Unauthorised information

During a round of competitive bidding, a player needed to decide whether to bid 5H or double his opponent's 4S. He wanted look at the bidding card to check the value of the double. Is he allowed to do so, or would the act of looking be regarded as Unauthorised Information (Law 16)

Comments

  • The net effect is the same -but it is not clear whether you mean "Can he check to see what values he needs to bid/ double by agreement" or whether you mean "What is the penalty for 3 down doubled vulnerable.

    It is NOT unauthorised information. The EBU don't allow it. (It would be in the White book 1.6.4 if they did)

    1) Case of knowing what his double would mean.

    Law 40B2(b)

    (b) Unless the Regulating Authority provides otherwise a player may not consult his own
    system card between the commencement of the auction period and the end of play,
    except that players of the declaring side (only) may consult their own system card during
    the Clarification Period.

    From the introduction to the 2017 laws.

    Again “must not” is the strongest prohibition, “shall not” is strong but “may not” is stronger – just
    short of “must not”.

    2) Case of working out what the penalty is for 4 Sapdes doubled n-off is definitely under 1.6.4

    (f) Under Law 40B2 (d), a player is not allowed aids to memory, calculation or technique: for example, looking at the scores on the back of bidding cards during the hand is considered an aide-memoire and therefore illegal.

  • Law 40B2D: "Unless the Regulating Authority provides otherwise a player is not entitled to any aids to
    his memory, calculation or technique during the auction period and play." The information in question is authorised to the player (Law 16Ad, assuming the player has ever looked at a scoring table), but seeking a reminder of it is not allowed during the auction or play, the player is only allowed to use the information from memory.

    Now I'm curious as to what the appropriate adjustment would be if a player did illegally use a reminder of, e.g., their own system or a scoring table. The Director is of course within their rights to adjust for any irregularity, but this case doesn't seem to have guidance on which penalty to apply in the Laws or the White Book. (It would be a disciplinary penalty if the player knew that doing so was against the Laws, but I'm assuming this is a player who isn't aware of the Law in question.) A warning feels about right to me, though, possibly combined with an adjusted score if there's a reasonable chance it affected the outcome of the board.

    (On a side note: if you know that the opponents are playing the same system as you, is it legal to consult the opponents' system card for a reminder of your own system? I've never needed to do this, but it strikes me as an interesting grey area.)

  • There was a comment i read many years back where everone was playing SAYC - and yes they could refer to their opponents' convention card.

    Mind you - you do this at your own risk!

    If they did refer to their cc and opponents raised a query.then I think it would be a procedural penalty and a warning about use of UI on the cards. (The PP can be a warning of course).

  • Thanks everybody. Interesting that an apparently simple query can result in so many nuances and further queries

  • I'm trying to think of another game or sport where players are not allowed to find out the rules of the game they're playing while they're playing it.

  • @michael said:
    I'm trying to think of another game or sport where players are not allowed to find out the rules of the game they're playing while they're playing it.

    Are footballers (of any shape) or cricketers allowed to stop play and ask the referee what the laws are?

  • IIRC there was a famous incident in which a chess grandmaster had to ask a rules question of the arbiter ("can I castle if my Rook is attacked" – it had never come up before). The arbiter told them ("yes"). So that's at least one sport/game in which asking about the rules is legal (although you'd presumably have to do it while your own chess-clock was ticking down).

    On the other hand, I've also played video games competitively, and you aren't allowed to ask the referees information about the game mechanics there (a typical referee wouldn't know them in nearly the same depth as the players anyway); there's a lot of memorisation of what the typical results of your various actions will be. The scoring table in bridge feels more like that than like the question about legal moves in chess; it's not specifying what it's legal to do, it's just specifying how valuable various results are.

  • The things players do!!! I visited a club to partner a friend recently. Hard to believe but when playing at one table, an opponent pulled out a cheat sheet before making a bid. 'I don't think you are allowed to do that" & was immediately reprimanded by her partner as the offender was a learner. It was a point event.

    UI or something worse?

  • @Sheba977 said:
    The things players do!!! I visited a club to partner a friend recently. Hard to believe but when playing at one table, an opponent pulled out a cheat sheet before making a bid. 'I don't think you are allowed to do that" & was immediately reprimanded by her partner as the offender was a learner. It was a point event.

    UI or something worse?

    If the RA expressly allows it (which would be the club even if masterpoints are being awarded) then this is perfectly allowable.

    Law 40B2d

    (d) Unless the Regulating Authority provides otherwise a player is not entitled to any aids to
    his memory, calculation or technique during the auction period and play.

  • @Robin_BarkerTD said:

    @michael said:
    I'm trying to think of another game or sport where players are not allowed to find out the rules of the game they're playing while they're playing it.

    Are footballers (of any shape) or cricketers allowed to stop play and ask the referee what the laws are?

    Probably not, but if they asked their team-mate or manager would they be penalised?

  • @michael said:

    @Robin_BarkerTD said:

    @michael said:
    I'm trying to think of another game or sport where players are not allowed to find out the rules of the game they're playing while they're playing it.

    Are footballers (of any shape) or cricketers allowed to stop play and ask the referee what the laws are?

    Probably not, but if they asked their team-mate or manager would they be penalised?

    If the New Zealand cricketers had been allowed to ask for an appeal on the laws of cricket then they would have won the World Cup (possibly) with one of the overthrows off Stokes's bat not being allowed.

  • @ais523 said:
    The scoring table in bridge feels more like that than like the question about legal moves in chess; it's not specifying what it's legal to do, it's just specifying how valuable various results are.

    I'm not sure I agree with this. The scoring system is a fundamental part of any game - perhaps the most fundamental part. It tells you what the goal is and informs (or should do) every decision you make. All the other rules are just the mechanics for how you achieve that goal.

    I'm not suggesting that knowing that 3 off doubled vulnerable is -800 is as vital as knowing that you get four runs for hitting the ball to the boundary, but it does seem a bit weird to me that we would penalise people for checking. If UI is transmitted by doing that, then we have laws which cover that.

  • Actually, I recall reading that in the chess incident mentioned above, the arbiter actually shouldn't have answered the question posed. Quite where this line falls varies between sports, I think we generally expect players to know common scores. But I'm not completely certain they can't ask, since the scoring table is in the laws.

  • Another data point: I happened to be reading the rules of snooker, and those explicitly forbid the referee from answering any question that isn't explicitly stated as an approved question (5(1)(b)(i)). Questions about the rules aren't listed as approved, thus in snooker, you can't usefully ask rules questions while playing (you find out when an infringement is or isn't called, but not before).

Sign In or Register to comment.