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Why do we accept BBO breaking the rules

We all know that once a board has been started (once any of the players has seen their hand) it must be allowed to be completed.

BBO does not allow this.


  • [pressed enter too early]

    It is rightly said that if you're not following the rules, you're not playing bridge.

    Are we playhing bridge on BBO?

    I know it's a matter of practicality, but the laws don't say "unless it's inconvenient".

  • Not sure that "BBO does not allow this" is correct. On another thread "Who's at Fault" Martin says that for long issues he usually extends the round so that the boards can be finished. So it would appear that any director on BBO can extend the round if the need arises. Admittedly it is always a matter of balance but I don't think (someone should be able to correct me) the director on BBO can stop a hand from being displayed after the first board has been completed (assuming 2 board rounds).

    As for "Are we playing bridge on BBO?" I sometimes wonder whether all clubs are playing "Duplicate Bridge" (F2F, BBO or even Real Bridge" even though all platforms have been set up to do so) according to the laws or have they
    "picked" how they deal with some irregularities.
    Stands back behind the wall!!

  • I've certainly written in a column that if you play and don't abide by the rules you may be playing a game but it isn't bridge. That got some heated responses. The particular example on this occasion was having a redeal after a board had been passed out on the first round. Clearly it disadvantages those who, for example, play mini no trump. It also isn't a level playing field as it can't happen on Rounds 2-x.

    In an EBU tournament online last December 1st in hand passed as did I and 3rd in hand. Whilst my partner was considering RHO woke up and asked for his bid back despite his partner having passed. As it happens it was clear that he had misclicked as his opening pass came with "2+ clubs, may have 5D" However F2F he would have been too late and it was not clear why it was not the same on RealBridge. There was some talk about who might have seen what call at what time but it seemed to me to be another example of the laws being suspended for online bridge. As it happens the offending side went for 800 so hardly any damage but IMO that was not the point.

  • Whether you're playing bridge online or whether you regard "online bridge" as a very similar but different game with most of the rules seems a technicality to me.

    There's always been some areas where the online platforms aren't completely compatible with some of the laws and regulations. I'm not sure it's that different to playing with screens, the screen regulations have a number of notes about how the laws work with them. The short answer about why we put up with this is that either we run tournaments within the limitations of the software or we don't run tournaments on those platforms. Regulations can be rewritten to account for the environment, revising how the platforms work isn't so easy. Although we do negotiate with suppliers to try to improve them.

  • It is "Bridge" if championships are held using the platform. For sure there must be some things that are different. You can't lead or bid out of turn or revoke but there are things that are different because of the preference of the organisers and the example I gave above does not need to differ from the F2F laws.

  • @JeremyChild said:
    Are we playing bridge on BBO?

    The short answer is that in Spring 2020 there really was no alternative. It was either don't play bridge or play bridge on BBO.

    Obviously the laws do not work on online bridge - there is too much dealing with physical boards and cards. All we could/can do is have regulations to provide an online game which is comparable to face-to-face bridge. Many correspondents (in this an other forums) may doubt the extent to which this has been achieved.

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