[BLML] "What was the question to my partner?"

Ed Reppert blackshoe at mac.com
Wed Jul 18 01:50:36 CEST 2012

On Jul 17, 2012, at 1:21 PM, Robert Frick wrote:

> Declarer asked one defender for an explanation of a bid. The other  
> defender, hard of hearing, did not hear the question or answer. He asked  
> to hear them.
> Is he entitled to hear partner's answer? Partner's answer is UI by  
> L16B1(a). So it is easy to conclude that he should not be allowed to hear  
> it. But he is obligated to correct it if wrong, strongly suggesting he is  
> entitled to hear it.
> Is he entitled to hear declarer's question? That seems to be the more  
> interesting issue. It could be useful information to the defender.
> Law 16 seems to clearly make the question AI. In my rewrite of L16, it  
> would still be AI.
> I have gotten advice from the ACBL making the question UI, but that seemed  
> to be an unusual position when I brought it up on rec.games.bridge. That  
> was probably for the 1997 laws.
> Of course, being allowed to hear it is different from AI versus UI.
> I think the ACBL is going to have regulations on accommodating people with  
> hearing problems. Those kick in for my table today, but the problem could  
> arise without that.

Nothing in the laws, afaics, says that a player is not permitted to receive UI. They say he is not allowed to *use* UI, but that's a different matter. Since he has to correct his partner's answer if he thinks it's wrong, he's entitled to hear that. I see no reason he should not be entitled to hear the question as well.

It seems to me a question from an opponent cannot be UI unless it was prompted by an unexpected alert. And then it would be the alert that generates the UI, not the question.

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