Laws and Ethics Update
by Jeremy Dhondy
From August 1st there will be revised regulations. These will apply to EBU events, counties and clubs. The main changes are summarised below:
- The Orange and Tangerine Books will disappear and be replaced with one book known as the Blue Book. It is significantly shorter and the reason it has a new name is to distinguish it from all the old Orange Books lurking in drawers and cupboards across the land. It is available on line.
- There is a new edition of the White Book also available on line. This contains as before all the regulations and advice regarding running events and up to date guidance on application of the laws of the game. It is about 50 pages shorter than the last edition and will be of interest, mostly, to club and tournament organisers and directors.
- There are changes to the regulations governing alerting and announcing but they should not represent a major upheaval. Minor infractions will be dealt with by warning rather than penalty at EBU events for the first few months as players adapt.
- Changes to announcements are that from August you should announce a short minor opening by saying "May be two" or whichever number applies. Minors which are three or more cards continue to be regarded as natural and need neither an alert nor an announcement. You will also announce a natural, strong 2NT opening by saying the range e.g. 20-22 and a 3C response if it is normal 4 card Stayman and 3D/3H responses if they are transfers. In other words the scheme will be the same as when announcing a 1NT opener.
- There will be some changes to alerting above the level of 3NT on the first round of the auction if a suit is bid. You already alert artificial openings such as 4C showing hearts. In future if a suit is bid on the first round and it is artificial then partner will be expected to alert. One example of this is 1NT p 4H where the 4H bid is a transfer to spades. Note that this does not apply to NT so you will not alert Blackwood.
- There are no changes to the alerting of doubles or the regulations regarding what you can agree to open a strong and artificial two bid on.
- Level 3: There are no EBU tournaments organised at this level. Some clubs however have stuck with it as they prefer a game with some complex agreements removed. In the new Blue Book Level 3 has been removed but there is a brief list of agreements allowed at Level 4 which clubs may prefer to disallow if they are used to Level 3.
- If you organise a teams event which uses victory points then you will want to be aware that there is a new scale. This scale is published in the new White Book and also on the EBU website. It applies from September 1st.
- Finally, Regulations apply to all EBU tournaments. Unlike laws clubs don't have to use regulations. We recommend that they do however. It makes life easier when you have visitors to the club and also when your club members play elsewhere.