Enjoy the summer!
We start again on Monday September 30th.
Paula and John are runners up - again!
Items circulated by the SBU in their current "Better Behaviour" campaign will be entered below as they arrive. All members are encouraged to read, consider, and put into action!
Better Behaviour at Bridge: Monthly Memo (2)
No Home-made Rulings in November
If playing in an SBU event with a non-playing Director please follow Law 9B(a)
“The director should be summoned at once when attention is drawn to an irregularity”
No matter how well you think you know the Laws, they are generally more complex than you might think – a ruling that applies in one situation need not also apply to a similar but slightly different one.
Home-made rulings may be half-baked!
Insisting that you know the Laws and enforcing them without consulting the Law Book or a Director may be construed as Bullying, particularly against inexperienced opponents.
In the Club, with a playing Director who may not yet have played the board, it is less straightforward.
You probably need a number of members capable of giving a ruling, any one of whom can act as the Director’s deputy.
Be sure always to consult the Law
Better Behaviour at Bridge: Monthly Memo (3)
DECrease Misboardings in DECember
Law 7A: When a board is to be played it is placed in the centre of the table till play is completed.
Quite simple really – do not remove the board from the table, do not move it to the side so that it cannot be seen, do not turn it through 90◦. Just leave it in the centre of the table!
(It is all right to move it a short distance to accommodate dummy, but it MUST stay where it can be clearly seen by all 4 players, with the compass signs pointing towards the correct players.)
The aim is to cut down the risk of someone returning a hand to the wrong slot, creating extra work for the scorer, or making it impossible for the board to be scored, and so spoiling the tournament.
Also, players are entitled to check the vulnerability and dealer during the course of play.
Place just one board on the table at a time.
This makes it easier to score, and stops the unfortunate confusion when one player takes a hand from one board and the other three players take their hands from another….. you think that never happens??
New Year, New Attitude
A first look at the sort of situation that causes a lot of unnecessary ill-feeling…….
Law 73C Player receives Unauthorized Information from Partner
When a player has available to him unauthorized information from his partner, such as from a remark, question, explanation, gesture, mannerism, undue emphasis, inflection, haste or hesitation, an unexpected alert or failure to alert, he must carefully avoid taking any advantage from the unauthorized information.
If you convey Unauthorized Information by any means you put partner under pressure.
He must try to ignore the UI, but should not “choose, from among logical alternatives, one that could demonstrably have been suggested over another by the extraneous information.” (Law 16B)
We have all been in a UI situation (perhaps most commonly when partner has hesitated).
It is a very difficult place to be.
So let us be sympathetic towards the player under ethical pressure:
“Then gently scan your brother man…….
Tho’ they may gang a kennin wrang
To step aside is human:” (Burns: Address to the Unco Guid)
Better Behaviour at Bridge: Monthly Memo (5) February 2014: Claiming in the Cold
Another area where ill-feeling abounds: Law 74B: Etiquette.
As a matter of courtesy, a player should refrain from… prolonging play unnecessarily (as in playing on although he knows that the rest of the tricks are surely his) for the purpose of disconcerting an opponent. In other words, do not play on when you have the rest of the tricks, especially if opponents appear to be struggling with discards.
But many declarers, particularly less experienced players, fear to claim in case defenders argue. So make your claim clearly, stating an exact line of play if necessary: Eg: ‘dummy is high’ ‘drawing your last trump, then cashing the diamonds’ Face your cards, and allow opponents to examine the situation.
As a defender you may think the claim is flawed. In that case you must call the TD (or his deputy in a club where the TD is also playing) for arbitration.
You may NOT: - require declarer to play on: play ceases when the claim is made insist that declarer plays his cards in a specific order so that you make extra tricks - that is a decision for the TD accept the concession of a trick that you cannot possibly win Eg: declarer says ‘I shall play my winners, you can take your trump whenever you like’. If you no longer have a trump you may not accept the trick
We should encourage players to claim: remember to be nice if you think the claim is flawed.
Better Behaviour at Bridge: Monthly Memo (6) March 2014: How do you Play your Cards?
Law 45A: Play of a Card from Hand "Each player except dummy plays a card by detaching it from his hand and facing it on the table immediately in front of him."
Simple enough – but an area where many players have acquired mannerisms which some might find irritating.
For example: cracking the card so that the play is not silent;
keeping hold of the card and turning it over too soon;
looking for marks for artistic impression by playing with some kind of flourish;
removing a card from hand and admiring it for some time before either playing it, or returning it to hand.
Law 44B Sequence and procedure of play
After the lead, each other player in turn plays a card… We should never play out of turn – and that includes declarer’s call of a card from dummy.
Law 74 – Conduct and etiquette B3
As a matter of courtesy a player should refrain from detaching a card before it is his turn to play
This goes beyond irritation: an inexperienced player may find this intimidating;
it might be construed as giving Unauthorized Information to partner
Perhaps you know someone who could do better in playing his cards…….could it be you?
Better Behaviour at Bridge: 2014.4
Let’s Do Better
Law 74 – Conduct and etiquette A2 A player should carefully avoid any remark or action that might cause annoyance or embarrassment to another player or might interfere with the enjoyment of the game.
There has been a lot of correspondence recently complaining about bad behaviour at the table. Unfortunately it is difficult for the powers that be to take any action after the event – both sides must be heard and the facts are difficult to establish.
We need everybody to co-operate in a two-pronged attack on unpleasantness: Let us all make an effort not to interfere with others’ enjoyment of the game:
Be quiet – no shouting at partner/opponents, no yelling for the Director
Be calm – no emotional outbursts
Be considerate – bad language and cutting remarks may upset opponents even when they are directed at partner
Be nice – if an opponent is clearly upset an apology may help, even if you feel you have done nothing wrong The other prong requires us to be tolerant of the foibles of others: we should not have unreasonable expectations of how others should behave. If someone has annoying habits try to explain that these upset you before you actually become upset – they may not realise that their behaviour is upsetting Give the offender the benefit of any doubt – take the kinder view
Remember – no-one is ‘right’ in these situations. You cannot excuse your own bad behaviour by citing bad behaviour from someone else
How much should you tell opponents about your methods?
As much as you can.
Imagine they were present when you and partner discussed your system – they are entitled to know all your agreements and any inferences you can draw from partnership experience.
Please make an effort to be as helpful as possible.
What opponents are not entitled to know is which cards you actually hold.
Eg: partner leads a king against a suit contract. Declarer asks about your carding.
State your agreements – perhaps ‘could be from AK or KQ, asks for a count signal’.
If you know from your own hand that he has actually led from Kx – dummy has AJx and you are looking at Q109x – you should not make any extra comment.
Everybody knows that Kx is a possibility: by mentioning it you may give Unauthorised Information to partner.
Describe your agreements, not what you know about the particular card that has been led.
If you are unsure of the meaning of partner’s bid – admit that.
‘Undiscussed’ may be true, but if you have an inkling based on partner’s actions in similar situations you should say so.
What you must not do is say: ‘ I am taking it as….’ That is Unauthorised Information.
As a corollary, an opponents may not ask : ‘What do you take it as?’
If your opponent genuinely does not know what a bid means bullying will not help!