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Law 12C2a in individual events

edited May 5 in EBU TDs

Inspired by a discussion in this month's issue of English Bridge (page 41):

Suppose, in an individual event, a player makes a board unplayable in a way that their partner for the round had no influence over or knowledge of (the example given in the magazine was bidding while holding a hand from a previously played board, with the other three players holding the correct hand, and this not being noticed until dummy was displayed).

According to the Law 12C2a, the artificial score in this situation is average minus to a contestant directly at fault, average to a contestant partly at fault, and average plus to a contestant not at fault. However, "contestant" is defined as a single player in an individual event, a pair in a pairs event, and a team in a teams event.

This makes me think that in the English Bridge situation, the letter of the law should be a case of awarding Av+ to three of the players at the table, and Av- to the remaining player. (This would be consistent with what happens in a team game – if an artificial score is awarded, it "by default" overwrites the score at the other table, unless this is modified by Law 86B.) However, apparently, the table director had said that this was not a possible ruling. So am I wrong about this, or was the director in the report?

(That said, it seems like this sort of adjustment might unbalance the movement – individual movements are balanced around everyone sitting in a direction having to play with a weak partner at some point in the movement – so the fairest adjustment may depend somewhat on whether weak players or strong players are more likely to do something that ends up requiring an artificial score. If it's more likely for weak players to do it, it would possibly be unfair to do a "three Av+ and one Av-" adjustment if the weakness manifests itself in terms of bad bidding/play on some boards, and irregularities on others. So if the Law does say what I think it does, I'm curious about whether it's correct to do so.)


  • I mean, it might just be that the scoring software can't cope with this nuance. It would run against the normal rules for scoring in bridge whereby a partnership always gets the same score. Although within an individual event, average plus might be a different score on the board for different competitors I suppose.

    It doesn't seem completely illogical to permit this when running an individual event. A careful reading of the laws might reveal a definite contradication. It feels wrong, but then individual events are pretty rare and not exactly bridge as normal.

  • How about Law 12C3
    "In individual events the Director enforces the
    rectifications in these Laws, and the provisions
    requiring the award of adjusted scores, equally
    against both members of the offending side even
    though only one of them may be responsible for the
    irregularity. But the Director shall not award a
    procedural penalty against the offender’s partner if
    of the opinion that he is in no way to blame."

  • That about covers it.

  • Indeed – Law 12C3 is pretty clear. (I guess it's just a case of a missing cross-reference; Law 12C2 seemed clear enough that I didn't look for exceptions.) Thanks for the clarification.

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