When the forced play of a penalty card happens to be the best defence?

Would be interested in opinions on the following. The contract is 4S and declarer's RHO revokes, ruffing a diamond when holding a winning King of diamonds in her hand. The revoke is discovered before the next lead, so not established, and the defender substitutes the King thereby winning the trick. There is no advantage in declarer changing his played card. The defender's small trump becomes a major penalty card and is therefore led to the next trick.

The contract is -1 and at the end declarer remarks that if the trump is not led the contract would have made. This was I think incorrect but it got me thinking. What if the enforced lead of a penalty card is in fact the only way to defeat a contract, especially if it looks an unlikely play or was not found by most of the room? Would the director be right to use law 12B1 to adjust the score? It seems to me difficult because there is no way of telling what the lead might have been without the infraction. Is it worth asking the defender "what would you have led were it not for the penalty card"?

Tim

Comments

  • In the general case, if a defender knew that the play of the penalty card was the right defence, they simply had to win the previous trick without bothering to revoke first. (And if they couldn't win the trick, it wouldn't be automatic to lead it to the next trick.)

    So we are talking about a case where in a completely random fashion it just so happens that the penalty card was the best defence but there could not possibly have been any 'could have known' or pre-meditation.

    I think that one goes down as 'rub of the green'.

    It's sort of the same (apart from the UI issues!) as if the defender won the trick, said "I don't know what to play", shuffled her cards, and led a card at random which turned out to be the only winning card. There's nothing you can do other than shrug and accept it.

  • I've been trying to think of a situation analogous to deliberately making an insufficient bid in order to silence partner, and failing. The closest I can come is where partner has a penalty card that I want led, and I deliberately give them the lead. Not illegal though (afaik).

  • @Frances said:
    they simply had to win the previous trick without bothering to revoke first

    I think that one goes down as 'rub of the green'.

    Indeed.

  • Have to say that I have been know to have played my "second" card before actually winning with the first card. So I would say who is to know that this hasn't happened in this case. This usually happens when opponent takes along time deciding what to play from dummy and I just go into auto mode. Yes I know I shouldn't but it does happen.

    CMOT_Dibbler

  • @Frances said:
    the defender won the trick, said "I don't know what to play", shuffled her cards, and led a card at random which turned out to be the only winning card.

    I thought that this specifically outlawed? One is allowed to randomly choose a card using some hidden method in your head, but you are not allowed to shuffle your card and lead at random - partner has masses of UI (this is not actually a lead with meaning and I dont have a sensible lead and likely dont have a suit with Kxx in it etc).

  • @Martin said:

    @Frances said:
    the defender won the trick, ..., shuffled her cards, and led a card at random ...

    I thought that this specifically outlawed?

    You missed out the preceding two words from Frances's quote "as if" . The scenario was hypothetical way of generating a random card not a suggest method of playing the cards at the table.

  • If it turned out to be some double dummy play they might not be expected to consider normally I can see why we might think to adjust. I agree with Frances though, it's more or less the same as a card being played at random, and we wouldn't think to adjust if a defender accidently dropped the right card.

  • I suppose there is also the possibility that it was an accidental revoke i.e. pulling out the trump and the King of Diamonds together. Again - I regard it as rub of the green because there is no way that the player could have known that the infraction would have helped their side.

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