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Ruling: Unsolicited play by dummy on the twelfth trick

West
Q872
AK64
QJ5
Q8
North
10
J972
A943
9762
East
K94
Q85
10876
K103
South
AJ653
103
K2
AJ54
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
1NT
P
2
P
3
P
P
P
D
3 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
A
2
8
3
0
0
1
Q
A
6
2
1
1
1
10
9
A
2
3
2
1
3
7
2
4
1
3
1
7
5
10
K
0
3
2
J
3
7
K
3
4
2
5
8
6
K
1
5
2
J
Q
4
6
3
6
2
6
Q
7
10
2
6
3
10
J
5
4
3
7
3
A
8
9
3
3
8
3
5
Q
12

This is a hand from the European Championships in Oostende, and it had no impact on the final ranking.

I was called to the table after the play of the hand. In the diagram position where declarer had to discard a red nine from dummy, the following happened. Dummy played the 9 without waiting for declarer to call a card, and a couple of seconds later, before declarer had the chance to call a card, East won with the K and led the 8 to the last trick.

Declarer said that he was about to discard dummy's 9 because East had discouraged with the 8 on the first trick. I said that because of what had happened, the fact that East indeed had a diamond left was UI to declarer (Law 45D1), but I did not want to make a ruling at the table. I asked the players to put the cards back without reshuffling to enable easy reconstruction of the play (I lost my notes in the meantime; my apologies if I got a card wrong).

I came back to the table a board or two later to get the bidding, just in case it would be relevant. At this point, declarer said that there was another clue in that East had played a diamond at trick 10, where a heart shift would have ensured one down. Also for this reason, he felt that it was almost 100% that he would have got it right if he had been given the chance to select his play.

The relevant laws say that UI principles must be applied, so the only question is whether discarding the 9 at trick 12 is a logical alternative.

What is your ruling?

3C=; +110
3C-1; -100

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