[BLML] Reply to Grattan (agreements about conventions)

Robert Frick rfrick at rfrick.info
Thu Sep 23 02:39:03 CEST 2010

On Wed, 22 Sep 2010 09:04:04 -0400, Eric Landau <ehaa at starpower.net> wrote:

> On Sep 21, 2010, at 5:23 PM, Robert Frick wrote:
>> On Tue, 21 Sep 2010 16:35:37 -0400, Eric Landau
>> <ehaa at starpower.net> wrote:
>>> On Sep 21, 2010, at 3:26 PM, Robert Frick wrote:
>>>> 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,
>> I think I am responsible for disclosing all of my agreements.
> In this context, the problem arises because you may not be aware of
> what your agreement is, and you can't disclose what you don't know.
> But you will always know (or will have known) what your explicit
> agreement is, by definition, and can always, at minimum, disclose
> that much.
>>> whatever and however dubious they may be.  Richard's "no agreement"
>>> is a presumption for adjudication.
>> ???
> In particular here, you are not aware of the fact that you have no
> agreement.  It is only during post-play adjudication that this
> finding is made, and comes into play.
>>>  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.
>> yes, it is more likely to come up in rectification. But not
>> impossible in
>> play. If my partner explains my bid wrong, I might decide we have no
>> agreement.
> You are not permitted to allow your partner's explanation to affect
> your understanding of your call at the time you made it.  If you made
> the call knowing that you had no agreement about it, there's no
> issue.  Otherwise, you must disclose what you believe your agreement
> to be, not what you think your partner believes it to be, and let the
> TD/AC sort it out.

Sorry, I didn't explain this well. We have agreed on some convention, I  
make a bid following the convention, and my partner misexplains it. Now I  
am declarer and must tell the opps that my partner's explanation was wrong  
and tell them the correct explanation.

It is to my advantage if I can tell them "no agreement" rather than  
telling them what my bid means according to the convention we played.

According to what Nigel has called the blml position, I can tell them "no  
agreement" if in fact my partner never knew the convention (or lacks  
whatever awareness is needed to form a mutual understanding).

I am allowed to use his call to judge what what explanation to give. (That  
is standard blml cant.)

>>> 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?
>> Is it a problem that the opponents will wish they knew Cappelletti?
>> (Will
>> the director be understanding when my partner refuses to explain
>> Cappelletti?)
> The opponents are entitled to the same understanding of your
> partner's calls as your own.

Actually, this is not true, in both directions. They are not always  
entitled to all of the information I have about my partner's call (when my  
partner gives me UI which helps me understand his hand and does not help  
the opponents).

Relevant to this discussion, most people would say that they are sometimes  
entitled to more than I understand (even though I myself cannot provide  
this extra until after the hand). You might not be taking this position.  
As I understand it, you believe a mutual understanding of the meaning of a  
conventional call (when only the convention name has been agreed upon)  
occurs implicitly through mutual awareness at the time the call is made.  
If so, when I forget a convention we do not have mutual awareness. But no  
one would rule that way. I am building your position from what you have  
said, you might actually believe differently or want to change it.


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