[BLML] Misinformation and UI - Law 16B opinions? [SEC=UNOFFICIAL]

Herman De Wael Hermandw at skynet.be
Wed Dec 30 10:36:26 CET 2009

richard.hills at immi.gov.au wrote:
> Richard Hills:
> Sure, we are now discussing a hypothetical case which did not ever
> hypothetically happen.
> But.....
> Is Herman De Wael hypothetically calling me a hypothetical cheat?
> Whenever I have chosen to deviate from partnership methods (e.g. by
> hypothetically choosing to bid 1NT with a 3-1-6-3 shape and then
> hypothetically subsequently choosing to pass pard's 2D transfer to
> hearts) I always strive to correctly Alert and explain the Ali-Hills
> pre-existing mutual explicit and implicit partnership understandings.

Richard, you are not the kind of player I am talking about. You are on 
firm ground with your partner. Certainly you have a duty to inform your 
opponents of your system. But you HAVE a system. The two poor guys in 
the original had no clue whether system was on or not. In such a pair, 
you need to use legal methods to tell partner what you think is going 
on. One such legal method is a pass, indicating you believe that it is 
not-transfer. If the player there adds an alert to his pass, he 
indicates he believes it may be a transfer (he can not be certain of 
that), and his pass shows a 3163 rather than a belief it was a natural bid.
In that partnership, alerting and passing is cheating.

Not in yours, obviously.

And you may disagree with me on this one, but I hate it that you don't 
take the time to read and understand what I write, just jump in with 
Herman-bashing. Herman writes something I disagree with, so he must be 
wrong; no way can he be right.

> But it seems that Herman is not using the "C" word for the Ali-Hills
> partnership, since we have firm agreements and good memories.
> Rather, Herman is hypothetically assuming (with hypothetical lack of
> judgement which I hypothetically believe is distorted by the refuted

(why do you need to add that word?)

> De Wael School) that a player in a less practiced partnership _must_
> be a cheat when they elect to Alert in murky waters and such Alert is
> gives more UI benefits to their side than a non-Alert.  But avoiding
> MI is more important than any creation of UI.

No it is not.
Deliberately giving UI is one of the strongest infractions possible.

> Someone who is in murky waters must do something in their attempt to
> avoid MI, either Alert or eschew Alerting.  And the actual cards
> that someone holds are irrelevant to the Alert or non-Alert
> decision (the actual cards that someone holds may help them deduce
> partner's intentions, but the intentions of _one_ partner are also
> irrelevant when deciding the prior existence or non-existence of an
> understanding by _both_ partners).
> What is relevant is whether that someone believes that there is a
> pre-existing mutual explicit or implicit partnership understanding
> that 2D is a transfer to hearts (Alert) or whether that someone
> believes there is neither an explicit nor an implicit mutual
> partnership understanding about 2D (non-Alert).
> What's the hypothetical problem?

That in this case, there was no partnership understanding. So alerting 
becomes giving of UI. Which is not bad, if the call that is made gives 
the same information. But which is very bad, if the call that is made 
gives conflicting information.

> Anyway, the issue from the original post is not whether 2D was or
> hypothetically should have been actually Alerted, but whether the
> partner with a 5-card heart suit _expected_ their 2D to be Alerted.

No, he does not expect an alert - he knows partner is uncertain, so the 
alert tells him nothing. He expects a 2He bid, and when he does not get 
it, he has AI suggesting partner has understood differently.
When he sees a pass, he also expects a non-alert. Yet he gets an alert. 
That is unexpected!

> Law 73C:
> ".....an unexpected* alert or failure to alert, he must carefully
> avoid taking any advantage from that unauthorized information.
> * i.e. unexpected in relation to the basis of his action."

exactly! passing and alerting is certainly unexpected.

> Law 75A, slightly modified:
> "Whether or not North's [non-Alert] is a correct statement of
> partnership agreement, South, having heard North's [non-Alert],
> knows that his own 2D bid has been misinterpreted. This knowledge
> is 'unauthorized information' (see Law 16A), so South must be
> careful to avoid taking any advantage from that unauthorized
> information (see Law 73C). (If he does, the Director shall award an
> adjusted score.) For instance, if North [passes 2D] South has the
> unauthorized information that this [pass means that North thought
> that South's 2D was a natural bid]; but South's responsibility is
> to act as though North had made a [1NT bid with a 3-1-6-3 shape].

No it is not. South has two pieces of AI: The knowledge of not being on 
firm ground, and the pass. These two, together, suggest to him that 
partner thought his 2D was natural.
We've been here before, and no-one has ever solved this: what do we do 
when a player has AI and UI suggesting the same thing. I feel Richard is 
working from his "gut feeling" here: he believes this is not OK (and 
he's heard me saying it is - that's like a red flag to a bull), so he 
argues that there is UI, forgetting about the AI.

> Best wishes

Same here.
Lots of pleasure in 2010!


More information about the Blml mailing list