Saturday, July 9, 2011

Revokes and Claims

Claims are good because they speed up the game and allow us time for hands that still require thought. So, it's a good idea to claim when you are certain of how many tricks you will take. Another reason to claim is to keep from revoking. We may reach a point in a hand that we know we have all the tricks but it's still at trick 5 so and our opponents might not understand the claim so we play a few more tricks until maybe one hand becomes all winners. In the mean time, we begin thinking of other things since in our mind this hand is over and may revoke. This happened to Sean and I last weekend and cost us first in the flight A pairs. The revoke was not found until 2 or 3 tricks later so it was a clear penalty.

I saw it happen again today while directing at the club. Well not exactly the same. This one is somewhat debatable as to whether the revoke was established. LHO declarer led a diamond at trick 9, declarer trumped, and then faced her hand: the only 2 remaining trumps plus the ace-king of diamonds. At first I had a soft spot for this person and still allowed her to take the last 5 tricks that she clearly is entitled to. The defenders called me but didn't think there would be any change either. But then I looked up the ruling and a claim is considered playing to the next trick, thus establishing a revoke. So, I changed the result to down 2 instead of down 1, costing them exactly half a board. :/

Another interesting ruling I encountered today was when dummy plays the wrong card. sort of. Declarer had a suit AJxx opposite KTx and played the ace and low to the ten. Declarer and LHO thought she called for the T but dummy and RHO thought she called for the K. Dummy asked for clarification while having her hand on the K (but not pulling it out to the played position). Before declarer could respond, RHO followed low. Dummy then played the T and then continued with the K, to which RHO followed with the Q and declarer followed low. At this point LHO called me to the table. Dummy is not supposed to even touch a card unless it is a played card because it can suggest a play or mislead the opponents. RHO should have done more to protect herself. If she had called after she realized that the T was what was actually called from dummy (or even before following to the next trick), she would be allowed to take back her play and score the Q.

There was exactly one other loser in this 4H contract and I was inclined to give a split result: -480 for NS and +450 for EW since both were kind of at fault here. But I let it stand as -480.

1 comment:

  1. Not claiming quickly enough is a huge pet peeve of mine, and Megan's. It makes hands even slower sometimes because the defense starts thinking hard about what declarer's problem could possibly be ("she can't have all those cards or she'd be claiming"). Declarers who don't claim fast enough tend to be excruciatingly slow already.

    Megan tends to claim in very proper, formal ways ("I'll do this, and then this, and then this") whereas I usually just lay my cards down and maybe say "I have the rest" (occasionally something like "I can ruff a club in dummy" or "the hearts go on the spades"). I believe strongly, and informal studies have confirmed, that my claim style is much less confusing, and also much less error-prone; I'm reminded of grading math tests where I had to take off points when students overexplained something relatively obvious and made an error, when if they'd just asserted it I would have given them the benefit of the doubt. I hadn't thought about the increased revoke possibility as another drawback to not claiming, but I guess the "calculus test" analogy fits here too.