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A Roving Rabbit At sixes and nines

#1 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-October-07, 04:34


RR was late for the duplicate this week, getting new bifocals which he was not yet used to, and he complained a little that he was having some difficulty differentiating pips. There was an odd number of pairs, so RR was the NS Rover, and he and ChCh were playing their new system, which was an 18-20 1NT on boards 2-3, 6-7, 10-11 ... 26-27 30-31, except where there was an arrow switch, when it would revert to 12-17. As a result, it was very rare for RR (South) to open 1NT, but he had little choice on the above hand and ChCh felt that he needed to raise as RR making exactly eight tricks was unlikely.

SB, West, checked with ChCh that 1NT was correctly announced as 18-20 and went for the safe lead of a top spade. RR saw no point in ducking, and won and VV, East, played the jack. "Do you play normal count?" asked RR. "Yes,", replied SB, not volunteering any more information than was necessary. RR tested the hearts but the jack, ten, did not drop. He then played the ace, king of clubs and a club to the queen. After a couple of recounts, he thought that the long club was a winner, and said, "and the nine please." Before you could say "Jack Rabbit", ChCh had the nine of spades on the table. "No, I meant the nine of clubs," interjected RR. "I think that it is a winner". "There is no nine of clubs in dummy, so I think you will find that I correctly played the nine of spades," responded ChCh.

"DIRECTOOOOOOOOOOOR", called SB. OO arrived. "RR's incontrovertibly different intention was to play the six of clubs, even though he said, "and the nine","began SB.

"Well", replied OO. "The laws are quite clear, as SB knows:
3. If declarer designates a rank but not a suit:
(a) In leading, declarer is deemed to have continued the suit with which dummy won the preceding trick provided there is a card of the designated rank in that suit.
(b) In all other cases declarer must play a card from dummy of the designated rank if he can legally do so; but if there are two or more such cards that can be legally played declarer must designate which is intended."

"I don't think the word 'intention' can apply to RR", continued OO, "he tends to play his cards pretty much at random". He went on: "And I would need convincing that the six of clubs was incontrovertibly indicated by the phrase 'and the nine'." He ended: "I rule the nine of spades is a played card".

SB was endplayed to lead into the king of diamonds for declarer's ninth trick. "Very well played, RR", chortled ChCh, North, "A sextuple dentist coup with an anti-jettison element. You had to cash exactly three clubs and three hearts before exiting. I think I might reduce our NT range to 17-19 so you get to play more hands". The rabbit went bright red, unused to such flattery.

For once, SB was lost for words. Do you agree with OO's ruling?
I prefer to give the lawmakers credit for stating things for a reason. - barmar
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#2 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-October-07, 06:07

Yes I agree with OO's ruling. The law is clear in its words, if not in its intentions.
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#3 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-October-07, 07:52

View Postpescetom, on 2019-October-07, 06:07, said:

Yes I agree with OO's ruling. The law is clear in its words, if not in its intentions.

When would you apply "(except when declarer’s different intention is incontrovertible)?"
I prefer to give the lawmakers credit for stating things for a reason. - barmar
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#4 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-October-07, 07:56

And what do the words, "and the" imply?
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Posted 2019-October-07, 08:21

View Postlamford, on 2019-October-07, 07:52, said:

When would you apply "(except when declarer’s different intention is incontrovertible)?"

Rarely. Say that declarer needs the last two tricks to make 3NT and has AQ remaining in dummy with RHO on lead. Opponent is forced to play K, declarer smiles in triumph and names just the suit. Certainly not here, given that the law seems to consider it reasonable to designate a rank but not a suit when neither following suit nor continuing the suit with which dummy won the preceding trick (something I have never dreamed of doing nor witnessed, but in interpreting a law I must assume it has reason).
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Posted 2019-October-07, 08:28

View Postlamford, on 2019-October-07, 07:56, said:

And what do the words, "and the" imply?


To me very little, could be "and now" or just a meaningless interlocutory phrase. If he wanted to say "and the last club" or "continue in clubs" he could easily have done so without resorting to his uncertain sight.
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#7 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-October-07, 09:24

I think RR's immediate statement "I meant the 9 of clubs" strongly indicates that he didn't intend the 9 of spades. Are those of you siding with OO just claiming that this is not clear enough to be "incontrovertible"?

"and the" by itself might not be enough to indicate his intent (although it's a strong suggestion), but along with trying to change the play I'm convinced. The surprising thing is that RR was paying attention well enough to notice that ChCh played a different card than he intended.

Had he gone down and then claimed that it wasn't what he intended, I would agree with you, it would be self-serving and harder to take at face value. But he noticed the error immediately, before the implication came to light.

As much as I hate siding with SB, in this case I think he got it right, although his explanation was wrong.

#8 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2019-October-07, 10:01

View Postpescetom, on 2019-October-07, 08:21, said:

Rarely. Say that declarer needs the last two tricks to make 3NT and has AQ remaining in dummy, opponent is forced to play K, declarer smiles in triumph and names just the suit. Certainly not here, given that the law seems to consider it reasonable to designate a rank but not a suit when neither following suit nor continuing the suit with which dummy won the preceding trick (something I have never dreamed of doing nor witnessed, but in interpreting a law I must assume it has reason).

No, if you named just the suit it is assumed that you did not notice the K and were intending to finesse. The Q is the played card.
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Posted 2019-October-07, 10:14

View Postbarmar, on 2019-October-07, 09:24, said:

I think RR's immediate statement "I meant the 9 of clubs" strongly indicates that he didn't intend the 9 of spades. Are those of you siding with OO just claiming that this is not clear enough to be "incontrovertible"?

Exactly. I claim that no phrase that includes "the 9" can introvertibly refer to another rank, whatever the suit, given also that the law explicitly foresees "the 9" as a way to indicate playing the only 9 in the hand whatever the suit. I would still accept an immediate statement such as "I meant the remaining club, which looks like the nine to me" if he was known to have sight problems or a penchant for strange mushrooms.
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Posted 2019-October-07, 10:19

View PostVampyr, on 2019-October-07, 10:01, said:

No, if you named just the suit is is assumed that you did not notice the K and were intending to finesse. The Q is the played card.

Dummy is the last to play to the trick (will edit to eliminate ambiguity).
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#11 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-October-07, 10:41

View Postbarmar, on 2019-October-07, 09:24, said:

I think RR's immediate statement "I meant the 9 of clubs" strongly indicates that he didn't intend the 9 of spades. Are those of you siding with OO just claiming that this is not clear enough to be "incontrovertible"?

"and the" by itself might not be enough to indicate his intent (although it's a strong suggestion), but along with trying to change the play I'm convinced. The surprising thing is that RR was paying attention well enough to notice that ChCh played a different card than he intended.

Had he gone down and then claimed that it wasn't what he intended, I would agree with you, it would be self-serving and harder to take at face value. But he noticed the error immediately, before the implication came to light.

As much as I hate siding with SB, in this case I think he got it right, although his explanation was wrong.

I agree with you. His intention was incontrovertible. The tempo, checking that there were no clubs out and his mistaking the six for the nine, which it is upside down, leads me to side with SB here. The clause "except when declarer's different intention is incontrovertible" should cover exactly this situation and would not be there if the Law was to be applied literally. Maybe the TD needs to conduct a polygraph test to establish what RR intended, but by then ChCh would have explained to him how to lie!

And for what it is worth, I consider "and the" to be very significant, implying clubs as the suit. If he had said "nine of clubs", he would not have been forced to play the nine of spades, and if ChCh had played that card, the TD would adjust for ChCh participating in the play.

I would adjust for TD error, very rare from OO, with RR making 3NT=, for +600 to NS, and EW defeating it by one, EW+100, with SB jettisoning the queen of spades all the time on the six of clubs.
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#12 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-October-07, 10:46

View Postpescetom, on 2019-October-07, 10:19, said:

Dummy is the last to play to the trick (will edit to eliminate ambiguity).

Even if dummy is last to play, you would be forced to play the queen under the king, if you say "any", "a spade", "low" or "play" or similar, and there is plenty of case law, and at least one AC ruling on the matter. The booklets can be found on the EBU site. It is assumed that you did not notice the king owing to inattention.
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#13 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2019-October-08, 01:40

RR told beforehand that he had problems differentiating the pips, he said that he meant the nine of clubs, so his intention was clearly not to play the nine of spades - he might not have seen which spade it was - and as a director you should take in account physical limitations of the players. Here RR has such a limitation, so I will allow him to do as intended.
What would those who allow the play f the nine of spades have decided if RR had said “the eight”? In that case you would allow the club to be played?
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Posted 2019-October-08, 10:36

View Postsanst, on 2019-October-08, 01:40, said:

RR told beforehand that he had problems differentiating the pips, he said that he meant the nine of clubs, so his intention was clearly not to play the nine of spades - he might not have seen which spade it was - and as a director you should take in account physical limitations of the players. Here RR has such a limitation, so I will allow him to do as intended.
What would those who allow the play f the nine of spades have decided if RR had said “the eight”? In that case you would allow the club to be played?


I don't see anywhere that he told TD he was having sight problems - as already said, had he done so (and he had ample opportunity) I would certainly consider differently.
Had he said "the eight", I would ask him why he said that and the truth would presumably emerge.
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Posted 2019-October-08, 10:44

View Postlamford, on 2019-October-07, 10:46, said:

Even if dummy is last to play, you would be forced to play the queen under the king, if you say "any", "a spade", "low" or "play" or similar, and there is plenty of case law, and at least one AC ruling on the matter. The booklets can be found on the EBU site. It is assumed that you did not notice the king owing to inattention.


I take note of EBU case law, thanks, although I'm not bound by it. I'm not in a hurry to concede him the two tricks but it does seem to me an example of when declarer’s different intention can be considered incontrovertible. He was certainly inattentive but never had the intention to play queen under the king.
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#16 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2019-October-09, 01:30

View Postpescetom, on 2019-October-08, 10:36, said:

I don't see anywhere that he told TD he was having sight problems - as already said, had he done so (and he had ample opportunity) I would certainly consider differently.
Had he said "the eight", I would ask him why he said that and the truth would presumably emerge.

The first sentence of the OP: “RR was late for the duplicate this week, getting new bifocals which he was not yet used to, and he complained a little that he was having some difficulty differentiating pips.”
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#17 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2019-October-09, 03:49

View Postpescetom, on 2019-October-08, 10:44, said:

I take note of EBU case law, thanks, although I'm not bound by it. I'm not in a hurry to concede him the two tricks but it does seem to me an example of when declarer’s different intention can be considered incontrovertible. He was certainly inattentive but never had the intention to play queen under the king.

I agree he did not intend to play the queen under the king. But he DID intend to play the queen if the person under the AQ had played low. In a two-card ending, where everyone is known to have two cards, so declarer can safely finesse, SB ALWAYS plays the king from Kx under the AQ, and ALWAYS calls the TD if declarer carelessly calls for the queen without bothering to look at LHO's card first. ChCh does the same, of course.
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Posted 2019-October-09, 06:55

View Postsanst, on 2019-October-09, 01:30, said:

The first sentence of the OP: “RR was late for the duplicate this week, getting new bifocals which he was not yet used to, and he complained a little that he was having some difficulty differentiating pips.”


I remember. How on earth should the TD know this, if nobody at the table tells him?
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Posted 2019-October-09, 16:16

TDs are psychic. It's a prerequisite for the job. B-)
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