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New ACBL Alert Procedure Does it apply yet?

#1 User is offline   morecharac 

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Posted 2020-December-07, 21:25

I just found out that ACBL has a new Alert Procedure document, dated November 8 this year.

But...

I found it through a Google search.

The ACBL site links to the 2016 Alert Procedure, much like they linked to the 2011 Alert Chart years after it was superseded.

There doesn't seem to be any actual news about it coming in.

Anyone know what's going on with this?

'Cause if it's not final yet, I want to have them throw in the ability to Pre-Alert the fact that my partner and I don't play Reverses because 1) we both hate them thanks to bad partners and 2) she doesn't recognise them.

The ACBL Rulings e-mail people said we can't Pre-Alert because it might jog her memory that we don't play them. She's actually supposed to Alert something that she doesn't recognise, when it looks like it could be something it never is for us, because otherwise she might remember... It's like a Möbius strip of illogic.
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#2 User is online   TylerE 

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Posted 2020-December-07, 21:35

That seems like a ludicrous (not surprising) ruling by ACBL.

As an opponent I would very much want that pre-alerted, and would feel unfairly disadvantaged if it wasn't.

Conceptually, I struggle to see how hearing a pre-alert is any different than glancing at your CC between rounds, which is certainly legal.
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#3 User is offline   akwoo 

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Posted 2020-December-07, 23:33

You should just pre-alert before the round. Not every hand. Maybe it's not legally prescribed, but I've definitely gotten the "my partner is in the third week of beginner bridge class; my bidding will take that into account and our bids might not mean what they normally mean" pre-alert. That's perfectly okay.

I've thought about the issues of disclosure from a philosophical perspective, and there really is no way around making it impossible for players below a certain skill level to play in accordance with the rules. Players who can't recognize reverses simply can't communicate well enough to fulfill their responsibilities under Law 20. They just have to suffer being ruled against occasionally when their inability to explain damages the opponents. This is no different from various unintentional fouls due to lack of skill of a player in physical sports.

The logic is simple - your opponents are entitled to know what your bids mean, even if you don't know what they mean. This is no different than, in soccer/football, your opponents are entitled to have your hand never make contact with the ball, even if you tried your hardest to get your hand out of the way.
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#4 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 01:53

There was a request for comment on the proposed new procedures in April 2020 - https://bridgewinner...t-for-comments/

I've not seen anything else and they may still be taking input.
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#5 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 10:39

One point of terminology: you absolutely do play reverses. Unless you never bid 1-1; 2 or the like. What you (and everyone else who says this) means is "your reverses don't promise extras".

Currently, that is a treatment that in my opinion falls into the "fuzzy" "highly unusual and unexpected" category (although if I were playing a fully stratified game in my home town, I'd basically assume this of the C players I don't recognize, and I know the B players who play this way, and it's not an ignorable fraction). Which means that yes, you Alert it when it happens. Nobody does, for exactly the reasons you state. Strong players know this, and frankly there's a reason for the "experts don't get automatically protected" line in the Alert Procedures, and this is an example of it. It's hard for them to claim damage in the auction, and in the play, the auction normally wakes them up enough to ask.

I agree with akwoo - at the beginning of the round is fine. It's not required, and it doesn't absolve you of the requirement to Alert at the time (no bidding Pre-Alerts do - as someone who's played more Pre-Alertable methods than 99% of the ACBL, I can guarantee that). I think the ruling response might be based on something other than "at the beginning of the round".

Why is it so hard to remember to Alert your Alertable treatments? She doesn't understand that nobody else in the room plays her way? What about the ones where everybody in the room does play her way - the announcement of the 1NT, the announcement of Transfer, ...? Just remind her, at the end of the hand, every time you reverse and she fails to Alert, that she has to remember.

The new (not yet agreed, not yet in force, I'm using a potentially old draft, YMMV, ...) Alert Procedures have gone down the path of fewer Alerts for unexpectedly weak treatments[*]. There is nothing in there that would make reverses not promising extras Alertable (and definitely not Pre-Alertable). However, there are, I'm told deliberate, phrasings in both "Natural bids" and "Pre-Alerts" that do not restrict you from Alerting/Pre-Alerting if you believe that the treatment is sufficiently unusual that the opponents would be damaged not knowing[**].

[*] Yes, that means if they play Precision opening all 9 counts and 8s-that-look-like-9s, they don't have to say anything unless asked. The Alert for WJS-not-in-competition is gone (and good riddance, that's another one that maybe half the people that played it didn't know was Alertable, and 20% of them couldn't understand even when explained why it would be different when opponents double or overcall). And so on. For those who have heard of EHAA, if I change my system slightly so that the EHAA weak 2s are 4-11 (or 2-11, in the Open game) instead of 6-12, there is no requirement to Pre-Alert *or Alert* any EHAA opening except for 1NT ("10-12") and 2 (because it's not Strong Artificial).
[**] For instance, my (mandatory) EHAA 2 opening on Q8 86432 J842 J6 (that could also be 8 AKQJT8432 T85 6, or pretty much anything in between).
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#6 User is offline   akwoo 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 12:06

View Postmycroft, on 2020-December-08, 10:39, said:

Why is it so hard to remember to Alert your Alertable treatments? She doesn't understand that nobody else in the room plays her way? What about the ones where everybody in the room does play her way - the announcement of the 1NT, the announcement of Transfer, ...? Just remind her, at the end of the hand, every time you reverse and she fails to Alert, that she has to remember.



Most of the people I know who don't play reverses don't play reverses because they can't tell the difference between the auctions 1-1-2 and the 1-1-2. The two auctions look the same to them; 2 bids at the one level followed by a (non-jump) bid at the two level. They can't alert the second but not the first because they can't tell the difference between the second and the first.
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#7 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 12:45

Akwoo: That I can understand, as well. The thing that made it click for me, lo those many years ago, was "if, if partner wanted to go back to your first suit, she would have to bid at the 3 level, then you have reversed." Yes, competition, yes, other weirdness, but that Just Works, for me and others.

Aaaand: I just got the note from my district director that the Alert Chart is approved; and wouldn't you know it, it's even on the ACBL site (Effective "Jan 1, 2021" (or whenever we start playing FtF again - until then, as the chart says, Appendix O overrides, when appropriate:

"Alerts: Alerts (including announcements) are made by the player making the call. An alerted call should be accompanied by an explanation. Stating the common or popular name of the convention is not sufficient. You are encouraged to explain calls even if those calls do not require alerts. Any call that would be alerted after the auction in live bridge should be alerted at the time of the call."))

And the only Natural rebids that must be Alerted are:

Quote

  • Unless the Opening bid showed a Strong hand, a 1NT rebid or a raise of a 1-level major suit response to 2 of that major that may contain hands of 16 or more HCP.
  • After a Natural Opening Bid, a rebid by Opener that shows a suit that is routinely longer than the suit opened. [mycroft: the ACBL hates you, canape players]
  • After an Opening No Trump Sequence or a Natural No Trump Direct Overcall and a 2C or 3C bid asking for major suit length, a rebid that shows 5 cards in a major.

So, nope, if they need to know if your reverse promises extras, they have to ask, it's "no longer" Alertable.
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#8 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 15:33

View Postmycroft, on 2020-December-08, 12:45, said:

And the only Natural rebids that must be Alerted are:
(quote of ACBL)
Unless the Opening bid showed a Strong hand, a 1NT rebid or a raise of a 1-level major suit response to 2 of that major that may contain hands of 16 or more HCP.
After a Natural Opening Bid, a rebid by Opener that shows a suit that is routinely longer than the suit opened. [mycroft: the ACBL hates you, canape players]
After an Opening No Trump Sequence or a Natural No Trump Direct Overcall and a 2C or 3C bid asking for major suit length, a rebid that shows 5 cards in a major.

So a 1-level rebid that limits strength or (as you say) a 1-level opening that may be 9 HCP requires a question in front of partner?
Hard to see why they retain alerts at all.
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#9 User is offline   PrecisionL 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 17:48

page 7

Examples

Announcements
1c. A Forcing 1C Opening showing 16+ HCP that might not contain any clubs: "Alert."


Yikes, opening 1 artificial and 15+ hcp will not be alertable??? Posted Image

Does this mean that we can no longer play strong club with 15 hcp (or more)?

Or, is this a mistake?

Edited 7 pm 12/8/20: As noted below, just an example. 15 is still considered strong, or 14 (rule of 24), or 4-losers with 5 Controls. Posted Image

http://web2.acbl.org...HARTS2_2020.pdf
Ultra Relay: see Daniel's web page: https://bridgewithda...19/07/Ultra.pdf
C3: Copious Canape is still my favorite system. (Ultra upgraded, PM for notes)

Played Mosca (Nightmare-Fantunes-Millennium like) system with canapé, 11-14 NT.

Santa Fe Precision published 8/19. TOP3 published 11/20. Also Magic experiment (Science Modernized) with Lenzo. 2020: Jan Eric Larsson's Cottontail Club. 2020: C3 Reborn - T-Precision with Relays & 4cd M. BFUN (Bridge For the UNbalanced) 2021: Canape & Strong Relay.
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#10 User is online   sfi 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 17:53

View PostPrecisionL, on 2020-December-08, 17:48, said:

page 7

Examples

Announcements
1c. A Forcing 1C Opening showing 16+ HCP that might not contain any clubs: "Alert."


Yikes, opening 1 artificial and 15+ hcp will not be alertable. Posted Image

Does this mean that we can no longer play strong club with 15 hcp (or more)?

Or, is this a mistake?

I haven't read the document and don't particularly care about alerting in the ACBL, but the section you quoted started with "examples". To a casual observer it just looks like they chose a common agreement to demonstrate proper procedure.
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#11 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 19:06

I must say this is a sad way to learn that we have new regulations going into effect in three weeks. :-(
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#12 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 19:56

View Postsfi, on 2020-December-08, 17:53, said:

I haven't read the document and don't particularly care about alerting in the ACBL, but the section you quoted started with "examples". To a casual observer it just looks like they chose a common agreement to demonstrate proper procedure.

Agreed. The actual regulation says that you alert all artificial bids unless there's an exception. The only exception listed for artificial opening bids is that you do not alert a very strong artificial 2!C opening bid.
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#13 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 19:58

View Postmorecharac, on 2020-December-08, 19:51, said:

My understanding is that Reverses promise both extra

There seems to be something missing here. B-)
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#14 User is offline   morecharac 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 20:20

View Postmycroft, on 2020-December-08, 10:39, said:

One point of terminology: you absolutely do play reverses. Unless you never bid 1-1; 2 or the like. What you (and everyone else who says this) means is "your reverses don't promise extras".

My understanding is that Reverses promise both extra strength and at least 5-4 distribution with the first suit being longer than the second. 1-(P)-1-(P)-2 promises neither for us. Partner could easily have 2=4=3=4 with a minimal hand and only spot diamonds. (Nor would 3 instead of 2 be a Reverse, just a Strong Jump Shift.)

By neither part of the standard definition do we play Reverses.

View Postmycroft, on 2020-December-08, 10:39, said:

I agree with akwoo - at the beginning of the round is fine. It's not required, and it doesn't absolve you of the requirement to Alert at the time (no bidding Pre-Alerts do - as someone who's played more Pre-Alertable methods than 99% of the ACBL, I can guarantee that). I think the ruling response might be based on something other than "at the beginning of the round".

Why is it so hard to remember to Alert your Alertable treatments? She doesn't understand that nobody else in the room plays her way? What about the ones where everybody in the room does play her way - the announcement of the 1NT, the announcement of Transfer, ...? Just remind her, at the end of the hand, every time you reverse and she fails to Alert, that she has to remember.

It's not our Alertable treatment; Reverses are not used even by some of the Life Masters at our club. I personally find them a straitjacket on my bidding.

When I wrote to ACBL rulings I specified that part of the reason we don't play Reverses is partner's inability to understand or recognise them. Bad as my former partner was for grabbing any pretense to spring them on me whether opener or responder, hers seems to have caused a PTSD-like reaction to them.

The absurdity in the ruling is that 1) we're explicitly forbidden to Pre-Alert that we don't play something we avoid due to inability to recognise it and 2) we're required to wait until the possibility happens to Alert that it didn't actually happen because we don't play that way.

Judging from what appears to be the final form, ACBL should have run the draft past some non-advanced players to see what was taken for granted by the experts but unclear or unknown to the lower echelons.

It also reads like it was written by the Ruling the Game columnist who can make any simple answer so convoluted that it seems to state the opposite of what's intended.
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#15 User is offline   morecharac 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 20:23

View Postblackshoe, on 2020-December-08, 19:58, said:

There seems to be something missing here. B-)

I wondered why the post I was writing seemed to disappear. Apparently hitting the Tab key tells the forum software to submit reply.

And I saw after submitting this one that it also posted another draft of the same post I was still writing

Sheesh.
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#16 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 23:34

morecharac: What reverses (should) promise is one thing (frankly, logical given the consequences). But bidding your second suit, in a situation where to return to your first, partner has to bid at the 3 level, is a reverse, no matter what meaning you give to it. Same as (1)-1NT is an overcall, even though my partner and I don't play it as showing 15-18 HCP and a club stopper. That's why I say "you certainly do play reverses, you just don't promise extra (values|length) like most players do".

PrecisionL: Don't get caught by legal vs Alertable - as before, they're totally independent. You can play anything you like that is legal to whichever Convention Chart your game is run under. What you have to Alert remains the same, whether the call is legal or not :-).

Also note that a lot of what the opponents used to do to you because they didn't understand the Alert procedure they now will do to you because that *is* the Alert Procedure. (1!)-2 is not Alertable no matter what the meaning, because your opener is Artificial. Many calls over your (presumably could be 2-or-less) 1 opener will not be Alertable, even if they were over a 3+ 1 opener. I share your pain.
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#17 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-December-09, 10:16

View Postmorecharac, on 2020-December-08, 20:23, said:

I wondered why the post I was writing seemed to disappear. Apparently hitting the Tab key tells the forum software to submit reply.

Using Chrome on a PC, hitting the Tab key is not handled as input of Tab and will sometimes jump out of the reply window, but it does not submit reply in my experience - the Submit Reply and Cancel options are still visible and I can still go back and finish the reply.
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#18 User is offline   morecharac 

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Posted 2020-December-09, 13:21

View Postmycroft, on 2020-December-08, 23:34, said:

morecharac: What reverses (should) promise is one thing (frankly, logical given the consequences). But bidding your second suit, in a situation where to return to your first, partner has to bid at the 3 level, is a reverse, no matter what meaning you give to it. Same as (1)-1NT is an overcall, even though my partner and I don't play it as showing 15-18 HCP and a club stopper. That's why I say "you certainly do play reverses, you just don't promise extra (values|length) like most players do".

You seem to be equating reversing to a Reverse.

If the normal connotation of the term Reverse requires extra strength and a distributional hand, then not every hand that reverses is a Reverse.

Calling everything else with the same appearance a Reverse is a false equivalency.

By the normal definition I've read and heard, we don't play Reverses. On this forum is the only place I've heard a different definition than the standard.
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#19 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-December-09, 16:45

View Postmorecharac, on 2020-December-08, 20:20, said:

Judging from what appears to be the final form, ACBL should have run the draft past some non-advanced players to see what was taken for granted by the experts but unclear or unknown to the lower echelons.

Practically the entire alert process is a Catch-22 for players who don't know that their bidding methods are non-standard. It essentially presumes that everyone knows "standard bidding", and then they deliberately choose to do something different, and know where those differences are.

The most common area where this comes up is players who make a takeout double whenever they have opening strength but no 5-card suit to bid. ACBL used to require this to be alerted, but they eventually gave up because no one was alerting it (because they didn't realize it was anything unusual). They still have a checkbox "Min Offshape T/O" on the CC, but I doubt anyone checks it (and who would think to look for it after hearing an opponent double?).

I'm not sure what you expected ACBL to do if you'd run the draft past you. Do you really think they need to tailor the alert procedure based on the abilities of the poorest players? So if your partner doesn't know enough to alert something, your opponents are not entitled to the information?

#20 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-December-09, 17:02

View Postmorecharac, on 2020-December-09, 13:21, said:

You seem to be equating reversing to a Reverse.

If the normal connotation of the term Reverse requires extra strength and a distributional hand, then not every hand that reverses is a Reverse.

Calling everything else with the same appearance a Reverse is a false equivalency.

By the normal definition I've read and heard, we don't play Reverses. On this forum is the only place I've heard a different definition than the standard.

Sorry, but you're the one with the non-standard terminology.

There's no such thing as "Reverse". It's not a well known convention name. There's just "reverse", which is defined in the Bridge World dictionary as:

Quote

a non-jump bid in a new suit that bypasses a bid in a lower-ranking suit already bid by the same player. [North one club, South one spade, North two hearts is a reverse (bypasses two clubs). But North one club, South one heart, North one spade is not (no bypass).]


Saying "we don't play reverses" is like saying "we don't play 1NT" or "we don't play doubles". What you really mean is that when we make reverse bids, they don't have the normally expected meaning. If you played weak no trump, you wouldn't say "We don't play 1NT".

As for your decision not to play them as showing extra strength, I suggest you reconsider. This is not an arbitrary convention like Stayman or Blackwood, it's a simple consequence of bridge logic. If you open a 12 count, and partner responds with a 6 count, you don't have enough combined strength to play safely at 2NT or above. But if responder prefers opener's first suit, they have to bid it at the 3 level, and you'll be too high.

You call it a straightjacket, and maybe the analogy is correct. One of the uses of a straightjacket is to prevent a crazy person from injuring themselves. These requirements for reverses keep you from getting yourself into bad contracts.

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