[BLML] L16B2

Marvin French mfrench1 at san.rr.com
Tue Feb 5 20:41:57 CET 2013

Marvin L French
Steve Willner wrote:

> "When a player considers that an opponent has made such information
> available and that damage could well result he may announce..."
> Are there any restrictions on _when_ the player may so announce?  I've
> always assumed it had to be done immediately, but now that I look, I
> don't see a time limit (or "immediately" or such) in the Law.  Did the
> law change?  Announcing a possible tempo break much later in the auction
> ("Do we agree your partner's 2C bid [three rounds of the auction ago
> when we're now at the five level] was slow?") is very distracting.  Is
> it legal?  It seems pointless because if there was UI, it has probably
> already been "used."

Steve, just read L16B2 and your questions are answered. The only "immediate" 
action allowed a player  is to advise the opponents that "he reserves the 
right to call the Director later." Not now, later. The "may announce" means 
it is not required. Not saying anything at the time is polite (avoiding any 
implication of possible wrongdoing that could result) and in no way should 
jeopardize a potential redress for any damage caused by the UI. (The RA 
option in L16B2 was not exercised by the ACBL). However, if the opponents 
disagree with this optional comment,  it is *they*, not you, who should 
summon the Director immediately.

L16B2 concerns the auction period, while L16B3 concerns the play period. 
During that time when there is "substantial reason to believe..." (which can 
only come from sight of dummy or play of declarer's cards), "he should 
summon the Director when play ends.*"  Not before!

The footnote to L16B3 (* It is not an infraction to call the Director 
earlier or later.) means earlier in the play (e.g., at sight of  dummey), 
not during the auction. Grattan says calling the TD immediately when there 
is evidence of probable damage nstead of at play's end (as specified), while 
not an infraction, is an irregularity.

The ACBL National Appeals Commission ignores the wording of these Laws, 
preferring their own version, an unofficial hodgepodge of older Laws and 
word-of-mouth traditions among ACBL TDs. Accordingly, a player is wise to 
call the TD immediately when potentilally damaging UI is observed. Illegal, 
of course, but the AC won't believe a player later if this is not done.

Marvin L French

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