[BLML] Milan, January 1996 [SEC=UNOFFICIAL]

Alain Gottcheiner agot at ulb.ac.be
Fri Sep 21 11:34:48 CEST 2012


Le 20/09/2012 18:13, Nigel Guthrie a écrit :
> Jens Brix Christiansen, 2nd May 1996:
>
> Here is a hand from the EBL TD course
> in Milan, January 1996. It illustrates
> how the concept of *logical
> alternative* (LA), as laid out in Law
> 16, is delineated by the EBL.
>
> Dealer West. N/S Vulnerable. Teams.
>
> ................S K9732
> ................H J9
> ................D 9543
> ................C 97
> S AT8.........................S Q764
> H KQ6.........................H T8732
> D KQJT8.......................D 762
> C A3..........................C 4
> ................S J
> ................H A54
> ................D A
> ................C KQJT8652
>
> WEST......NORTH.....EAST......SOUTH
> 1D........Pass......Pass......3NT
> X.........Paaass....Pass......4C
> X.........Pass......Pass......Pass
>
> The TD is called after South's call of 4C and West tells him that South
> huddled before bidding 3NT and North huddled even longer before passing
> after West's double. All agree on these facts. The TD tells them to continue
> and South makes 9 tricks. The TD is called again; E/W think that the 4C bid
> has been influenced by the hesitation.
>
> This was a problem on the final written examination.  I ruled that the score
> should be adjusted under Law 16; South had a LA (staying in 3NTx), and the
> huddle before the pass indicated that running from the double probably was
> best.
>
> I was wrong. The official answer is to let the score stand. There is UI, it
> is useful, and it indicates the action taken. However, staying in 3NTx is
> not considered a LA; no substantial minority of Souths would chance playing
> 3NTx.
>
> [Nigel]
> I agree with Alain Gottcheiner and Richard Hills that this case is not as
> cut-and-dried as EBL TD course-developers imagine.
>
> Unfortunately, this case illustrates problems with BIT legislation: even in
> a paradigm case,  there is no consensus on the ruling, among experienced
> directors.
>
> Part of the problem is the phrasing of the law. Some take "demonstrably
> suggested" to mean "clearly suggested".  That interpretation can't be the
> law-makers intention -- at least until attendance at the "TD telepathy
> course" becomes compulsory.
>
> I think law makers should stick to criteria like "balance of probability"
> or "beyond reasonable doubt". Woolly clichés, perhaps, but players have a
> rough idea of what they mean.
>
> The law book should specify a practical protocol for such cases. Something
> like:
>
> a. The director finds a group of peers, each of whom broadly agrees with the
> player's *previous* actions.
> b. The director gives the peers the hand and facts. (Including *disclosed
> partnership understandings* but *without the UI*), and asks them for actions
> they consider.
> c. The director collates these suggestions into one action-list, adding the
> *action actually chosen*, if absent.
> d. The director gives each peer the complete action-list, and asks them to
> rate the actions in order of preference.
> e. The director asks each peer to re-order the action list, *given the UI*
> but *not the result*. For this re-reordering task, the director tells each
> peer to pretend that the UI is authorised information.
> f. If the actual action is rated higher in the e-lists  than it was in the
> d-lists, then the director should rule against the player in receipt of UI.
> g. Whether or not there is an adjustment for damage, the director should
> consider a penalty on a guilty player.
> h. When the director can't conveniently consult a peer-group, he should go
> through the above procedure as a *thought experiment*.
AG : I agree with this protocol, however clumsy it might be at times. 
But here you'd probably be stopped at step a) : very few players would 
agree with the 3NT bid.
This means, of course, that the example was very badly chosen.

In fact, I suspect that, in order to find an example where there is no 
LA and it isn't totally obvious (such as going to game with obvious 
extra values), you'd need a situation where there was strange bidding 
before, whence poorly supported.


>
> Whatever the law, problems will remain.  Often the same BIT can suggest
> radically different actions.  A partnership are more likely to understand
> the significance of such UI than a director or other players.  In the EBL
> case, for example, as Richard and Alain point out:
> - According to partnership style, the 3N bidder's hand may be a dead-minimum
> or an absolute-maximum.  Also, a redouble may be "for blood" or "express
> doubt".
> - When partner bids 3N, many experienced players would pass RHO's double in
> sleep, unless seriously considering a redouble.
> - In this case, *both* players hesitated. So there are two lots of
> unauthorised information to consider.

Indeed. North's hesitation might have been prompted by considering 
whether he might take out , given South's hesitation.

But I'm not at ease with what follows :

When an ethical
partner takes the action suggested by your hesitation, you know  he had *no
logical alternative*. That too is UI: You may not take it into account,
later in the auction.

This taints the whole sequence after an hesitation, and is the nearest thing to making it an infraction.
At least the idea of being compelled to bend backwards shouldn't be active at this stage.




Best regards


Alain

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