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An Example of Law 82C

by David Stevenson and Jan Peter Pals, Amsterdam, Netherlands


Jan Peter Pals wrote:

The following happened in a teams-of-four match:

East opens 1S, South doubles, West takes a pack of bidding cards out of the box (under Dutch regulations meaning that he has made a call), and says: "Hold it, I didn't see the double". TD lets him substitute this for a redouble (erroneously aplying L25A), and NS go for -1400, which, combined with the result at the other table, costs 16 imps.

At the end of the match (EW's team won, 22-8) the TD realises his error and applies L82C. He reasons that he has to consider both parties to be non-offending, so EW's team keep their 16 imps and win by 22-8, NS's team do not have to suffer the loss of 16 imps and lose by 11-19, so the final result of the match becomes 22-11.



David Stevenson replied:

No, sorry. Certainly Law 82C applies but that does not mean that EW necessarily keep their 16 imps. What he does is to assign scores based on him giving a correct ruling, treating each side as non-offending.

Let us consider what might have happened. The bidding goes 1S X ?/TD. The ruling is that no change is permitted under L25A. So the TD moves on to L25B and gives the following options:

The substituted call may be condoned .......

What substituted call?

The trouble is that L25B assumes the player has attempted a substitution. Ok, I suppose we have to ask him what call he is going to substitute. What do we do if he answers "I am not going to change it if I cannot change it under L25A."? Oh, dash it!

  1. I think that if West does not wish to substitute a call the bidding goes on with his actual call - and UI to partner. So we allow the original call without penalty.

  2. Suppose West says "I want to redouble". The next player could condone this.

  3. Now, West could go back to his original call. We were not told what it was, but from the evidence I would guess it is a forcing bid on a strong hand - but partner is now required to pass it!!!!! Let us call it 2C for the sake of argument.

  4. Alternatively, West could pick anything else, and play for 40%. In that case he might as well redouble.

So, for assigning purposes, we look at these possibilities and see where they lead.

  1. West decides not to change under L25B and gets some score like 630 because he reaches game normally.

  2. West redoubles, and North condones this. Yeah, and the Red Sox win the World Series and I win the lottery. North, whose highest card is probably a 9 would not condone it!

  3. West plays in 2C for 150. Will he really pick this option?

  4. West redoubles for 40% and gets 1400. That is 3 imps out for EW and 16 imps out for NS.

Ok, which of these are likely? [1] certainly is, but he might commit himself to L25B. [2] - not a chance! [3] is possible: now faced with a loss of 3 imps, West might cut his losses and go for this. [4] is also possible, now that West has got embroiled.

Given that we now apply L82C, and treat each side as non-offending. Which score is best? For EW +630, 11 imps in, for NS -150, 6 imps out. That's what you assign. Of course, I am guessing as to the results of contracts but this is the correct approach.

TDs must assign scores where the Law Book tells them to.


Editor's note:

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