By Mary Ewing
The four-minute impromptu address Bobby Kennedy delivered on April 4, 1968, in Indianapolis, Indiana belongs with two other famous American speeches —- Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream.” On reading Kennedy’s announcement of King’s assassination, I found myself thinking about where our country might be had these three men lived.
I, too, have a dream! I dream of thousands of new bridge players happily enjoying my favorite game.
In the 2017 Revised Authorized Edition of the “Laws of Duplicate Bridge,” under Law 61 “Failure to Follow Suit – Inquiries Concerning a Revoke,” I read the Definition of Revoke is “Failure to follow suit in accordance with Law 44 or failure to lead or play, when able, a card or suit required by law or specified by an opponent when exercising an option in rectification of an irregularity constitutes a revoke.” Law 44 simply describes the correct order and procedure for playing one’s cards. Rectification is a score adjustment usually imposed by a director when an irregularity has been brought to his attention. Today’s “revoke” was known as a “renege” when I began playing duplicate back in the 50s.
At any time during the play of a hand, declarer and both defenders can call for a director to rule on a revoke. In order to prevent a revoke, dummy can always ask declarer (dummy ‘s partner) if he’s out of the led suit. Otherwise he must remain quiet until all the board’s cards are played. Having the responsibility for maintaining equity, the director must do his best to rule such that the offending side won’t benefit from the revoke and the non-offending side won’t be damaged by it. To make the play of the hand easy for a director to follow, each owner places his card face down in the order played on the table before him such that the card’s short side indicates a winner and its long side indicates a loser. If the director can’t make heads or tails of this record but believes just one side has erred, he should rule in favor of the other side.
A revoke becomes established when the offender or his partner leads, plays, or names a card to be played to the following trick. If offender is a defender, he puts the card just played on the table before himself plays a legal card from his hand. The card on the table is a major penalty card which must be played the first time offender can’t follow suit.
Assume declarer has yet to establish a revoke. When declarer realizes he’s failed to follow suit and before anyone at the table points out this error, he must pick up the card just played, put it back in his hand, and then play a legal card of the led suit. When these three steps are done fast enough, it’s actually possible declarer will never get saddled with a major penalty card. These steps are done to make continued play more equitable. After all, defenders have already seen all of dummy’s cards plus the card declarer put back in his hand. If they can remember what that card was, they’ve acquired potentially helpful information to use in their efforts to defeat declarer’s contract.
Like the defenders when declarer fails to correct his revoke he must take the card just played and place it on the table before him. It’s now a major penalty card. Then he plays a legal card from his hand. The penalty card establishes his revoke when he plays to the next trick.
More on the revoke will be the subject of article 27.
Call George at 425-422-7936 for information on Everett-area bridge games.