AUG_08_EB_p43 Jeremy 16/7/08 10:23 am Page 39
about the new laws
E-mail your questions to Jeremy Dhondy at firstname.lastname@example.org
or write to the editor, Elena Jeronimidis, at 23 Erleigh Road, Reading RG1 5LR.
Please include your name and address.
THIS article is about questions that have Suppose a defender revokes and the effect
been asked about the new laws. By the time is for it to cost him one trick but to cut
you read this, duplicate bridge in England, declarer off from a long suit in dummy;
as elsewhere, will be played under a new set then equity will not have been restored
of laws. The good news is that the change is and the director may decide to transfer Jeremy Dhondy
not going to cause a revolution and indeed more tricks to the non-offending side so
many laws are similar or identical to what that they are not damaged by the revoke.
they were in the last law book issued in
1997, but there are some changes that all Authorised and Unauthorised whether you are basing your call on your
players should be aware of (see pull out). Information hand and bridge judgement, or being in-
The EBU has run courses for directors to fluenced by some unauthorised infor-
help them with new laws and it is more Sometimes when it is your turn to bid you mation, there is now a section in the law
important than ever that a director is called have unauthorised information. A classic which defines a logical alternative as ‘an
if there is an infraction. Don’t let the club example is after partner has hesitated and action that, among the class of players in
‘expert’ blind you with science – he will then, perhaps, passed. You know he did question and using the methods of the
probably be wrong or out of date! not have a simple decision and that partnership, would be given serious conside-
knowledge is ‘unauthorised’, i.e. you did ration by a significant proportion of such
How has the revoke law changed? not gain it legally. Take this hand as an players, of whom it is judged that some might
example: select it’. So, in the hand shown, consi-
One of the changes introduced some years dering that partner has shown three or
ago forbade defenders to ask whether their Your right-hand oppo- perhaps four hearts and no particular
partner was out of a suit. Indeed if you ♠ KQ73 nent opens a weak no- values, would it be a normal action to make
said: ‘No hearts, partner?’, that was enough ♥ AJ542 trump and you bid 2♣ a game try with your hand among players
to establish a revoke and possibly a penalty ♦ 8 to show hearts and of approximately the same standard as you?
also. That has been swept away and you ♣ KJ7 another suit. After a In my view it would not and the only reason
may ask your partner if he is out of a suit pass by left-hand op- you have for continuing is partner’s slow
(Law 61B3). Dummy can continue to ask ponent, partner bids decision when bidding 2♥.
declarer (this was always legal). Defenders 2♥ – but slowly and with uncertainty. You
can also ask declarer but there is the now decide to bid on, reach game and it is ‘Oops, I didn’t mean to do that!’
possibility of some unauthorised informa- lay-down. The opponents call the director
tion if you ask, i.e. you may tip off partner and say that you did not have a clear move There has long been confusion about which
to some possible information about the over 2 ♥ and were influenced by the bids can be changed and at what point,
distribution of the hand to which he is not hesitation. The director establishes the facts and in Law 25 there is an attempt to make
entitled. and judges that there is a logical alternative this clearer. Suppose that you open 1♥
In this law, as well as many others, there to continuing, i.e. you might pass, and that and you have two small hearts and five
has been some tidying up and simplifying this is a decision that might have been spades; this would suggest that you had
of language. The word ‘penalty’ has been found by a clear majority of players (this is temporarily lost the plot and it is unlikely
removed for the most part and in the often called the ‘70% test’). that this is what you intended. In such a
revoke law the word used is ‘rectification’ The problem is that the laws have never case the director would allow you to change
with the emphasis being on putting the properly defined what a ‘logical alternative’ your call. If, on the other hand, you open
problem right if possible. It has always been is, and directors and appeal committees 1♣ with a four card suit, and then remove
important to call the director in the case of have had to use their judgement – and the bid and replaced it with 1NT because
a revoke and with some changes to how sometimes this differs from one TD to you remembered slightly too late that you
many tricks may be transferred, this is even another or one appeal committee to an- were actually playing a strong no-trump,
more important now. The most common other. In Law 16A there continues to be a then your original bid was not uninten-
situation will be that, after a revoke is definition of what you may not base calls tional and the director would not allow
established, one trick is transferred to the on (an alert or lack of alert that shows you to replace it.
non offending side (Law 64) but as before partner has forgotten the system, a hesi- The important thing here is your motive
the director may decide that this has tation, unwonted speed, an answer to a rather than the speed with which you
disadvantaged the non-offending side. question, a mannerism etc). In judging change your mind.
www.ebu.co.uk August 2008 English Bridge 39