[BLML] The Monty Hall trap

Nigel Guthrie nigelguthrie at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Dec 20 16:22:30 CET 2010


[richard willey]

My experience is the same as Michael's. We were playing a 1S overcall as
any hand that didn't fit any of the many toys we were playing.
Not a 2 suiter, not a weak one suiter, not ... (I no longer recall all
of the options)
Wasn't permitted. As with Michael, this was long before any primarily
destructive regs.

[nigel]
I believe that there should be no system-restrictions but I feel that such 
conventions should be permitted only if you can describe them adequately. 
Suppose my partner opens 2D, I alert, and you ask what it means. I think it 
would be ridiculous for a director to allow me to describe it as: a hand 
unsuitable for a pass, a 1C opener, a 1D opener, and so on...

On the other hand, sometimes, in a more complicated auction, all that you can 
hope for is negative inferences. For example, yesterday, the following auction 
occurred:
(3N) _P (4C) 4H
(_X)
3N = long minor
4C = pass/correct
4H = Natural.

I asked what opener's double meant. I was told "No agreement". I asked if there 
any inferences from partnership style, or experience in other contexts. The 
reply was "None".
When the play was over, the doubler explained that his double was intended to 
show top-end strength without extra shape. "Well, I knew it wouldn't be penalty 
or show heart values" said his partner. We suffered no damage. I complained, 
however, that although this interpretation is sensible I would have been 
grateful for that information earlier. My partner defended opponents. He 
explained it was "general bridge knowledge". Again I was surprised what others 
regard as "general bridge knowledge". Especially as different groups of people 
sometimes have different and incompatible interpretations.


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