It was our first local league match ( teams of 4 ) and we were desperate to kick off the season with a win. At the mid-interval we were 22 imps up, and things were going well in the second half despite a bad 13th board. Then came hand 17, where my partner opened a lucas 2H ( weak two suiter ) and with my shapely 13 points and trump support I jumped straight to 4H.
After 9 tricks had been accounted for, my partner had to totalled six , the opponents 3. Partner now held KJ of hearts and two boss diamonds. In my hand ( dummy ) there was spade Q, 105 of hearts, and the club jack. The 7H was still outstanding but this was held by the declarer's LEFT hand opponent.
When partner tabled the boss diamond he claimed. His LHO immediately jumped in stating that she had an outstanding trump and therefore ( a) could ruff in and (b) demand that declarer play any other card from dummy other than the 10 of hearts ! I protested . The TD was called for. To my dismay, he seemed to agree with the opponent's version of her rights. I protested again, claiming that declarer can not be expected to play like a lemon, or adopt any unreasonable line of play. Even if he had overlooked this outstanding trump, on the lie of the cards, she was never in a position to make it. Moreover it was impossible for her to make a trick with the 7 given the fact it could so easily be over-ruffed. ( It would be a completely different matter if the RHO held this card, and declarer had foolishly discarded a club or spade loser on the diamond ). The fact it was on his left clearly indicated that it was impossible on any chosen line of play for her to make a trick. Still the TD wanted the contract to be set by one trick. By now I had completely lost it demanding that he read out from the BOOK, a clear ruling which allowed the defender in such a situation to dictate which card had to be played from dummy. As he couldn't find one, he elected to review the position at the end of match, with me stating quite forcefully that I would appeal against any 4H-1 verdict.....if even if I had to go all the way to the European Court of Justice.
Thankfully, at the end of the match the very sporting, gracious and honest opposition captain acknowledged that it was unreasonable to expect declarer not to over-ruff the 7 of hearts , whether it was was played on the first or second diamond .
Although I feel a little ashamed at allowing my frustration and annoyance get the better of me, I do feel justified to voicing my protests. So would anyone out there like to offer their knowledge and wisdom regarding the rules on " unstated " claims, and how they might apply to this situation. Would they have reacted like me, full of disbelief and protest at what the defence saw as an absurd opportunity to beat an unbreakable contract.