Tuesday, 13 April 2010

" THE REST ARE MINE " : STAKING YOUR CLAIM........ ( Article by Carp )
Duplicate bridge is a timed game : usually 7 minutes a board is allowed. To "claim" a hand or the remaining tricks does speed up play....but only when declarer's stated line of play meets with the opponents' approval. However, should the opponents disagree and challenge declarer's claim, then unfortunately play will be brought to a halt, as the TD is called over to give a ruling.
The TD will no doubt ask for the players' remaining cards to be tabled after hearing what declarer has to say about his stated line of play........and the order of cards to be played. Then the opponents will be given the opportunity to offer their objections as to why the claim is incorrect, or flawed in someway, either by virtue of declarer's omission or oversight. Sadly, claims tend to cause disputes and controversy in so many ways, some of which are outlined below:
- the claim is either careless or reckless, denying defenders tricks they were clearly entitled to
- the claim is dishonest in that declarer has deliberately set out to steal a trick he/she knew belonged to the opponents
- the claim doesn't clearly state a precise and detailed line of play, and therefore with so many possible scenarios ( some of which provide tricks for the defence ) too much is open to debate
- the claim outlines a line of play which (a) has clearly overlooked a crucial fact ( such as an outstanding trump ), or( b) has been made on a false premise
It's not surprising therefore that staking a claim can be fraught with danger whether it be a innocent misjudgement or miscalculation...or whether it is tainted with the suspicion of a " deliberate intent to deceive ". So to me the message is clear : if you have a tendency to claim, with a well-founded desire to speed up the play, please ensure your claim is
- honest, genuine and sound
- precise, clear and accurate in its explanation
- well judged, in that all possibilities of bad breaks, outstanding trumps, and/or other critical factors have been accounted for
- guaranteed to meet with your opponents' approval

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