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You must follow the Laws

In a four-card ending North (dummy) has AQ of spades and two little clubs. South (declarer) has two little spades and the AK of clubs. South leads the ace of clubs. West and dummy play low clubs and East plays the five of spades. Before the next card is played, East finds a club. The correct procedure under Law 9 B1 (a) is for the Director to be summoned. He will state that the five of spades is a major penalty card and must be played at his first legal opportunity. Declarer can now lead a spade to the queen and since East must play the five of spades, the queen of spades will win the trick and Declarer will take the rest of the tricks even though East has the king of spades. If declarer allows East to put the five of spades back in his hand and then loses a trick to the king of spades, he violates Law 9B1 (a) and Law 72 (A). He is dumping, intentionally taking fewer tricks for no bridge reason. I tell my beginning students that the basic rule is ---‘You must follow suit and failure to follow suit could lead to penalties’. Giving the opponent a trick with the king of spades could affect the standings. Think how unfair it would be if that trick was a ten-matchpoint swing and this pair wins by six matchpoints. It is unethical to dump, which is what you’re doing in this situation, if you don’t take all four tricks.Law 9B1. After Attention is drawn to an Irregularity(a) The Director should be summoned at once when attention is drawn to an irregularity.Law 72 General PrinciplesA. Observance of LawsDuplicate bridge tournaments should be played in strict accordance with the Laws. The chief object is to obtain a higher score than other contestants whilst complying with lawful procedures and ethical standards set out in the Laws.


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