[BLML] When it helps opponents

Eric Landau ehaa.bridge at verizon.net
Wed Apr 16 16:40:00 CEST 2014

On 4/16/2014 9:28 AM, Alain Gottcheiner wrote:
> 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
> alertable.
> 1C*    p    1D**    1H
> Dbl@
> * 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 !
But, of course, it is not a cue-bid in the literal meaning of the term, 
as the opponents did not bid hearts below the one-level.  That it may be 
defined systemically as the "equivalent" of a cue-bid doesn't make it 
one, nor make it non-alertable.
> 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 ?

Eric Landau
Silver Spring MD
New York NY

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