Revoke - equity not restored?

After winning trick 10 West, defending against a Spade contract by South leads his last Club, the 5.

South holds the last two trumps and the 7C.

There are no other Clubs or trumps left.

South ruffs the 5C (revoke) and lays down last trump and 7C.

West points out that declarer revoked on trick 11.

The Director awards a two trick transfer as in 64A1.

In this instance the Law appears to be an ass.

My understanding of the Laws regarding revokes are that they are intended to restore equity.

In this specific case there is no way that Declarer can fail to win the last three tricks unless he revokes and there is a subsequent transfer.

If the Laws intend that, because an offence has been committed, there must be a 'penalty' applied then it would seem logical for a one trick transfer in the above case. However, 64A2 effectively states that if the offending player does not win the revoked trick or any subsequent trick there is no transfer at the end of play. This strongly implies that the object of the Law is simply to restore equity.

So in this example, although there has been an offence (a revoke) and the offender won the revoked trick and a subsequent trick, the defenders have not been disadvantaged in any way whatsoever as there is no possibility of them winning any of the final three tricks after West leads 5C.

So the imposition of a two trick transfer in this case appears not to restore equity but to deprive declarer of at least one of the tricks to which he ought to be entitled (if not two).

In this instance is the Law fit for purpose?

Comments

  • The Laws restore equity to the non-offending side.

    If the laws, as a general rule, were to restore equity to the offending side, then that would give players free rein to offend - if nobody notices, then they would get an extra trick or two; if noticed, then at least they would be no worse off!
    Ok - in your specific situation, then there is no incentive to deliberately revoke. However there would be other situations where it would be worth a shot. (Even given the laws as they are, there are situations where players could revoke with impunity).

  • I recall a time when a defender led a club and I ruffed in dummy and then (luckily) under-ruffed in hand, still holding a couple of clubs. I subsequently ruffed my remaining clubs in dummy and there was no loss to the defenders but I, similarly, get a one-trick penalty. If I'd over-ruffed in hand then it would have been a two-trick penalty. My fault, my apologies to partner.

  • I would expect the Director to exercise his discretion provided in the bridge laws to adjust score and agree that in the kind of situation highlighted by Adam the director should not award 2 tricks transfer when seemingly the so-called offender would have won all last three tricks. We would have to wait until 2027 for Law to be expanded to cover the kind of situation highlighted by Adam.

  • @rkcb1430 said:
    I would expect the Director to exercise his discretion provided in the bridge laws to adjust score

    I do not think the laws provide any discretion to adjust the score. I do not mind the players agreeing a different outcome but if they call me I award the score the law requires.

  • @BarkerBridgeTD said:

    @rkcb1430 said:
    I would expect the Director to exercise his discretion provided in the bridge laws to adjust score

    I do not think the laws provide any discretion to adjust the score. I do not mind the players agreeing a different outcome but if they call me I award the score the law requires.

    Indeed, there is no such discretion as rkcb1430 asserts.

  • Nor should there be, IMO. If you think the revoke law is too harsh, concentrate and comply with Law 44C, which takes precedence over everything else.

    An adjusted score may be awarded, per Law 12A (but paraphrasing):
    - if some other Law permits it;
    - in favour of a non-offending contestant, if the offenders have done something for which the Laws do not provide redress;
    - if normal play of the board is impossible; or
    - if the players have made up their own ruling and got it wrong.

    Not otherwise.

  • On the last TD course that I ran I was asked about the following situation that one of the candidates had come across:

    Dummy:!c 1073

    Declarer:!s AK!c 5

    The contract was spades, the lead in dummy, the defenders had only red cards. Declarer led a club, ruffed it and led a club to the next trick. They took some persuading that the defence would get two of the last three tricks.

  • The moral of the story is "don't revoke". The Laws will not be on your side.

  • Bridge is a game of mistakes. If declarer accidentally leads the wrong card ends up in dummy where there are no winners we wouldn't allow them totake it back, so why if they revoke. Legal carelesness should not be punished less than illegal carelessness.

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