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A convenient revoke

#1 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2022-September-22, 14:51

MP pairs, F2F.



NS are very experienced players and a regular partnership.

S leads 3 to 4 J K.
Declarer plays 4 to 7 K 5 and continues Q followed by 8, discarding spades.
S covers with A and returns T, covered in dummy with Q which holds.
Declarer plays J from dummy followed by T and discards spades, S discarding diamonds.
Declarer continues 6 from dummy and N discards diamonds, at which point Director is called because 9 has not appeared.
How do you proceed and what is your decision?
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#2 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2022-September-22, 16:07

Unless the law has changed you restore equity. 9 tricks.
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#3 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2022-September-22, 20:34

Well, the first thing I'd do is ask NS which one of them revoked.
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#4 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2022-September-23, 02:29

 blackshoe, on 2022-September-22, 20:34, said:

Well, the first thing I'd do is ask NS which one of them revoked.

S explains that he had the third club hidden among his cards and failed to spot it.
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#5 User is offline   axman 

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Posted 2022-September-23, 04:57

 blackshoe, on 2022-September-22, 20:34, said:

Well, the first thing I'd do is ask NS which one of them revoked.

Just had to read TFLB. As expected, once someone does not follow suit you may ask forever about holding a card of the suit as long as you are not dummy. Seems though that when he says yes he may not know to which year you are referring.
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#6 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2022-September-23, 09:22

 Cyberyeti, on 2022-September-22, 16:07, said:

Unless the law has changed you restore equity. 9 tricks.


Well you skipped a few steps but I agree with your conclusion, a one trick transfer will be insufficient compensation and 9 tricks looks likely unless someone does something inappropriate for this level.

Is that all you would do as TD? Would you be happy with this (lucky top aside) if they were your opponents?
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#7 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2022-September-23, 09:37

 axman, on 2022-September-23, 05:03, said:

Just had to read TFLB. As expected, once someone does not follow suit you may ask forever about holding a card of the suit as long as you are not dummy.


Even dummy can ask Declarer. But habitual or pointed asking seems to be an american thing, asking is rare over here and I have never seen it abused.

I think it's more of an issue that one can legally remain silent about a known revoke. North here is good enough to spot the revoke when his partner shows out, before it is established (if it was his partner who revoked, as seems likely).
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#8 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2022-September-23, 12:31

I don't think North has done anything wrong, even if he correctly figures that his partner may have revoked. Law 61 allows but does not require him to ask. South has, at least up to the point where the director was called, done nothing wrong. Well, he revoked, but according to his later testimony he wasn't aware of it at the time.

The question asked in the OP was "how do you proceed and what is your decision?"

At this point in the play the revoke, if there was one, has been established (it will have occurred on trick 4 or 5 if I counted right, so when North plays to trick 6, that establishes any prior revoke by his side (if it wasn't already established) (Law 63A1). I would instruct that the play continue, because once the revoke is established it cannot be corrected (Law 63B). At the end of the play, there would be an automatic one-trick transfer (Law 64A2) but as has been said, this does not sufficiently compensate the declaring side, so I would assign an adjusted score. 3NT making 3 looks right (Law 64C1).
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#9 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2022-September-23, 12:40

 blackshoe, on 2022-September-23, 12:31, said:

I don't think North has done anything wrong, even if he correctly figures that his partner may have revoked. Law 61 allows but does not require him to ask. South has, at least up to the point where the director was called, done nothing wrong. Well, he revoked, but according to his later testimony he wasn't aware of it at the time.

The question asked in the OP was "how do you proceed and what is your decision?"

At this point in the play the revoke, if there was one, has been established (it will have occurred on trick 4 or 5 if I counted right, so when North plays to trick 6, that establishes any prior revoke by his side (if it wasn't already established) (Law 63A1). I would instruct that the play continue, because once the revoke is established it cannot be corrected (Law 63B). At the end of the play, there would be an automatic one-trick transfer (Law 64A2) but as has been said, this does not sufficiently compensate the declaring side, so I would assign an adjusted score. 3NT making 3 looks right (Law 64C1).


I agree 100%, although I don't like that aspect of Law 61.

Would it end there for you?
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#10 User is offline   axman 

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Posted 2022-September-23, 15:53

 axman, on 2022-September-23, 05:03, said:

Just had to read TFLB. As expected, once someone does not follow suit you may ask forever about holding a card of the suit as long as you are not dummy. Seems though that when he says yes he may not know to which year you are referring.


Who called?

How may I help?
Someone revoked.
How do you know?
Both showed out and the C9 has not been played.
Then how do you know there was a revoke if the C9 has not been played?
Well, it hasn't.
I'll put it differently, has someone shown out of clubs and then played a club?
No.
Then how do you know there has been a revoke?
You can look.
I'm not going to look without cause to look and I don't have cause.
Well, I say there was a revoke.
I see no proof.
You’re an ass.
Maybe a different approach is in order. Who has said they have a club after showing out?
Nobody.

That's good because if he said he had a club then he would have to play it and probably get in trouble. Now, a player who had an opponent that at sometime did not follow suit can ask if he has a card of a suit led. And the player is obliged to respond truthfully. And if the truthful answer is yes he must play the card and doing so he will probably be in trouble. And if he does not respond truthfully he will be in trouble. The law provides this right only to the players, not anyone else.

So, continue the board and should a problem arise like an appearance of a mysterious club please call me back.
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#11 User is online   sfi 

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Posted 2022-September-23, 16:01

 pescetom, on 2022-September-23, 12:40, said:

Would it end there for you?

Hanlon's razor is a useful principle to apply here. Most likely you will already know about it if South is wont to do something shady in this sort of position. In those situations you have Law 72B, but I would only apply that with very strong supporting evidence. Even if I had some evidence or suspicion, I would generally be mentioning it to a recorder rather than adding a penalty. So 3NT= would be the end of the ruling.
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#12 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2022-September-24, 07:39

I don't understand the TD's claim "I see no proof". Either there has been a revoke or the board is fouled. This should be cause for looking at the players' hands, to determine which is true.

#13 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2022-September-24, 08:34

View Postbarmar, on 2022-September-24, 07:39, said:

I don't understand the TD's claim "I see no proof". Either there has been a revoke or the board is fouled. This should be cause for looking at the players' hands, to determine which is true.

I agree that the "no proof" TD is making things unnecessarily complicated when called to a table with a clear narrative that indicates an infraction.
Initially he can look at the hand diagram, at which point what has probably happened (revoke by S on third round of clubs) is pretty obvious.
He can verify that (he is not a player) by questioning S and by inspecting quitted tricks if necessary.
I was taught that actually looking at the cards in a player's hand is to be avoided whenever possible, but if there is no other option he can do that too.
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#14 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2022-September-24, 09:00

View Postsfi, on 2022-September-23, 16:01, said:

Hanlon's razor is a useful principle to apply here. Most likely you will already know about it if South is wont to do something shady in this sort of position. In those situations you have Law 72B, but I would only apply that with very strong supporting evidence. Even if I had some evidence or suspicion, I would generally be mentioning it to a recorder rather than adding a penalty. So 3NT= would be the end of the ruling.


That was exactly the line I was asking people to draw, thank you.
I decided the same - it is suspicious and worthy of recording but not damning in its own right - but wanted to hear other points of view.
As a player I do find it frustrating that such antics will almost always go unpunished due to lack of supporting evidence.
Another part of the problem is that 72B1 is a 'must not' and so requires severe punishment, probably more than a deliberate revoke should warrant (I can imagine somebody committing it more for amusement than in the hope of gaining through player or director error).
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#15 User is online   sfi 

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Posted 2022-September-25, 17:20

View Postpescetom, on 2022-September-24, 09:00, said:

Another part of the problem is that 72B1 is a 'must not' and so requires severe punishment [...]

Yeah, but the critical word in that law is "intentionally", and I would want pretty good evidence it was intentional before applying it. On the other hand, if I overheard South joking about it to their partner then I would be adding a sizeable penalty and taking further action. I think the director isn't really in a position to have a sense of humour about these things and should stop that sort of behaviour quickly.
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#16 User is offline   axman 

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Posted 2022-September-26, 04:55

View Postbarmar, on 2022-September-24, 07:39, said:

I don't understand the TD's claim "I see no proof". Either there has been a revoke or the board is fouled. This should be cause for looking at the players' hands, to determine which is true.


When a player says they have a card they must play it forthwith. When not at their turn it is an irregularity, when it doesn't follow suit when able it is an irregularity- irregularities that carry stiff punishments. It is improper for the TD to cause players to commit irregularities.

A player accuses another of having a card. If he has proof the TD must act. Without proof the TD must not act as his proving one way or another improperly gives information (when) the opponents are not entitled to. The proof must come from the players- ostensibly by producing the card. Cards are produced by playing them.

The way to force the correction of a revoke is to get proof by asking... proof is to ask a player that has just now failed to follow suit. If the answer is no then there is no compulsion to produce the obnoxious card; if yes, the law compels correcting the revoke so the acknowledgement yes does no harm (it not being too late to correct a revoke).

But the law is constructed to impose harm. 61B1 states:

Right to Inquire about a Possible Revoke
1. Declarer may ask a defender who has failed to follow suit whether he has a card of the suit led.

A player that has played more than a hand or two has failed to follow suit. Thus, having failed to follow suit yesterday, or last year, or last decade the law provides declarer the right today to ask.

So, while the question applies to the case of the current trick, it also ascribes to leads of past tricks (including past events)

View Postpescetom, on 2022-September-24, 08:34, said:

I agree that the "no proof" TD is making things unnecessarily complicated when called to a table with a clear narrative that indicates an infraction.
Initially he can look at the hand diagram, at which point what has probably happened (revoke by S on third round of clubs) is pretty obvious.
He can verify that (he is not a player) by questioning S and by inspecting quitted tricks if necessary.
I was taught that actually looking at the cards in a player's hand is to be avoided whenever possible, but if there is no other option he can do that too.


People have the knack of sometimes remembering things that did not happen. The proof is seeing the card. 1. revoker playing it, say to a trick 2. revoker saying it (requiring the play) perhaps in response to the question of a player (not TD)


Remedying irregularities is a complicated business. The necessary view in correcting a revoke is that only revoker may draw attention, and, revoker's LHO until LHO plays subsequent the showing out. Otherwise the compulsion to play a card regardless of the player's turn (who says he has the card) may compel penalties upon him (a wrong headed remedy). But the law does not so restrict the drawing attention.
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#17 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2022-September-26, 13:14

"Okay, if nobody at the table has the 9, continue play. If it shows up before the end, call me at the end of the hand and we'll deal with it then. If it doesn't show up before the end, and everybody played to every trick, then it just might have been played beforehand and you didn't notice. If it doesn't show up before the end and someone's a card short, call me then and we'll figure it out. Or you could check now to see if everybody has [counts dummy] X cards."

But somebody has to have it! Well, yes. Not the first time it was dummy, or declarer for that matter. Not the first time declarer didn't notice the colour coup pulling trump, or "oh yeah, they led it trick 1". [Edit: and the opponents 100% don't have to remind declarer of any of that, and I would hope dummy wouldn't either.]
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#18 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2022-September-27, 10:37

View Postpescetom, on 2022-September-23, 12:40, said:

I agree 100%, although I don't like that aspect of Law 61.

Would it end there for you?

Absent new relevant evidence, I think so.
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#19 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2022-September-28, 09:53

View Postaxman, on 2022-September-26, 04:55, said:

People have the knack of sometimes remembering things that did not happen. The proof is seeing the card. 1. revoker playing it, say to a trick 2. revoker saying it (requiring the play) perhaps in response to the question of a player (not TD)

The TD can examine the quitted tricks to see if it has been played.

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Posted 2022-September-28, 10:25

Yes, the TD can, but should not, until play has ended. (Okay, they can look at the back side of the quitted tricks to ensure there wasn't a fifth card played or a stuck card, but they could check current cards in hand instead.)

The reason for this is the same as the reason why the opponents don't have to and should not remind declarer about the previous play, and why dummy shouldn't be showing declarer their card after it is quitted to "prove" that she is on the board/in hand. The director certainly shouldn't be assisting declarer with her memory. This is also why, if called for an established revoke, the director will not ask for it to be proven before the end of the hand (and this director gets very upset when he gets to a table with the last 3 tricks turned face up. Sure, you found the revoke this time, but what if there wasn't one, declarer just wanted to see the last three tricks?)
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