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Comedy of errors: how do you straighten it out?

West
103
KQ54
Q2
K9742
North
QJ874
J2
J98
J108
East
AK5
A986
A1073
A6
South
962
1073
K654
Q53
W
N
E
S
2NT
P
3
P
3
P
3
P
4
P
6NT
P
P
P
D
6NT East
NS: 0 EW: 0

Club Swiss.  2C not alerted, and as Puppet the no alert is right.  3D was alerted as was 3S.  North asked about 3S and was given the answer "More hearts than spades.  Smolen"

South led the diamond 4.  West begins to put down the dummy (some cards are exposed) and then says "You were misinformed.  We do not play Smolen on this auction.  3S showed 4 hearts and not 4 spades."  The director is not called at that point.

Declarer plays the diamond Q from dummy, takes 12 tricks.  Then North calls the director, saying that with a correct explanation he would have doubled 3S, and that 6NT goes down on the then-obvious spade lead.

Director's ruling: result stands.  No misinformation.  The explanation was that West has more hearts than spades, which is accurate, and that the words "Smolen" are irrelevant.  He says defenders are just trying to get two chances.  If North wanted to double for a spade lead, he should have.

This was in fact a routine Puppet auction.

That "Smolen" is irrelevant seems bizarre to me, and that it is irrelevant to whether North would double is bizarre.  But also perhaps North should have done more to protect himself (for example, 3D was alerted and he did not ask about it).

Possibly relevant is that a diamond lead seems awful, with or without the misinformation.

Also maybe relevant is that if 3S had been doubled, they presumably would not have been playing 6NT, and 6H does make.

(A very interesting question is why they are playing 6NT anyway. Defenders did not raise that with the director, and it probably has no relevance to the what the ruling on this contract should be.  But it does look suspiciously like that, after hearing "Smolen", West feared his partner expected him to have 5 hearts.)

Presumably not important to the ruling, but West has about 3700 masterpoints, more than NS combined.  Also, and should not be relevant to the ruling, West is frequently a director at the club (so he should have known to give South the chance to chance to change his lead before putting down any of dummy, and should have been aware that he cannot base his bidding on his partner's explanation.)

Contract at the other table was 4H, making 6, after a 1D opening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

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