Page 0040

40 English Bridge February 2020

The call for a card from dummy can be changed if

the original call was unintended. The director must

distinguish between a 'slip of the tongue' (which can

be corrected), and 'a loss of concentration or a

reconsideration of action' (which cannot be

changed). Your case sound like a change of mind (a

'reconsideration of action') and so the change

should not be allowed and the original named card

is played.

Ask Robin Compiled by Robin Barker



Trouble at the table


at Ward asked: Playing in 4´, the lead was

in dummy and declarer claimed the

remaining three tricks as he had trumps in

his hand: ´KJ4. There were no trumps in dummy,

I had the ´10, I was last to play to the trick and I

could trump any card led from dummy. It was

only when I said that I had a trump that declarer

said that he would play his jack and then take my

trump with his king, the director was called and I

was ruled against.

In my opinion declarer had forgotten about the

remaining trump. I felt I should have been

awarded a trick as my ´10 could have

overtrumped the ´4.


eoffrey Nicholson asked: In the course of

the auction the opponents bid 3®, which

was alerted and explained as 'Nothing to

do with clubs, he is asking me to describe my hand

further'. After the hand it emerged that the 3® bid

was actually a 'Staymanesque' request for a fourcard

major. I thought that the explanation given

after the alert was inadequate in that although it

was accurate it was not a complete account of

what had been understood by the 3® bid, and if it

was a request for a four-card major this should

have been stated as such.

The laws and the spirit of the game require 'full

disclosure'. But there are difficulties in properly

disclosing bids whose purpose is to ask questions

rather than show length or strength: technically, the

partner should not explain what the responses to an

asking bid mean because that can amount to

describing the partner's subsequent bidding. In

disclosing an asking bid, 'full disclosure' would

require explaining the purpose of the 'asking' bid

and explaining what hands would make the asking

bid - the problem is that there is often no

partnership agreement about what hands would

make the asking bid.

Although 'Nothing to do with clubs, he is asking me

to describe my hand further' is terse, a fuller

description of what the bidder might hold could be

difficult. It is not unreasonable to give a relatively

short description of an asking bid and allow

opponents to ask more about the strength or

DThere was no statement about the remaining


DThere is no evidence that declarer was aware of

the outstanding trump.

DA trick would be lost to the trump if declarer ruffs

low - this is a normal line if declarer is unaware of

the trump.

So a trick should be awarded to your trump.


eirdre Fell asked: Recently West called for

a diamond from dummy then said, 'no,

play a spade'. I have always been under the

impression that a card nominated or touched is a

card played and said so at the table. However, West

said it was a slip of the tongue and insisted on

playing a spade.

The director wasn't called and I assume West

would have had to convince the director that it

wasn't a change of mind. At the time I felt it was a

change of mind.

I think the ruling should be based on Law 70C:

'When a trump remains in one of the opponents'

hands, …'.


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