[BLML] Eric's position on disclosure when unsure

Nigel Guthrie g3 at nige1.com
Wed Nov 7 17:20:11 CET 2012

IMO, if you think “Flannery” is the most likely meaning,  the law should 
stipulate that you say so. Typically, it would be hard to list likely 
factors that led you to your conclusion.  In any case, associated with each 
of those factors, there *another* controversial probability element.  Hence 
that information is is usually less reliable than the raw guess. 
Unfortunately, such waffle makes your explanation less comprehensible. 
Arguably, obfuscation should not be the law-makers’ intent.

[Eric Landau]
If you think Flannery is the most likely meaning, but you also think that 
there is some significant possibility that it might have been intended as a 
weak two, and you will take this into account in choosing your subsequent 
calls, then "such waffle" may indeed make your explanation less 
comprehensible, but claiming that it is definitively Flannery will make your 
*auction* less comprehensible.  Choosing the latter is therefore not just 
MI, but *deliberate* MI.

Under current law, I agree with Eric that if you guess, you are guilty of 
MI. But I don't see why you should be.  Under current law, when you are 
*sure* of your agreement but fear that partner may have forgotten, you can 
take that into account when making subsequent calls. In that case, Eric must 
admit, you're *not* guilty of MI.

Another case I remember from BLML. Partner opens 4C. Your agreement (since 
yesterday) is that it shows solid hearts. You are looking at AQ of hearts. 
You deduce that partner has mis-sorted his red-suits or forgotten.  You 
reckon the latter is more likely (your previous agreement was natural). You 
decide to pass but before you do so, RHO asks what 4C means.  It feels wrong 
to say "Solid hearts", when
(A) You know your *previous* agreement but RHO does not. (i.e. If partner 
has made a mistake, you know what it is likely to be -- not Gerber, or a 
transfer to diamonds, or a major two-suiter, or whatever)
(B) You are about to pass.

Nevertheless, I think that is what you do, according to the law.

(And my suggested "improvement" wouldn't help because I agree with the 
current law that you shouldn't take your own hand into account when trying 
to guess the meaning of partner's bid). 

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