[BLML] a question

Alain Gottcheiner agot at ulb.ac.be
Tue Apr 10 18:56:28 CEST 2012

Le 10/04/2012 16:27, Volker Walther a écrit :
> You are playing a spade contract and you know that the opps are playing
> Lavinthal discards. LHO cashes two top tricks in H and switchs to trump.
> On the third round of spades RHO discards C2.
> During the next trick you ask LHO "What did his last discard  show?"
> If he is looking bewildered or puzzled and is obviously unaware of the
> fact that C2 was the played card, this is strong evidence that C2 was
> not realized as a signal at all. I do not think that declarer is
> authorized to get this information that way.
> Furthermore a question like "What did the discard of C2 show" may be an
> infraction of L73 F. Suppose later on LHO is on lead and leads an
> unlucky  Diamond.
> And finally declarer may "accidently" name another card as discarded and
> get information about the distribution that way.
> Something like: Declarer: Why did RHO discard H10?
> LHO (takes a puzzled look to his hand, then says): He did not discard
> the H10.

True.  and the problem is more complex than that. Answers give more 
information that they're meant to.

My experience (in French) shows that, if an opponent discards, and you 
ask him "how do you mark attitude ?" ("comment appelez-vous ?") , he 
will begin with discards if and only if his discard was meaningful in 
that respect. Not a big deal if he does, but if he doesn't there is a 
strong hint that his discard wasn't intended that way. Are you allowed 
to this information ?

A related case :
East : 1C
West : 1H
North, to East (legally IIRC) : "How storng is your 1NT opening ?'"

Usually East will answer normally. But if his answer is "we didn't open 
1NT" he's a favorite to have a hand not far from a 1NT opening., i.e. he 
at least briefly considered it.

Best regards


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