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2027 Laws - An Open Invitation WBF Laws Committee Invitation for Suggestions/Contributions

#1 User is offline   lskelso 

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Posted 2022-June-02, 07:53

The WBF Laws Committee is embarking upon a review of the current Laws of Duplicate Bridge and has issued a general invitation to solicit suggestions for possible improvements.


http://www.worldbrid...te-bridge-2027/


Contributions should be sent to:

2027laws@laikel.com

Laurie Kelso
(WBFLC Secretary)
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#2 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2022-June-02, 09:28

In my recollection, everyone here thinks the Laws are fine, I don't think there will be many suggestions. :)

#3 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2022-June-02, 11:10

I have a strong feeling that a major topic should be whether (and in case how) the laws should treat new technologies e.g. online bridge.
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#4 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2022-June-02, 12:54

View Postbarmar, on 2022-June-02, 09:28, said:

In my recollection, everyone here thinks the Laws are fine, I don't think there will be many suggestions. :)


I'm scratching my head right now.
nige1, any ideas?

:)
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#5 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2022-June-02, 12:56

View Postpran, on 2022-June-02, 11:10, said:

I have a strong feeling that a major topic should be whether (and in case how) the laws should treat new technologies e.g. online bridge.

If the question is whether, then the continued existence of WBF is already academic.
The question is how, and is not limited to the laws.
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#6 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2022-June-02, 15:48

FWIW, I already submitted the following


From my perspective, the elephant in the room is actually whatever version of the Laws that are supposed to be used for the online version of the game, especially now that major championships are transitioning to electronic playing environments.

This aspect of the game is becoming increasingly more important, it evolves at a much more rapid pace, and the Laws are in a much less mature state. Here are a few examples of the sorts of things that that I think need to be considered.

1. Assume that a partnership is able to create a "system file" that documents the bidding system that they claim to be playing.

A. Is it permissible to use the system file to automatically generate alerts and announcements?

B. Suppose that one or even both members of the partnership deviate from the system file. What is the "source of truth" here? The system file or the behavior of the humans? How does this impact issues such as miss bid versus mis explanation.

2. Assume that the Electronic Playing environment is capable of storing comprehensive records with respect to a partnership / bidding play over time. Should this be construed as authorized information during the course of play.

For example,

Red versus White

LHO passed in first seat
Partner opened 1♥
RHO overcalled 1NT (ostensibly showing 15-17 HCP and a heart stopper)

I'd like to have - in real time - the Electronic Playing environment show me how frequently RHO has psyched in the position.

3. Is it permissible to have the electronic playing environment introduce delay to bidding / play to try and conceal tempo violations?

4. Should the Laws cover questions around PRNGs and seed generation for tournaments?
Alderaan delenda est
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#7 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2022-June-03, 02:45

View Postpran, on 2022-June-02, 11:10, said:

I have a strong feeling that a major topic should be whether (and in case how) the laws should treat new technologies e.g. online bridge.


View Postpescetom, on 2022-June-02, 12:56, said:

If the question is whether, then the continued existence of WBF is already academic.
The question is how, and is not limited to the laws.


In that case I predict that the game of bridge will become history within the next decade.
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#8 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2022-June-03, 05:36

View Postpran, on 2022-June-03, 02:45, said:

In that case I predict that the game of bridge will become history within the next decade.

Not sure exactly which case you refer to here. If you predict that as a result of the (inevitable) transition towards electronic play, then I think you are wrong: it should guarantee a few more decades of survival than would have been the case if electronic play had not been feasible.

If your point is that the game may no longer be recognisable, then maybe so (for better or for worse). The WBF has a last chance to take control of change, if it so desires.
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#9 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2022-June-03, 06:17

View Postpescetom, on 2022-June-02, 12:56, said:

If the question is whether, then the continued existence of WBF is already academic.
The question is how, and is not limited to the laws.



View Postpran, on 2022-June-03, 02:45, said:

In that case I predict that the game of bridge will become history within the next decade.



View Postpescetom, on 2022-June-03, 05:36, said:

Not sure exactly which case you refer to here. If you predict that as a result of the (inevitable) transition towards electronic play, then I think you are wrong: it should guarantee a few more decades of survival than would have been the case if electronic play had not been feasible.

If your point is that the game may no longer be recognisable, then maybe so (for better or for worse). The WBF has a last chance to take control of change, if it so desires.

I refer to 'The question is how' and I believe the general popularity of bridge is due to the social element in face to face bridge.

Drop this and I suspect bridge will effectively become limited to those who (more or less) are playing for money rather that for pleasure.
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#10 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2022-June-03, 08:52

View Postpran, on 2022-June-03, 06:17, said:

I refer to 'The question is how' and I believe the general popularity of bridge is due to the social element in face to face bridge.

Drop this and I suspect bridge will effectively become limited to those who (more or less) are playing for money rather that for pleasure.

Ok thanks.

It's funny, because from the same (more or less: probably I have played and directed a lot more online than you) evidence we draw almost opposite conclusions.
I agree that the social element is the main driver in face to face bridge, but it doesn't disappear when you move the same people online (and even when it dilutes, the people carry on playing).
And I think what is most fragile and at risk if the WBF does not regulate and drive change is playing for money, not for pleasure, at least in its current format of professional tournaments and WBF/ACBL etc.
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#11 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2022-June-03, 10:19

View Postpescetom, on 2022-June-03, 08:52, said:

Ok thanks.

It's funny, because from the same (more or less: probably I have played and directed a lot more online than you) evidence we draw almost opposite conclusions.
I agree that the social element is the main driver in face to face bridge, but it doesn't disappear when you move the same people online (and even when it dilutes, the people carry on playing).
And I think what is most fragile and at risk if the WBF does not regulate and drive change is playing for money, not for pleasure, at least in its current format of professional tournaments and WBF/ACBL etc.

Online bridge is new and interesting, but for how long?
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#12 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2022-June-03, 10:43

View Postpran, on 2022-June-03, 10:19, said:

Online bridge is new and interesting, but for how long?

It's not particularly interesting for newcomers in its current form, unfortunately, even online. If it doesn't improve, it's hard to see it survive more than a few decades.
But the only thing that is certain is that the game will evolve online, probably in multiple versions unless the WBF or something similar is there to see otherwise. It might even become something that can compete with chess as an individual mind game or poker as a gambling/bluff pastime or create a middle ground of its own.
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#13 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2022-June-03, 11:10

We have been playing bridge online for "all" of my bridge playing life - my first online serious game was 1997. There are issues unique to online; there are benefits of transitioning to an online game, either completely or for "serious events"; some of those issues are Laws-related.

Some are in the WBF purview; some of those are Laws Committee related. Not all, by any means; and many many are completely out of their control. And many, even in their control, are functionally out of their control to enforce (for instance, if they insisted in the Laws that online bridge implementations must be able to deal all possible hands, what can they do when BBO says "our dealer isn't perfect, but it's worked for 20 years; we're not changing it"?)

While I agree with a lot of the people here (frankly, I've been saying since 1997 or before that "I was the youngest person at the club. I don't want that to still be true in 20 years" (which, unfortunately, it pretty much is)) that bridge needs help to survive, very little of it can be a matter of Law. Currently the resistance to anything more modern than pasteboard by the current people with power is a serious issue for bringing in people who have totally transitioned online, and their problems just aren't a problem for PwP (so they're not a problem™). But again, this is outside the purview of the Laws Commission.

Frankly, the best thing we could do to keep bridge alive is "play in evening games". Face to Face bridge has become an enterprise for the unemployed, and given the costs, that means "professionals' wives", "independently wealthy" and "retired". And the first one has been killed by (among many other things) capitalism, the second is as small a pool as it has always been, and the last - are over 60. Online bridge - well, doesn't have that problem, but has others.

Currently, bridge recruitment, at least in the ACBL, is very strongly in the seniors' clubs and community centres, where the newly retired looking for something to do see a poster and say "I remember playing that in college/at my parent's kitchen table/..." and see if it's something to try. And for many, it is - because bridge, if you have the time to learn, can be a fascinating game at any level. Unfortunately, our recruitment strategy for younger players doesn't seem to aim to create more of these people, and the 40s and 50s coming up are less and less likely to have that "oh I recognize/tried/saw" factor. And that's also a problem I've been warning about for 30 years. But that's sunk.

But I note that none of this has anything to do with the Laws.

I respect Hrothgar very much; I think for high level events, both from a informational and a ethical perspective, these "work out your actual agreement from hand evidence" database would be great, and would separate the "my judgement is very good" people from the "what we tell you we play and what we actually play are very different, whether that's deliberate or 'deliberate' or even if we couldn't actually explain it ourselves" people. Of course, that would require a common language for recording of hands, and a centralized database that all online providers promised to send all hands to (*), and a cross-indexing of logins between all those sites, and enough querying skill to create an actual expert-level robot player just from "do what they do". However for the 99.9+% of games that you wouldn't think to hire a pro to play - I'd say, even 99% of tournament events, and definitely 99% of players - this is overkill. Yes there are players who are just Toogood (sorry), and development in tools that will identify them to a much higher tolerance than currently, so that it can be chess.com-level of autobanning rather than the current "need to spend human time every time for avoidance of issues". so that we can in fact do chess.com-levels of autobanning without being sued into oblivion, would really be helpful, even at the mom-and-pop level.

But while that references law in many points, most of this touches other parts of WBF (and RA) management than The Laws of Bridge. And while critical, are out of scope.

Of course, with the famed transparency and willingness to listen to the punters of the WBF and RAs, I am not surprised that the Laws Commission's request triggered all this. Even just as a "hey, someone that will listen! And might actually know someone who can do something about it!".

And I guarantee that even if we do get a real, official, online Laws that have been written explicitly to the state of play of online by people who aren't 70 and are more computer people than ex-stockbrokers or ex-CEOs or ex- and current-TDs, they *will not fix* the problems with online bridge, or bridge in general. It is impossible to satisfy Nige1 and Hrothgar and Boye and the FIGB and Meckstroth and Hammond and me - likely impossible to satisfy any three of them. We can absolutely hope for much better than we currently have.

But I fear for the club game, and the people I'm tutoring, and my flight B teammates, for what they will have to put up with for the sake of satisfying Hrothgar and Boye and Meckstroth. "Overkill" comes to mind.

* I notice that most of the games being compared against either are owned by a single company (as are the online servers) or have a quasi-monopolistic implementation (like chess.com vs other online chess servers), where this isn't an issue. All the data and all the processing algorithms are in-house. To handle the Luddites that "it's just different without cards in our hands", we'll have to record and process those games somehow automagically too. This goes double for suggestions on other sites about formal Discords, ladders, etc. Not that that wouldn't be useful and shouldn't be chased, but we can't just say "the Modern MTGO summer ladder is open" either.
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#14 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2022-June-03, 11:18

Having said all of that - and sorry for the cynicism and frustration about "what's killing bridge, and who could do anything about it, and who will":

I've sent in three things already.
- please do a public review like you did in 2017. Please take the lessons from 2017 that "two months, just in case there's some grammer or speeling issues we missed" isn't enough time. Please integrate into the new Laws process a 2028 review and plan for a 2027.1 revision, so we can fix obvious problems-in-practise formally without waiting another decade. Oh, and keep the gender-neutral version. Alienating 55% of bridge players is so 1970.
- fix "run the hearts" somehow.
- think about dealing with the "feelbad" punitive "A- can't raise your score" bit in 12C. Yep, really high priority that one.

I'm sure other issues, from 2017 or later, like "43B3 - what if dummy didn't exchange hands with declarer, but did one of these things anyway", will be coming.

I do note that my role in these kinds of things does boil down to W.C. Fields reading the Bible level - "looking for loopholes". I want to rule the game in ways that are clear, unambiguous, and don't allow "stupid crap that's clearly unfair" to be legal because we didn't spell it out. Others can do the Vision stuff; I suck at it. I'll be the nitpicker and the Professional Paranoid.
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#15 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2022-June-04, 04:20

View Posthrothgar, on 2022-June-02, 15:48, said:

FWIW, I already submitted the following


From my perspective, the elephant in the room is actually whatever version of the Laws that are supposed to be used for the online version of the game, especially now that major championships are transitioning to electronic playing environments.



There was talk some time ago for a different law book should be created for online bridge. I think that this is more sensible than inserting into the existing Laws all the things that would be required.
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#16 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2022-June-04, 06:11

View PostVampyr, on 2022-June-04, 04:20, said:

There was talk some time ago for a different law book should be created for online bridge. I think that this is more sensible than inserting into the existing Laws all the things that would be required.

Part of my input will be to suggest a modular structure for the laws: a core that defines the game and general principles and then separate modules to regulate each modality of play: f2f (maybe separate modules for without screens and with), electronic (maybe separate modules for basic online and high level with virtual screens).

Implicit in this agenda is standardizing (as much as is realistically possible) matters currently delegated to RAs or (de facto) to online platform developers. Which doesn't necessarily mean chaining people into a single "one size fits all" solution for things like alert policy and time management, but offering a list of choices (or a set of configuration parameters) rather than just "do whatever you like".
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#17 User is offline   BudH 

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Posted 2022-June-04, 06:39

With regards to the two laws 45B and 45C4(a) below,

45B: “Play of Card from Dummy - Declarer plays a card from dummy by naming the card, after which dummy picks up the card and faces it on the table. In playing from dummy’s hand declarer may, if necessary, pick up the desired card himself.”

45C4(a): “A card is played if a player names or otherwise designates it as the card he proposes to play (but see Law 47)”


make a small change to make it crystal clear in the laws (and not via an interpretation) when a verbally called card from dummy is officially played.

ACBL has told me previously that despite using the phrase "after which", the card is officially played after it is removed from dummy. Not when it is verbally called.

Best to make a slight modification to the wording making it crystal clear when a verbally called card is officially played.

Proposed phrasing:

45B - "Declarer plays a card from dummy by naming the card, dummy removing the card from dummy's remaining cards, and dummy facing the card on the table. In playing from dummy's hand, declarer may, if necessary, pick up the desired card himself."

and

45C4(a) - "A card must be played (but is not yet deemed played) if a player names or otherwise designates it as the card he proposes to play (but see Law 47)."
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#18 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2022-June-04, 10:04

View PostBudH, on 2022-June-04, 06:39, said:

With regards to the two laws 45B and 45C4(a) below,

45B: “Play of Card from Dummy - Declarer plays a card from dummy by naming the card, after which dummy picks up the card and faces it on the table. In playing from dummy’s hand declarer may, if necessary, pick up the desired card himself.”

45C4(a): “A card is played if a player names or otherwise designates it as the card he proposes to play (but see Law 47)”


make a small change to make it crystal clear in the laws (and not via an interpretation) when a verbally called card from dummy is officially played.

ACBL has told me previously that despite using the phrase "after which", the card is officially played after it is removed from dummy. Not when it is verbally called.

Best to make a slight modification to the wording making it crystal clear when a verbally called card is officially played.

Proposed phrasing:

45B - "Declarer plays a card from dummy by naming the card, dummy removing the card from dummy's remaining cards, and dummy facing the card on the table. In playing from dummy's hand, declarer may, if necessary, pick up the desired card himself."

and

45C4(a) - "A card must be played (but is not yet deemed played) if a player names or otherwise designates it as the card he proposes to play (but see Law 47)."


Wouldn't the obvious wording be: Declarer calls a card from dummy by naming it after which dummy plays the card by removing it from his remaining cards and dummy facing it on the table. .....
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#19 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2022-June-04, 10:04

View PostBudH, on 2022-June-04, 06:39, said:

With regards to the two laws 45B and 45C4(a) below,

45B: “Play of Card from Dummy - Declarer plays a card from dummy by naming the card, after which dummy picks up the card and faces it on the table. In playing from dummy’s hand declarer may, if necessary, pick up the desired card himself.”

45C4(a): “A card is played if a player names or otherwise designates it as the card he proposes to play (but see Law 47)”


make a small change to make it crystal clear in the laws (and not via an interpretation) when a verbally called card from dummy is officially played.

ACBL has told me previously that despite using the phrase "after which", the card is officially played after it is removed from dummy. Not when it is verbally called.

Best to make a slight modification to the wording making it crystal clear when a verbally called card is officially played.

Proposed phrasing:

45B - "Declarer plays a card from dummy by naming the card, dummy removing the card from dummy's remaining cards, and dummy facing the card on the table. In playing from dummy's hand, declarer may, if necessary, pick up the desired card himself."

and

45C4(a) - "A card must be played (but is not yet deemed played) if a player names or otherwise designates it as the card he proposes to play (but see Law 47)."


Wouldn't the obvious wording be: Declarer calls a card from dummy by naming it after which dummy plays the card by removing it from his remaining cards and facing it on the table. .....
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#20 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2022-June-04, 12:35

View PostBudH, on 2022-June-04, 06:39, said:

make a small change to make it crystal clear in the laws (and not via an interpretation) when a verbally called card from dummy is officially played.

ACBL has told me previously that despite using the phrase "after which", the card is officially played after it is removed from dummy. Not when it is verbally called.

Best to make a slight modification to the wording making it crystal clear when a verbally called card is officially played.

This strikes me as a classic example of the kind of meddling by an RA which should no longer be tolerated.
The law as stated makes sense and this intrepretation violates the spirit of the laws (it is declarer who decides, dummy is merely his passive agent).
Of course that also raises the issue that ACBL is not an RA and doesn't recognise any power as superior, but that is an obstacle we always have to face and to ACBL's credit it is demonstrating with recent facts that it does take electronic play and the related rules seriously.


View Postpran, on 2022-June-04, 10:04, said:

Wouldn't the obvious wording be: Declarer calls a card from dummy by naming it after which dummy plays the card by removing it from his remaining cards and dummy facing it on the table. .....

I don't think so, if Declarer calls a card which is present and does not constitute a revoke then it should already be played. If anything, the laws should be more explicit (mycroft dixit) about Dummy's rights and duties in the opposite case.
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