APPEAL NABC-Fall-200-Boston-8-Non-NABC-5
Claim or Played Card
1,993 Masterpoints
1,198 Masterpoints
4,266 Masterpoints
Boston, MA
4,912 Masterpoints
Down 1, EIW - 50
4♣ W, down 1, EIW - 50
4♣ W, down 1, EIW - 50
The Facts: The director was called after a club was led from dummy (East) at
trick 12. West played 4♣. He was in dummy after trick 11. Dummy’s cards were
the ♣6 and the
♦7. North had the ♦Q and a spade. Neither South nor West held a trump or a
diamond higher than the queen.
Declarer sat for a while and at the urging of North to play a card, West called
for the club, which was good.
E/W alleged that North played the ♦Q to the twelfth trick. North stated that
he was claiming the thirteenth trick with the ♦Q for down one.
The Ru1ing: The director determined that North was claiming without stating a
line of play. In accordance with Law 70D1 and the footnote to Law 70, the
director judged that there was no alternate normal play (i.e. to save the ♦Q for trick
twelve) and therefore awarded the thirteenth trick to N/S.
The Appeal: All four players attended the hearing.
Declarer agreed that he sat for a long time in the two-card ending. His only explanation
was that he was trying to remember if the diamond was good. Both he and dummy wereadamant that North faced the ♦Q on the table.
According to NIS, everyone knew the contract was down one, yet declarer sat for over aminute staring at dummy. Finally North said, “Play a card.” After declarer called for thegood trump, North showed the ♦Q with the intent to claim the thirteenth trick not play itto the twelfth trick.
The Decision: There was a lengthy altercation at the table before the director could
obtain all the facts. Both sides had different stories. After about ten minutes, the director
determined that this was a claim by North. The panel found no facts that would indicate
his judgment was incorrect. Therefore (see Law 70E), the director’s ruling was upheld
and the result of 4♣ by West, down one, EIW minus 50 was affirmed.
The Panel: Bernie Gorkin (Reviewer) and John Ashton.
Good ruling---Sominex Coups are not supposed to work---but why didn’t North claim down one a minute earlier? Some players think one cannotclaim if one is not on lead, but it is most definitely allowed.
It is unthinkable not to give an appeal without merit warning (AWMW).
Declarer not only ought not have appealed, he ought not to have called thedirector, ought to have apologized that his needless slow play may havecaused a problem, and let the defender take his card back even if it wasplayed inadvertently to trick 12. Taking advantage of opponents’procedural errors is one thing; inducing them is entirely another matter.
Law 90B2 gives the director the right to award a procedural penalty (PP)for “unduly slow play by a contestant.“ I’d not do that here, though it’sclose, but I would penalize declarer five yards for delay of game. Failingto file a recorder form on declarer is criminal unless C&E charges werefiled instead.
Someone should have discussed the concept of sportsmanship and fairplay with West. Good ruling and decision.
Another variety of the Sominex coup. I can’t believe E/W even called thedirector, and for their further efforts they should get an AWMW. Whowould really ask for a trick in these circumstances? I’m appalled.
This was a bizarre case. E/W committed the only infraction, unnecessarydelay of game. They then appeared to want to profit thereby, winning atrick they could not have obtained legitimately. This appeal had no merit.
If I could find a way to penalize E/W, I would.
Good. In the absence of clean, indisputable evidence to the contrary thebridge of the matter should prevail.



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