[BLML] Effect of ACBL L12C1(e)(ii) language

Steve Willner swillner at nhcc.net
Tue Aug 25 04:37:23 CEST 2009

> From: Adam Wildavsky <adam at tameware.com>
>  what is that probability that it would not have made, had
> the irregularity occurred? The question seems meaningless to me.

There are lots of controversial topics on BLML, but seldom have I seen 
one where the lack of understanding of the opposing positions is so 
extreme.  The culprit, of course, is L12C1e(ii), which reads
   "For an offending side the score assigned is the most
    unfavourable result that was at all probable."

This is incomplete.  It needs a subsequent phrase, which might be one of 
the following:
a) ...had the irregularity not occurred.
b) ...had the non-offending side avoided serious error and wild and 
gambling actions.
c) ...had the deal been played against different opponents of the same 
skill and playing the same methods as the non-offending side.

I don't claim my wording above is perfect, but I hope everyone can see 
that these are three different rules, each of which could reasonably be 
applied.  And also that each of them is consistent with the existing 
wording of the Law.

Obviously the ACBL has chosen a).  I don't see anything inconsistent 
with logic in doing so, but it is inconsistent with worldwide practice 
and history.  It also seems the least consistent with the actual 
language, though by no means is it the greatest stretch of 
interpretation some official body has ever made.

I _think_ the actual intention of the WBFLC was probably b), but there 
is nothing obvious to me that rules out c).

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