information during the defence
by David Stevenson
Most unauthorised information (UI) problems come during the bidding, but the same principles apply during the play. If a player were to ask a question of the meaning of the bid, for example, this may give UI to partner. Similarly a player may hesitate before playing a card.
A special case is where a player has a penalty card (major or minor). It is authorised information (AI) that the player must play it in certain circumstances, but all other facts about it are UI. For example, if a king is led out of turn, and becomes a major penalty card, it is AI that the player must play it when that suit is led, but it is UI that he wanted to lead it or that he might have the queen.
The method of dealing with UI in the play is, in fact, identical to the method during the bidding. First, you summon the Director to establish there was UI. Then, you recall the Director at the end to look at the hand: do make sure that players do not shuffle their cards!
The Director will consider whether the player has chosen amongst Logical Alternatives one that is suggested over another by the hesitation, and if so he will adjust the score (presumably by transferring one or more tricks in effect). This may be appealed.
Never hesitate to call the Director if you think there is a possibility of UI during the play: people rarely do call at such a time, but they have a perfect right to.
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