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Law 16, alerts, and ethical considerations

Law 16, alerts, and ethical considerations

“Law 16B. Extraneous Information from Partner1. 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, unwanted speed, special emphasis, tone, gesture, movement or mannerism.

(a) A player may not choose a call or play that is demonstrably suggested over another by unauthorized information if the other call or play is a logical alternative.”

With these restrictions in mind, what is the correct procedure to ask for an explanation of an alerted bid without imparting UI to partner:

a. Always ask for an explanation irrespective of your holding in the suit. This has the “disadvantage” of clearing up any bidding misunderstanding between the opponents.

b. Never ask for an explanation irrespective of your holding in the suit. This forfeits our rights to ask for a complete and truthful explanation of any alerted bid. Moreover, there will be times when you may want to make a bid depending on what opponent’s alerted bid means.

c. Ask for an explanation in a random manner. Let us say that you will always ask for an explanation on even-number boards but not on odd-number boards. This still leaves the disadvantages of both options “a” and “b.”

d. As soon as an alert is issued, partner voluntarily leaves the table for 30 seconds during which time, partner may or may not ask for an explanation. This has the disadvantage of too many players wandering around the room and some may even sneak a look back.

Please select up to 5 choices.

Always ask
Never ask
Ask randomly
Partner leaves the table
Other - please explain

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