[BLML] Tuesday night at the Belconnen Bridge Club

Eric Landau ehaa at starpower.net
Wed Nov 21 15:19:56 CET 2012

On Nov 20, 2012, at 8:46 PM, Robert Frick wrote:

> On Tue, 20 Nov 2012 15:26:58 -0500, Eric Landau <ehaa at starpower.net> wrote:
>> On Nov 20, 2012, at 9:02 AM, Robert Frick wrote:
>>> On Mon, 19 Nov 2012 16:15:12 -0500, Eric Landau <ehaa at starpower.net>  
>>> wrote:
>>>> Whichever explanation (a) indicated that you had no explicit agreement,
>>>> (b) related all the mutual ("partnership") understandings that the
>>>> person explaining considered relevant, and (c) told no lies, is
>>>> "correct".  Probably both of them.
>>> Well, suppose the bidder assumed that 3NT was gambling (which is  
>>> typical)
>>> and would have answered that way.
>> That would have been MI.  The problem stipulated that 3NT was  
>> undiscussed (see (a) above).
>> But we don't actually care what the "bidder assumed".  That's why the  
>> protocol is for his partner to respond to inquiries.
>>> And the partner didn't know (as in the
>>> story) and said they are both played equally at the club. And you as
>>> director are supposed to presume mistaken explanation instead of misbid
>> ...*in the absence of evidence to the contrary*.  When there is  
>> "evidence [the Director] is able to collect", he must rule "base[d]...  
>> on the balance of probabilities... in accordance with the weight of the  
>> evidence", which makes the default presumption in the absence of  
>> evidence irrelevant.
> Which makes that sentence in the laws irrelevant. Which is what you just  
> said. But I sincerely doubt you are interpreting it the way it was meant.
>>> (whatever that means here), but you director can figure out the correct
>>> answer.
>> If "you director" can't figure out "the correct answer" how can you ever  
>> make an MI determination?  This discussion is about what a "correct  
>> answer" is; if it is enlightening, it will help us "figure [it] out"  
>> more consistently.
>>> And suppose the player saying 50-50 forgot that good players tend to  
>>> play
>>> this as gambling.
>> He shouldn't go there even if he does remember it.  Your subjective  
>> evaluation of partner's bridge ability is not a matter of "partnership  
>> understanding" and has no place in disclosure.
> So I was allowed to say that 90% of the people at our bridge club play  
> RKCB, even though I was fairly certain my partner did not? I don't think  
> you want that. (She was weak and weak players tend to play regular  
> Blackwood.)

I won't try to judge whether you are technically "allowed to", but I don't much care.  I'm more concerned with what you *should* say, and when you know it would be misleading, you shouldn't say it.  Obviously, if you say "90%", they're going to think you expect it to be likely.  Here I'd tell the oppos that we have no explicit agreement, and that at our regular club this is ace-asking, but ambiguous between regular and KC Blackwood.

Where I live, it would qualify as "general bridge knowledge" that one responds to 4NT ace-asking as regular Blackwood absent a specific agreement to the contrary.  

>>> So his explanation met all of the criteria you listed
>>> above and hence is "correct", but it has the problem of being wrong.
>> Wrong how?  See (c) above.
>>> So you director figure out the correct answer and rectify for that.  
>>> Well,
>>> not me, and not for the EBU or ABF or probably even ACBL. But I am  
>>> trying
>>> to describe how your position works.
>> The basis of my position is that when explaining partner's call to the  
>> opponents you should try to be as helpful and forthcoming as you can.   
>> The point of my reply to Richard was that if you offer as helpful and  
>> forthcoming an explanation as you can of the relevant considerations  
>> when posting the problem to BLML -- as Richard typically does, and seems  
>> to have done here -- you should be able to do the same at the table.
> I like your position a lot more than I like just saying "no agreement" or  
> "no understanding".
> And saying everything you know satisfies L406(a). And the  
> not-in-the-lawbook principle that the opponents are entitled to know what  
> you know.
> Just to be clear, the best of intentions do not necessarily satisfy Law 20  
> or Law 75, which require a player to give the correct partnership  
> explanation, remembered or not.

Absolutely.  You must always give a correct explanantion of your partnership understanding if you have one.  This thread has been about what to do when you know that you do not have a directly applicable partnership understanding.  We all agree that you must disclose that you have no specific understanding about the call in question.  The issue here is what else -- if anything -- you should add to that.

> And the application of Law 12 requires that there be only one explanation  
> that the opponents are entitled to. By allowing partners to give two  
> different but correct answers, you undermine Law 12 rectifications.

I don't get this.  Opponents only get one explanation from one player, and if there's an MI damage issue, the TD must decide if that explanation was satisfactory or not.  I don't see how what might have occurred had you had a similar auction starting on the other side of the table should matter at all.  You can't expect a hypothetical explanation given by the other player in the reverse case to be word for word identical to the actual one.

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

More information about the Blml mailing list