[BLML] When it helps opponents

Alain Gottcheiner agot at ulb.ac.be
Wed Apr 16 15:28:24 CEST 2014

Hi all

I'd like your advice on one situation which could happen (and already 
happened) in countries where some calls (like doubles and cues) aren't 

1C*    p    1D**    1H

* classical in a 5-card majors framework
** T-Walsh (Hearts)
@ you play support doubles (3 cards and a non-minimum) ; but of course 
here it doesn't make sense if 1H is natural, so it's plain penalties  
(although there is arguably little difference in the type of hands which 
will double)

You're the 1D bidder, and are asked by RHO about the double.

How do you react ?

You might of course say "it depends on the meaning of 1H, so please 
explain first and I'll tell you", but it will draw RHO's attention to 
the fact that 1H might in fact be artificial (some kind of take-out).
You might say "if 1H is natural etc.", with the same effect.
Alas, you may not assume from the lack of alert that 1H is natural and 
answer accordingly, because if it is a cue-bid, it isn't alertable either !

Most problematic : that conditional explanation will make apparent that 
your bid meant hearts. That might be considered as UI to your partner, 
just in case he forgot you're playing T-Walsh (maybe he alerted plain 
Walsh or something else).

So, the question is : are you compelled to remember RHO that 1H might be 
artificial and partner that 1D is ? Or is there some way out ?

Thank you for your help.


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