-06, 07:55

View Postlamford, on 2021-July-06, 07:05, said:

I am not aware of the Regulatory Authority, which would be the EBU, requiring a pause at trick one.

Nor was I.

But I am most familiar with the custom (and indeed recommendation) to spend whatever time needed for planning the play before playing any card to trick one.

(And we still emphasize the important difference between time (honestly) needed for planning and time spent for deception.)
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#30 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-July-06, 09:55

View Postlamford, on 2021-July-06, 07:05, said:

I think the onus is on the defender to show why he was deceived, not the declarer

o·nus | ˈōnəs |
noun (usually as the onus)
used to refer to something that is one's duty or responsibility: the onus is on you to show that you have suffered loss.

The Laws of Bridge place no onus on any player to prove anything. The onus is on the director to determine the facts and to rule accordingly (Law 84) or if he cannot determine the facts to make a ruling that will permit play to continue (Law 85).
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#31 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2021-July-06, 12:35

View Postblackshoe, on 2021-July-06, 09:55, said:

o·nus | ˈōnəs |
noun (usually as the onus)
used to refer to something that is one's duty or responsibility: the onus is on you to show that you have suffered loss.

The Laws of Bridge place no onus on any player to prove anything. The onus is on the director to determine the facts and to rule accordingly (Law 84) or if he cannot determine the facts to make a ruling that will permit play to continue (Law 85).


There was obviously a disagreement here whether or not Law 73D2 was violated, and more specific if Law 73E2 was applicable.

In order to rule on this question the Director must hear the (alleged) offender's explanation on what demonstrable bridge reason he had for for his action and the resulting delay in his play.

This explanation will obviously be the most important item for the Director when he shall decide whether or not to apply Law 73E2.

We have been told that the actual delay was at least 5 minutes, this is usually a rather substantial 'pause for thought' and I would expect a very convincing explanation why I should not rule that the player 'could have been aware, at the time of the action, that it could work to his benefit'

It is not the duty of the Director once we are past Law 73D to show evidence that law 73E2 is applicable. it is the duty of the (alleged) offender with his explanation to convince the Director that he had a demonstrable bridge reason for his action.
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#32 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2021-July-06, 16:02

View Postpran, on 2021-July-06, 12:35, said:

In order to rule on this question the Director must hear the (alleged) offender's explanation on what demonstrable bridge reason he had for for his action and the resulting delay in his play.

Charlie the Chimp was well-prepared. He answered that his delay was because he could not find any layout where the slam would succeed and he therefore needed a psychological line. His two candidates were low to the queen of spades and running the queen of spades. But he rejected both as that would need the opponents to play him for seven spades and to duck from Kx. Eventually, after five minutes, he spotted an idea that he could lead a low spade from dummy and if East had KT doubleton he might put in the king.
I prefer to give the lawmakers credit for stating things for a reason - barmar
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#33 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-July-06, 16:07

A duty is a legal or moral obligation. Sure it's in a player's best interest to present the most convincing argument he can for whatever position he thinks is right - but that doesn't mean he has a duty to do so. If he did, the law would explicitly say so.
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#34 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2021-July-06, 16:54

View Postlamford, on 2021-July-06, 16:02, said:

Charlie the Chimp was well-prepared. He answered that his delay was because he could not find any layout where the slam would succeed and he therefore needed a psychological line. His two candidates were low to the queen of spades and running the queen of spades. But he rejected both as that would need the opponents to play him for seven spades and to duck from Kx. Eventually, after five minutes, he spotted an idea that he could lead a low spade from dummy and if East had KT doubleton he might put in the king.

So Charlie the Chimp reserves for himslf the privilege to try deceving his opponents by varying his tempo for no other reason? I shall consider that a self-incriminating statement.
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#35 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2021-July-06, 16:57

View Postblackshoe, on 2021-July-06, 16:07, said:

A duty is a legal or moral obligation. Sure it's in a player's best interest to present the most convincing argument he can for whatever position he thinks is right - but that doesn't mean he has a duty to do so. If he did, the law would explicitly say so.

He may of course say whatever he likes, but it should be in his own interest to present a credible statement. Depending on the circumstances that will usually mean a truthful statement.
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#36 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2021-July-07, 03:39

View Postpran, on 2021-July-06, 06:12, said:

I believe the first lesson to any newcomer in Bridge includes the importance of planning the play before playing to the first trick.
Frankly, I was genuinly surprised now when discovering that this is explicitly considered in the Laws, it is simply common knowledge.

Believe me, there’s a lot more and even more important things you learn a newcomer. Some don’t even know the names of the suits :D
Many players, and I’m one of them, figure out a line of play at trick one. But I don’t consider all possibilities at that point. It would take far to long. Yesterday I was in 4 holding five hearts and three in the dummy. I won trick one, played a high heart from the dummy and discovered that my RHO held the five missing ones. Before playing the next trick I took quite some time to work out a plan how to make the contract or, if failing to do so, how to limit the damage. But you seem to demand that I did this at trick one.
I don’t know whether you know the name Bauke Muller, one of the Dutch top players who twice won the Bermuda Bowl. He is quite notorious for extremely long pauses for thought, twenty minutes is no exception, and reacting quite angrily when pushed for action. That can happen in the middle of the play. Are you seriously telling that the TD should spur him on?
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#37 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-July-07, 03:59

View Postsanst, on 2021-July-07, 03:39, said:

I don’t know whether you know the name Bauke Muller, one of the Dutch top players who twice won the Bermuda Bowl. He is quite notorious for extremely long pauses for thought, twenty minutes is no exception, and reacting quite angrily when pushed for action. That can happen in the middle of the play. Are you seriously telling that the TD should spur him on?

Something should spur him on, if bridge wants to survive as a credible mind game. Chess uses a clock.
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#38 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2021-July-07, 04:07

View Postsanst, on 2021-July-07, 03:39, said:

Believe me, there’s a lot more and even more important things you learn a newcomer. Some don’t even know the names of the suits :D
Many players, and I’m one of them, figure out a line of play at trick one. But I don’t consider all possibilities at that point. It would take far to long. Yesterday I was in 4 holding five hearts and three in the dummy. I won trick one, played a high heart from the dummy and discovered that my RHO held the five missing ones. Before playing the next trick I took quite some time to work out a plan how to make the contract or, if failing to do so, how to limit the damage. But you seem to demand that I did this at trick one.
I don’t know whether you know the name Bauke Muller, one of the Dutch top players who twice won the Bermuda Bowl. He is quite notorious for extremely long pauses for thought, twenty minutes is no exception, and reacting quite angrily when pushed for action. That can happen in the middle of the play. Are you seriously telling that the TD should spur him on?

Discovering special features about the deal during the play will of course establish a demonstrably valid bridge reason for further considerations. I trust that you should have no problem explaining this to the Director if asked?

ChCh's situation does not fit this at all. First he knew about his problem before playing from Dummy to trick 1, and more important he apparently argued that his bridge reason was to deceive opponents by illegally varying his tempo.

How the situation at Bermuda Bowl should be handled is mainly a question of regulations and Conditions of Contest.
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#39 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-July-07, 04:09

There is a widespread belief amongst some Bridge players - who obviously know nothing about "theory of mind" - that it is possible to tell what a person is thinking from the duration of their pauses.
You find these stories in a book by a Bridge Humorist because they are stories. They have no basis in reality.
If you are the sort of person that feels that you can draw inferences from the amount of time a person takes before playing a card, then you are mistaken.
It is, of course, possible for players who have a great sense of timing to develop a system where the duration of a pause does mean something.
Such pairs will be quickly detected using standard detection techniques. If this is not possible, then they aren't cheating.
Asking a bystander who wasn't there to guess about the meaning of something they didn't see is a bit like asking a basketball to eat with a knife and fork.
You can go through the motions but in the end, you will be waist-deep in mixed metaphors.



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#40 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2021-July-07, 04:42

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-July-07, 04:09, said:

There is a widespread belief amongst some Bridge players - who obviously know nothing about "theory of mind" - that it is possible to tell what a person is thinking from the duration of their pauses.
You find these stories in a book by a Bridge Humorist because they are stories. They have no basis in reality.
If you are the sort of person that feels that you can draw inferences from the amount of time a person takes before playing a card, then you are mistaken.
It is, of course, possible for players who have a great sense of timing to develop a system where the duration of a pause does mean something.
Such pairs will be quickly detected using standard detection techniques. If this is not possible, then they aren't cheating.
Asking a bystander who wasn't there to guess about the meaning of something they didn't see is a bit like asking a basketball to eat with a knife and fork.
You can go through the motions but in the end, you will be waist-deep in mixed metaphors.

What about letting the player in question explain his delay (if it was excessive)?
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