I want to offer your attention the next judgement problem that took place in the Christmas Match-Point Pairs in Saint-Petersburg in 7.01.2000. This is the full deal.
4 from E
S began from two spade leads. E ruffed the second round and drew three trumps. Then he claimed 12 tricks with the next plan:
"I shall play the club queen, club to the ace and king of clubs. If clubs turn out to be 3-2 there is no problem. If it will be 4-1 I shall ruff the fourth round and pitch a diamond on the master club."
After some pause N said:
"I have five clubs."
E was silent. Then N asked:
"What now? Eleven tricks?"
East: "Well, eleven."
(There is worth mentioning that N was an expert and authoritative player, and E was the mediocre player).
Three players at the table (declarer and defenders) entered the result in the score sheet and N-S moved to the next table.
Then W, that was absent during the play, returned to the table and looked into the sheet. Seeing the full deal he said his partner that it was impossible to take less than 12 tricks. After the discussion E-W decided to call the Director.
Director after some thought judged 12 tricks. I also was the Director on this tournament and I wasnít agree with his decision. But later I looked the appropriate laws and understand that my colleague was absolutely right.
Letís open the Laws.
So, as was mentioned above, the Directorís decision at the table formally was ideal, however I have yet some kind of unsatisfaction.
If we abstract from Laws and will look on the problem from playerís point of view it will be apparent Eastís error. Certainly this error could be provoked by Northís authority and Eastís bad knowing the Laws. But it isnít the Directorís duty to correct the playerís errors, and the Laws shall not doing the same thing too.
Consider now the next (hypothetical) situation. The same contract, the same beginning of play, but in the sixth turn declarer leads the queen of clubs and sees discarding on the left. Then he says: "I shall concede a diamond at the end." Then dummy sees the full deal and says that it is impossible to take less than 12 tricks. E-W call the Director.
It is undoubtedly that the player which make one more turn must see at least one turn later. This player, seeing all spot cards in combined hands, is obliged to find the winning ruffing finesse. In this situation his error becomes more obvious. But in that case the Director must judge the same result accordingly the same laws.
I will be very gratitude if you inform me your opinion about this problem or site for discussion, if it will take place.
In many ways the most important Law for deciding claims is:
The Director's aim is to decide what would have happened if play had been continued. If he is confident then he rules that way. If there is more than one reasonable possibility then he rules doubtful points against the claimer.
When the claim statement breaks down then he has to decide what would have happened. In the first case, declarer has shown that he intends to ruff clubs out. Would he have inevitably realised that the suit plays for four tricks? In my view, yes, though this is a judgement decision [and thus appealable] so I would allow twelve tricks.
In the second case, even though it is a trick later, he no longer suggests he would have ruffed the clubs out, so it is not certain he would ever have realised that he has twelve tricks. So, in the second case, I rule eleven tricks. The difference is in what the claim statement says. In general we follow the claim statement until it breaks down.
What about the wording of Implausible concession? Well, I believe that failing to ruff out the clubs is a "normal" play so I do not give a trick under Law 71C in the second case. But I do not treat it as a normal play in the first case where we "know" how declarer intends to play the hand.