Thirteen penalty cards
I know this has been discussed before, but it actually happened in a game at our club on Tuesday, so I'm paying attention this time. Before the opening lead was made a defender faced their hand as dummy. The TD was called, didn't know what to do and said to me later they had "chickened out" and cancelled the board, awarding 60%-40%. They wanted to know what the ruling should have been.
I said that if they were to apply the letter of law 49 they should treat every card as a major penalty card. Every time offender is to play the declarer gets to choose which of legal exposed cards is to be played to the trick, and every time offender's partner is on lead declarer can (i) allow any lead, or (ii) insist on the lead of any of the remaining penalty-card suits, in which case all penalty cards in that suit are picked up, or (iii) forbid the lead of any remaining penalty-card suit or suits, in which case all penalty cards in those suits are picked up. Offender's partner is subject to the Byzantine UI restrictions of law 50E for all unplayed cards in partner's hand.
This will lead to the offending side being forced to underruff, throw kings under aces, lead into tenaces or double voids and so on.
I told the director that their ruling could be justified under law 12A2 - he could decide that there was no rectification that will allow normal play of the board. The only thing I said I would do differently was to check that the non-offenders weren't likely to be heading for a better than 60% score when the irregularity occurred (e.g. they've bid to a difficult-to-reach, favourable making contract), in which case giving 60% would be penalising them for their opponents' mistake. I said in that case I would award a (weighted) assigned score based on the likely outcomes.
A closer reading of laws 12A2 and 12C2 doesn't appear to allow an assigned score if the board is declared unplayable, but that the artificial score could be more extreme than 60-40. Does this mean I can judge what matchpoint or IMP score would have been likely and adjust the percentages to match (or slightly exceed, for the non-offenders) that estimated score?
Which laws would you really apply in this situation?