Me and Anna had a few days holiday in Portugal, on the Algarve. As I like to do when we're on holiday I looked up local bridge clubs, and found a nice one with some British ex-pats in Vale Del Rei. We got a taxi there, and had a drink by the pool. This hotel was definitely nicer than ours. On another table overheard a few ladies discussing 1NT openings, we'd come to the right place!
I wasn't that worried about how well we did tonight, just taking a rare opportunity to have a few hands with Anna. But we got a good start and I got my hopes up. We defended well and got a lot of +50s and +100s, but then it occurred to me that maybe those results weren't so good. Here's a typical hand where we didn't quite bring home the bacon:
South opened 1♣ and it was passed round to Anna sitting East. She went for a conservative 1♠ overcall, then when North competed Anna rebid 2♠. South came in again with 3♣ and I considered doubling with the West cards. I didn't really know how strong partner was though and so let it go.
We defended well for two off and +200. But this wasn't a great result, as EW can actually make a lucky 4♠.
After only six hands we had a sit out, then a coffee break. Delicious pastries, particularly the Portuguese custard pies. The club consisted mostly of people who had retired to Portugal, which seems quite a good thing to do. Carole said if any bridge players want to come and stay in the hotel she can get them 25% off.
After the break we got to play a few, instead of defending. On the hand below I opened 1NT as South and Anna had a big hand - what to bid? She thought for ages, then an elderly American woman rapped her gold rings on the table to speed things up, Anna panicked and went for the not unreasonable 3NT.
West led a Heart and I got that familiar disaster feeling that you get when you're in the wrong contract. We've got loads of tricks but could go down in 3NT. With an intake of breath I put up the ♥K, and miraculously it held! Now I had twelve top tricks, and good chances for a thirteenth with my Diamonds and the ♠Q. I got to scheming then cleverly ran all my clubs to squeeze East. Sure enough my Diamonds were soon all high.
I was going to claim, but decided not to because that might upset people. Instead I cashed the Diamonds, starting with the ♦K for no particular reason. To my surprise West overtook it with the ♦A, a card I thought I had - I'd mis-sorted my hand! Turns out the actual deal was:
I had nine tricks but this was matchpoints and after West won his ♦A I was worried they were going to win all the other tricks. Luckily though they'd thrown away winners so I still made 3NT+2, for a joint top. When we had a beer afterwards and I drew out the hand on a napkin and Anna concluded that slam isn't that good anyway (with the ♦A off side), so actually best contract and result, but still not my finest moment.
Got an email from Carole last week - we finished on 51%. Not bad.