Monday, January 25, 2016
«Don’t ever claim again!» Joe shouted at his partner. «You already claimed wrong twice, and in both cases the TD ruled against us. Leave claims to me! When you claim, you need to specifically tell how you play, for example:
I pull trumps, on the A I throw my club loser, and the rest are mine. OR: I play a diamond, you win your A and I take the rest of the tricks, etc.
And you – I expect you to play the hand till the end until you learn how to claim properly. AGREED?!»
This was a very clear claim, rather than a question waiting for an answer. His partner was offended, but she didn’t argue. After all, she did claim wrongly. «Got it, Mr. Know-It-All,» she sighed.
As they moved to the next table, on the first deal Joe claimed at trick three. His LHO, an older woman, said:
«Your claim is probably OK, but I don’t see it. Please play out the hand.»
«After a claim has been made, the hand is over, and you can’t continue playing it. If you don’t agree to the claim – call the director!» Joe said in a vulgar tone.
«No need to call the director, mom, the claim is good,» said the younger man on his right. He gave Joe a harsh look but said nothing. Joe ignored him and pulled out the cards for the 2nd deal:
Dealer North, East – West vulnerable
West lead the 10.
Joe wanted to claim at trick one, but after the incident with the previous hand he just play it slowly, trick after trick, like an old beginner. He slowly cashed his winners one by one: KQ, KQJ and KQJ.
After 8 tricks, with the 32 and 3 aces in hand, and KQJ109 in dummy, he got fed up with his own foolish act – and claimed:
«I’ll play spades, giving you the A, and the rest is mine. 6NT made».
«OK with me,» said the old lady.
«Not OK with me,» said his RHO, and called the director.
Joe explained the situation to the TD and added:
«It is a very obvious claim. Any beginner can see that if I play spades next I lose only 1 trick. What sort of clueless novice players do you allow in your tourneys here? They should really go to classes, not to tournaments».
Dear readers, do you agree with the claim?
«Joe, your opponent is not a beginner! He is a known player in the major league, winner of many important tourneys. He must have a reason for not accepting,» said the director.
«Why don’t you accept the claim?» he asked the opponent.
«I hold up twice the A, winning it on the 3rd round. On the 3rd round, declarer needs to discard. Since he didn’t explain what he is going to do, I force him to throw the A. Now I play my high 2 which wins the trick. And this is not the end! Declarer has to discard again, on my 2, and I force him to throw the A. Now my 2 is high. 2 down.»
The TD accepted the defender’s explanation and adjusted the score to down 2.
«You are a snotty, self-absorbed, dramatic braggart! How could you lose 3 tricks with 36 points high, missing only one ace? I don’t think that any beginner would manage to go 2 down here. This is the end of our partnership»! said his (ex) partner at the end of the evening.