Robert Frick rfrick at rfrick.info
Wed Sep 8 21:05:42 CEST 2010

On Wed, 08 Sep 2010 14:50:10 -0400, Nigel Guthrie  
<nigelguthrie at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

> [Dave Seagull]
> It was actually the Expert LHO who called the director (instead of
> putting his cards back in the board without saying anything) because he
> didn't feel he deserved to win a trick with his SA knowing his HQ will
> fall under declarer's Ace
> He just wasn't sure what the laws say and would have accepted the trick
> if the director had told him that according to the laws declarer has
> forfeited that trick and since he could have lost it by following his
> suggested line of play (conceding a spade after cashing the HA) than
> that trick is indeed lost.
> The director actually commended the Expert LHO for his ethics and
> awarded declarer all of the remaining tricks, ruling that it would be
> irrational for that class of player not to notice the fall of the HQ and
> not cashing the HJ pitching his last losing spade.
> [Nigel]
> On reflection, I'm not so sure that the director ruled correctly.  
> Declarer's
> specified line didn't involve cashing the fourth heart. If declarer  
> didn't
> envisage any possibility that dummy's heart knave could become a winner,  
> why
> should the wiser director credit him with that deduction? The decision  
> might be
> harder if declarer hadn't earlier cashed the king of hearts. All players  
> are
> prone to carelessness, so the director should rule the same way, no  
> matter what
> the claimer's calibre.

I would be tempted to rule the same way. It is not my job as director to  
notice the drop of the queen of hearts, remember that the king has been  
played, and they choose the optimal line of play. This is boderline for me  
and in practice I will wish I didn't have to make a decision.

As always, the problem with TFLB is that there is no statement about  
actually following the stated line of play. It should say that the stated  
line of play is followed until.......... And then the ruling here (and  
other places where BLMLers disagree) depends on how you fill in the blank.

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