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Board 1 & 2

#21 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2021-April-22, 04:41

So I did raise this ruling with the Head Director. The answer was, as not one of the 4 players involved were at fault, it is not fair to all other players to award an adjusted score. "In these cases the fairest score to be awarded in respect of that board is the average result that those same 2 pairs, on that same day, got on all the other boards that they played.

Furthermore, It has been agreed that if good approximations canít be worked out, for whatever reason, the board will be skipped.
Searching for your own mistakes is the only way to learn this game. - Fluffy

And no matter what methods you play, it is essential, for anyone aspiring to learn to be a good player, to learn the importance of bidding shape properly. - MikeH

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#22 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-April-22, 07:44

Your head director is wrong.
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#23 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-April-22, 11:17

View Postjillybean, on 2021-April-21, 10:38, said:

Let's be clear, I am not talking Matt Smith MI/UI/BIT level directing. I think it is important that clubs, where possible, have a non playing, qualified Director to get things more or less right, most of the time and stop the incestous growth of rulings applied and permeated through clubs.
I would imagine the governing body who hand out Master Points would be interested to see this too but perhaps I am wrong and they give clubs full autonomy.

I do tend to forget about all the non technical roles a Director plays, very important service roles perhaps not fulfilled by playing Directors.

Hell, the club pays a non-bridge player to come in and serve the players tea and biscuits. They have partnership stewards for those looking for partners.

Am I hoping for too much?


I suspect this varies quite a bit from country to country. Here there is a clear distinction between federal activity - completely regulated by the federation and earning masterpoints etc. - and social activity. Clubs get fully autonomy as far as social tournaments are concerned: no obligation for a qualified Director, no obligation to do almost anything except to play bridge. When they organise a federal tournament they are obliged to have a qualified Director if there are more than 7 tables, with less they can have a non-qualified Director who is supported on-line by the federation.

In practice, our club uses a qualified Director fpr all federal tournaments, even with less than 7 tables. Social tournaments are usually 10+ tables and the Director rarely has time to play: he/she is non-qualified but usually there is a qualified Director playing and occasionally asked for advice. There is a general expectation that things are less formal in a social tournament and it works well enough, although some people do take advantage (or simply have never played in a federal tournament and learned the rules). Using a qualified Director would be difficult both in economic and availability terms (we only have two qualified Directors and that is already one more than most clubs of similar size).
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#24 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2021-April-22, 14:33

View Postblackshoe, on 2021-April-22, 07:44, said:

Your head director is wrong.

Yes. And the comment "if good approximations can’t be worked out, for whatever reason, the board will be skipped." concerns me.

Perhaps I should draw their attention to this, (from the NZ Bridge Manual) , or perhaps I should pull my head in and shut up.


Law 86B1 The Director should always strive to award an assigned, rather than an artificial,
adjusted score where a valid result has been obtained at one table but, because
of an infraction, there being only one side at fault, no result was possible at the
other table. This will sometimes require the use of an equitable weighting to
reflect the range of possible outcomes – Law 12C1©.
However, where both sides are at fault, or neither side is at fault for the failure
to obtain a result (i.e. as might occur when there has been a duplication error
or the Contestants in another match have fouled the board), then an artificial
adjusted score shall be assigned to both Contestants (Law 12C2(b)).
Searching for your own mistakes is the only way to learn this game. - Fluffy

And no matter what methods you play, it is essential, for anyone aspiring to learn to be a good player, to learn the importance of bidding shape properly. - MikeH

SLOW DOWN! This is not a speedball :)
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#25 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-April-22, 15:34

It might be the fairest thing to do. It isn't what the Laws say.

Both we and our opponents were robbed of the opportunity to get a top against these [people who can't play], through no fault of our own - why should we lose that opportunity completely?

As far as fair goes, consider this case. "So, Table 1 E-W is the worst pair in the room, we all know that; I would expect to get 65% against them. why do I lose that opportunity completely when every other pair gets their two shots at 65%?" While I'm sure they're not, and neither are you, what if it was?

But that brings up another case for NP, which I think is mandated in the EBU. If a pair does not finish (some percentage of) a session, for whatever reason (medical emergency, disqualification, pistols at dawn,...) they are removed from the game. All boards they were scheduled to play (whether completed or not) are replaced with NP as if they had been a sitout the entire time.
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#26 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2021-April-22, 16:23

View Postmycroft, on 2021-April-22, 15:34, said:

It might be the fairest thing to do. It isn't what the Laws say.

This is what I keep repeating. I was about to have another rant, but I'll restrain myself.

I now see Law 86 refers to fouled boards in Team Play, is there an equivalent law for pairs?
Searching for your own mistakes is the only way to learn this game. - Fluffy

And no matter what methods you play, it is essential, for anyone aspiring to learn to be a good player, to learn the importance of bidding shape properly. - MikeH

SLOW DOWN! This is not a speedball :)
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#27 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-April-22, 17:57

Okay, I was going to respond to your last, and didn't. Again, "so why not you?"

You're not a Director; that's easy to fix. Maybe harder in NZ than in the ACBL, but for someone who knows the Laws well, it won't be that hard. As I said, very few directors wanted to be directors when they grew up - it's either that someone was needed and they decided they could, or they were frustrated by the quality of the local directing and decided they could do better. And it turns out that of those, several learned to like it enough to make it their primary focus in the game. Of course, several hated it so much that they hide the fact that they can from anyone who might ask them to. Please see the quote in my previous comment for the dangers inherent in that path...

It seems like you care more about the Laws being followed than the directors at your club. Don't worry about that, I'm like that too. Take it from my experience, you have two options:
  • suck it up, knowing that in a game that actually matters, the quality of the directing will be better; or
  • become a director and lead by example. Note that there are hurdles to this as well (not least of which being "Oh there's much more to this directing thing than it looks like from the other side, and some of them [other director] does really really well, and there are players for whom that is at least as much of a requirement as [other issues] are for me.")

An attempt to try a third line will fail, because frankly, the directors (as competent as they are) are more important to the club than one player who always complains about the directing.

We have four big 3-4 game/week clubs run by four pretty good directors (some better than others, some better players than others, some better people people than others) with a fifth one (specialising in new players) coming along quite nicely. There's also a few niche clubs around. We average 30 or so tables a day on weekends, to over 100 on Fridays - there are 3 20 table games running at the same time Friday afternoon! There's a place up the road with a similar population: the directing is (technically) better, the quality of play is better, and the insistence on following the Laws is much higher than here. They have exactly one club (which, granted, has 10 games a week) that averages 25 tables on their best day. There's also, I'm told, a couple of non-ACBL-affiliated clubs full of the people that have been driven out of the affiliated club because of the attitude that playing the game right is more important than playing the game at all. I've heard stories of other places where a vibrant, 20-30 table/session club with a pretty serious education pipeline has been turned into a very strong, very Law-abiding, very serious, 5 table/session one, with no new players, ever.

Which one's better for the game?
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#28 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2021-April-23, 02:53

View Postmycroft, on 2021-April-22, 17:57, said:

Again, "so why not you?"

Why not me - right at the moment, Iím sheltering from Covid in NZ. I donít know when I will be back in Canada. I donít know if I want to Direct, I like playing but perhaps it is something I will try in the future, if only to put the money where my mouth is.

Little known fact, I took the ACBL Club Directors Certification years ago, itís still unframed. I think I tossed it in the bin. Bridge is the only game/sport I know of that players are allowed to join and not learn the rules, thatís why I took the CD Course.

Your list of clubs and games is impressive. I had no idea that Calgary had that number of Bridge Players , itís bigger than the games in Vancouver.

Your comments regarding the shrinking size of a club that ďturned into a very strong, very Law-abiding, very serious, 5 table/session one, with no new players, ever.Ē I would suggest that it is not solely due to the law-abiding nature of the club that keeps new players away. I suspect it is a combination of experienced pairs who only play with other experienced players, an unwelcoming, unfriendly attitude, and a lack of focus and attention on newer players. As I said above, most people learning a new sport or game will expect to learn the rules.

I am not suggesting we apply the letter of the Law to the full extent in all circumstances. We donít ban new partnerships from bidding after one partner hesitates because they donít know what the heck they are doing. But what we should do is teach them to think and plan once they have their cards in their hands and have had their first bid. We teach them to visualize the auction and how they will respond when the bidding box gets back to them rather than stare at Florence's cleavage and start thinking again when itís their turn. We teach, by example, that we donít stare intently at partner after we have made a transfer, our eyes donít rise above table level and so on. I expect a good Director would be able to adjust the application of the Laws to the experience level of the players.

Case in point today, playing against an experienced pair, in both bridge and Laws. I open 2NT and we have a puppet auction to 3NT, on the second round of bidding my RHO asks about the 3C bid.
LHO leads a small club to partners Ace and back through my Q to LHO K.
Was LHO always going to lead a club? Perhaps, but to avoid any doubt, this question simply should not be asked until the lead is faced and my experienced opponent should know this.

And, I am under no delusion that a Directorís job is easy or glamorous, skipping around with a Law book and making rulings all day. I would have a lot of learning ahead of me.
Searching for your own mistakes is the only way to learn this game. - Fluffy

And no matter what methods you play, it is essential, for anyone aspiring to learn to be a good player, to learn the importance of bidding shape properly. - MikeH

SLOW DOWN! This is not a speedball :)
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#29 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-April-23, 08:38

I understand.

And yes, that's the attitude I'm warning you that "Directors must be high-class Laws people, and why do people not do this?" can lead to. The frustration comes out, and the frustrated-at stop playing eventually. I'm not saying you're there; I am saying it is a well-worn path others have.

I love playing in that other city, and I love playing the best pair in Calgary, because I can assume that things are going to be ethical; if there's a Law issue, the TD will come and get it right (FSVO "right"), and if there is a use of UI issue, calling the TD and getting it resolved will not get grumblings of "trying to get from the director what you couldn't at the table", or "you're just looking for any possible slip-up to beat us" or any of the other things. But when your open game is reliably 5-6 tables, and there aren't any new players in it from one year to the next, in a city of over a million, it does not bode well for the future. As I have been repeatedly schooled by (specifically one) more experienced TDs, the game I would like is also a recipe for game death, and I have to do this too (and mourn) if I want to still be playing bridge when I'm the average age.

Please note - not everyone up there is the kind that will drive newer players with non-elephant skin out of the game, and definitely the pair here is always friendly and proper when they call the TD on any infraction and go full Law 10. And the one time they messed up against me, and I did the same, they took it with equal equanimity. But there are enough, and this is what happens.

I realize this is somewhat closing the circle on the argument, but when the "just a bit too early question" happens to you and looks like it might have been used, you call the TD and explain what happened. You're absolutely right, it shouldn't happen, especially with experienced players. When it does, call the TD and get it sorted out. If the TD also doesn't get it right (and I mean blatantly wrong, not "their judgement isn't the same as my biased judgement"), then the two options I provide above apply. And whichever option you take, know you're definitely not the only one.

One thing that you might be able to do in a place with multiple 20-table games a week, is advertise an expert game on a new day (or a flighted game on one of the days, or once a month). And if the directing in the solely-flight-A game needs to be closer to tournament-calibre, or more of the A players will gripe ("sure, we have to let some things go with the weaker players, they just don't know yet, but here?"), and the B game can be a little more "make the game work, and ensure the players are back next week - and they might like this game every once in a while, because it's not always Those Players that win", and everyone gets something.
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#30 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-April-23, 11:01

View Postblackshoe, on 2021-April-19, 16:39, said:

Off the top of my head, I think if you're going to cancel the last two boards of a round due to time constraints, you should cancel those boards for everybody, not just some of the field.
Oops, I didn't see this. That's exactly what we did.

The A game played a 13x2 web, the B game played 9x3, the 299er played 8x3(2 sections IIRC), and the 4 table side game played 26, or 28 if they played fast.
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#31 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2021-April-24, 13:33

View Postmycroft, on 2021-April-23, 08:38, said:


I realize this is somewhat closing the circle on the argument, but when the "just a bit too early question" happens to you and looks like it might have been used, you call the TD and explain what happened. You're absolutely right, it shouldn't happen, especially with experienced players. When it does, call the TD and get it sorted out. If the TD also doesn't get it right (and I mean blatantly wrong, not "their judgement isn't the same as my biased judgement"), then the two options I provide above apply. And whichever option you take, know you're definitely not the only one.

In a tournament yes I would call the TD, in a club with a playing volunteer acting as "Director", no.

View Postmycroft, on 2021-April-23, 08:38, said:

One thing that you might be able to do in a place with multiple 20-table games a week, is advertise an expert game on a new day (or a flighted game on one of the days, or once a month). And if the directing in the solely-flight-A game needs to be closer to tournament-calibre, or more of the A players will gripe ("sure, we have to let some things go with the weaker players, they just don't know yet, but here?"), and the B game can be a little more "make the game work, and ensure the players are back next week - and they might like this game every once in a while, because it's not always Those Players that win", and everyone gets something.

That is an interesting idea. The club was considering splitting their 20+ table games into 2 sections, "open" and casual. However, I doubt that I will be trying my hand at Directing soon. I am busy enjoying playing again and spending some time with a group of players who want to come over to the dark side. But, watch this space!
Searching for your own mistakes is the only way to learn this game. - Fluffy

And no matter what methods you play, it is essential, for anyone aspiring to learn to be a good player, to learn the importance of bidding shape properly. - MikeH

SLOW DOWN! This is not a speedball :)
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#32 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-April-25, 03:28

View Postmycroft, on 2021-April-22, 15:34, said:

It might be the fairest thing to do. It isn't what the Laws say.

Both we and our opponents were robbed of the opportunity to get a top against these [people who can't play], through no fault of our own - why should we lose that opportunity completely?

As far as fair goes, consider this case. "So, Table 1 E-W is the worst pair in the room, we all know that; I would expect to get 65% against them. why do I lose that opportunity completely when every other pair gets their two shots at 65%?" While I'm sure they're not, and neither are you, what if it was?

But that brings up another case for NP, which I think is mandated in the EBU. If a pair does not finish (some percentage of) a session, for whatever reason (medical emergency, disqualification, pistols at dawn,...) they are removed from the game. All boards they were scheduled to play (whether completed or not) are replaced with NP as if they had been a sitout the entire time.

IIRC the EBU cutoff percentage is 50%, which seems reasonable to me.

I suspect that the laws are as they are simply because at the time of writing not everyone had access to computer-based scoring and manually applying 'not played' to selected results would have been a daunting task. If so this is yet another area that should be reviewed.
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