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Faced opening lead out of turn and other defender faces card in that suit

If the lead out of turn, AD in this case, is not accepted by declarer then when can 5D, played by partner, lawfully be played?
Declarer prohibited a Diamond lead and Director ruled that 5D was a penalty card. Defender on lead won trick 2 and lead 5D as it was a penalty card.
In this particular case the defender with AD had bid Diamonds so leading 5D was normal (dummy had singleton 10D).
If Defender not on lead hadn't shown Diamonds would the penalty card not be lead at this opportunity? If not, then when, or would the hand be subject to an adjusted score?


  • Hmm. A penalty card must be played at the first legal opportunity. My first thought was that this was regardless of any unauthorised information, I'm just feeling the need to check the relevant laws.

  • Certainly, if you think they've gained by exposing the card so they have to play it (thus circumventing law 16 on UI) you can at least invoke the general get out of 72C to adjust the score.

    It seems at least possible to argue that if law 16 applies then the 5D is not a legal play. You might counter by suggesting that if the defender has to play a certain card there are no other logical alternatives. In practice I think we're probably looking at playing the penalty card and adjusting the score if we think they've gained by it.

  • Hi Roger
    Are you saying that the Ace of diamonds was faced, out of turn and then a few seconds later the 5 of Diamonds was led by the deemed leader before the irregularity was dealt with by the director? Or did the 5 of diamonds appear after the declarer rejected the Ace of diamonds lead but before the director could specify what conditions the declarer could select for the opening lead? It is important to know these facts.

  • AD faced out of turn then as soon as declarer said he needed to call the director 5D was played by deemed leader.

  • edited January 13

    It’s an interesting scenario.

    There are multiple violations by both defenders, but facing the 5D is by far the worst.

    Having banned the diamond lead and having made possession of the AD UI and then seeing a singleton diamond in dummy, playing the 5D is not natural simply because offender bid diamonds.

    Facing the 5D guarantees that partner will play the diamond irrespective of how the play unfolds, whether or not the play suggests that they should play a different card. So ‘having a sound bridge reason’ to switch back to the erroneously led suit is quashed because the law now dictates the lead.

    Broadly speaking, due to the gross breaches of procedure, including conduct and etiquette, I would award an adjusted score.

    I’m interested to see alternative views.

  • edited January 13

    This might not be needed, but I would add that being required to play the major penalty card on lead is not a bridge reason, it’s a procedural reason.

    The requirement to play any card, in-turn after winning a trick, is a procedural reason. The choice of card to lead is usually due to a bridge reason. When the player is denied their choice of lead card because of a rule, then they are forced to follow procedure.

  • I have a feeling that Law 60 C comes into play. Rectification of the opening lead out of turn has to be decided from the five options by the deemed declarer. Once the declarer has been decided then the rectification of the 5D has to be sorted. So if the deemed declarer doesn't accept the lead out of turn and instructs the deemed leader to not lead a diamond the Ace of diamonds is picked up and the 5D remains a penalty card on the table and when the declarers RHO is on lead Declarer can prevent a diamond lead with the same consequences. I could be wrong but the deemed declarer could make the wrong decision and it might be possible for the director to restore equity (Law 72 C).
    Ducks behind the wall.

  • edited January 14

    @CMOT_Dibbler said:
    Ducks behind the wall.


    I see the situation a little differently, but I would accept that approach that as a declarer.

    As a TD, I'm not happy that partner was not paying attention to notice the lead out of turn or the call for a TD. It puts their play of the 5D into the territory of 74B.1 (insufficient attention) or 72B.1 (infringe a law intentionally). The aggravating problem being, the lead of AD also falls foul of 74B1, so I am not very happy as a TD in that circumstance.

    So bearing in mind what I said previously, I'm going down the Law 84D route (Ruling on agreed facts, Director's option).

    I can't overlook the inattention to both the AD lead and call for the TD or the possible deliberate action when playing 5D. I'm not going to criticise another TD that does so because it is simply a judgment call. We perhaps end up at the same end point for different reasons.

  • Jaded in some respects I can see where you are coming from but even Law 84D says " If in his judgement
    it is probable that a non-offending side has been damaged by an irregularity for which these laws provide no rectification he adjusts the score (see Law 12). " However, Law 60C does provide a rectification and as you say everyone should follow proceedure before proceeding to a ruling on agreed facts. By the way I can't say that the offenders agree with the facts as presented here, we haven't exactly heard from them. I can't say that as the AD hit the table and Declarer called "Director" the 5D wasn't already selected and floating down to the table.

  • edited January 14

    I think the original problem is effectively covered by White Book 8.50.3 Law 50D: Penalty cards for both defenders

  • edited January 14

    Thanks both.

    So that sounds like I should be looking at Warnings and/or Procedural/Disciplinary Penalties to deal with with “not paying attention” and on the face of it (a judgment call) a deliberate breach of the rules in playing the 5D (assuming all relevant facts are known).

  • Playing 5D was deliberate but the player wasn't aware it was against the rules. TD informally warned them against doing it again and combined this with a brief instruction always to wait in future for the TD to resolve irregularities. The player was relatively new to a face to face environment for a competitive game.

  • Thanks. That sounds fair.

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