Declarer takes a card from their hand!

This happened today. Declarer called for the Ace spades from dummy. opponent bid then declarer pulled her card - happened to be King of spades, not mechanical error but memory loss or similar. I get called to the table and declarer is waving her card around.

Dummy claims it was not played, not seen ect. but rho claims to have seen the card. I ruled that the card was played. Dummy comes over to my table and states that he wants to know which law applies - I told him I would bring it to him at the tea break, which I did from the 2017 Law book.

He then claimed that declarer had barely lifted the card from their hand. I offered to speak to their opponents. Individually, both opponents said they saw the face of the card. Dummy, at the end of the session tells me I am wrong. I told him I was not prepared to accuse anyone of telling "fibs" but I did consult with another director who agreed my ruling was correct. Then dummy tells me he will supply a paper from a top TD which explains why I am wrong.

Any suggestions apart from reading the so called top TD's view on the matter?

Comments

  • Well the fact that people could see the card is relevant only if the defender does this (Law 45C1)- so we have to look at Law 45C2

    1. Declarer is deemed to have played a card from his hand if it is:
      (a) held face up, touching or nearly touching the table; or
      (b) maintained in such a position as to indicate that it has been played.

    Waving the card around doesn't seem to qualify as being played under these circumstances.

  • No doubt your law book is now well thumbed at Law 45C2:

    _2. Declarer is deemed to have played a card from his hand if it is:
    (a) held face up, touching or nearly touching the table; or
    (b) maintained in such a position as to indicate that it has been played. _

    • You state "declarer pulled her card". That does constitute playing it. How close to the table or otherwise did it get?
    • Opponents got to see it. Not relevant, but that would have applied if defender had detached a card and it was possible for partner to have seen it. But the fact that they saw it implies it was "well detached".

    Slightly suspicious that dummy claims that "declarer had barely lifted the card from their hand" AFTER reading the law, especially as that is not consistent with defenders being able to see it.

    Reading the white paper unlikely to help. Your problem is ascertaining whether the card was merely detached or actually played. Sounds to me like it hovered in the air, maybe half-way down, which from what I remember of my TD course and reading 45C2 does not constitute "played" (by declarer).
    Cue the heavy-weights for their opinions...

    Also, if this just a "friendly" club night, a bit harsh from the defenders to push this.

  • It's hard to see why declarer would wave the card around without an intention to play.
    I would also consider a procedural penalty for Dummy.

    Alan

  • @16248 said:
    It's hard to see why declarer would wave the card around without an intention to play.

    An intention to play does not constitute a played card.

  • @16248 said:
    It's hard to see why declarer would wave the card around without an intention to play.
    I would also consider a procedural penalty for Dummy.

    Well my well-thumbed section Law 42 states:

    A. Absolute Rights
    1. Dummy is entitled to give information, in the Director’s presence, as to fact or law.

  • Graham summarises the laws nicely, it is one of these situations where there's an element of judgement, you just have to decide whether, in your opinion, the card was held in a position such as to indicate it has been played. If players don't agree on the facts this is more difficult, I think the situation was handled correctly.

  • We have a player at our club who, when declarer, regularly takes his card and slowly and carefully places in on the table in front of him, vertically but not visible to the opposition. He then waits a few seconds before revealing it. He may do this several times during a hand. I see it as a deliberate attempt to irritate the opposition, which of course it does very well.
    I have known him to attempt to change his mind. As far as I am concerned the card is played.

    Alan

  • I had one such instance last year. The player pretty much always either places his card on the table (if there are more cards to come to the trick) or clearly taps the card on the table. In this instance he detached a card, clearly intending to play it, but pulled it up prior to tapping it, such that it made no contact with the table. It got maybe half-way down to the table and was seen by all. "That's not the card I meant", he said. Defenders called the director.

    Card not played.

  • @16248 said:
    We have a player at our club who, when declarer, regularly takes his card and slowly and carefully places in on the table in front of him, vertically but not visible to the opposition. He then waits a few seconds before revealing it. He may do this several times during a hand. I see it as a deliberate attempt to irritate the opposition, which of course it does very well.
    I have known him to attempt to change his mind. As far as I am concerned the card is played.

    I've seen players do this, too. My view is that they are making one final sanity check prior to playing the card and that the card is not yet played until clearly exposed and played.

  • @16248 said:
    We have a player at our club who, when declarer, regularly takes his card and slowly and carefully places in on the table in front of him, vertically but not visible to the opposition. ... I see it as a deliberate attempt to irritate the opposition, which of course it does very well.

    If it irritates opponents and is deliberately done to irritate opponents then instruct the player not to do it. If the player continues with this behaviour, issue a procedural penalty. If the player continues to deliberately irritate the opponents, having been told to stop, it will become a disciplinary offence.

  • @JamesC said:
    Graham summarises the laws nicely, ..

    Too kind, especially as I missed a crucial NOT: You state "declarer pulled her card". That does NOT constitute playing it.

  • Declarer was "waiving" her card when I reached the table not at the time of the incident. I was playing on the other side of the room. Dummy did all the talking and claimed it was not pulled out sufficiently enough to be played, whereas the opponents said it was about half way to the table and clearly visible.

  • @Sheba977 said:
    whereas the opponents said it was about half way to the table and clearly visible.

    Halfway to the table and visible is not sufficient for a card to be considered played by declarer.

  • Thanks Gordon and everyone. All your responses have improved my knowledge and given me confidence to handle this law correctly.

    I would also like to add that other TD's comments on different subjects are a great help - I am new to directing.

  • @Sheba977 said:
    Thanks Gordon and everyone. All your responses have improved my knowledge and given me confidence to handle this law correctly.

    I would also like to add that other TD's comments on different subjects are a great help - I am new to directing.

    I think this forum format is very well suited to gaining and passing on information about tournament directing. I know it is not only those who contribute to threads who gain from them but also those who just read them.

Sign In or Register to comment.