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Default conventions in individual tournaments

#1 User is offline   gjfeldman 

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Posted 2021-September-03, 19:19

In ACBL individual tournaments (non-robot, 4 rounds of 3 boards each with a different partner), is there a default set of conventions assumed?
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#2 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-September-03, 22:18

Yes, but don't count on anyone knowing what it is.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#3 User is offline   dsLawsd 

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Posted 2021-September-04, 12:32

Get partner to play your card? Else it is a true crapshoot.
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#4 User is offline   mdpepper 

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Posted 2021-September-04, 21:58

I'm sure that most people playing in the Individuals play with some regularity in Robot events where GIB standard is the rule, so why not make it the standard/only bidding card allowed. Saves a lot of time and I bet it would make human-individual events a lot more popular.

In fact, I'd really like to see there be a National Individual event added to the Robot Individual offering thrice annually. I have a lot of ideas about how to make such an event almost cheat-proof and if somebody from BBO notices this post and is interested, I'd be happy to outline how I'd conduct the event.
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#5 User is offline   gjfeldman 

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Posted 2021-September-05, 05:18

The reason I posted this was that I recently played that tournament for the first time and I chatted to the table that I was playing GIB. I got a reply from an opponent that did not object to that, but implied that the standard was SAYC. I wanted to check if that was true.
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#6 User is offline   beowulf 

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Posted 2021-September-05, 09:34

View Postmdpepper, on 2021-September-04, 21:58, said:

I'm sure that most people playing in the Individuals play with some regularity in Robot events where GIB standard is the rule, so why not make it the standard/only bidding card allowed. Saves a lot of time and I bet it would make human-individual events a lot more popular.

In fact, I'd really like to see there be a National Individual event added to the Robot Individual offering thrice annually. I have a lot of ideas about how to make such an event almost cheat-proof and if somebody from BBO notices this post and is interested, I'd be happy to outline how I'd conduct the event.


I'd like to simply upvote this comment but, as usual, I've reached my daily limit of upvotes, i.e. zero.

There are three reasons that individual events aren't popular (IMO):
  • most experts don't play them because bidding and defense is a crap-shoot
  • Bidding and defense are a crap-shoot because there isn't a well-known standard system.
  • most of the denizens of the ACBL BBO individuals are people who can't get partners to play regularly with them.

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#7 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2021-September-07, 07:55

View Postmdpepper, on 2021-September-04, 21:58, said:

I'm sure that most people playing in the Individuals play with some regularity in Robot events where GIB standard is the rule, so why not make it the standard/only bidding card allowed. Saves a lot of time and I bet it would make human-individual events a lot more popular.

That's the rule in the Free Automated Fun tournaments. How many of the players do you think actually follow it?

#8 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-September-07, 15:23

I suppose the interesting underlying question is:
When you enter an individual game, what do you assume your partner is likely to understand?


I play quite a bit of robot Bridge, and I understand quite a lot of the Bot bidding (but not all of it), even the sometimes deceptive alerts.
When I play in tournaments where the default is GIB 2/1, there is a lot that I avoid including - but not limited to - Lebensohl, Cappelletti, Texas transfers and the entire minor transfer system.
I also don't try Soloway jump shifts.
I certainly would avoid DOPI, ROPI.
On the other hand, my carding is typically meaningless, so GIB and I have that in common.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#9 User is offline   Karert 

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Posted 2021-October-08, 14:41

I’ve been playing in the Express a lot – convenient when you can only commit for a few minutes.

It’s a standard 2/1, confirmed in the chat when the tourney starts, and the CC is available for all to see.

View PostdsLawsd, on 2021-September-04, 12:32, said:

Get partner to play your card? Else it is a true crapshoot.

And conveniently in the Express, there is no chat, so no-one can “get partner to play your card” – which is an odd idea anyway, when there is a prescribed system for the tourney: which partner prevails if they have different views?

View Postbarmar, on 2021-September-07, 07:55, said:

That's the rule in the Free Automated Fun tournaments. How many of the players do you think actually follow it?


Nearly none in the Express. What is actually played is a complete crapshoot:

1NT-2NT (minor transfer) is only ever played as quantitative;
1/2NT – 4NT is never played as quantitative, only ever Blackwood (but no-one knows how to count Aces, even if there are only four aces);
Transfers themselves are optional;
all doubles mean whatever is most convenient for the doubling hand – could be penalties, support, take-out, or simply lead-direcitonal;
2 Clubs (with a good partner) is perhaps forcing for one round, but can be passed if ptnr has a bad suit, and will never create a game-forcing auction;
Being a 2/1 system, there is actually no game-forcing bid – in response to an opening bid, or otherwise, as 2-level responses can mean anything;
if a partnership agrees a trump suit, a trial bid/cue bid/splinter, will all obviously be better suits to play in, so you can be sure you’ll be dropped in that short side suit;
Stayman is far too antique (and who’s ever heard of Smolen), so the only feasible reply to it Stayman is 3NT;
replies to Blackwood will never, ever resemble the amount of Aces held, whether you count four aces or include King of trump.

I should include the option that overcalls of 1NT are also completely random, but never follow the system of 2 clubs showing a single suit, and the majors showing the suit & a minor. Why would they? It's much easier for random players to play their own system, and expect random partners to know what they're playing!

The only certainty is that the opening lead is one of the thirteen cards that player held at the start. it could be 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th highest, but at least you'll know that player held that card at the start.


In the ideal world, the bidding at least (as it is the robot’s systems that often apply in individual tourneys) should be reviewed automatically, and players ranked on it, banned if they fall below a certain level. But of course, BBO would never do anything as novel as that.
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#10 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-October-08, 15:19

View PostKarert, on 2021-October-08, 14:41, said:

In the ideal world, the bidding at least (as it is the robot’s systems that often apply in individual tourneys) should be reviewed automatically, and players ranked on it, banned if they fall below a certain level. But of course, BBO would never do anything as novel as that.

Otherwise they would have to rank the robot B-)
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