Q J 7 6 4 3
9 7 5
J T 8
| A Q T 4
K T 9 2
A 7 3
| J 9 6 3
A 8 5
A K 3
Q 6 2
8 7 5 2
Q J 8 6 2
K 9 5 4
S W N E
P 2NT1 P 31
P 32 P 3NT
2 W to S: "Undiscussed" Written, with a drawing of a sad face
E to N: "I'm not sure, but probably 4 spades with a heart stopper" (verbally)
Table Result: Making 3, EW +600
The opening lead was the T (Rusinow), which held. North continued the J, covered by the Q and K, ducked again by declarer. South now returned a third club.
South argues that had he known that West held four spades as well as his assumed four hearts and Axx, he would have led the Q at trick three and set the contract.
East-West are a long term partnership, but both claim to not have an agreement on or experience with this auction as a pair. The pair does not have comprehensive system notes.
Law 21B1(b) states: "The director is to assume Mistaken Explanation rather than Mistaken Call in the absence of evidence to the contrary."
Law 75D2 expands on player's responsibilities: "It is a condition of any partnership agreement that both players possess the same mutual understanding, and it is an infraction to describe an agreement where the same mutual understanding does not exist. If the Director determines that the misleading explanation was not based upon a partnership agreement, he applies Law 21B."
The directing staff discussed this and decided that the combination of West's explanation of "No agreement" and East's explanation starting with"I'm not sure, but..." was sufficient "evidence to the contrary" for purposes of Law 21B1(b). Since there was determined to be no infraction on the hand, there was no basis to adjust the score.
Appeals Committee Ruling
Wooldridge, Hurd, and Willenken were in attendance.
McKenzie Myers was the presenting director.
McKenzie explained what had occurred at the table, which was completely consistent with the committee document. He reported that after questioning the east/west pair the directors had concluded there was no agreement about the meaning of west's 3 call and ruled that the table result stands.
Willkenken made the case that this is an experienced partnership and the fact that east had accurately surmised what west held was an indication of a partnership agreement. East said he was trying to figure out what west meant, and gave a complete answer when he said that he wasn't sure but.........
The committee inquired of east/west about their written methods after Lebenshol and were told there were none.
West also pointed out that if south had shifted to a honor, he would have known that north was highly likely to hold the K since North-South play sound weak 2's and 4HCP would not be good enough.
The committee did question east about what he had said, and he replied that he said what he thought west might have based on bridge logic but that he wasn't sure because this auction had not been discussed. It was pointed out that to say that you have an agreement when you don't is also a violation of the laws.
When the committee deliberated, we determined that there was no agreement and therefore upheld the ruling at the table. Table result stands. EW +600
Craig Allen, Chairman
Mark Feldman, Member
Kit Woolsey, Member