[BLML] Having none, partner?

Nigel Guthrie nigelguthrie at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Dec 27 21:08:56 CET 2010

A recurring theme: but is this just a lot of fuss about putting the cat out? 

[TFLB, L61B3, Right to Inquire about a Possible Revoke]
Defenders may ask declarer and, unless prohibited by the Regulating Authority, 
may ask one another (at the risk of creating unauthorized information).

When your partner shows out in a suit. looking at your own holding in that suit, 

there are two main possibilities...

(1) There are outstanding cards in the suit. Unless declarer has them all, 
partner is revoking.

(2) There are no cards left outstanding in the suit, so partner is *not* 

It is sensible to ask in case 1; but it is human nature not to ask in case 2. 
Thus, for example, when you don't ask there is an inference that you hold the 
outstanding cards.

The law itself admits to creating this potential source of unauthorised 
information. It seem to put an unnecessary strain on partner's ethics. 
Some cynics believe it explains the diminishing popularity of count-signals. 

In some RAs, defenders rely on being asked about possible revokes. But does any 
RA elect to prohibit this? I feel  strongly that the *default* should be 
prohibition. And the law-book should then specify a sanction for asking.

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