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Is this coffee housing? Even if it is, do the opponents deserve an adjustment?

With so many posts regarding the big scandals, I thought to post something about the not so egregious, but in any case annoying incidents that spoil our enjoyment on the table.

Peter Fredin recently posted an article regarding an appeal that cost him a sliver or may be even a gold metal in the 1998 world pair championships in Lille, France.

The hand I will describe was from the same championship, but from the semi-final, where I was struggling to qualify:

The play is quite simple up to trick 6. East establishes his suit and North knocks off A on the second round in order to establish his own suit in the closed hand. Once in with the A West played a heart to his partner established suit.

West
AQ1053
972
A6
983
North
2
Q106
KQJ109
Q1065
East
94
AK84
8432
J74
South
KJ876
J53
75
AK2
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
1
P
1NT
P
P
P
D
8
1NT North
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
3
2
10
2
0
1
4
5
7
Q
1
1
1
K
4
5
6
1
2
1
Q
2
7
A
0
2
2
9
6
A
J
2
2
3
8
6

The critical point of the board comes when East cashes the 13th heart and North has to choose a discard from dummy.

At that point North struggled, sighed and after about 20-30 seconds of thinking, discarded a small spade from dummy. After this, West and North quickly discarded a spade as well. East continued with the 9 to the J, Q and the 5.

Now West had a dilemma. If North had the Q as an entry to his hand with the established diamonds, then the discard from dummy should be obvious. Who would discard the 2, his only entry to the good hand?

Therefore West assumed that his partner had Q?? in s (the number of East s was established by the counting in s earlier)

If East has in clubs QJx or Q10x West can play for 2 down returning the 9.

If East has just Qxx, West should play A and small to let East take a club trick at the end for 1 down.

If the Q is in North, West should cash the A to hold declarer on 90 instead of 120.

West choose to play the 9 and declared took the rest of the tricks.

West called the director claiming that the hesitation before the discard from dummy, when it was obvious, was unethical and had the sole purpose to mislead the defence.

The director said that the score stands and the appeal committee decided (as a majority view) that for a player to think before making his first discard of the hand was normal, and inferences could not be taken therefrom.

Now, 17 years later, I am asking, bridgewinners what do you believe:

 

There was no foul play. North was entitled to think before his first discard, and no inferences could be made upon this hesitation.
North's hesitation was indeed unethical, but West is not entitled on any adjustment because he took his chances and lost.
North's hesitation was unethical and West is entitled to adjustment of the score.

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