header                Issue #22               May 2016

These pages are an attempt to inform bridge players of  the laws governing our game.  In particular, we will be looking at everyday situations where the TD is called.
These pages will be updated each month, so please come again!  

Always call the TD for any infringement, however minor -  do not take the law into your own hands.

The curious case of two spade queens in one hand

I have two Q's in my hand!

How the laws cover it

This incident occurred during our usual Wednesday pairs game last week. We were on the 6th round (we play 8 rounds of 3 boards) when I heard "Director please!".

Margaret Leatherbarrow called me to her side (sitting East) and they were starting to bid their new hand when she showed me her fanned cards, pointing at two spade queen cards in her hand! Everyone was laughing at how Margaret had managed to perform this magic trick. I then counted her cards and there were indeed 14. One of the Q's was obviously a stray.

So... what exactly happened? They were playing the third board of 3 for that round, and I asked the players to check for the Q in the previous 2 boards while I took the faulty board to a vacant table to check placement of all 52 cards.

Sure enough, we got to the bottom of it. The Q from the previous board fell onto Margaret's lap and retrieved just in time for her magic trick display! We TDs have to act as super-sleuths too!

I then ruled as follows "The Q is an exposed card and if Margaret or her partner Peter Callaghan become defenders, declarer will have lead advantages, call me back if this happens. If Margaret's side declares, the Q simply goes back in hand. All understand?" Since there was just 5 minutes left for the round, I asked them to play faster.

Later, I referred to the law book and, surprise surprise, there are penalties on Margaret's partner during the bidding too!
Excerpt from Law 24:

If the offender becomes a defender every such card becomes a penalty card (see Law 50), then:

A. Low Card Not Prematurely Led
If it is a single card below the rank of an honour and not prematurely led, there is no further rectification.

B. Single Card of Honour Rank or Card Prematurely Led
If it is a single card of honour rank or is any card prematurely led offender's partner must pass when next it is his turn to call (see Law 23 when a pass damages the non-offending side).

C. Two or More Cards Are Exposed
If two or more cards are so exposed offender's partner must pass when next it is his turn to call (see Law 23 when a pass damages the non-offending side).

So I should have ruled also that Peter (Margaret's partner) had to pass when next it was his turn to call since the Q was exposed as the problematic child and thus qualifies for Law 24B " If it is a single card of honour rank....."

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Sid Ismail
National Director

May 2016

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