Is the phrase ' I wish to reserve my rights' valid and if so in what circumstances?
This is what it says in Law 16B2, the unauthorised information law:
When a player considers that an opponent has
made such information available and that damage
could well result he may announce, unless
prohibited by the Regulating Authority (which may
require that the Director be called), that he reserves
the right to summon the Director later (the
opponents should summon the Director
immediately if they dispute the fact that
unauthorized information might have been
So, saying "I wish to reserve my rights" is a way of saying "can we agree that some UI was made available, so that we can get on with playing and call the director later if there seems to be a problem?"
It may well be better to use some alternative wording such as mine above, rather than using the often-confusing "reserve my rights" phrase.
thank you very much
Many less experienced players get scared stiff when an opponent announces "I'm reserving my rights" and they have no idea what they may have done wrong or what the issue is. Some say they thought they were going to be drummed out of the bridge club without even knowing why! And even the player that reserves his rights often has no idea what rights he is reserving. Unfortunately, as Gordon has shown, the expression is used in one place in the Laws, but I so agree with him that it is far better to use a more friendly sounding approach.
Kato, once a TD comes to a table and the auction or play are still ongoing, he may take the opportunity of taking what facts are available at that point, and to see whether there is agreement from the players about the irregularity (eg hesitation), but he can't tell players what to call or play.
Barrie Partridge - Senior Kibitzer in Bridge Club Live - Pig Trader in IBLF
Club Bridge is a rare example of an activity where players of vastly different ability and experience meet in direct opposition. What is 'normal' for some will be deeply disconcerting for others. Many Bridge Clubs are not in a position to deter new and less experienced members. I am afraid I am not offering a solution here but just a request that in Local Club Duplicates the more experienced of us adopt an 'educational' approach rather than a perceived 'punitive' one. There are partnerships who a) don't notice their partner's UI and/or b) take no inference from it even if they do notice it. Better to take the occasional bad score and, at an appropriate time, talk to them about the ethical situation.
Rather than saying "I'm reserving my rights", it it probably better to say, "Can we agree that ....". It is much easier to agree the key facts at the point it happened that it is to try and remember them several minutes later after the play of the hand.
If the facts are disputed then the TD can be called immediately.
By taking this fact agreement approach, the less experienced player feel more comfortable asking why we want to agree these fact. This then opens up your educational opportunity that you mentioned.
It doesn't really matter whether you think it is bad terminology or that it will scare lesser players, as a TD you have to deal with these matters. It would be a good idea for clubs to teach members a little more about the rules rather than blame some player who wishes to play to them. If you think that this term scares people explain it in the club newsletter or a notice on the club noticeboard and tell players if their opponents say this and they are unhappy to do not understand to call the TD.
I agree with bluejak, these matters are things that should be discussed in assisted play sessions - at a club where I play regularly they have a very well attended assisted session, sometimes as many as 15 tables and the TD sits in the corner and reads the paper - rarely interacting with the players and certainly not using the moment to improve their table etiquette - then when they, the players, feel they might put their toe in the water of a slightly more serious session they get absolutely crushed because they continue to talk about the hand they're going to bid, they don't provide correct information when asked a question by opps and they take it very personally when the TD is called to the table, not really understanding what's going on. The clubs who run assisted session need to make better use of them and ensure that their players are coming out of them ready to sit at a slightly more serious table. IMHO