Claim from wrong hand

With three cards remaining, all trumps North, declarer, claims.
Dummy has the master trump and two side suit spot cards.
There is one middling trump outstanding with declarer's LHO.
Obviously whatever declarer leads the outstanding trump is drawn and declarer's hand is high.
BUT
E/W point out that the lead is in dummy.
And want declarer to play either of the side suit cards and ruff low, thus allowing an over-ruff.
Some discussion and then TD called.
North repeats the claim 'I'm leading a trump from hand'
Now North has not explicitly stated their knowledge of an outstanding trump,
though the line of play might implicitly acknowledge its existence.
But "top-down" would also lead to a successful claim.
How do you rule?
I ruled that since declarer's line of play involved drawing the trump,
that line of play should also be followed if the lead was in dummy.
Of course declarer states they are aware of the outstanding trump.

Comments

  • The original claim statement is critical. You wrote: "North repeats the claim 'I'm leading a trump from hand'". That implies that when North initially claimed, those were the words he said. In this case, I would allow the claim as this statement strongly suggests that he was aware of an outstanding trump. We have to follow Law 70C here.

    If there was no claim statement originally, then there is no evidence that he was aware at the time of claiming of an outstanding trump, and I would award a trump trick to the defenders on the basis of your OP (opening post) that defenders could win a trick through "normal" (includes careless or inferior) play by declarer.

    Barrie Partridge - Senior Kibitzer in Bridge Club Live - Pig Trader in IBLF

  • The problem is that North, if in hand, has to be leading a trump!
    So I am not sure that really means he was aware of an outstanding trump.

  • It boils down to what North actually said as a claim statement, if he made a claim statement. You need to judge from that whether North was aware of an outstanding trump. "I'm leading a trump from hand" means yes. I suspect there may have been no actual statement at all other than possibly "The rest are mine".

    Barrie Partridge - Senior Kibitzer in Bridge Club Live - Pig Trader in IBLF

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