[BLML] Sao Paulo

Eric Landau ehaa at starpower.net
Mon Aug 17 16:54:54 CEST 2009

On Aug 16, 2009, at 8:57 AM, Herman De Wael wrote:

> Yes Grattan, that is indeed what an "interpretation" is for, not to
> change the law, but to clarify it.
> However, Eric believes that clarification goes against what has been
> done in the past, with the "Kaplan engine". With a Kaplan engine, a
> player has the possibility to look up anything he wants to know, for
> whatever reason. This interpretation makes the process of asking less
> than a Kaplan engine, because all of a sudden, relevancy becomes a  
> factor.
> Eric believes this is a sad development, and I agree with that  
> sentiment.
> Mind you Grattan, this is totally different from time wasting and
> harassment, both of which may be said to be infracted when irrelevant
> questions are asked. But those are different laws. I see no reason why
> "relevance" should be an issue.
> Let me give an example of that last one: During the play, declarer  
> asks
> one defender how they lead from five small. "but he's lead an ace",
> responds the RHO. "so I don't see the relevance". Now we could all
> construct some example in which this question could be relevant.  
> But do
> we really want the Director to be called, and he judging the  
> relevance,
> before the simple question will be answered?

I don't, especially because we're discussing a general case.

If we (correctly, as Herman notes) ignore cases of deliberate "time  
wasting [or] harassment", then, by definition, any question asked is  
one that the asker believes to be relevant.  If, however, he is  
legally permitted to ask only questions that somebody else would  
judge to be "logically" or "properly" or "appropriately" or whatever  
(although I see no such word in L20F) relevant, then his own judgment  
of relevance is (ahem) irrelevant, and he can remain properly within  
the law only by calling on the director to make that determination  
for him every time he has a question about an "alternative call...  
not made".

Grattan's rather odd notion that instead of calling the director  
every time, we should give the opponents the opportunity to make the  
first judgment as to relevance, and call the director only if we  
don't like their opinion, seems inimical to the idea of a game played  
by its laws.  Since when are we allowed to ask our opponents whether  
they mind if we break the law as written, and then so as we please  
based on their permission?

Eric Landau
1107 Dale Drive
Silver Spring MD 20910
ehaa at starpower.net

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