There are no significant changes to Blue Book regulations this year, although the wording has been simplified or clarified in several places (including the notes on ‘strong’ openings). The wording on alerting and announcing has been expanded, emphasizing the overarching requirement to disclose methods fully. Otherwise, the only actual changes to existing regulations are to modify the definition of ‘natural’ for an opening bid, response or overcall and update Level 5 in line with recent changes to the WBF systems policy
The majority of the changes to the White Book are concerned with penalties: being clearer on what penalties are to be applied, rather than introducing new offences. There are changes to appeals processes, including the composition of appeals committees. The section on ‘Hesitation Blackwood’ has been extended to cover more situations where the hesitation acts as an illegal ‘wake up call’.
The content of these books applies to all events held on or after 1st August 2019.
Shorter summary: "very little"
A bit more "tell them what you play".
A bit more: don't use unauthorised information and try to weasel your way out of it.
(Some of the things members of the L&E have been saying on BridgeWinners.)
Something that looks wrong (either I'm missing something, or the White Book is): in the Table of Penalties in section 2.8.2 of the White Book, it suggests a penalty for "Deliberate use of unauthorised information¹¹", with footnote ¹¹ being "Deliberate use of unauthorised information (e.g. from hearing something from another table) should usually be penalised in addition to any adjustment. See §126.96.36.199." However, information heard from another table is extraneous, not unauthorised (and is legal to use as long as you call the Director and let them know you're in possession of the information; although the score will be adjusted if you gain an advantage from it, attempting to make use of XI is not a Laws breach per Laws 16B and 16D). So unless I've missed something, this example is directly contrary to the Laws.
Either the offence should be listed as "failing to report extraneous information", or else the example should be something that would be unauthorised information, such as "(e.g. from a hesitation by partner)". I suspect that the latter is what's intended (or maybe both are), but it should be clear in the White Book.
I think you are right (speaking as the one who originally wrote that bit).
In my view, both of the offences mentioned should be treated equally. Hearing from the next table that you can make 7NT via the heart finesse, then bidding and making an insane 7NT and taking an anti-percentage line, strikes me as at least as bad an offence as deliberately using unauthorised information from partner.
Slightly off topic now, but reading the Law, I see why you say that "attempting to make use of XI is not a Laws breach per Laws 16B and 16D" but I want to find a Law that stops it somewhere.... it's all very well saying that the TD will adjust the score if he decides that the XI affected the result, but surely the players will know better than the TD?
For what it's worth, I've reported XI more often than anyone else I know (I'm fairly observant, which can be something of a problem when it comes to minimizing extraneous information!). The TD's ruling each time (which is IMO correct) has been "call me back at the end of the hand if anyone thinks the information affected the play", and each time nobody thought the information made a difference. Each time so far it hasn't. I didn't strain to take actions either suggested or counter-suggested by the extraneous information, and generally speaking it was fairly minor and it would have been hard to take advantage of it anyway. (Normally it's been something like a spot card dropped by an opponent at another table; in theory I could gain an advantage from knowing that player had a card left in that suit if they played it last, in practice it's unlikely to have any effect.)
So I guess that although it's technically the TD's call as to whether the information affected the hand, in practice they'll just ask the players, who will typically be in agreement.