# EBU Mag August 2018 - Sleuth's Quiz , page 9 - Re: Permitted Understandings

Hi All,
I think the article "Sleuth's Quiz" bottom left paragraph "Here's a useful tip", advises readers to use a prohibited dual meaning signal. It says when following suit with 5+ cards you can signal odd to encourage or play an even card to give suit preference.

EBU Blue Book - 7 F 3 Dual meaning signals
Dual meaning signals (when following suit) are not permitted.
Examples of prohibited dual meaning signals:
(a) One message (typically attitude) is given according to whether the card played is odd or even; a different message (typically suit preference) is given according to whether the card played is high or low.

Gordon have the rules been amended?

Terry

• There is a note in the online version here: http://www.ebu.co.uk/documents/laws-and-ethics/blue-book/blue-book-2017.pdf

A common agreement when following suit from known length (five plus cards) is to play a
middle card as encouraging and high/low cards as suit preference. This is permitted.

I little different than the system encouraged in the latest mag, but close enough perhaps?

Good spot though

• I'm not sure it's close enough. High/middle/low is effectively "one continuum" of signalling, and so it isn't all that conceptually different from high/low (and even when the partnership agreement is just "high/low", it's common to play a middle card to specify a lack of signal / nothing to say). High/odd/low isn't a single continuum of signals, and the mere fact that you don't distinguish between high odd cards and low odd cards doesn't seem to change that.

An interesting middleground here is when you start adding specific cards into the mix. (For example, 10/high/low/2 is a signalling system sometimes used with the opening lead, although of course dual-message signals are permitted there; there's no conceptual reason it couldn't be used when following, though.) Does that count as a generalisation of high/low (thus allowed), or as high/low + a secondary axis (thus not)?

• It is absolutely clear to me that the method advocated in Ron Klinger's article is not permitted in games under EBU jurisdiction. I am mildly surprised that one member in particular of the group of people who see the magazine at the proof stage did not pick this up. It doesn't invalidate the logic in the article, although I much prefer Martin's suggested method, for the reasons given by ais523, but a footnote would have been appropriate had the point been picked up.

Methods of signalling which require players to play a card that they may or may not hold to send the message they want to convey are, frankly, a menace. The reason, of course, is that when a player does not hold the "right" card to send the message he wants to convey, it is only human nature that he he has to take some time to decide which "wrong" card is going to be least damaging. Partners learn, consciously or otherwise, to give less weight to slow signals.

Dual meaning discards are less problematic because in selecting a discard players are not constrained by the requirement to follow suit, and are therefore more likely to have a choice of cards that are either the right card to send the desired message, or at least a relatively innocuous "wrong" card.

If you want to play, for example, "Italian" discards (odd encouraging, even suit preference), then it is useful to have an agreement about the size of card (e.g., as I play it on the rare occasions I play Italian discards, a low odd card sends a positively encouraging message, but a high odd card is only potentially encouraging, and if I play, say, the 9 and am later discovered to hold a lower odd card, the encouraging message is cancelled). This helps reduce the incidence of not holding the correct card to play, and therefore reduces tempo problems.

• @Abbeybear said:
It is absolutely clear to me that the method advocated in Ron Klinger's article is not permitted in games under EBU jurisdiction.

I'm glad you think it is clear (regardless of whether or not one might argue about whether the additional note to 7F3 effectively authorises this or not). I can't even get the TDs at my local club to accept that the existing regulation prohibits Italian signals on partner's lead in the more usual case where the signaller has not shown length in the auction. When I have tried to explain that this is exactly what the regulation disallows, they argue that there is no "dual meaning" - just a single meaning (attitude) applying to all three suits involved.

• The Blue Book example does make is crystal clear in my view:

[7F3(a)]
"One message (typically attitude) is given according to whether the card played is odd or
even; a different message (typically suit preference) is given according to whether the
card played is high or low."

As an aside on the terminology, "attitude" is normally interpreted as attitude towards the suit led; "suit preference" relates to a choice between suits not led, so I don't think the "attitude to three suits" argument is logically tenable. In any event the text quoted proves that the people who made the regulation believe that there is a different message and therefore a dual meaning.

• I think it is not allowed and it should have been picked up so there will be an apology/explanation in the next magazine edition.