will need partner to gain the lead in order
to lead a spade through dummy’s jack. If IN A NUTSHELL
there is no prospect of partner getting the by Jeremy Dhondy
lead, you may well need to lead the three,
or the ace followed by three in the hope
that declarer has the ´K doubleton. CLAIMING
What do I do if I want to claim? have won if play had continued. It is
Each suit combination must be Lay your cards down and make a clear likely that any doubtful points will be
considered in the context of the whole statement about how you will play the resolved against you, however.
deal. hand, e.g. ‘Drawing trumps in two How does the director deal with a con-
rounds and cashing the diamonds.’ If tested claim?
you show your cards, it will normally be He adjudicates the hand as equitably as
taken that you are claiming (Law 68A). possible but resolves doubtful points
If you are sitting over dummy and you feel
that you must switch to a suit where you What do I do if I object to the claim? against the claimer (Law 70A). He
can see a singleton honour in dummy, you Never say: ‘Play on’. This is against the should consult, if possible, other direc-
should consider whether leading an law. Once the statement has been made, tors or players. If no statement has been
honour from your hand to pin dummy’s play ceases (Law 68D), so if you object made about an outstanding trump, then
honour might require a lesser holding you must call the director who will adju- usually the other side will gain a trick.
from partner to achieve your goals. In dicate on the claim. Generally a declarer The claimer can’t now add to his origi-
Layout 3 East was defending 3NT in a will not be allowed to add bits to his nal statement a new successful line if
claim, so saying: ‘It is obvious that I was there is a normal alternative line that
teams of four match and won trick one
going to draw trumps first,’ will be met would be less successful (Law 70D1).
with the ace of diamonds. The defence
by the director saying that if it was obvi- What happens if, despite the law, play
needed three club tricks.
ous, declarer should have said so. If part has continued?
of the claim is ‘cashing the clubs,’ then When the director eventually arrives, any
declarer is deemed to be doing this from play after the claim will be dealt with as
Layout 3 the top, so objecting because you want
® 10 clarification of the claim (Law 70D3).
him to play the lowest one first will fail.
What about finessing?
®Q874 W E ®KJ32 Can defenders claim? Law 70E1 says that the director shall not
S Yes. The same laws apply. accept from the claimer any unstated
®A965 What happens if I change my mind line the success of which depends on
after agreeing to a claim? finding one opponent with a particular
You can withdraw your agreement to a card unless, for example, one of them
One East switched to the two of clubs. claim (Law 69B) as long as it is within has already shown out of the suit. If you
the correction period (which is set in want to finesse, then say so!
Declarer played low and West’s queen won
the trick, but declarer now had two club Law 79C and is generally 30 minutes Claiming as gamesmanship
stoppers. after the scores have been published, but Most players claim in order to save time
The other East switched to the jack of clubs can change this if they wish) if you (although often it does not) and usually
clubs, the idea being to pin dummy’s ten. agreed to the loss of a trick you had they are right, but never hesitate about
The effect of that was to leave West’s ®Q-8 actually won, or you agreed to the loss asking for an explanation or calling the
of a trick it is likely your side would director if you are unhappy.
still sitting over declarer’s nine. The defence
could now make three club tricks. r
Photo: Roger Brown
Members of the Island Bridge Club, Isle of Wight, celebrated Dorothy Jury’s 100th birthday. Dorothy (centre right) usually
plays twice a week. She walks to the club, about a quarter of a mile away, plays three hours of bridge and walks back home.
www.ebu.co.uk April 2011 English Bridge 21