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"Director, declarer had no problem but did not give away his holding!"

Here is another story. I almost decided to let it go, but that (http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/unethical-conduct-accusation/) topic reminded.

Previous NABC. Open pairs. Playing against famous opponents: 35000+ masterpoints between them two. Kibitzer at the table.

Busy bidding started with opponent at 3rd sit open 1  on 6 points with 4=2=4=3 distribution; I doubled; second opponent bid 1, my partner passed, the first opponent found enough points to make another bid - 1. I hold very strong hand and after some additional bidding we managed to end up in the correct 3NT contract from my partner.

 lead. Partner finessed, the second opponent won with King and after extreme hesitation (almost 3 minutes) switched to the Queen. Important to mention, there were 10 tricks from the top and the singleton of diamond on the table at that moment

My partner, who put his cards down on the table after the first 30 seconds of opponent’s hesitation, picked them up, looked at them, looked at the table, counted tricks, looked at played by his RHO card, shrug the shoulders and played the King from his hand. It took him approximately the same time it took for you to read that sentence. Certainly not more than 5 seconds, very regular tempo for my partner.

The first opponent overtook King by Ace and, after maybe 10 seconds, continued diamond. Now declarer claimed 11 tricks. 10 on the table plus his Jack of diamonds. After any other return except diamonds there is only 10 tricks, declarer obviously had no entry to his hand.

The diamond continuation strokes me as an error, completely unexpectable from defender of that caliber, he said he returned diamond because of declarers hitch on the play of the King of diamonds.

Director was called by his partner. We denied hesitation. I asked opponents to estimate how long it took declarer to play that trick, they rejected to do it, just repeating “it was a hesitation”. Director asked kibitzer. He said: “Card was not played immediately, maybe 4 or 5 seconds. Declarer also shrug his shoulders.” What he did not mention that 4 or 5 seconds included taking cards from the table and returning to the “play mode” after extreme hesitation from the opponent.

Of course, director’s decision was to adjust the result to 10 tricks. What else could it be? If you buy that hesitation existed, anybody would say there were nothing to hesitate with KJxxx at this position and person who hesitated is completely unethical. Except there were no hesitation …

Seems like the current expectation that player who has no problem on the trick have to play in such speed that his holding became obvious for opposition, and if opposition got his holding wring they can ask for redress. 

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