IMP Pairs. Table Result 6H-1. Lead Q♦
The above board occurred at a North London Club this week, and the Hog, who was not at this table, had generously brought in lots of jam tarts and cream eggs he had left over from Easter. The Rabbit, West, was just finishing one particularly sticky treacle tart when the auction came to an end. Walter the Walrus put down dummy and commented: "26 points partner, and you bid at the 2-level. Maybe I should be looking for grand."
SB had a plan, and won the lead in dummy, cashed a top trump and continued with another one. He correctly specified "ace of hearts" and "king of hearts", of course, rather than risk being ruled against for an incomplete designation. On the first of these RR contributed the jack of hearts but on the second he discarded the two of clubs! Timothy the Toucan, his partner, recalled that RR had opened 1NT and was particularly quick to ask "No hearts, partner?". The rabbit checked through his cards, some of which were sticking together a little because of the adhesive effects of the second treacle tart he had eaten, but the Rabbit said "No, sowwy, not got any", with his mouth full. SB shrugged, although he was surprised that the Rabbit had opened 1NT with a singleton and only 10 or 11 points, and he continued with another heart to East's putative queen. When East showed out, discarding a diamond, it was clear that something was amiss and the TD, OO, was called.
"RR is deliberately attempting to conceal a revoke," started SB, "he was asked whether he had any more hearts by the Toucan and he said he didn't". "The revoke is established now as well, as his partner has played to the next trick." RR was taken aback. "I don't have any more hearts", he said. "How many cards do you have?" asked Oscar the Owl, the TD. "Nine", replied the Rabbit. "Well, everyone else has ten, excluding this trick". "And I think I can see the problem. There are two cards clearly stuck together on your second trick, to which you played both the queen and jack of hearts." The rabbit went bright red. "Oh dear", he said. "I remember now having ♥QJ doubleton when I opened 1NT".
"OK", said the Owl. "This one is not too complicated. The ♥Q is restored to RR's hand and is now a major penalty card. The revoke was established when East discarded a diamond to trick four. Play continues and one trick is transferred at the end to North-South. If equity needs to be restored then I will do so at the end of the hand." "Is it not two tricks?" asked RR, "most of my revokes are." "No, just one here, the offender did not win the revoke trick. The additional penalty when he wins a trick with a card that he could have played to the revoke trick was abolished some years ago" replied OO.
RR won the fourth trick perforce with the queen of hearts, the MPC, and exited with a diamond. SB tried the queen of clubs from dummy, but RR ducked, stating that he had not deserved to win his queen of hearts and SB needed to get two tricks for his stupid revoke and one was unfair. However the contract could no longer be made.
SB called OO back. "I think the Laws did not indemnify me for the particular type of infraction committed by RR. If he had not played two cards to one trick, he would not have felt guilty and surely would have won his king of clubs and the contract would have made. Also if RR had not attempted to conceal the revoke by lying when asked if he had any hearts, the revoke would not have been established, and the two of clubs would have become an MPC and I would have made the contract by playing a club to my jack. He could have been aware that denying that he ever had a second heart would damage the non-offenders."
"Well, it should be blindingly obvious to duck the ♣Q, even to RR", replied OO. "And I don't think failing to correct the revoke was an infraction, as RR was not aware that he had revoked. Let me consult".
How do you rule?