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All comments by Roland Voigt
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In my opinion, there is a huge difference between being stupid and not understanding a problem, and I don't view any of you as stupid. Sorry if you read this differently.

Apart from that, there were quite of few posts on the basis I specified last night. You joined the discussion by saying “Any East that wants -1 needs to learn to be a better human”, others jumped in with “I think calling the director on stuff like this is absurd” etc.

I am just trying to separate the Law from personal views here - after all, the TD is supposed to follow the Law in the first place, not what he thinks is fair.
July 22, 2015
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The first assumption for a claim is always that both sides make legal plays. Only when a player specifically states that he will follow an illegal line of play, it should be considered. Of course, when the player is actually well aware that his line of play is illegal, he is subject to procedural penalties, following §72.

(By the way, this was my original interpretation, based on the assumption that declarer's statement was actually a claim. It would still be voting for it, if it wasn't for the EBU paragraph I quoted earlier. Either way, I still believe that this is a difficult case, and I am under the impression that anyone who argues solely based on what is “obvious” to them or on some vague notion of fair play doesn't really understand the problem.)
July 21, 2015
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Since we are being picky, I should point out that §71 says “any normal play”, not “any legal play”. These two are very different.
And btw, although I'm not sure how it fits in here, some illegal plays (like leading from the wrong hand) can be accepted, but others (like revokes) cannot. Maybe they should be treated differently in claims/concessions as well.
July 21, 2015
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One major difference in the other problem is that “I will try to run the hearts” describes a legal line of play no matter who is on lead. (If declarer is in his hand, this line seems to be careless and inferior but still normal, in the context of §70). Therefore, I see no reason why declarer should be allowed to change his line of play from the one he stated to another.
July 21, 2015
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It's really not that simple. An illegal play can become legal, if the law that was originally violated is now superceded by a different law. A lead from the wrong side is an illegal play in the first place, but the opponents are at liberty to accept the lead, making it legal.
July 21, 2015
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“Some of it is authoritative and some of it is advice and guidance (and it usually makes clear which is which). However, none of it is authoritative outside England.”

You are right, they are not binding outside the EBU. However, the authors are not some fools trying to make up their own laws just for themselves.

In many cases, the guidance in the White Book comes directly from the WBF. The paragraph about claims including irregularities is explicitly marked “WBFLC”, which means that it is the WBF position on the matter, not just the position of the EBU.
July 19, 2015
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On the one hand, declarer is not allowed to intentionally commit an irregularity. If the TD comes to the conclusion that declarer called for a card from dummy knowing that it wasn't there, he can impose a PP and adjust the score. (§72, §23)

On the other hand, if the designated card is not in dummy and dummy does not play a card, East is wrong to just accept that the same suit must be played anyway. Declarer's designation may (unintentionally) be wrong regarding the suit, the card value or both. (§46) If East makes his choice in this matter on his own, that is his problem.

Finally, if dummy plays a card although it has not been designated by declarer, East may withdraw his card. As I see, the knowledge about East's card then because AI for EW and UI for NS. (§45)
July 19, 2015
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The White Book is published by the EBU, and technically it is not the law, only advice on how to follow the law. Strictly speaking, it is not authoritative.

However, in the absence of clear laws, I tend to follow them. It is my understanding that similar documents are published by different national federations, and that the authors are typically very careful not to give conflicting advice, unless there are specific regulations in the respective federation which says otherwise. (For example, they are often following WBF minutes which are as authoritative as it gets without changing the laws explicitly.)
July 18, 2015
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It cannot be both - once the D2 is designated as the card to be played next, the last trick is “in progress”, and the rules about claims/concessions do not apply to this trick (§68).
July 17, 2015
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At last I have found a ruling for this situation which states quite clearly that I was wrong. It is somewhat regrettable that I had to dig for it myself, when the other side had little more to say than “it's obvious, and anyone who disagrees has no sense of fair play at all” (or similar), but here we are:

“When there is an irregularity embodied in a statement of claim the Director follows the statement up to the point at which the irregularity (as for example a revoke) occurs and, since the irregularity is not to be accepted, he rules from that point as though there were no statement of claim but should take into account any later part of the claim that he considers still to be valid.”
(White Book 2014, 8.70.7)

Applied to our situation: If declarer's statement is interpreted as a designation of the next lead from dummy, we might still arrive at -1, but if it is viewed as a claim/concession, it is automatically cancelled, and declarer wins the last trick.
July 17, 2015
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Wonderful logic. For the same reason, we could rule -1 because “he didn't win 13 tricks”.
July 17, 2015
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I find your attitude quite disturbing. If you can't debate the case without making unfriendly personal remarks, I'd rather you didn't say anything at all.

As for the “normal line of play”: Right, declarer was actually in his hand, but he was under the impression that the lead was in dummy. His wording strongly suggests that he would have played a card from dummy next, and if that had happened, dummy would not have been entitled to correct him - there you go.
July 17, 2015
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This point has been made several times, without substantial change. First of all, the rules make no distinction between a claim/concession before trick 13 or earlier - maybe they should (Tom made the same suggestion), but right now they don't.

The crucial question, whether a “normal” line of play may involve an irregularity, remains open. Several contributors said it is obvious to them that this is not possible. I am not convinced. To my knowledge, this aspect is just not discussed in the current version of the laws. They don't say it can. They don't say it cannot, either.

When it comes to claims, $70A says “the Director adjudicates the result of the board as equitably as possible to both sides”. What is equitable in this situation? Most followers of this discussion argue that, if there is only one legal line of play, equity can only be found at the end of that line. I disagree. Declarer specifically stated that he would follow a different, irregular line. Let us remember that an irregularity in play is not automatically cancelled (an opponent may accept a lead from the wrong hand), so why should an irregularity in a claim/concession be handled differently?

In my opinion, we must ask ourselves: What result would have been obtained without the claim (as usual, doubtful points should be resolved against declarer)? If claims were completely disallowed and declarer had to finish the play down to the very last card, he would likely have gone down. Therefore, I would consider -1 the result following the “normal” line of play - assuming the opponents accept the lead from the wrong hand - and imho it is “equitable” that the claim leads to the same result.
July 17, 2015
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It probably didn't occur to you, but if someone votes for -1, it doesn't automatically mean that he “wants” declarer to go down.
July 16, 2015
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First, about semantics. I interpret this claim such that declarer really means to lead from dummy. If this aspect is already in doubt, please just ignore the rest of my argument.

Now, about your example. Declarer has not specified that he intends to lead out of turn, so I see no ground to make him do so. It would be a different matter if declarer explicit states “I take the three clubs winners in my hand, and then I am going to lead my ace of spades from dummy”.

To clarify my position: Although play ceases once a claim has been made, there is a “hypothetical” continuation of the play, following the stated line of play. This hypothetical play will not include irregularities out of the blue. But if they are explicitly stated, why not admit them? Once declarer makes it clear that he intends to commit an irregularity, I would view this line of play as “normal” in the context of the rules.
July 16, 2015
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@Tom: If the claim would involve committing a revoke, I would rule depending on how explicit the revoke is stated.

Let's say declarer holds AK in trumps and two winners in a side suit in his hand, dummy has QJ in trumps and two other cards. Declarer now claims that he will draw trumps, and he specifically states that, although trumps are being played, he will make two discards from dummy instead. What now?

I am aware this is a very fragile issue, but the situation itself is dangerous. If there are no penalties to revokes in claims by definition, there might be the temptation to make false claims including a revoke against very weak opponents. After all, it's risk-free, any maybe they don't realize what's happening.
July 16, 2015
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The card has been designated, namely in the claim (as the card declarer intends to lead next).
July 16, 2015
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Let me add this: As far as I can tell, the rules about contested claims do not speak about irregular plays; they speak only about “normal lines of play”. Typically it is assumed that no irregularities are committed after the claim. In this case, however, declarer (implicitly) specified that he would lead from the wrong hand. So while this would irregular in the given situation, I would also consider it a “normal” play, and the TD should treat it accordingly.
July 16, 2015
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It is my interpretation that declarer's claim was accompanied by a statement as to his intended line of play (if only for the one trick): He meant to play from dummy. So while play ceases after the claim and declarer did not actually lead from the wrong hand, the opponents are entitled to accept the wrong lead. One down.
July 16, 2015
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Just out of curiousity, since when does 2H mean: “Do you like spades, p?” A tranfer is a transfer. I guess everyone feels differently about superaccepts, but I doubt you will find many supporters of a “superdecline” after having opened 1NT.
July 14, 2015
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