A frequent theme in both online and face-to-face bridge is what should happen when someone claims but there is an outstanding trump. To reduce it to its simplest form, suppose declarer holds (with spades as trumps):
The spade AK and the heart K have already been played, and declarer who is in hand says "All mine". But one defender has no hearts, and he has a small spade left. How would you rule? How should you rule?
For this article I am going to try a different approach. I am not going to give you my view at all, but I am going to give you the arguments both ways. Feel free to make your mind up: you can write to me if you like. In a later article I shall give you my views and discuss any replies I have received.
Let us look at it from declarer's point of view. He will say "I knew there was a trump outstanding" - players always say that - and he will say that any competent player will automatically play trumps first with a hand he believes is all winners anyway.
The defenders will point out how easy it is to say "Drawing trumps" so when declarer does not he has probably forgotten the outstanding trump. They also say that with all winners any declarer might play any suit first.
Sometimes it gets nasty: declarer says "I thought I was playing against bridge players" to which the defence retort "Bridge players remember to mention outstanding trumps when they claim".
So what do you think?
Please remember to write to me with your problems. I am afraid I will not guarantee to answer each query personally, but I shall look at everything sent, and will write about some subjects submitted this way.