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Claim

#1 User is offline   Chris3875 

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Posted 2020-December-07, 14:59

Declarer was playing in a spade contract and had 3 cards left in hand - Q and T of spades and the Q of clubs which was good. He claimed the remaining 3 tricks giving no line of play and no indication of any outstanding trumps. One of the opponents was void in clubs and held the 7 of spades. Director was called but did not arrive at the table and when the claim was rejected Declarer simply played the Q of spades, followed by the T and then the Q of clubs. How far does Director go in ascertaining whether it was likely that claimer, "at the time of his claim, was unaware that a trump remained in an opponent's hand"
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#2 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2020-December-07, 15:18

View PostChris3875, on 2020-December-07, 14:59, said:

Declarer was playing in a spade contract and had 3 cards left in hand - Q and T of spades and the Q of clubs which was good. He claimed the remaining 3 tricks giving no line of play and no indication of any outstanding trumps. One of the opponents was void in clubs and held the 7 of spades. Director was called but did not arrive at the table and when the claim was rejected Declarer simply played the Q of spades, followed by the T and then the Q of clubs. How far does Director go in ascertaining whether it was likely that claimer, "at the time of his claim, was unaware that a trump remained in an opponent's hand"

Law 71C said:

When a trump remains in one of the opponents’ hands, the Director shall award a trick or tricks to the opponents if:
1. claimer made no statement about that trump, and
2. it is at all likely that claimer at the time of his claim was unaware that a trump remained in an opponent’s hand, and
3. a trick could be lost to that trump by any normal play.

For the purposes of Laws 70 and 71, “normal” includes play that would be careless or inferior for the class of player involved.

So the Director has IMHO no choice but to give one trick to the opponents for the outstanding 7 of spades.
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#3 User is offline   Chris3875 

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Posted 2020-December-07, 15:29

Because we are playing most of our bridge online at the moment, it is easier for the director to see exactly how the board has been played up to the point of the claim. In this instance, Declarer had previously ruffed a club in dummy with a high trump indicating that he MAY have been aware that there was a smaller outstanding trump. Should that be taken into account and how does that relate to f2f bridge where director does not have the luxury of reviewing the play of the hand? My own opinion is that he did not give a line of play and did not mention any outstanding trumps so he loses a trick but Law 70C(2) niggles.
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#4 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2020-December-07, 19:16

Do not adjust the score. Give declarer a 25% of a top procedural penalty for failure to state a line of play. Oops, the online software might not support procedural penalties. Shoot the programmer. :-)

Okay. Sven, it's Law 70C, not 71C.

Chris, the director should take into account any evidence he can gather that's pertinent to the ruling. In this case, even f2f he could ask how the previous play went. He can ask the declarer if he can honestly say that at the time he claimed he was aware of the outstanding trump. If a declarer answered yes to that, I'd ask him why he didn't mention it when he claimed.

If the director becomes convinced, on the basis of the evidence gathered, that declarer did know of the outstanding trump, she should rule result stands. However, I would give declarer a PP if I can, and if not, a severe tongue lashing. Failure to state a line of play is an infraction, and should be penalized, and players are expected to know that.

"At all likely". Hard to say exactly what that means. One the one hand, the earlier play indicates that maybe declarer knew of the outstanding trump. His failure to state a line of play, or at least to mention the trump, when he claimed, indicates that possibly he didn't. One might wonder how good this player is. If he consistently scores highly in these games, maybe you should lean towards "result stands". If not, maybe the other way. It's a judgement call.

Come to think of it, the online software, if it's BBO or works like BBO, makes rejecting a claim a problem, because that rejection does not include either a director call (which in theory should stop declarer from playing on) or a check to be sure all four players agree to play on. I'd be tempted to tell my players never to reject a claim, instead call the director. If declarer plays on then, he's added another infraction to the pile.

if instead of rejecting the defender had just called the director, and declarer played on, I'd rule down one, and give him a second PP for that infraction.
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#5 User is offline   Chris3875 

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Posted 2020-December-07, 23:43

It was on BBO and I don't think either opponent actually rejected the claim - it either just timed out or Declarer cancelled the claim and played on (playing the Queen of trumps of course). The Director was called but it seems there was a stand in person who was also playing at the time and he did not come to the table. Thanks for reply David.
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#6 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 03:07

View Postblackshoe, on 2020-December-07, 19:16, said:

Do not adjust the score. Give declarer a 25% of a top procedural penalty for failure to state a line of play. Oops, the online software might not support procedural penalties. Shoot the programmer. :-)

Okay. Sven, it's Law 70C, not 71C.

Chris, the director should take into account any evidence he can gather that's pertinent to the ruling. In this case, even f2f he could ask how the previous play went. He can ask the declarer if he can honestly say that at the time he claimed he was aware of the outstanding trump. If a declarer answered yes to that, I'd ask him why he didn't mention it when he claimed.

If the director becomes convinced, on the basis of the evidence gathered, that declarer did know of the outstanding trump, she should rule result stands. However, I would give declarer a PP if I can, and if not, a severe tongue lashing. Failure to state a line of play is an infraction, and should be penalized, and players are expected to know that.

"At all likely". Hard to say exactly what that means. One the one hand, the earlier play indicates that maybe declarer knew of the outstanding trump. His failure to state a line of play, or at least to mention the trump, when he claimed, indicates that possibly he didn't. One might wonder how good this player is. If he consistently scores highly in these games, maybe you should lean towards "result stands". If not, maybe the other way. It's a judgement call.

Come to think of it, the online software, if it's BBO or works like BBO, makes rejecting a claim a problem, because that rejection does not include either a director call (which in theory should stop declarer from playing on) or a check to be sure all four players agree to play on. I'd be tempted to tell my players never to reject a claim, instead call the director. If declarer plays on then, he's added another infraction to the pile.

if instead of rejecting the defender had just called the director, and declarer played on, I'd rule down one, and give him a second PP for that infraction.

Of course it is 70C not 71C - sorry for the typo.

But the crucial question is if the claimer may be unaware of an outstanding trump, not whether he may be aware of it.
Any after the fact statement like 'of course I knew about the last trump', or how he has played his previous tricks is in itself no evidence that he is aware of the outstanding trump, adhering to the prescribed procedure is.
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#7 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 04:19

The word “normal“ is interesting. Is it normal for a player to play plain card without playing the trumps first? How often have you seen people do this?
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#8 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 04:21

View Postpran, on 2020-December-08, 03:07, said:


But the crucial question is if the claimer may be unaware of an outstanding trump, not whether he may be aware of it.
Any after the fact statement like 'of course I knew about the last trump', or how he has played his previous tricks is in itself no evidence that he is aware of the outstanding trump, adhering to the prescribed procedure is.

Adhering to the prescribed procedure of stating a line of play will provide evidence that he either is aware (I cash trumps then clubs") or is unaware ("all my cards are winners").
I am not allowed a good espresso at the bar during lockdown but I think I follow your distinction about may be unaware B-)
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#9 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 06:07

View PostVampyr, on 2020-December-08, 04:19, said:

The word “normal“ is interesting. Is it normal for a player to play plain card without playing the trumps first? How often have you seen people do this?

The laws explicitly state (in the footnote to Laws 70-71):
For the purposes of Laws 70 and 71, “normal” includes play that would be careless or inferior for the class of player involved.
I have most certainly seen such plays.
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#10 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 09:34

It is not automatic to give a trick to the opponents as Pran suggests. It is for the TD to decide:

[If] 2. it is at all likely that claimer at the time of his claim was unaware that a trump remained in an opponent’s hand, and
3. a trick could be lost to that trump by any normal play.

91% of claims are silent on BBO, so Blackshoe is going to be pretty busy dishing out those PPs. All of them will be overturned on appeal at our club, as this is a should law, not normally punished: "A claim should be accompanied at once by a clear statement of the line of play or defence <snip>"

This one looks like a clear case of the claim being allowed.

The Regulating Authority may specify an order (e.g. “from the top down”) in which the Director shall deem a suit played if this was not clarified in the statement of claim (but always subject to any other requirement of this Law).

People often claim silently at trick one with several trumps outstanding. If they are able to draw those without a finesse, leading from the top down, then appeals committees in the past have assumed that trumps will be drawn even though this was not stated.
I prefer to give the lawmakers credit for stating things for a reason - barmar
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#11 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 11:17

View Postlamford, on 2020-December-08, 09:34, said:

It is not automatic to give a trick to the opponents as Pran suggests. It is for the TD to decide:

Of course. (And I wrote my comment in my general capacity as a qualified TD.)
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#12 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 11:24

View PostVampyr, on 2020-December-08, 04:19, said:

The word “normal“ is interesting. Is it normal for a player to play plain card without playing the trumps first? How often have you seen people do this?
When they think all the trumps are out? All the time. Everybody's taken a trick with a "surprise" trump before; everybody's lost to one, too.

Also, next time it'll be a high trump out, and the same declarer who "didn't mention it" will claim "it's irrational to 'pull' the trump". Of course it's not only "normal*" (*footnote), but "normal" to play out plain cards before trump.

I can't believe the number of threads and discussions IRL and otherwise are gripes about claims with an outstanding trump. The Law isn't hard to understand, and converting the Law to "hey player, if you want to avoid all of this, do this" is trivial even to non-Law readers.

You know to put trumps on your right when you put down dummy.
You know to put the score (and potentially the lead) in to the machine correctly and as soon as possible.
You know if you're claiming with outstanding trumps, you mention it.

It's just one of the things you do.

Frankly, *because* it's just one of the things you do, when you don't, the Laws' bias is toward a forget ("if it is at all likely").

As far as "should" laws go, "failure to do so *is an infraction* jeapordising the infractor's rights..." Sure, it's "not often penalised", but that does not mean "never penalised". And if there's any hint that the failure to regularly make claim statements is deliberate, I remind everyone that L72B1 is a "must" law (okay, a "must not" law). [Edit to add: the TD could also turn this into a L90B8 case, at least next time. I can see cases where that would be appropriate, even if I think it's petty in general.]

Specifically on BBO, I wouldn't mind if we could enforce rubber Law 69B, for games with no Arbiter or when the Arbiter won't come to the table: "if declarer may have been unaware at the time of his claim or concession that a trump remained in a defender’s hand, either defender may require him to draw or not to draw the outstanding trump." Given that we can't really stop continued play if the Arbiter won't/can't come.
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#13 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 11:46

View Postlamford, on 2020-December-08, 09:34, said:

91% of claims are silent on BBO, so Blackshoe is going to be pretty busy dishing out those PPs.

No I'm not, since BBO's software doesn't allow the director to use that power.
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#14 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 11:55

View Postlamford, on 2020-December-08, 09:34, said:

this is a should law, not normally punished

The law says that failure to comply with a "should" law "is an infraction jeopardising the infractor’s rights but not often penalized". I suppose you could interpret "not often" as "not normally", but I don't think that's what the law is trying to say here. It certainly doesn't say "never penalized". I would think in view of the widespread habit of most players to simply ignore the requirement to state a line of play PPs are appropriate in an attempt to get people to follow the law, since merely telling them the law isn't working. One could argue (I wouldn't) that if people are ignoring this law the law should be deleted from the book, but a) that's a bad idea and b) until it actually happens the TD has to enforce this law.

The lack of a line of play statement means that any benefit of the doubt should go to the non-claiming side. So unless the director is convinced that there is no doubt that the declarer was aware of the outstanding trump, he should not rule that declarer gets the rest of the tricks.
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#15 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 15:54

View Postblackshoe, on 2020-December-08, 11:55, said:

The lack of a line of play statement means that any benefit of the doubt should go to the non-claiming side. So unless the director is convinced that there is no doubt that the declarer was aware of the outstanding trump, he should not rule that declarer gets the rest of the tricks.

Agreed. But often there is no benefit of doubt and as they say BBO does not support imposition of penalties.

View Postmycroft, on 2020-December-08, 11:24, said:

Specifically on BBO, I wouldn't mind if we could enforce rubber Law 69B, for games with no Arbiter or when the Arbiter won't come to the table: "if declarer may have been unaware at the time of his claim or concession that a trump remained in a defender’s hand, either defender may require him to draw or not to draw the outstanding trump." Given that we can't really stop continued play if the Arbiter won't/can't come.

I would certainly prefer that to the current situation.
But much better IMO would be a playout button, giving the arbiter a well earned rest, as already discussed on other threads.
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#16 User is offline   topoton 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 20:07

I'm a new member; I know the bridge laws in the UK - I'm only interested in BBO procedures (in the absence of a user guide). Solo bridge (e.g. Game4) as practice is no use - in 3NT, with 5 tricks left and 6 from-the-top winners, I claim - and get a message asking if I wish to concede the remaining tricks, so I have to tediously play out the hand. In competition (I had my first go last night) what happens when you press the 'Claim' button ? Does the software then ask you to declare the intended line of play ? I had one claim made by the oppos, and saw no evidence that they'd provided a line of play. If it's not made compulsory by the software, can one insist (and if so, how?) on the oppos providing a line of play? If your rejection or non-immediate acceptance possibly leads (you suspect) to declarer being alerted to a problem and changing his play (the outstanding trump is the obvious example), what happens then - call the director? To me, it would make sense if declarer indicated his line of play then claimed so that he was committed before defenders had to reject/accept/ask- but this doesn't appear to be how it works. Basically, I just want to know how claiming works in BBO games (until then, I'll avoid it; but my first impression is that a lot of the time that could be spent thinking is spent on pointlessly playing out the final tricks; I'm talking about local club-level bridge, nothing fancy.)
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#17 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 20:23

The law says a claimer (whether declarer or not) is supposed to state a clear line of play. 97% of players offline and 99% of players online don't. On BBO, if I'm not mistaken, when a claim is made you have three options: 1) accept the claim, 2) reject the claim, 3) call the director. If you accept the claim, the system scores it up with claimer making all the tricks (I think, because I don't think you can actually claim less than all the remaining tricks. I could be wrong about that). If you call the director, then assuming s/he shows up, s/he will adjudicate the claim according to the laws (as best s/he can given the BBO software). If you reject the claim, the software will allow play to continue, and somebody, probably the claimer, will almost immediately lead or play, as appropriate. If you reject the claim and then call the director, there will have been at least some play after the claim. I do not believe the software contains a "play ceases" provision when the director is called, although it should.
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#18 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-December-08, 23:24

Playing solo, there's an annoying issue that if you are not on lead, all you can do is concede all. As soon as you take the trick in progress, you can claim.

Playing with real opponents, it gives you boxes to select how many tricks you are taking, and a line underneath for a claim statement.

As mentioned, in casual play, the BBO "tradition" is "unless it's not obvious, just show your hand. Opponents aren't supposed to hold you to the letter of the law, if it's 'obvious'." In club play, or other serious play, there is a TD to do precisely that (and it has been a shock to people with a lot of online experience who play in ACBL tournaments and get held to FtF standards).
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#19 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-December-09, 08:20

View Postblackshoe, on 2020-December-08, 20:23, said:

The law says a claimer (whether declarer or not) is supposed to state a clear line of play. 97% of players offline and 99% of players online don't. On BBO, if I'm not mistaken, when a claim is made you have three options: 1) accept the claim, 2) reject the claim, 3) call the director. If you accept the claim, the system scores it up with claimer making all the tricks (I think, because I don't think you can actually claim less than all the remaining tricks. I could be wrong about that). If you call the director, then assuming s/he shows up, s/he will adjudicate the claim according to the laws (as best s/he can given the BBO software). If you reject the claim, the software will allow play to continue, and somebody, probably the claimer, will almost immediately lead or play, as appropriate. If you reject the claim and then call the director, there will have been at least some play after the claim. I do not believe the software contains a "play ceases" provision when the director is called, although it should.


You can claim any number of the remaining tricks.
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#20 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-December-09, 09:45

View Postblackshoe, on 2020-December-08, 20:23, said:

If you reject the claim and then call the director, there will have been at least some play after the claim. I do not believe the software contains a "play ceases" provision when the director is called, although it should.

You could also call the director and reject the claim verbally rather than through the BBO software, which would allow the director to follow face to face laws, including the "new" possibility to play on without exposing hands if all four players agree (not that partner or any but the most taliban of directors will thank you for this).
I have rarely been called about a claim on BBO and then it was just complaint that an obvious claim had been refused and the clock timed out, or whatever. Probably because I only direct club games and our players are more used to stating a line of play than most.
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