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Question and Answer UI or not UI that is the question

#1 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-January-02, 16:25


Lead T Table result 6-1
ChCh was quick to protect his partner on the above hand from the North London New Year Pairs. He was pretty sure that Molly the Mule, North, had insisted on playing her stupid transposition of 5 and 5 even though SB, South, had asked her to keep it simple. West, RR led the ten of hearts, and dummy played low.

"What was 5?", asked ChCh, East.

"One", replied SB, "as you know only too well".

"Hmm", replied ChCh, "and do you play that over that 5NT asks for specific kings, promising all the key cards?" "We do", replied SB, slightly irritated by ChCh's questions.

SB won in hand and advanced the two of clubs, but RR's mind had wandered. "TT and I play that 5C shows 0/1 without the queen of trumps, and 5D shows 0/1 with the queen of trumps", he commented. "Ludicrous; Let us move on," replied SB.

RR now decided that, as he had taken quite a while to play to trick two, he had better play the ace, as he was sure that otherwise SB would call the director over the delay if he ducked. Soon after the slam was one down.

"Director," called SB nicely, having made a New Year's resolution not to bellow. OO arrived. "ChCh asked a question solely for the benefit of his partner, in his customary sleazy style", he began. "He knew that we were quite likely to be off two keycards and he did not want RR ducking a club if I had a singleton.

"Rubbish", replied ChCh, "the answers to the questions were AI to RR, and he could not have inferred anything from the questions; more nonsense from SB", he concluded.

"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” added SB, quoting Voltaire.

How do you rule?
I prefer to give the lawmakers credit for stating things for a reason. - barmar
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#2 User is offline   ahydra 

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Posted 2019-January-03, 00:55

Hopefully ChCh was asking his questions before the lead was faced, not after?

The question about 5NT seems a bit off. ChCh can see an ace, so he knows NS don't have all the keycards and therefore the question doesn't really seem to have a bridge reason behind it. That said, I don't buy SB's argument that the question suggests RR should cash the ace of clubs. It suggests they're off at least one keycard - and RR knows that,as he holds one. In any case he might be able to divine a second ace is out from the dummy not having the one supposedly-promised ace (I have no issue with the question about 5D). So, PP to EW for ChCh asking irrelevant questions and for RR not paying attention to the game in a tempo-sensitive situation, but score stands.

ahydra
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#3 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2019-January-03, 02:41

View Postahydra, on 2019-January-03, 00:55, said:

Hopefully ChCh was asking his questions before the lead was faced, not after?

The question about 5NT seems a bit off. ChCh can see an ace, so he knows NS don't have all the keycards and therefore the question doesn't really seem to have a bridge reason behind it. That said, I don't buy SB's argument that the question suggests RR should cash the ace of clubs. It suggests they're off at least one keycard - and RR knows that,as he holds one. In any case he might be able to divine a second ace is out from the dummy not having the one supposedly-promised ace (I have no issue with the question about 5D). So, PP to EW for ChCh asking irrelevant questions and for RR not paying attention to the game in a tempo-sensitive situation, but score stands.

ahydra

Obviously ChCh asked his questions after the opening lead was faced and Dummy had played low if we are to believe that the description is accurate?

(Not that I see what difference that makes in this situation.)
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#4 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-January-03, 05:03

View Postahydra, on 2019-January-03, 00:55, said:

The question about 5NT seems a bit off. ChCh can see an ace, so he knows NS don't have all the keycards and therefore the question doesn't really seem to have a bridge reason behind it.


There seems to be plenty of bridge reason:
(1) He can see that North has zero key cards, though North promised 1.
(2) He is establishing that South would bid 5NT, if South thought that all key cards were present. i.e. South would bid 5NT with four key cards and hence South has only three key cards.
From (1) and (2), East is able to deduce that North/South are missing two key cards. This seems a legitimate bridge reason and the fact that East knows that it will help West is a fortuitous side effect. The only question is whether Easy already knows that the North/South agreement is that 5NT "promises all the key cards" - in which case the question is solely for West's benefit and therefore inadmissible. But I can't see from the facts supplied that he can know that, even if he strongly suspects it to be the case.
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#5 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-January-03, 08:56

View PostTramticket, on 2019-January-03, 05:03, said:

This seems a legitimate bridge reason and the fact that East knows that it will help West is a fortuitous side effect.

If the TD thought that the intent of the questions was that the answers would give RR (or someone a little more alert than RR) the AI that NS were missing two key cards, when even RR would not duck a club, is it still permitted? To make the question UI and the answer AI seems a huge contradiction. Perhaps the answer "One" is AI, but the question which triggered the answer "One" is UI!
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#6 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-January-03, 09:56

View Postlamford, on 2019-January-03, 08:56, said:

If the TD thought that the intent of the questions was that the answers would give RR (or someone a little more alert than RR) the AI that NS were missing two key cards, when even RR would not duck a club, is it still permitted? To make the question UI and the answer AI seems a huge contradiction. Perhaps the answer "One" is AI, but the question which triggered the answer "One" is UI!


If East held both missing aces, there would seem to be no legitimate bridge reason for the question except to help partner to become aware that the opponents were missing two aces. But here, East has a legitimate reason for the question - to establish that west likely holds an ace.
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#7 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-January-03, 09:56

If the TD thinks that the question was solely for partner's benefit, I think the remedy would be a PP to ChCh, not a score adjustment. I don't think there's a Law that says that when a player asks a partner-benefit question that the question and answer become UI. But I guess you could resort to the "could well have known the infraction would benefit his side" Law to justify an adjustment.

But I'm still not seeing how these questions actually transmit UI that suggests a play. Hopefully RR knows that you don't bid generally Blackwood with an uncontrolled side suit, so the club has to be a singleton. I assume this was matchpoints, so even giving up an overtrick is significant.

Was the question also a violation of 20G2, asking a question if the sole purpose is to elicit an incorrect response? ChCh just assumed that MM asked to play 1430, but SB would forget and give the 3014 answer?

Also, does it stop being an infraction if your purpose is to benefit partner and/or elicit an incorrect response? These two laws specifically say "sole purpose", so if you have both results in mind you don't violate either of them.

#8 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-January-03, 13:48

View Postbarmar, on 2019-January-03, 09:56, said:

Hopefully RR knows that you don't bid generally Blackwood with an uncontrolled side suit, so the club has to be a singleton.

I think your are crediting RR with far too much knowledge.
I prefer to give the lawmakers credit for stating things for a reason. - barmar
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#9 User is offline   PeterAlan 

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Posted 2019-January-03, 19:40

View Postbarmar, on 2019-January-03, 09:56, said:

... I don't think there's a Law that says that when a player asks a partner-benefit question that the question and answer become UI. ...

Law 16B1 said:

B. Extraneous Information from Partner
1. Any extraneous information from partner that might suggest a call or play is unauthorized. This includes remarks, questions, replies to questions, unexpected alerts or failures to alert, unmistakable hesitation, unwonted speed, special emphasis, tone, gesture, movement or mannerism.

Previously, the 2007 Law 16B1(a) referred to extraneous information (same examples) that "a player makes available to his partner". The question is clearly covered; I leave it to Lamford, whose ability to make a case out of nothing at all suggests that he has passed up a lucrative career at the bar, to decide which side he chooses to come down on regarding the answer to such a question.
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#10 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-January-04, 12:07

View PostPeterAlan, on 2019-January-03, 19:40, said:

Previously, the 2007 Law 16B1(a) referred to extraneous information (same examples) that "a player makes available to his partner". The question is clearly covered; I leave it to Lamford, whose ability to make a case out of nothing at all suggests that he has passed up a lucrative career at the bar, to decide which side he chooses to come down on regarding the answer to such a question.

I think the questions "what was 5D?" and "what would 5NT have meant?" are both UI to RR, and the answers must therefore also be, as without the question, the answer means nothing. I interpret "replies to questions" as being BOTH replies to questions asked by the opponents and replies to questions asked by our side. The questions (and answers) could have caused RR to conclude that declarer was missing two key cards, and playing low on the first club is a logical alternative which carefully avoids taking ANY advantage of the UI ...
I prefer to give the lawmakers credit for stating things for a reason. - barmar
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#11 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2019-January-04, 15:53

View Postlamford, on 2019-January-04, 12:07, said:

I think the questions "what was 5D?" and "what would 5NT have meant?" are both UI to RR, and the answers must therefore also be, as without the question, the answer means nothing. I interpret "replies to questions" as being BOTH replies to questions asked by the opponents and replies to questions asked by our side. The questions (and answers) could have caused RR to conclude that declarer was missing two key cards, and playing low on the first club is a logical alternative which carefully avoids taking ANY advantage of the UI ...

So you think that each player of a pair should ask the same questions. That’s pretty nonsensical. And SB should call the director anyway, because ChCh put the questions in RR’s head.
Although the Laws don’t say so explicitly, it seems logical that the questions and answers are AI to both opponents. I would say, so logical that the lawmakers never thought that anyone could think otherwise
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#12 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-January-04, 16:47

View Postsanst, on 2019-January-04, 15:53, said:

So you think that each player of a pair should ask the same questions. That’s pretty nonsensical. And SB should call the director anyway, because ChCh put the questions in RR’s head.

The nonsense has been written by you. I did not suggest for one moment that each player of a pair should ask the same questions. And SB called the TD exactly in accordance with Law 16B3:
"When a player has substantial reason to believe that an opponent who had a logical alternative has chosen an action suggested by such information, he should summon the Director when play ends." [There is a footnote which indicates it is not an infraction to call the TD earlier or later.]

"men do not suspect faults which they do not commit” ― Samuel Johnson

View Postsanst, on 2019-January-04, 15:53, said:

Although the Laws don’t say so explicitly, it seems logical that the questions and answers are AI to both opponents. I would say, so logical that the lawmakers never thought that anyone could think otherwise

As Peter Alan quoted above the Laws do say explicitly that the questions and answers are UI to the partner of the questioner. I would say so logical that the Dutch translators might not have thought that anyone could think otherwise and might have excluded that clause from the Dutch translation. For convenience, I have used Google translate to remedy that error:

B. vreemde informatie van partner
1. elke vreemde informatie van partner die zou kunnen suggereren een oproep of spelen is ongeoorloofd. Dit omvat opmerkingen, vragen, antwoorden op vragen, onverwachte waarschuwingen of mislukkingen te signalering, onmiskenbare aarzeling, ongewoon snelheid, speciale nadruk, Toon, gebaar, beweging of manier van handelen.
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#13 User is offline   jhenrikj 

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Posted 2019-January-05, 14:46

Lamford... It's only UI when it comes from your partner. But since it's the opponents that are answering the question the answer is AI to both the questioner and his partner.
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#14 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-January-05, 15:34

 jhenrikj, on 2019-January-05, 14:46, said:

Lamford... It's only UI when it comes from your partner. But since it's the opponents that are answering the question the answer is AI to both the questioner and his partner.

The answer "One" is arguably AI, but that gives no information without the question "what is 5D?" which is UI. If East had said "It seems that you are off two key-cards from the auction; can you confirm that?" The answer "yes" might be AI, but the question to which the answer was "yes", is not. 16B1 makes it clear that the question is UI. West is allowed to know that there was an answer of "one" to a question that he has to pretend he did not hear.
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#15 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2019-January-06, 01:47

View Postlamford, on 2019-January-05, 15:34, said:

The answer "One" is arguably AI, but that gives no information without the question "what is 5D?" which is UI. If East had said "It seems that you are off two key-cards from the auction; can you confirm that?" The answer "yes" might be AI, but the question to which the answer was "yes", is not. 16B1 makes it clear that the question is UI. West is allowed to know that there was an answer of "one" to a question that he has to pretend he did not hear.

For 16B1 to apply the question as such is UI only to the extent that it might suggest a call or play

The fact that a call like 5D here was made without complete disclosure to opponents is sufficient bridge reason for a player to ask about that call regardless of his own cards holding. The question will therefore normally not suggest a call or play from his partner.
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#16 User is offline   weejonnie 

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Posted 2019-January-06, 04:30

As far as I can see - the information provided in answer to ChCh questions is authorised as it derives from the auction and are unaffected by any other unauthorised information. That still does not prevent OO from penalising ChCh and RR for breach of a 'may not' rule in 20G.

However SB and MM have clearly been damaged by the infraction and so we can award an adjusted score under 72C.
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#17 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-January-06, 06:59

View Postpran, on 2019-January-06, 01:47, said:

The fact that a call like 5D here was made without complete disclosure to opponents is sufficient bridge reason for a player to ask about that call regardless of his own cards holding. The question will therefore normally not suggest a call or play from his partner.

In England, and I believe in most jurisdictions, calls above 3NT are not normally alerted. The NS convention cards had 30, 41, 2, 2+Q, in response to RKCB, so MM misbid. There was therefore complete disclosure (as required by the RA), but the question is still UI to West, as was the question about a putative 5NT. They could also have been classed as "communication" with ChCh's partner, but I prefer weejonnie's approach - and we all know that the "could have been aware" clause is one of SB's favourite ploys so he will doubtless concur.
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#18 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2019-January-06, 09:17

View Postlamford, on 2019-January-06, 06:59, said:

In England, and I believe in most jurisdictions, calls above 3NT are not normally alerted. The NS convention cards had 30, 41, 2, 2+Q, in response to RKCB, so MM misbid. There was therefore complete disclosure (as required by the RA), but the question is still UI to West, as was the question about a putative 5NT. They could also have been classed as "communication" with ChCh's partner, but I prefer weejonnie's approach - and we all know that the "could have been aware" clause is one of SB's favourite ploys so he will doubtless concur.

Law 20F1 said:

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

Of course Law 16 may apply (generally, in addition to the more specific limitations given in Law 20G).
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#19 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-January-06, 15:02

View Postlamford, on 2019-January-05, 15:34, said:

The answer "One" is arguably AI, but that gives no information without the question "what is 5D?" which is UI.

When it says that the question is UI, it doesn't mean that the player must be totally ignorant of it. It just means that they're not allowed to take inference from the question that partner asked. You're still allowed to use it to understand the answer.

#20 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-January-06, 16:38

View Postbarmar, on 2019-January-06, 15:02, said:

When it says that the question is UI, it doesn't mean that the player must be totally ignorant of it. It just means that they're not allowed to take inference from the question that partner asked. You're still allowed to use it to understand the answer.

I don't see anywhere in the Laws where it says that you are allowed to use a question by your partner to assist you in any way in deciding on a play. The two questions, combined with the two answers, could have been used to suggest rising with the ace of clubs. If a question is UI, then any element of the answer which uses the question is also UI. It would be better and clearer if 16B1 said "questions from partner and the replies to those questions". With screens, you would not see the written response or know that partner had asked a question. The same principles are surely intended.
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