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Establishment Rules

West
KJ43
QJ
QJ10
K1092
North
AQ62
AK109
AK
AQ4
East
1095
64
98432
876
South
87
87532
765
J53
W
N
E
S
1NT
X
P
2
P
6
P
P
P
D
6 South
NS: 0 EW: 0

This is a slightly changed version of a recent hand which actually occurred and which was published on BBO. West led the Q against South's ambitious 6H and Declarer won, and cashed the ace and king of hearts and West played the jack of hearts and discarded the two of clubs on the second. East asked "no hearts?" and West replied "No". Declarer played a third heart but when East showed out, the TD was called, as the Q appeared to be missing or on the floor. West now "found" the queen of hearts, but the revoke was established and the queen of hearts was played to trick four. West exited with a second diamond, and declarer tried the queen of clubs from dummy, but West ducked and the contract went one off. (It went two off but one was restored for the revoke). Declarer was unhappy as, if West had owned up to the revoke before it was established, the two of clubs would have become a MPC and declarer would have made an overtrick by playing a club to the jack! West said the queen of hearts was hidden, and he was not aware of the revoke before it was established.

Declarer thought West knew he had revoked. He had opened a 12-14 1NT and must have realised he started with two hearts. This appears to be a major anomaly in the Laws where you can gain by allowing the revoke to become established. In fact East could have worked out that his partner had probably revoked and it was in his interests not to ask. And in West's interests not to "find" the queen of hearts until it was too late to be corrected. The TD can restore equity, but only to that before the revoke, which is also 6H-1.

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