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Are the ACBL rules open to interpretation?

An interesting situation arose yesterday during the Sunday A/X Swiss in Denver. What bothers me most about the situation is not that I was ruled "against", but that after numerous discussions during the day (none of which were motivated by having the ruling changed, but merely to see if there were different viewpoints on the matter) it seems clear to me that directors might disagree on points of law and you might get a different ruling depending upon the director that arrives at your table.

Here's what happened. At the end of a hand during the first match, my RHO claimed with seven cards to play, saying she had the rest of the tricks. Dummy had the AQJx of spades opposite declarer's Kx, and the AJx of clubs opposite the K10xxx. Declarer had simply miscounted her tricks, thinking she had three pitches coming. Nobody had any trump left.  I contested the claim, and the director came to the table, and after hearing what had transpired, said declarer must play the AK of clubs, and when the Queen dropped doubleton, the contract was made.

It "felt" wrong.....and although it made no difference at all on the result of the match, I found the time on this slow sunday to discuss it with a Head Director, several experienced directors I have come to respect and admire through the years, and a few close friends in the expert bridge community (including two of those with the most knowledge of the laws of the ACBL), and the results were astonishing. The head director at my local club today also advised me that the ruling, in his opinion was 100 percent wrong.



Glenn Eisenstein



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