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"Run the hearts"

#21 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-May-30, 17:58

Dummy is not allowed to participate in the play. That doesn't mean he shouldn't pay attention to what goes on during the play. As for the rest, I don't think anything in 46B is strange or perverse*, and I have yet to see a problem involving Law 46 that I couldn't handle. <shrug>

* Perhaps it is both strange and perverse that 46B exists at all, but then I don't think anything a director can do will induce players who insist on ignoring 46A to change their behavior and still continue to play bridge. They're more likely to say "screw this game" and take up some other one.
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#22 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2021-June-01, 09:32

Laws like 46B are a compromise. We would ideally like everyone to designate as specified in 46A, but there's a century of tradition of using incomplete designations, so 46B tries to accomodate this common practice. The Law that allows querying partner about a revoke when they show out of a suit is similar. Sometimes it's just not worth fighting these battles in rule-making.

#23 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-June-01, 10:25

I would suggest that the revoke one is another "800 pound gorilla" issue. For many years, they *did* have that fight (at least for defenders) in all the enlightened countries, and had basically won it; but the ACBL players forgetting at WC events and getting penalized for it "wasn't fair" to USA teams, so the ACBL, with their 33% representation on the WBF, got it changed. Same as some of the changes to the WBF system policy that I was quite shocked at a while back (which is amusing in hindsight, because the *ACBL* now allows the same defences against their "obviously natural" 1 openers "that could be the shortest suit with an 18 count" that it was so unfair they had to play against at World Championships).

Yes, 46B is a compromise, but to my knowledge there are two players who follow 46A 100% of the time. That does not include this Secretary Bird, by the way.

As a side note, I remember in Curling when there were differences between similar regulations between Canada (top country by depth, even if the top team in 5 or 6 other countries can beat them on the day, their third teams can't beat Canada's 20th) and the World Curling Federation. When they forgot and took out the fourth rock, it got put back. Instead of it "not being fair", it was "preparation for world championships is to know the regulations you're playing in". Not sure why I bring that up, really.
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#24 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2021-June-01, 11:25

View Postbarmar, on 2021-June-01, 09:32, said:

Laws like 46B are a compromise. We would ideally like everyone to designate as specified in 46A, but there's a century of tradition of using incomplete designations, so 46B tries to accomodate this common practice. The Law that allows querying partner about a revoke when they show out of a suit is similar. Sometimes it's just not worth fighting these battles in rule-making.

Precisely!

I have in my library a book titled 'Bridge, it's laws, rules and etiquette', issued in Norway in 1907. (It includes a reference to the current laws on Bridge as was revised in 1904.)

Quite interesting is the observation of the evolution that has taken place to the game of Bridge for centuries until the game we all know today.

Discoveries of undesirable effects from various laws and rules have naturally resulted in revisions, but a fundamental principle has apparently always been to preserve established traditions and avoid superfluous changes, i.e. changes to well working established routines with no benefit as such added to the game. Law 46B is a good example of this principle.

So the next time a declarer calls for an easily identified card without explicitly abiding by Law 46A just spend a second or two to consider if it is really worth any reaction?
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#25 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-June-01, 13:37

View Postpran, on 2021-June-01, 11:25, said:

Precisely!

I have in my library a book titled 'Bridge, it's laws, rules and etiquette', issued in Norway in 1907. (It includes a reference to the current laws on Bridge as was revised in 1904.)

Quite interesting is the observation of the evolution that has taken place to the game of Bridge for centuries until the game we all know today.

Discoveries of undesirable effects from various laws and rules have naturally resulted in revisions, but a fundamental principle has apparently always been to preserve established traditions and avoid superfluous changes, i.e. changes to well working established routines with no benefit as such added to the game. Law 46B is a good example of this principle.

So the next time a declarer calls for an easily identified card without explicitly abiding by Law 46A just spend a second or two to consider if it is really worth any reaction?


Never seemed worth any reaction to me, but then our players do follow a fairly logical set of rules, which do not coincide with Law 46A.
As you say this is (or should be) a non-issue, certainly not a major issue like when it is legal to touch the ball in soccer or when a sideways movement is legitimate in a cycling sprint (I confess ignorance about the fourth stone in curling).
A cynic might argue that this is because there is no significant advantage to be gained by violating this particular law.
I still think it could and should be better.

BTW, was there in 1907 a law equivalent to Law 46, or even an established routine for declarer to instruct dummy? I understood that it was then normal for declarer to play the dummy himself.
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#26 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2021-June-02, 02:06

View Postpescetom, on 2021-June-01, 13:37, said:

Never seemed worth any reaction to me, but then our players do follow a fairly logical set of rules, which do not coincide with Law 46A.
As you say this is (or should be) a non-issue, certainly not a major issue like when it is legal to touch the ball in soccer or when a sideways movement is legitimate in a cycling sprint (I confess ignorance about the fourth stone in curling).
A cynic might argue that this is because there is no significant advantage to be gained by violating this particular law.
I still think it could and should be better.

BTW, was there in 1907 a law equivalent to Law 46, or even an established routine for declarer to instruct dummy? I understood that it was then normal for declarer to play the dummy himself.

Law 40 gave the dealer the duty to decide which denomination should be trump or that the play should be without trump, and specified that he should for this purpose use the exact words: 'Spades', 'Hearts', Diamonds', 'Clubs' or 'No Trump'.
However Law 41 gave the Dealer the right to pass this duty to his partner by using the exact phrase: 'I leave it to you, partner'.
Next, Laws 46-51 specified precise procedures and exact language to be used for increasing scores on the board by (possibly repeated) doubling and redoubling.

The commentaries to the laws emphasize that the strict rules in Laws 40-51 on spoken language is to avoid illegal communication by varying the language used.

As Dummy did not in any way participate in the play (except possibly by assisting dealer on unambiguous requests) the laws appear silent on how dealer might in case address dummy.
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#27 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-June-02, 06:15

View Postpran, on 2021-June-02, 02:06, said:

As Dummy did not in any way participate in the play (except possibly by assisting dealer on unambiguous requests) the laws appear silent on how dealer might in case address dummy.

As I imagined, thanks.
It would be interesting to know when Law 46 first appeared and whether it really did reflect (or determine) established practice at the time.
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#28 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2021-June-02, 08:33

View Postpescetom, on 2021-June-02, 06:15, said:

As I imagined, thanks.
It would be interesting to know when Law 46 first appeared and whether it really did reflect (or determine) established practice at the time.

My law book from 1949 is silent in this respect.

The oldest reference i find in my library related to the current law 46 situation is in a (Norwegian) law book from 1976 where law 46 begins:
When requesting a card from dummy declarer should clearly name both denomination and rank.

Notice the use of word 'should' rather than 'shall' and the complete absence of mentioning 'correct procedure' or similar.
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#29 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-June-02, 12:52

View Postpran, on 2021-June-02, 08:33, said:

My law book from 1949 is silent in this respect.

The oldest reference i find in my library related to the current law 46 situation is in a (Norwegian) law book from 1976 where law 46 begins:
When requesting a card from dummy declarer should clearly name both denomination and rank.

Notice the use of word 'should' rather than 'shall' and the complete absence of mentioning 'correct procedure' or similar.

Thanks again.
So it starts to look like a half-hearted committee proposal rather than some well working established practice.
I bet that back in 1904 they would have had the courage to say "shall".
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#30 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2021-June-02, 13:44

View Postpescetom, on 2021-June-02, 12:52, said:

Thanks again.
So it starts to look like a half-hearted committee proposal rather than some well working established practice.
I bet that back in 1904 they would have had the courage to say "shall".


I don't think so.
Remember that bridge was a game for Gentlemen, and Gentlemen knew how to behave.
He wouldn't need any detailed description on how to name a particular card.
Instead he would probably feel annoyed if someone didn't just understand his plain, simple English?
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#31 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-June-02, 14:24

Did that 1976 law book have anything in it like the current law book's discussion of the meaning of "should", "shall", etcetera? When did that discussion first appear?
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#32 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-June-02, 15:09

Pran said:

View Postpran, on 2021-June-02, 13:44, said:

I don't think so.
Remember that bridge was a game for Gentlemen, and Gentlemen knew how to behave.
He wouldn't need any detailed description on how to name a particular card.
Instead he would probably feel annoyed if someone didn't just understand his plain, simple English?


But also mentioned that in 1907:

View Postpran, on 2021-June-02, 02:06, said:

The commentaries to the laws emphasize that the strict rules in Laws 40-51 on spoken language is to avoid illegal communication by varying the language used.


From what I have read, it was quite common in the early 1900s to play bridge for considerable sums of money, often with and against professionals from poker and other card games. So no surprise that strict rules against illegal practices were considered necessary by the lawmakers.

But it's not just a question of strictness. The few sports/games that have managed to maintain Gentlemanly behaviour to this day (athletics, rugby, golf, chess...) have a limited number of rules (rugby has 21, even golf has only 34), probably no coincidence. Bridge had 93 at last count.
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#33 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2021-June-02, 16:14

Football has only 17 laws, and I don't know too many people who accuse it of being a sport of gentlemen (or gentlewomen). Maybe the real answer is bridge is simply structurally more complex to regulate.
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#34 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2021-June-02, 16:24

Where in the world do they play gentleman's rugby?

I'm of course in NZ, rugby is our national game.
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#35 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2021-June-03, 01:45

View Postblackshoe, on 2021-June-02, 14:24, said:

Did that 1976 law book have anything in it like the current law book's discussion of the meaning of "should", "shall", etcetera? When did that discussion first appear?

Oh dear, you got me there.
I had to look it up and the answer is 1987!
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#36 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2021-June-03, 04:12

View Postjillybean, on 2021-May-29, 15:53, said:

In NA, "play a club", "a club" or simply "club" or "play" (following suit) is frequently used when designating a card from dummy.


When they say “play” all you have to do is, every time, ask which one. They will stop after one or two hands as declarer.

If it is the opponents who are being annoying, unfortunately i remember it being established that “play” does not mean “play anything” so opponents cannot specify. Perhaps when dummy puts the card into played position, you ask, “what card did you call for?”
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#37 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2021-June-03, 04:49

View PostVampyr, on 2021-June-03, 04:12, said:

When they say “play” all you have to do is, every time, ask which one. They will stop after one or two hands as declarer.

If it is the opponents who are being annoying, unfortunately i remember it being established that “play” does not mean “play anything” so opponents cannot specify. Perhaps when dummy puts the card into played position, you ask, “what card did you call for?”

This doesn't actually bother me, 'play' meaning follow suit with lowest card is I think, quite acceptable and not open to abuse. There are many other deviations from the laws that should be focused on. "what card did you call for?" is exactly what my partner says when dummy reaches for a card before declarer has called for a card.
"well of course he is going to play low under the honor card" is the usual response and of course, when a decision has to be made, dummy doesn't reach for a card.
The worst offender I've seen here is the player who develops hearing loss when declarer calls for a suboptimal card, and clarifies "which card?" with hand hovering over the suit.
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#38 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-June-03, 07:06

View Postpran, on 2021-June-03, 01:45, said:

Oh dear, you got me there.
I had to look it up and the answer is 1987!

Thanks. I thought that might be the case. B-)
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#39 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-June-03, 07:11

"Play" is fine, once you establish that people intend it to mean the same as "low". Unfortunately, the obvious meaning, to many people, without that understanding, is "play anything".
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#40 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2021-June-03, 09:35

View Postblackshoe, on 2021-June-03, 07:11, said:

"Play" is fine, once you establish that people intend it to mean the same as "low". Unfortunately, the obvious meaning, to many people, without that understanding, is "play anything".

Well, I would say that unless the condition 'except when declarer’s different intention is incontrovertible' applies we have

Law 46B5 said:

If declarer indicates a play without designating either a suit or a rank (as by saying ‘play anything’ or words of like meaning) either defender may designate the play from dummy.

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