# The Duplicate Boards

Can anybody enlighten me on the logic behind the vulnerability sequence on the boards?

Just curious!

• There are 4 dealers (NSEW) and 4 possible vulnerability combinations (Nil/ NS/ EW/ All) so we need 16 separate boards for all sequences (which is why matches tend to be of 16 or 32 boards, although of course the ACBL reduced it to 15 for slow play.)

Each set of 4 vulnerabilities is moved forward one

1-4 Nil/ NS/ EW/ All
5-8 NS/ EW/ All/ Nil
9-12 EW/ All/ Nil/ NS
13-16: All/ Nil/ NS/ Ew

Hope this helps

• Has there been any consideration to vulnerabilities and dealers with movements? In a straight Mitchel it would be fine, but 3/4 Howells etc, could that mean that someone does not deal, or only a couple of times? Is there an advantage to have a more stable opener or a more aggressive one and can that be used to advantage?

• @weejonnie said:
There are 4 dealers (NSEW) and 4 possible vulnerability combinations (Nil/ NS/ EW/ All) so we need 16 separate boards for all sequences (which is why matches tend to be of 16 or 32 boards, although of course the ACBL reduced it to 15 for slow play.)

Each set of 4 vulnerabilities is moved forward one

1-4 Nil/ NS/ EW/ All
5-8 NS/ EW/ All/ Nil
9-12 EW/ All/ Nil/ NS
13-16: All/ Nil/ NS/ Ew

Hope this helps

Oh, so this is to provide 16 separate combinations of dealer and vulnerability. Thanks for clarifying. I've always wondered why.

Martin has raised an interesting point, though.

• @Martin said:
Has there been any consideration to vulnerabilities and dealers with movements? In a straight Mitchel it would be fine, but 3/4 Howells etc, could that mean that someone does not deal, or only a couple of times? Is there an advantage to have a more stable opener or a more aggressive one and can that be used to advantage?

In pairs events there are usually far too many other, important limitations on your movement to take any account of this. In long teams matches though, it is sometimes considered. For example, if playing 4x12 board stanzas, it is better to have boards 1-48 than 1-24 twice, whereas for 4x16 board stanzas it doesn't matter whether you use 1-64, 2x 1-32, or 4x 1-16.

• I'm thinking in terms of a partnership, rather than for Directors to consider.

I don't know, something like, "Oh, we are Pair x in y movement - lets swap, so you play S and E"?

• @Martin said:
I'm thinking in terms of a partnership, rather than for Directors to consider.

I don't know, something like, "Oh, we are Pair x in y movement - lets swap, so you play S and E"?

That's not permitted during a session, which is why arrow-switch instructions should specify the way the move goes, and at the start of a session you are unlikely to know which way your opponents are going to sit or when you are going to meet them. So not only are there more important things for directors to consider, I think there are probably more important things for a player to consider than this!

• .> @Martin said:

I'm thinking in terms of a partnership, rather than for Directors to consider.

I don't know, something like, "Oh, we are Pair x in y movement - lets swap, so you play S and E"?

Seems a tad far-fetched to me .

In my experience the only times people other than the directors pay much attention to the movement is either when those who want to sit have to move, or when there is a 3/4 Howell or a skip and somebody misses their favourite opponents.

• With Howells, I didn't think that there was a requirement for North to sit East too, for example, as North could move to West (but cannot alternate between E/W or N/S in the same night). With an arrow switch, I have never seen a requirement for a particular orientation either? I normally sit still and ask, 'who wants to be north?', then orientate the boards and tablet accordingly.

• I am not saying that this happens, I am just wondering if it was considered. I am thinking that I prefer to deal or be in second seat more often with one of my partners as they are more timid than me

So, I was just wondering if I could leverage that to my (small) advantage and presumably there would not be an infraction by doing it?

• There would be an infraction if you tried to change during a session. There would not be an infraction if you chose to be N & E throughout in a 26-board game for that reason, though you might need diplomacy to explain it to your partner!

• Thanks Gordon... I understand that you cant play as North then later play as South. Lets say I am sat E and my partner W and the movement card goes on the table, can I then swap to sit West before cards are taken out etc?

Perhaps E is OK but S is better than N for our pair number in that movement, so I choose E & S.

I am thinking it perhaps more of an issue with Howells, so you miss being dealer, move to another table/orientation and not be dealer again etc...

• LAW 5 - ASSIGNMENT OF SEATS
A. Initial Position
The Director assigns an initial position to each contestant
(individual, pair or team) at the start of a session. Unless
otherwise directed, the members of each pair or team may
select seats among those assigned to them by mutual
agreement. Having once selected a compass direction, a
player may change it within a session only upon instruction
or with permission of the Director.

So, no, it seems you are not allowed to change once you have selected a position, unless agreed by the director.

• Ah, interesting

Thanks for checking. So, it would only leave at that point the assignment of the seat when arrow switching or changing orientation in a Howell. So, sat East and moving to N/S, one could sit either way as it has not yet been decided.

• @Martin said:
Ah, interesting

Thanks for checking. So, it would only leave at that point the assignment of the seat when arrow switching or changing orientation in a Howell. So, sat East and moving to N/S, one could sit either way as it has not yet been decided.

That's why I said above "which is why arrow-switch instructions should specify the way the move goes". For a Howell it's fairly uncommon for it to be specified.

• I must confess that it has never been my practice as director at the club to specify which direction is N on an arrowswitch round (nor for that matter to worry about whether players are sitting in only two compass directions during the session in a Howell).

Off topic, but some analysis programs appear to assume that players sit either N and E or S and W. This of course doesn't work for arrowswitches without specific instructions: if the moving players sit in the same direction relative to the room on the arrowswitch round as they have for the rest of the session (as most would in the absence of instructions to the contrary), and the boards are rotated 90 degrees (say) clockwise, the erstwhile E will indeed sit N, but the erstwhile N will of course be W.

It seems weird that to ensure the polarities assumed by the analysis program, you need to specify that the boards are rotated anti-clockwise (to preserve the assumed polarities for the stationary pairs), and tell the moving pairs to swap directions relative to the room.

• @Abbeybear said:
It seems weird that to ensure the polarities assumed by the analysis program, you need to specify that the boards are rotated anti-clockwise (to preserve the assumed polarities for the stationary pairs), and tell the moving pairs to swap directions relative to the room.

Sorry, this is beyond me. What do you mean, and what alternative do you suggest?

• [GR]: "So, no, it seems you are not allowed to change once you have selected a position, unless agreed by the director."

On Sunday I ran (while playing) a Mitchell with the last two rounds arrow-switched. When I announced that the player who up till now had been sitting East would be North for the last two rounds, one of the original North players insisted on moving round the table to become East for the last two rounds. His opponents thought he shouldn't be allowed to, but I let him.

I read the "position" in law 5 to refer to a compass position on the board in play, rather than a compass position in the room, or a position relative to the other players, so if it's important to someone to always be, say, North and East (believe me, it really is to some), they can be.

OK, I was the director, so I had the power to give permission for this, but is it "standard" or "normal" to allow this?

• I think very few people (TDs or players) care about it, but I there are two reasons for specifying this:
1. So that you have a basis for ruling if the players argue about who should sit on which side of the other
2. So that a strong player (real or self--percieved) doesn't try to manipulate things so that they sit in the first two seats of the auction (where players are thought to have more influence) or so that they sit over the stronger of their opponents.

• I don't think he was trying to get on a particular side of an opposing player, nor position himself to open the bidding, I think he was one of the few players who like to sit in specific compass positions, for reasons best known to themselves. (I used to know a player called Mary West who just had to sit West rather than East because it matched her surname. Anyone who suggested otherwise would get a very firm put-down.)

I suppose one solution would be to announce at the start of the session how the arrow-switch would be organised and that no seat swapping would be permitted, so at least they can arrange themselves as best they can, and prepare themselves for the indignity or inconvenience or whatever it is, of sitting in an unaccustomed seat.