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This is an appeal from European Championships. 

West
Q982
973
AJ75
K4
North
AK1063
KQ85
2
982
East
642
KQ10864
7653
South
J754
AJ10
93
AQJ10
W
N
E
S
1
P
2NT
P
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 North
NS: 0 EW: 0
 

Contract: 4, played by North, Lead: K

Play: K, D ruffed, A, 2 to 10,  J-Q-K, 8 to J and K 

At this point the remaining cards are:

West
98
973
AJ
North
106
KQ85
9
East
642
108
76
South
75
AJ10
AQ
W
N
E
S
1
P
2NT
P
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 North
NS: 0 EW: 0

at which point North claimed. 

Result:  9 or 10 tricks 

The Facts:  North claimed, saying “I take your last trump”. 

The Director:  Ruled that North may well have forgotten about the extra outstanding trump. The Director found that North would execute a play that leads to 10 tricks 2 times in 3. 

Ruling:  Score adjusted to Both sides receive: 66.7% of 4= by North (NS +420) plus 33.3% of 4-1 by North (NS –50) 

Relevant Laws:  Law 70A, 70C3, Law 12C3, Code of Practice enabling Tournament Director to award Adjusted Scores under Law 12C3. 

North/South appealed. 

Present: All players except East, and the Captain of North/South 

The Players:  North/South spoke through their Captain, who was also the scorer at the table, and he had witnessed the facts. 

North had wished to speed up play by claiming when West had been thinking about the return. It was clear to North that he knew trumps had been 4-0. After all, he had noticed the bad break, and had already finessed once. If he had thought West had only one trump left, surely North would have cashed the 10 before playing the second round of Clubs. 

When asked if he had claimed for 10 or 11 tricks, North stated he had not pronounced a number at the table. 

West told the Committee that he had been thinking after taking the K. Then North had claimed with the statement “I take your last trump”. He had not wanted to call the Director then, but asked declarer “how may trumps do you think I have”, to which North had replied “one”. This fact had not been told to the Director at the table, but North did not dispute it before the Committee. 

The Committee:  Began by stating that the Director’s ruling was wrong in Law. Since there is no assigned adjusted score to be given, Law 12C3 cannot be applied. 

The Committee judged that North had, quite probably, forgotten about the extra outstanding trump. In that case, Law 70C3 says that claimer shall lose any trick that can be lost by normal play. 

The Committee then had to decide whether or not there is any line of normal play that leads to the loss of the tenth trick. Claimer will take whichever card is returned, including a diamond, which can be ruffed in either hand. He will then cash the 10, as per his claim statement, and will then believe his cards to be high. There is a well-established principle that, when a claimer knows he has high cards, any order he can play them is deemed “normal”. It is the view of the Committee however that, in a case like this, this does not include the trump suit, which is cashed last. 

With that principle in mind, there is no order of play of the cards that will not lead to 10 tricks. West will (to North’s surprise) ruff one of the tricks that North believes is his, but declarer or dummy has a trump left to ruff the diamond return. 

The Committee’s decision: Director’s ruling changed. Score adjusted to 4 by North, making 10 tricks, NS+420 

Deposit: Returned 

 

Committee got it right.
TD got it right.
None of them were right.

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