Disputed Claim

Declarer with 3 cards in his hand claimed the remaining tricks in a suit contract, stating that there were no trumps left and he had 2 master diamonds and the last trump. In fact an opponent had the master trump and two top clubs to cash. Declarer then said he would play his diamonds and said that he would have 2 of the last 3 tricks, just making his contract. This was a match played at a player’s home with no director to refer to, but I was contacted later for an opinion, which I gave as follows:

I think the relevant Law is no.70 – Contested Claim or Concession. Section C is titled ‘Where there is an Outstanding Trump’. This states:

When a trump remains in one of the opponents hands, the Director shall award a trick or tricks to the opponents if;

A claimer made no statement about that trump; and
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;
A trick could be lost to that trump by any normal* play.

Declarer made a mistake by not stating at the outset of the claim that he was to play diamonds; with him being mistaken about a trump being outstanding he might have played the trump first when the opponents would win all 3 remaining tricks. I think in these circumstances I would award all 3 tricks to the opponents.

I would be grateful for any observations.

Pete Smith – Chepstow

Inadmissible Double

I am in dispute with some bridge players here in Portugal. Last week my right-hand opponent opened 1NT, I passed, followed by “double” by opener’s partner. I called the Director who agreed with me that this was an invalid bid. Not knowing what else to do the doubler passed and we carried on.

However, the pair are convinced that is a valid (alertable) bid – asking partner to “describe his 1NT hand further”. They are so convinced that I am beginning to doubt myself!

It is invalid, isn’t it?! How should we have proceeded? What is the penalty, if any?

John Cobby – Porthcawl & Portugal


1 by South (better minor), Pass, 1♠ by North, Double by East (not alerted), Re-double by South, Pass, Pass, Pass. East comments before opening lead “Let’s see how this goes”.

Contract three-off for East/West 1000. Heavy spade suit holding by East now obvious. Questioned as to why there had been no alert for the double, says ” It was for take-out and I was looking for the best contract our way.”

Any rectification available here?

Neville Richards – Llandrindod Wells

Hesitation (1)

East opens 1♠, South – pass, West – 1NT, North – 2♣, East – 2, South – 2, West – 3. North then hesitates for a long time and passes. South now bids 3 on:

♠ QJxx
♣ xx

The auction then proceeds: 4 by West, passed out, and the result was -1.


Can South justify bidding 3 after the long hesitation?

Should the director (called) have disallowed the 3 bid, and adjusted the score to 3 making?

Mike Baker – Haverfordwest

Board Not Played

What is the correct treatment in a pairs competition of a board that cannot be played – neither pair involved is in any way at fault. It has been suggested that each pair should be awarded 50% but this seems to penalise a pair if they had otherwise achieved greater than 50% and vice versa. If there is a missing pair in a movement, for the pair sitting out, the boards are simply no included in the calculation of their score – should the “no play” board be treated in the same way?

Ian Hill- Monmouth.

Alerting (Lebensohl)

Hi Tony

Could you please advise me as to whether the following bid is alertable. Over opener’s weak  2  my partner doubled for take-out.  My right-hand opponent passed  and  I bid 3♣.  We play  Lebensohl responses to the double in this situation, so a 2NT bid would be somewhat weaker. I’m aware that a 2NT bid should be alerted (conventional), but is the 3♣ bid alertable?

Debbie Lea – Bridgend

Insufficient Bid


I’m not sure that I fully understand the new rules on insufficient bids. A recent example from our club: W-1NT; N-2♠; E-2. East hadn’t noticed the 2♠ bid and intended his bid as a transfer to hearts. In the event, East replaced his insufficent bid with a ‘pass’ and North played in 2♠. What are the correct options for E/W?

Graham Shaw – Llandudno