header                Issue #8              3 March 2015

These pages are an attempt to inform bridge players of  the laws governing our game.  In particular, we will be looking at everyday situations where the TD is called.
These pages will be updated each month, so please come again!  

Always call the TD for any infringement, however minor -   do not take the law into your own hands.

Unplayable Boards

At Gracelands The adjustment

TD calls at Gracelands were by and large routine calls only with very few calls that required the TD to exercise judgemental decisions. Then this call came: during the last round of the last session by a pair that were in contention!

Table 1 were supposed to play boards 25-27 in the last round. Board 25 was finished, scored, and put aside. Board 26 hits the table. At this stage, East decides to peek at the traveller of board 25 out of curiosity, and inadvertently grabs the traveller of board 27 (unplayed still) and scans the scores. The contracts were all strange to him and this jolts him to the realisation that he is looking at the incorrect traveller. He owns up and North calls the TD. "At this late stage?" I mused, and went over to section B.

The facts were relayed to me by North, who called me in the first instance.

I confirmed with East that he saw the scores and it was not just a superficial glance. "The board is unplayable then," I said, adding "I will have to adjust to Ave + and Ave - respectively" and then North pointed out that they were running well above 60% (the Ave + equivalent). I said that the program can grant them the greater of Ave + (60%) or their average, whichever is greater. North concurred, knowing the laws.

North was Tim Cope.

In the bridgemate, I adjusted the unplayable board 27 to 60%:40% and at the end of the session, I had to artificially weight the N-S score of board 27 to their average of the round which was 71.6%. That extra adjustment (from 20 matchpoints out of 34 [60%] to 24 out of 34 [71%]) caused them to win the event by a leeway of 0.07% over 3 sessions!

Here is the extract from Law 12C that covers it:

2. (a) When owing to an irregularity no result can be obtained [and see C1(d)] the Director awards an artificial adjusted score according to responsibility for the irregularity: average minus (at most 40% of the available matchpoints in pairs) to a contestant directly at fault, average (50% in pairs) to a contestant only partly at fault, and average plus (at least 60% in pairs) to a contestant in no way at fault.

(b) When the Director awards an artificial adjusted score of average plus or minus at international match points that score is normally plus or minus 3 imps, but this may be varied as Law 86A allows.

(c) The foregoing is modified for a non-offending contestant that obtains a session score exceeding 60% of the available matchpoints or for an offending contestant that obtains a session score that is less than 40% of the available matchpoints (or the equivalent in imps). Such contestants are awarded the percentage obtained (or the equivalent in imps) on the other boards of that session.

(italics mine - ED)


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Sid Ismail
National Director

3 March 2015

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