[BLML] The Monty Hall trap

Alain Gottcheiner agot at ulb.ac.be
Tue Dec 14 14:03:43 CET 2010

Le 14/12/2010 12:32, Herman De Wael a écrit :
> That too is a problem. Most Directors believe that the system regulation
> regarding light openings are very strict: "if you do it, and there is
> even the slightest doubt that you have doe it before, then your
> agreement is a banned one". That cannot be the correct interpretation of
> a piece of system regulation, as that would be tantamount to the
> well-known ACBL rule: "it's OK to psyche, provided you never do it".
Problem is, the limit is very thin and use of partnership history can 
seldom be proven. But it happens, and, as written now, is illegal if 
they aren't aware of it. Therefore, one (bad) solution is to ban those 
agreements which cause problems.

Here is one example:

AQ9xx - xx - Qxx - Jxx

pass    pass    1H        1NT
pass    2NT      pass    3NT

Partner seems to have opened on tram tickets - is he allowed to do so ? 
Perhaps (depending the conditions of contest). Even if your system 
doesn't provide for it, Herman says that he should be allowed it.

You don't double, and the TD asks you why (having in mind that you have 
guessed that partner opened light and such an agreement is disallowed).
You may defend yourself in two ways :
- I saw the bidding, there were too many points, and i don't think they 
would play it funny (3NT re-raise !). Right ?
- If 3NT goes down, I have a good board. If RHO is operating on a long 
minor, I can't be sure of defeating 4m. Right ?
The answer to those two "right?"s may depend on appreciation. But 
perhaps you'll go away with it.

Now what do you lead ?
If you say to yourself "I'll lead partner's suit, even though they 
advertized a good stopper.. It should be rather strong to have opened 
that weak", you're using information about partner's style, that 
opponents aren't aware of if you didn't mention light openers, and that 
will be very difficult to prove. Yet it doesn't abide by rules of full 

Best regards


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