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  Adam Grossack in the New York Times
Philip Alder has chronicled the achievements of Newton’s Adam Grossack in several recent New York Times columns:
Last updated : Oct 14, 2011 15:52 EDT
  Score Adjustment in July 19 Swiss
short version: A ruling in the last round of our July 19 Swiss affected the ranking of the top three teams. The proper way to score the board in light of the ruling is debatable. I initially scored it following a 1992 ACBL Laws Commission decision.

Upon further consideration, I realized that the 1992 decision had been incorporated into the 2007/2008 revision of the Laws in an altered form. The way WBF Laws Committee Chairman Ton Kooijman and I interpret the new Law 12C1(b) led me to change the scoring the next morning. (This changed the ranking of the top three teams.)

At the Toronto NABC, our club manager, David Metcalf (who is also an ACBL tournament director), consulted the tournament directors’ liaison to the ACBL Laws Commission, Matt Smith, and he consulted two members of the Commission. Their conclusions:
  • Kooijman’s opinion has no official status in ACBL territory.
  • They aren’t sure what the “right” interpretation of 12C1(b) is!
  • Until the ACBL Laws Commission reconsiders the matter (which they are expected to do at the Seattle NABC), their 1992 decision is still in effect in ACBL territory, and I should follow it.
Although I believe the second scoring was correct, and I expect the Commission will come to that conclusion when they fully consider the matter, I have reverted to the first scoring. The result of the event is:

 11    3.00   57.00  A   1    3.50(OA) Eric Schwartz - William Hunter - Joseph De Gaetano - Bill Irvine
  9    3.00   55.00  A   2    2.63(OA) Charles Polay - Carole Weinstein - Vincent Grande Jr - Amnon Gabay
  3    4.00   54.00  A   3    1.97(OA) Luke Gillespie - Sheila Gabay - Lewis Gamerman - Anton Tsypkin

long version: Board 23 was:

North
♠ K Q 10 9 8 2
♡ J 7 Dlr: South
♢ 10 Vul: Both
♣ A Q 10 7
West East
♠ J 6 ♠ 7
♡ 6 4 ♡ A Q 10 3 2
♢ A J 9 7 4 3 ♢ K Q 8 5
♣ K 8 6 ♣ 9 5 2
South
♠ A 5 4 3
♡ K 9 8 5
♢ 6 2
♣ J 4 3

In the match between GILLESPIE and POLAY, the auction at one table was:

South West North East
Amnon Lew Charlie Anton
Gabay Gamerman Polay Tsypkin
Pass Pass 1♠ Double
2♠* 3♢ 3♠ Pass
4♠** Double All Pass

*alerted and explained as “the weakest possible raise”
**Before bidding 4♠, South sent North away from the table and told East and West that his 2♠ bid was not weak.

table result: making 5 (990 for NS, an 8-IMP win for POLAY, since the result at the other table was 650 for NS)

The GILLESPIE team called the director after the match. I ruled that:
  • I was required to rectify any irregularity despite the delay in calling the director (law 81C3).
  • When South bid 4♠, he had “extraneous information” from his partner that “demonstrably suggested” bidding 4♠, and Pass was a “logical alternative,” so the 4♠ bid was irregular (law 16B1).
  • When West doubled 4♠, he was no longer misinformed about South’s 2♠ bid (law 21B).
  • West’s Double was a “gambling action” “subsequent to the irregularity” causing “self-inflicted damage” (law 12C1(b)).

assigned score for NS: 3♠ making 5 (+200, lose 10 IMPs)—“the score that it would have been allotted as the consequence of its infraction only” (law 12C1(b))

Originally I followed a 1992 ACBL Laws Commission decision (see quotation from ACBLscore’s “Tech Files” below) and did not adjust EW’s −990 (lose 8 IMPs). (I also wrote to Mike Flader seeking guidance, but he hasn’t replied.)

After the game I researched the matter further and concluded that that 1992 decision had been superseded by the addition in 2007/2008 of law 12C1(b), which says EW should “not receive relief in the adjustment for such part of the damage as is self-inflicted” (my emphasis). This implies to me that although EW should not receive relief for the “self-inflicted” difference between −650 and −990, they should receive relief for the difference between −200 and −650. My interpretation is supported by a “Commentary to the 2007 edition of the Laws of Duplicate Bridge” by WBF Laws Committee Chairman Ton Kooijman (quoted below). “The TD splits the damage caused by the infraction (consequent damage) from the subsequent damage and compensates the consequent damage.” So the next morning, following precisely Kooijman’s example B, I changed the EW score to a net win of 2 IMPs (win 10 IMPs for the difference between −200 and −650—the “consequent damage”—and lose 8 IMPs for the difference between −650 and −990—the “subsequent damage”).

At the Toronto NABC, our club manager, David Metcalf (who is also an ACBL tournament director), consulted the tournament directors’ liaison to the ACBL Laws Commission, Matt Smith, and he consulted two members of the Commission. Their conclusions:
  • Kooijman’s opinion has no official status in ACBL territory.
  • They aren’t sure what the “right” interpretation of 12C1(b) is!
  • Until the ACBL Laws Commission reconsiders the matter (which they are expected to do at the Seattle NABC), their 1992 decision is still in effect in ACBL territory, and I should follow it.

Although I believe the second scoring (NS −10 IMPs, EW +2 IMPs) is correct, and I expect the Commission will come to that conclusion when they fully consider the matter, I reverted to the first scoring (NS −10 IMPs, EW –8 IMPs). The result of the match is GILLESPIE +2 IMPs (11 VPs), POLAY −20 IMPs (2 VPs). The result of the event is:

 11    3.00   57.00  A   1    3.50(OA) Eric Schwartz - William Hunter - Joseph De Gaetano - Bill Irvine
  9    3.00   55.00  A   2    2.63(OA) Charles Polay - Carole Weinstein - Vincent Grande Jr - Amnon Gabay
  3    4.00   54.00  A   3    1.97(OA) Luke Gillespie - Sheila Gabay - Lewis Gamerman - Anton Tsypkin

from the ACBLscore “Tech Files”:

     RESPONSIBILITY OF PLAYERS TO PLAY BRIDGE.

     At the 1992 Indianapolis NABCs, the ACBL Laws Commission reaffirmed
     the position that in order to fully protect their rights, bridge
     players are under an obligations to play at a reasonable level
     commensurate with their expertise.  A serious misplay can be cause for
     a player to have to accept a bad score that was actually achieved even
     though the offender's score should be adjudicated.

     The positions that any result achieved after a to-be-disallowed action
     is not to be considered (because the non-offenders should never have
     been a position to commit the egregious error) was declared invalid.

     When the director decides that there has been a violation of law
     resulting in damage to an innocent opponent, he shall adjust the score
     using the guidelines of Law 12C2, which states, "When the director
     awards an assigned adjusted score in place of a result actually 
     obtained after an irregularity, the score is, for the non-offending
     side, the most favorable result that was likely had the irregularity
     not occurred, or, for the offending side, the most unfavorable result
     that was at all probable."
                                                                            
     For example:        S  T3
                         H  J6
                         D  AKJ4
                         C  KQT52
          S  A54                        S  Q9876
          H  Q7                         H  T542
          D  T8                         D  976
          C  J97643                     C  8
                         S  KJ2
                         H  AK983
                         D  Q532
                         C  A                        N    E      S    W
                                                          P      1H   P
                                                     2C   P      2D   P
                                                     3D   P      3H   P
                                                     4C   P      4H   P
                                                     5D*  P      6D   P
     *Noticeable hesitation                          P    P      P

     East/West called the director after 6D bid following the hesitation.
     The director instructed that play should continue and after South made
     the slam, ruled the contract to be 5 diamonds making six.  North/South
     appealed.

     The committee upheld the ruling, reasoning that South's bidding had
     shown considerable extra values and North had suggested that 5
     diamonds was the proper contract.  The committee felt a significant
     minority would have passed over 5 diamonds.  However, during their
     questioning, they learned that South had misplayed the contract and
     East could have beaten it.  After determining how the play went, the
     committee judged that East should have known he could ruff a trick to
     set the contract and failed to make an easy play (for his level of
     expertise) by not ruffing.

     The committee ruled that North-South can not bid 6 diamonds after the
     hesitation but that East-West had a clear shot to set the contract
     which they failed to do only because of their own carelessness. 
     Therefore, the most favorable result for East-West was in fact 6
     diamonds properly defended and the most unfavorable result for
     North-South was five diamonds, making six.  The final ruling was to
     score East-West minus 920, the result at the table.  For North-South,
     plus 420, the presumed result of a five diamonds contract.

from “Commentary to the 2007 edition of the Laws of Duplicate Bridge” by WBF Laws Committee Chairman Ton Kooijman:

Law 12: Redress for damage

An infraction may create damage for the non-offending side. Redress is given only for damage caused by that infraction, not for damage as a result of a subsequent serious error. This includes wild or gambling actions, and, for example, the loss of an extra trick as rectification after a revoke.

The TD splits the damage caused by the infraction (consequent damage) from the subsequent damage and compensates the consequent damage.

Examples:

A) Teams; NS vulnerable

NS (team A) play in 5♥ doubled after a competitive auction, where the opponents (team B) bid to 4♠ (NS having bid 4♥) after a significant break in tempo. They make 9 tricks. The TD decides that bidding 4♠ was not allowed and that 5♥ was a gambling, not normal action. He further decides that the play in 4♠ (undoubled) would have resulted in 8 tricks and the play in 4♥ in 9 tricks. The result at the other table is 3♠ -1 for EW.

  • With normal play, team A would have received, after the infraction, 2 IMPs (+100/-50).
  • Without the infraction, it would have received -4 IMPs (-100/-50).
  • The TD decides that team A is not damaged by the infraction, so he does not adjust its score. Therefore, team A receives −11 IMPs (−500/−50).
  • Team B receives a score based on the expected result had the irregularity not occurred: +4 IMPs (+100/+50).

B) The facts are comparable except that 4♠ would have been made (result at the other table is 3♠+1). Then the calculation becomes: 

  • With normal play, team A would have received, after the infraction, -6 IMPs (-420/ +170).
  • Without the infraction, it would have received +2 IMPs (-100/+170).
  • The TD decides that the damage caused by the infraction is 8 IMPs, so the score for team A is increased by 8 IMPs, resulting in - 8 (-500/+170) +8 = 0 IMPs.
  • Team B receives -2 IMPs (+100/-170).
Last updated : Aug 27, 2011 13:24 EDT
  Grossacks Win Hands Across the Pond Game
Jori and Zach Grossack won the July 8 session of the Friday “Hands Across the Pond” interclub competition between the Crowborough and Newton clubs. Their 72% game included six unshared tops. The Grossacks bid and made all five slams available to EW (no other pair bid and made more than three), including grand slams on two boards on which most other pairs settled for small slams. (They did miss a 22-HCP grand slam on board 25, but still got an unshared top since they were the only ones to bid a small slam.)

14-year-old Zach beat his brother Adam’s record for youngest life master in New England and now has over 1200 master points. Zach will represent the New England district in the flight A Grand National Teams at this summer’s North American Bridge Championship. Jori, Zach’s mom, said of today’s game “I was just along for the ride!”

On board 27, every Crowborough EW pair bid 3NT, but most Newton EWs stopped in 1NT or 2NT. Zach declared 3NT and made an overtrick, sharing the top score with one other pair. He won the spade lead, knocked out the K, won the spade continuation, knocked out the A, won a third spade, knocked out the A, won the heart return, and took two diamonds and the A. In the three-card ending,

   —
 —
 10
 J 7
 
 6
 3
 —
 10
   —
 —
 5
 K 9
   10
 —
 —
 Q 5
 

the thirteenth heart squeezed North in the minors and South in the black suits.
Last updated : Jul 9, 2011 00:44 EDT
  Gamerman Tops Summer STaC
Lew Gamerman won the most masterpoints—38.73—in the Eastern Massachusetts Bridge Association’s summer Sectional Tournament at Clubs. Most of Lew’s total came from two 73% games at the Newton Bridge Club—Tuesday evening with Adam Grossack and Thursday morning with Bill Hunter. Two other NBC pairs also took overall honors: Bob Gorsey and Zach Grossack were first overall with a 71% game Friday morning, and Joe Foster and Barry Herring were first in stratum B with a 58% game Monday evening.
Last updated : Jul 9, 2011 00:30 EDT
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