[BLML] Reply to Grattan (agreements about conventions)

Eric Landau ehaa at starpower.net
Tue Sep 21 22:35:37 CEST 2010

On Sep 21, 2010, at 3:26 PM, Robert Frick wrote:

> On Mon, 20 Sep 2010 09:45:43 -0400, Eric Landau  
> <ehaa at starpower.net> wrote:
>> On Sep 18, 2010, at 5:51 AM, Robert Frick wrote:
>>> 4NT  P  5H
>>> This time, the 5H bidder knew RKC and was showing two controls and
>>> denying
>>> the queen of trumps. But 5H was explained to the opponents as just
>>> showing
>>> two controls, with no mention made about the queen of trumps.
>>> Explainer
>>> was muddled about the convention; for the sake of example, let us
>>> say he
>>> never knew that part of the convention.
>>> Was this a misexplanation? Let's suppose it is. Then I have to ask
>>> what
>>> the defenders would have done if they had received the correct
>>> explanation. According to your #1, the correct explanation is "two
>>> controls, no agreement about the queen of trumps". There of course
>>> also is
>>> no agreement about the jack of trumps. So we can shorten this to  
>>> "two
>>> controls".
>>> So, according to #1, the explainer has given the correct
>>> explanation when
>>> he left out the information about the queen of trump.
>>> Or if the explanation had been 'two controls and shows the queen of
>>> trumps', then it is definitely mistaken explanation in anyone's
>>> interpretation. According to #1, the director has to discover what
>>> would
>>> have happened if the defenders had been given no information  
>>> about the
>>> queen of trumps. I always have been deciding what would have
>>> happened if
>>> the opponents had been given the correct RKC explanation.
>> Does it matter?  The key determination is whether the player without
>> the trump queen might have defended more successfully had he been
>> aware of the possibility that his partner might hold it.  Since the
>> benefit of the doubt in such determinations goes to the NOS, we will
>> presume him to have "guessed" (successfully) to play his partner for
>> it, as he well might have done.  The adjudicated result will be the
>> same as it would have been had we presumed that he "knew" where the
>> trump queen was.
> Richard is taking this view seriously, so your comment becomes  
> relevant.
> We don't give the NOS the benefit of the doubt on each every  
> individual
> aspect of the play, we give the benefit of the doubt overall. Was it
> likely that the players might have defended differently? It must  
> matter
> what they are told, and being told "no agreement" might tip the  
> balance to
> a particular play not being likely. In ACBL-land. It again almost
> certainly changes the probabilities for a weighted ruling.
> For example, we agree on Cappelletti, my partner knows what it means
> whilst I don't, and he bids 2D. The opps ask what it means, I take  
> a guess
> and guess wrong. In Richard's explanation of the laws, the question  
> will
> be if the opps would likely have done anything different had they been
> told no agreement. They still are likely to look for a spade fit,  
> whereas
> they probably would not if they were told that 2D showed the majors.

You are always responsible for disclosing your explicit agreements,  
whatever and however dubious they may be.  Richard's "no agreement"  
is a presumption for adjudication.  As we are discussing situations  
where the lack of a substantive agreement is not realized by at least  
one, usually both, members of the partnership, you are hardly  
expected to presume it for disclosure.

As usual, the key is just to do your best to be helpful and  
forthcoming.  You should not be taking any guesses here.  If you can  
explain the situation clearly to us, you can explain it just as  
clearly to them.  If you said you would play Cappelletti, but your  
partner knows it and you don't, what you should tell your opponents  
is, "We said we would play Cappelletti, but my partner knows it and I  
don't."  WTP?

Eric Landau
1107 Dale Drive
Silver Spring MD 20910
ehaa at starpower.net

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