Last night my opponents had the unopposed auction:
As my partner went to lead, responder said that his 1 should have been alerted. Opener corrected him and said that it was not alertable because he was a passed hand, and responder agreed that he was right.
My partner then wanted to know what 1 would have meant had he not been a passed hand, and opener refused to answer, saying this was a "theoretical question" and he didn't have to provide the information. "Nonsense!" retorted my partner, "I'm entitled to know what your system is."
A row ensued, and the director was called to adjudicate. She stood there indecisively while they continued arguing, and opener eventually relented and gave an answer. (Everybody knew I was the only person in the room who actually knew what the laws say, but I was grateful that nobody asked me.)
So what do the laws say? Law 20F1 says of a questioner: "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." The WBFLC minutes (WB8.20.3) add: "At this time he is entitled to an explanation only of calls actually made, relevant available alternative calls not made, and any partnership understanding as to inferences from the choice of action among the foregoing. (An ‘alternative’ call is not the same call with another meaning – for example, if the reply to an opponent is that “5 shows diamonds preference”, any reply to a further question “what would it mean if 4NT were Blackwood ?” is given voluntarily and not as a requirement of Law 20F1.)"
My view is that my opponent was right, but that he did the sensible and ethical thing by volunteering to answer. I also think it's a stupid rule because (in this case and in the Blackwood example above) the questioner could just look at their convention card to get the answer, and that if I'm right it gives an advantage to players who don't complete convention cards fully.
What do you think?
PS It was artificial (0+ spades) and forcing, if you're interested.