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What Would the Ruling Be?

Posted By: Joe Russell
Date: Thursday, 5 February 2015, at 8:47 a.m.

In Response To: What Would the Ruling Be? (Taper_Mike)

This reminds me of a very funny story that happened to me at the Cavendish West Club 30 years ago. I was playing a high stakes game and we were playing legal moves. The rules were that it was the responsibility of anyone in the chouette to point out an illegal play. As it happened I had given a 32 cube that was a huge drop to this fellow that was known to be of dubious character and he took. A couple of rolls later, I made an illegal play on a 5-5. playing 5-4. The 5-5 would likely have gammoned my opponent and the 5-4 left it an evenish game, with him holding the cube. Probably, as big an error as I have ever made. Luckily, for me the outside crew member, who had been passed, called 'illegal' as I was picking up my dice. The dubious character said it was too late to correct, but the club rules were that it could be corrected until the next player had rolled. The director was called and it was explained what happened by the unbiased crew member. The director ruled that I would have to play legally and the dubious character threw a fit and said he did not think I had rolled a 5-5. The director asked the unbiased crew member a second time if he was sure I had rolled a 5-5 and he said yes. Then the director said I had to play legally, after which the dubious character again threw a huge temper tantrum and insisted that I had rolled a 5-4. The director said to the member 'are you absolutely sure he rolled a 5-5' and the crew member said '99%'. Then, the director ruled that the 5-4 stood since the crew member was not 100% sure that I had rolled a 5-5, only 99%. Now, I got mad because he had twice ruled it was to played legally and was only waffling because of the dubious character's refusal to allow it. Instead of winning a gammon for 64, I was going to be in an even game with my opponent owning a live 32 cube. The director, who was not a man of substance, offered to take over my game if I did not think the ruling was fair. I agreed and so did the dubious character, happy that he was not losing 64 points. What the director had not noticed was that the cube was on 32. When he saw that, he started sweating, as he was now playing for a weeks salary. He was a very good player, but played horribly because of the pressure and was doubled out. I was thinking I can't let him pay the entire amount, it is too much for him. I was thinking I would split the loss with him, as I felt bad for him, even though the entire win would have been his. The dubious character then laughed about the whole thing and told the director he did not have to pay! This was not something this guy would have done if he had believed I had rolled a 5-4. Not in a million years. I am not sure what the moral of the story is, but I wish the crew member had not waffled the 3rd time he was asked about the roll and said '99%'.

At least I earned a story from that illegal move.

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