Board 15
Vul: NS
Dealer: South

North (McCallum)
S Q J T 7 6
H 5 3
D J 8 4
C 8 6 2

West (Feldman)

S A 5 3 
H Q 9 7 4 2
D 9 5 3 
C J 3

East (Grabel)

S 8 4
H K J 6
D A 6
C A K Q T 9 4

  South (Brod)
S K 9 2
H A T 8
D K Q T 7 2 
C 7 5


N        E         S       W      
                     1D     PASS

1S    2C     DBL    RDBL

2S    3S     PASS  3NT

All pass

Table Result: Making 3, EW +400

Director's Ruling

During the play of the hand, declarer, West, said aloud "I'm not going down a lot." Play continued after this. On the A lead, North revoked with the 6. This was replaced with the 7, but the 6 remained as a penalty card. At this point the Director was called into the room. When South later got in with the A, West exercised his right to require a club lead and was able to take nine tricks.

North maintains that declarer's statement constitutes a claim and N-S should be credited with defeating the contract.

Law 68A defines a claim: Any statement to the effect that a contestant will win a specific number of tricks is a claim of those tricks. A contestant also claims when he suggests that play be curtailed, or when he shows his cards.

Law 68D states: After any claim or concession, play ceases (but see Law 70D3). If the claim or concession is agreed, Law 69 applies; if it is doubted by any player (dummy included), the Director must be summoned immediately and Law 70 applies. No action may be taken pending the Director’s arrival.

It was determined that West's statement did not meet any of the criteria of 68A and therefore did not constitute a claim. The score was not adjusted.


Appeals Committee Ruling

The committee determimed that there is nothing in the rules that remotely suggests that Feldman's statement constituted a claim. All 3 committee members are very sympathetic to erroneous comments during play that could accidentally mislead an opponent or could cause an opponent to let his guard down. The comment "I am not going down a lot" was an honest and accurate statement.

Taking the argument a step further, if the committee were to change the result based on that statement, we feel that any comments then could be misconstrued and result in many future director calls. A player yelling, coughing, sneezing, etc, could distract an opponent and cause an exposed card.

Appeals Committee

Ralph Katz, Chairman
George Jacobs, Member
Kerry Smith, Member