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Too many questions A hypothetical scenario

#1 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2012-July-31, 10:56

The recent thread on "legal and illegal" questions brought this possible scenario to mind:

During the auction, at East's turn to call, East asks for an explanation of the auction. After the explanation is given, West asks a supplementary question. After it is pointed out that it is not West's turn to call, East asks the same question. NS call the director, and when you arrive, simply explain these facts and add that the supplementary question has not been answered. What is your ruling? Which laws apply?
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I have come to realise it is futile to expect or hope a regular club game will be run in accordance with the laws. -- Jillybean
Factor in Alzheimers, and I can not recall a bad result from aggessive action in this situation. -- Aguahombre
When I look through the hand records after a club evening, the boards I didn't play are always the ones where I would have done great. -- Cherdano
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#2 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2012-July-31, 11:11

This should be fun, since on an even earlier thread posters didn't agree on whether West should be allowed to hear the explanation at all when it is East's turn.
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#3 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2012-July-31, 13:28

I think E can ask and get an answer, but he also gets the UI lecture because partner wanted to know and it should fall under the "question" heading in 16B1.

If W is deemed to be asking a question purely for partner's benefit (20G1) you can do him for that.

Possible PP if W should know better, otherwise difficult to treat as any different to W asking at his own turn if he has reason to ask for his own benefit.
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#4 User is offline   ahydra 

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Posted 2012-July-31, 13:36

View PostCyberyeti, on 2012-July-31, 13:28, said:

If W is deemed to be asking a question purely for partner's benefit (20G1) you can do him for that.

Possible PP if W should know better...


Did you mean E? And yes I would also probably class this as "asking a question solely for partner's benefit", though of course it depends on whether East has a valid reason to ask and the level of experience of E/W (and perhaps, to some extent, the manner of N/S...)

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#5 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2012-July-31, 14:59

Um, for the purposes of this thread, the "conditions of contest" include answering both questions posed in the OP, and not assuming any "facts" not in evidence (IOW, there was nothing wrong with NS's behavior). B-)
--------------------
I have come to realise it is futile to expect or hope a regular club game will be run in accordance with the laws. -- Jillybean
Factor in Alzheimers, and I can not recall a bad result from aggessive action in this situation. -- Aguahombre
When I look through the hand records after a club evening, the boards I didn't play are always the ones where I would have done great. -- Cherdano
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#6 User is offline   nigel_k 

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Posted 2012-July-31, 15:02

This is not asking a question purely for partner's benefit. West has already decided to ask the question and is able to do so at his turn. So there can be no benefit to West when East asks the question.

It is possible that East will benefit from learning the answer to the question a round earlier than he would have if the laws had been followed, or from realizing that the question is an important one and drawing the appropriate inferences from that.

If the opponents are damaged as a result, they can get an adjustment. Otherwise I would just remind them of the law, tell them not to do it again, and let play continue with East asking the question.
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#7 User is offline   bluejak 

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Posted 2012-July-31, 17:57

Fascinating. I have done this sometimes, and would be shocked if anyone suggested it was for partner's benefit. Also, while I can see someone might think it is a possibility, in real life it is not very likely.

What happens all too often is that the answer is very poor, or inaudible, or something. Now the question has been asked, it seems reasonable to get a full and accurate answer, and I have never known an opponent who did not think so.
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#8 User is offline   Quartic 

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Posted 2012-July-31, 20:35

View Postbluejak, on 2012-July-31, 17:57, said:

Fascinating. I have done this sometimes, and would be shocked if anyone suggested it was for partner's benefit. Also, while I can see someone might think it is a possibility, in real life it is not very likely.

What happens all too often is that the answer is very poor, or inaudible, or something. Now the question has been asked, it seems reasonable to get a full and accurate answer, and I have never known an opponent who did not think so.


I would consider it East's (in this case) responsibility to ask again if he felt the answer wasn't sufficiently clear while it was still his turn. I would expect West to wait until his partner's lead is face down for clarification if he still needs it.

I would consider giving West a PP in this case if I felt he should know better, and a warning otherwise.

East also has UI, though whether it is meaningful depends on West's question.
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#9 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2012-August-01, 05:07

Having thought further there is unlikely to be any real issue (above those presented by W asking a question at his turn) unless the auction was at a stage that W wasn't getting another bid if E passed.

I can see a situation where W is more experienced than E or has looked at the CC and he knows very well what's happening, but reckons E doesn't (because the explanation was correct but could be interpreted another way for example), that he might want E to be aware of this before E bids (this can be altruistic as he may see a murky director call coming if E misinterprets), but think this would be very uncommon.

I'd consider a PP if I didn't think it was being done with good intentions.
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#10 User is offline   WellSpyder 

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Posted 2012-August-01, 05:48

View Postbluejak, on 2012-July-31, 17:57, said:

Fascinating. I have done this sometimes, and would be shocked if anyone suggested it was for partner's benefit. Also, while I can see someone might think it is a possibility, in real life it is not very likely.

What happens all too often is that the answer is very poor, or inaudible, or something. Now the question has been asked, it seems reasonable to get a full and accurate answer, and I have never known an opponent who did not think so.

Fascinating. I have found myself in this position sometimes, and have always felt constrained not to intervene until my turn to bid, even if I can see a clear risk of misunderstanding from a poor explanation to my partner. Are other TDs in agreement that it is better to ask straight away if the purpose is simply to make sure my partner understands the opponent's bid correctly?
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#11 User is offline   c_corgi 

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Posted 2012-August-01, 05:54

View Postblackshoe, on 2012-July-31, 14:59, said:

Um, for the purposes of this thread, the "conditions of contest" include answering both questions posed in the OP, and not assuming any "facts" not in evidence (IOW, there was nothing wrong with NS's behavior). B-)


The fact that East asked the question when his attention was called to it suggests it was pertinent. That means N/S disclosure hasn't been good enough. In that case there is some fault on both sides. Of course if the question wasn't pertinent then it doesn't imply that N/S disclosure was lacking. How to rule is another matter and I don't know the answer.
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#12 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2012-August-01, 07:33

This happens all the time. For example partner (North) bids 1NT <alert>. RHO asks. Me: "Good 11 to 14. May contain a singleton in a minor or a 5 card major." RHO nods, starts to move towards bidding box. LHO: "How about a singleton in a major" or "What about a 6 card minor" or whatever. RHO stops and looks questioningly. To be honest it is easier just to answer here and not worry about it. Most players that do this simply do not know any better. Full disclosure is irrelevant to whether you get such a question. In fact, it seems to make it more likely since it sometimes opens their mind to thoughts that would otherwise never have occurred to them, perhaps they suddenly work out how part of your system works, or something. Of course, if an experienced player was doing this then I might think otherwise, especially if they were, say, asking about the major singleton and happened to hold both majors in a marginal hand for action.
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#13 User is offline   TimG 

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Posted 2012-August-01, 07:51

A related situation.

The auction is over, with South about to declare. East asks for a review. It being West's turn to act, East is told that it is not his turn and is not given a review. West now asks for a review.
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#14 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2012-August-01, 08:23

View PostZelandakh, on 2012-August-01, 07:33, said:

This happens all the time. For example partner (North) bids 1NT <alert>. RHO asks. Me: "Good 11 to 14. May contain a singleton in a minor or a 5 card major." RHO nods, starts to move towards bidding box. LHO: "How about a singleton in a major" or "What about a 6 card minor" or whatever. RHO stops and looks questioningly. To be honest it is easier just to answer here and not worry about it. Most players that do this simply do not know any better. Full disclosure is irrelevant to whether you get such a question. In fact, it seems to make it more likely since it sometimes opens their mind to thoughts that would otherwise never have occurred to them, perhaps they suddenly work out how part of your system works, or something. Of course, if an experienced player was doing this then I might think otherwise, especially if they were, say, asking about the major singleton and happened to hold both majors in a marginal hand for action.

Emphasis mine. If you mean that LHO's question opens RHO's mind, isn't that illegal communication between partners?
--------------------
I have come to realise it is futile to expect or hope a regular club game will be run in accordance with the laws. -- Jillybean
Factor in Alzheimers, and I can not recall a bad result from aggessive action in this situation. -- Aguahombre
When I look through the hand records after a club evening, the boards I didn't play are always the ones where I would have done great. -- Cherdano
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#15 User is offline   bluejak 

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Posted 2012-August-01, 08:30

View PostWellSpyder, on 2012-August-01, 05:48, said:

Fascinating. I have found myself in this position sometimes, and have always felt constrained not to intervene until my turn to bid, even if I can see a clear risk of misunderstanding from a poor explanation to my partner. Are other TDs in agreement that it is better to ask straight away if the purpose is simply to make sure my partner understands the opponent's bid correctly?

In agreement with whom? Of course I do not ask for partner's benefit, and if you think I do, I am very surprised. There seems a growing problem on this forum with the real world.

The question is whether one asks for one's own benefit in these situations, not for partner's. As with many slight bending of the rules, it is a question of getting the game to run more smoothly and thus more enjoyably for everyone.

The question is whether anyone else asks at such a time for their own benefit: I never ask for partner's benefit because that is clearly and unambiguously against the rules, and rightly so.
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#16 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2012-August-01, 08:31

View Postblackshoe, on 2012-August-01, 08:23, said:

Emphasis mine. If you mean that LHO's question opens RHO's mind, isn't that illegal communication between partners?

Sorry, I meant that the full disclosure answer opens their mind to new ideas. Sort of like a form of the concept that the more answers you have, the more questions you can ask.
(-: Zel :-)
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#17 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2012-August-01, 09:34

Fair enough.
--------------------
I have come to realise it is futile to expect or hope a regular club game will be run in accordance with the laws. -- Jillybean
Factor in Alzheimers, and I can not recall a bad result from aggessive action in this situation. -- Aguahombre
When I look through the hand records after a club evening, the boards I didn't play are always the ones where I would have done great. -- Cherdano
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#18 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2012-August-01, 10:14

Okay. I'm going to answer my questions.

Quote

Law 20F1, in part: During the auction and before the final pass, any player may request, but only at his own turn to call, an explanation of the opponents’ prior auction. He is entitled to know about calls actually made, about relevant alternative calls available that were not made, and about relevant inferences from the choice of action where these are matters of partnership understanding.

In view of this law, and assuming the question is a legitimate one, I will instruct NS to answer it.

Quote

Law 20F1, in part: The partner of a player who asks a question may not ask a supplementary question until his turn to call or play. Law 16 may apply.

Quote

Introduction to the Laws: Established usage has been retained in regard to “may” do (failure to do it is not wrong), “does” (establishes correct procedure without suggesting that the violation be penalized), “should” do (failure to do it is an infraction jeopardizing the infractor’s rights but not often penalized), “shall” do (a violation will incur a procedural penalty more often than not), “must” do (the strongest word, a serious matter indeed). Again “must not” is the strongest prohibition, “shall not” is strong but “may not” is stronger — just short of “must not.”

In view of these provisions, I will issue a PP(Warning) to West, unless I have previously done so for this offense. If I have, West gets a "standard" PP.

Quote

Law 16B1: After a player makes available to his partner extraneous information that may suggest a call or play, as for example by a remark, a question, a reply to a question, an unexpected alert or failure to alert, or by unmistakable hesitation, unwonted speed, special emphasis, tone, gesture, movement or mannerism, the partner may not choose from among logical alternatives one that could demonstrably have been suggested over another by the extraneous information.

Quote

Law 73C: When a player has available to him unauthorized information from his partner, such as from a remark, question, explanation, gesture, mannerism, undue emphasis, inflection, haste or hesitation, an unexpected alert or failure to alert, he must carefully avoid taking any advantage from that unauthorized information.

In view of these laws, I will instruct East that the fact that West asked the question is UI to him (East), and that he must carefully avoid taking any advantage from it.

Quote

Law 16B3: When a player has substantial reason to believe that an opponent who had a logical alternative has chosen an action that could have been suggested by such information, he should summon the director when play ends. The director shall assign an adjusted score (see Law 12C) if he considers that an infraction of law has resulted in an advantage for the offender.

In view of this law, I would instruct NS to call me after the play if they believe the conditions in it have been met.
--------------------
I have come to realise it is futile to expect or hope a regular club game will be run in accordance with the laws. -- Jillybean
Factor in Alzheimers, and I can not recall a bad result from aggessive action in this situation. -- Aguahombre
When I look through the hand records after a club evening, the boards I didn't play are always the ones where I would have done great. -- Cherdano
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#19 User is offline   WellSpyder 

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Posted 2012-August-01, 10:16

View Postbluejak, on 2012-August-01, 08:30, said:

In agreement with whom? Of course I do not ask for partner's benefit, and if you think I do, I am very surprised. There seems a growing problem on this forum with the real world.

The question is whether one asks for one's own benefit in these situations, not for partner's. As with many slight bending of the rules, it is a question of getting the game to run more smoothly and thus more enjoyably for everyone.

The question is whether anyone else asks at such a time for their own benefit: I never ask for partner's benefit because that is clearly and unambiguously against the rules, and rightly so.

I stand corrected. Looking back, nothing that you said was in the least ambiguous, so I don't know why I failed to interpret it correctly - sorry.

I guess at the back on my mind was the situation I have found myself in before now when I know what the bid means, and I also know that the opponents haven't actually said what they meant to say. Now if I ask a question of clarification it certainly has nothing to do with what is in my hand, and it isn't really designed to help my partner. It would actually be designed to help the opponents by preventing them from being guilty of MI - after all, partner can always get redress later for being mis-informed. Nevertheless, it feels like the safest approach is to continue not to ask such questions on the grounds that it could be seen to be for partner's benefit, except perhaps against inexperienced opponents in informal settings where a call for an MI ruling will seem out of order anyway.
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#20 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2012-August-01, 15:00

View PostWellSpyder, on 2012-August-01, 10:16, said:

It would actually be designed to help the opponents by preventing them from being guilty of MI - after all, partner can always get redress later for being mis-informed.

That's nice of you, but it's not really your place to protect the opponents. And it's really hard to tell the difference between you asking for the opponents' benefit (not really prohibited) and asking for partner's benefit (prohibited).

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