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illegal NT openings

#1 User is offline   Keene_JP 

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Posted 2020-December-29, 22:28

I "know" that it is illegal to open 1NT with a singleton unless it is Q, K, or A (and, until a few years ago, even those were not allowed).
2 questions:
1) which specific Law is it that disallows such?
2) on BBO (not face-face where you, as TD, can more easily interact with the offender) what is a fair (or standard) penalty to assess? Does it matter whether opponents felt damage was done or not?

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#2 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-December-29, 22:56

According to Larry, the rule is:
Note: Before August, 2016, some ACBL clubs disallowed 1NT openings with a singleton. Now, the rule states exactly: "A notrump opening or overcall is natural if, by agreement, it contains no void, at most one singleton which must be the A, K or Q and no more than two doubletons. If the hand contains a singleton, it may have no doubleton."

This does not apply in Australia where I was asked to alert it as x-y HCP any shape. No-one bats an eye then, since it is similar to 1 where 1 is part of any strong system.
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#3 User is offline   smerriman 

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Posted 2020-December-29, 22:59

If you're playing under the ACBL Open Chart, this is listed under Disallowed Bids:

Quote

6. A non-Forcing 1NT opening that does not meet the definition of Natural.

and the ACBL GCC states:

Quote

A no trump opening or overcall is natural if, by agreement, it contains no void, at most one singleton which must be the A, K or Q and no more than two doubletons. If the hand contains a singleton, it may have no doubleton.

If you're damaged as a result of an illegal bid, the score should be adjusted to a likely result had the illegal call not been made.

edit - I'm wrong, see johnu's post below.
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#4 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-December-30, 01:06

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-December-29, 22:56, said:

According to Larry, the rule is:
Note: Before August, 2016, some ACBL clubs disallowed 1NT openings with a singleton. Now, the rule states exactly: "A notrump opening or overcall is natural if, by agreement, it contains no void, at most one singleton which must be the A, K or Q and no more than two doubletons. If the hand contains a singleton, it may have no doubleton."




View Postsmerriman, on 2020-December-29, 22:59, said:

If you're playing under the ACBL Open Chart, this is listed under Disallowed Bids:


and the ACBL GCC states:


If you're damaged as a result of an illegal bid, the score should be adjusted to a likely result had the illegal call not been made.

The ACBL GCC became obsolete on November 22, 2018 when new convention charts were introduced.

Under the new charts, the definition of Natural NT is:

Quote

A NT opening bid or overcall that contains no voids, no more than one singleton, which must be an ace, king, or queen, and that does not contain 10 or more cards in two suits combined.

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#5 User is online   helene_t 

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Posted 2020-December-30, 03:17

View PostKeene_JP, on 2020-December-29, 22:28, said:

I "know" that it is illegal to open 1NT with a singleton unless it is Q, K, or A (and, until a few years ago, even those were not allowed).
2 questions:
1) which specific Law is it that disallows such?


There is no law about this.

There's an ACBL regulation, so if you play a tournament that falls under ACBL jurisdiction it may apply, depending on the specific ACBL charter.

Outside USA/Canada/Bermuda it doesn't apply.
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#6 User is online   Douglas43 

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Posted 2020-December-30, 06:52

To give an example of helene-t's point, for a balanced 1NT, EBU regulations require you to announce: ?2 to 14?(or appropriate range)and, if relevant, 搈ay contain asingleton?
The EBU uses announcements (by bidder's partner) of basic information like NT range or simple transfers
Alerts are for more complicated agreements.
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#7 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-December-30, 11:38

In Germany, a natural 1NT opening is allowed to contain a singleton by agreement providing you include that in the announcement. The ACBL regulation appears to have been designed primarily to allow certain highly influential pairs to play their preferred methods rather than based on any real bridge logic. Hands up how many people look at their hands and decide it has a completely different character if it has a singleton queen rather than a singleton jack.
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#8 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-December-30, 18:01

Link to current ACBL convention charts

ACBL Convention Charts

There are 4 levels of charts, roughly based on the experience (e.g. # of masterpoints) requirements of the tournament.
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#9 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-December-31, 08:22

In Italy during a pairs tournament, a natural 1NT opening is now allowed to contain any singleton, but a minor suit cannot be more than 6 cards and a major not more than 5 (so no 7222 or major 6322). The pair only need to announce the range. This begs the question of whether a pair who open only a subset of the possible shapes as 1NT (for example, only 5332/4432/4333) must warn the opponents during the auction and if so how. Asking them to alert would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater, as the majority play some such subset. But as this regulation is only a year old and there has not been much club play this year it still has to be seen how things will shake down.
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#10 User is online   Douglas43 

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Posted 2020-December-31, 08:58

The EBU standard convention card also has a text box labelled "shape constraints" (e.g. my card says "5M / 6m OK" because we may include 5 card majors or 6 card minors) and a box labelled "Tick if may have singleton". In the example given by pescetom a pair with tight shape controls would add that information in the "shape constraints" box. From looking at the Blue Book an agreement such as "denies a 4 card major" should be announced.

As for what is allowed, this is an extract from the EBU Blue Book for level 4 (which applies to most non-beginner games):

7 B 3 1NT opening
1NT may be played as any one of the following
(i) Natural, non-forcing with a continuous defined range. A 'natural' 1NT opening has nomore than nine cards in two suits, no void, and does not have seven hearts or sevenspades. The range must be the same when holding a singleton
(ii) Any meaning or meanings as long as they all show a strong hand (16+ HCP or 12+ HCPwith at least 5 controls)
(iii) A three-suited hand (5440, 5431 or 4441), the shortage need not be specified
(iv) Any meaning showing at least four cards in a specified suit, forcing or not



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#11 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-December-31, 11:26

View PostDouglas43, on 2020-December-31, 08:58, said:

The EBU standard convention card also has a text box labelled "shape constraints" (e.g. my card says "5M / 6m OK" because we may include 5 card majors or 6 card minors) and a box labelled "Tick if may have singleton". In the example given by pescetom a pair with tight shape controls would add that information in the [size="2"]"shape constraints" box.

That would be a good idea for us too, although not essential: the current card has a single text to describe 1NT with room for about 300 characters using the normal font, so it is easy enough to be clear. The question is rather what if anything should be alerted or announced, beyond the range. My current interpretation is that nothing should be done, the onus is on the opponent to read the card or ask if necessary.

View PostDouglas43, on 2020-December-31, 08:58, said:

As for what is allowed, this is an extract from the EBU Blue Book for level 4 (which applies to most non-beginner games):
7 B 3 1NT opening
1NT may be played as any one of the following
(i) Natural, non-forcing with a continuous defined range. A 'natural' 1NT opening has nomore than nine cards in two suits, no void, and does not have seven hearts or sevenspades. The range must be the same when holding a singleton
(ii) Any meaning or meanings as long as they all show a strong hand (16+ HCP or 12+ HCPwith at least 5 controls)
(iii) A three-suited hand (5440, 5431 or 4441), the shortage need not be specified
(iv) Any meaning showing at least four cards in a specified suit, forcing or not

Sounds sensible. For us, in pairs tournaments only natural is allowed and the definition is effectively identical to 7B3(i) except that 6 in a major and 7 in a minor are not allowed. In other situations things are down to the old regulations, so no alert for 15-18 with desire to play in NT, alert anything else.
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#12 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-December-31, 14:18

View Postpescetom, on 2020-December-31, 11:26, said:

The question is rather what if anything should be alerted or announced, beyond the range.

The German rules seem to me as good as any if you want to specify anything at all: "x to y; [5 card major possible]; [singleton possible]; [6 card minor possible]", with the sections in square brackets being optional. You need to ask if you want further details, such as whether there is a difference between 5 and 5 or the suit of the singleton. Full disclosure here though, Germany is a country where it is quite unusual to open 1NT with a 5 card major, singleton or 6 card minor at all, so perhaps the emphasis is somewhat different from places such as the USA, UK or Italy where such "offshape" openings are common.
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#13 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-December-31, 22:37

fwiw, I was given this information yesterday regarding the rules in Australia.
The ABF Alerting Regulations (https://abfevents.co...ertRegs2017.pdf) set out some examples and principles without necessarily prescribing alertable calls.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;">The Regulations do explicitly categorise a range of calls as "self-alerting":<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;">- Doubles and Redoubles
- Bids in denominations which have previously been bid or shown by the opponents' bids
-
All calls at the four-level or higher, except conventional opening bids
-
Any 2 response to a 1NT opening bid in an uncontested auction
<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;">It is not that these calls are not alertable - they are considered to be automatically alerted and the players do not need to go through the normal alerting procedure. In most instances, these calls would usually be alerted, so having a situation where they either were or were not alerted is likely to be more advantageous to the alerting side than to the opponents.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;">Having said all that, the ABF Online Regulations (https://abfevents.co...ineRegs2020.pdf) specify that self-alerting does NOT apply in online play. This is because on BBO alerts and explanations are "hidden", so the problems of passing information to partner do not apply. With the recent advent of RealBridge, online bridge can now very much mimic real-life bridge. Consequently, the usual alerting regulations will be applied. This will shortly be reflected in updated Online Regulations.
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#14 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-January-01, 11:38

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-December-31, 14:18, said:

The German rules seem to me as good as any if you want to specify anything at all: "x to y; [5 card major possible]; [singleton possible]; [6 card minor possible]", with the sections in square brackets being optional.

I could live with that, although not thrilled. The announcement gets long and it still doesn't cover all the things that seem to worry people - I've seen opponents get more heated about 5422 than a 6 card minor, for instance. But yes, if the convention card is not considered sufficient then standardised announcements seems the way to go.

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-December-31, 14:18, said:

Full disclosure here though, Germany is a country where it is quite unusual to open 1NT with a 5 card major, singleton or 6 card minor at all, so perhaps the emphasis is somewhat different from places such as the USA, UK or Italy where such "offshape" openings are common.

Actually, Italy is more similar to Germany in this respect: 5 card major is slightly unusual and singleton or 6 card minor decidedly so. The rules change was more a question of alignment with the other RAs, also because the previous rule ("desire to play in NT") was clearly inadequate and unfortunately worded too (I am always prepared to play in NT when I open there, but my desire is often to play in a major if possible). My own style is much more liberal (anything legal goes, although rarely a singleton) but not at all typical here, hence in part my interest in correct disclosure.
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#15 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-January-02, 11:23

The ACBL regulation has been mentioned, as have regulations of other NBOs. If you're just playing a casual game with friends, you should decide amongst yourselves what bids will be legal and what not legal.

The laws of duplicate bridge say that when someone makes an illegal bid:

Law 40B4: When a side is damaged by an opponent抯 use of a special partnership understanding that does not comply with the regulations governing the tournament the score shall be adjusted. A side in breach of those regulations may be subject to a procedural penalty.
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#16 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-January-02, 14:40

View Postblackshoe, on 2021-January-02, 11:23, said:

The ACBL regulation has been mentioned, as have regulations of other NBOs. If you're just playing a casual game with friends, you should decide amongst yourselves what bids will be legal and what not legal.

The laws of duplicate bridge say that when someone makes an illegal bid:

Law 40B4: When a side is damaged by an opponent's use of a special partnership understanding that does not comply with the regulations governing the tournament the score shall be adjusted. A side in breach of those regulations may be subject to a procedural penalty.


'by a special partnership understanding' is the key. If your partner is clueless then no damage has occurred.

I was playing FTF once with a partner and my partner had just learned Cappelletti. My partner made a bid of 2 over 1NT (both majors).
I was asked what that meant. I gave the explanation according to our system.
I was wrong. After the opps failed to make the 3NT contract ( my partner had a very nice diamond suit) they called the Director who instantly assessed 60:40 against us.
Clearly, the opps were damaged by my misinformation, but what I did was say what our systemic meaning was.

What is your opinion on how Law40B4 applies in such a case?
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#17 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-January-03, 11:35

This isn't a L40B4 ruling, it's a L75D2 and D3 (and L12C1d, ugh) ruling. 7.5 of the ABF Tournament regulations points out the requirement for players to know their system, so that also applies. You're lucky to have avoided a PP as well.

I thank you for forcing me to reread that section of the Laws; I knew what we did, but thought it was regulation, not Law.
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#18 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-January-03, 13:53

View Postmycroft, on 2021-January-03, 11:35, said:

This isn't a L40B4 ruling, it's a L75D2 and D3 (and L12C1d, ugh) ruling. 7.5 of the ABF Tournament regulations points out the requirement for players to know their system, so that also applies. You're lucky to have avoided a PP as well.

I thank you for forcing me to reread that section of the Laws; I knew what we did, but thought it was regulation, not Law.


Interesting! So, "ignorance of the law is no excuse". Or to put in a way that everyone can understand -


"I'm sorry m'Lud, I was absolutely hammered last night and it was foolish of me to play Bridge this morning"
"That's no excuse son, and also no reason to call your partner a f*******g idiot"
"I couldn't help it m'lud, it's hardly my fault if my partner is a f******g idiot"
"That's true but the law says you must know your system, and why should I care if your partner is a f******g idiot? I didn't write the laws I'm just enforcing them."

Is that the gist of it?
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#19 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-January-03, 15:18

Yeah, we should definitely cut players who have just adopted a new convention absolutely no slack at all. If they misbid, throw the book at 'em!
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#20 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-January-03, 16:06

I'm not saying that I *like* "you must know your system" regulations (outside "serious" level bridge, like screens or money). Just that with one, "1NT defence" is one of the most basic things that players should know (in fact, if I have to play "start the game 5 minutes late with whoever walks in the door", it's one of the 4 things I ask about (carding, preempt style, what kind of blackwood, and defence to their 1NT opening).)

Yes, "partner wants to learn Cappelletti, so we are playing it for the first time tonight" is a good way to avoid the PP, even under "you must know your system" regulations. And as I said, I'm not thrilled with A+/A-, when it's almost always possible to assign a (weighted) score in auctions that start 1NT-2D "we have no agreement". Though there's a good chance that that assigned score would be worse than A- here...
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