Only five pairs at the Buchanan this Saturday, so we all went across to St. Andrews. Anna got upset we had to defend so much, and she never got an opening hand (except for the board we played upside down, when I got the good hand and opened 1NT). In the end she only played four hands, but (coincidentally?) we finished top.
Here's one big hand Anna played.
Anna sitting South has a routine 12-14 1NT opener. The rule (according to Norman) is that you don't open hands like this with one of a major unless the suit is strong enough to play opposite a doubleton, which means ♠AKxxx, ♠AQxxx or ♠AJTxx. This hand doesn't qualify.
Sitting North I didn't know what to do. I've a 19 count with all the aces, but it's balanced and I actually have seven losers. Possible contracts are 3NT, 4♠, 6♠ or 6NT, depending on whether or not Anna has a minimum or maximum point count and a Spade fit.
I tried Stayman, and Anna replied 2♠. It's matchpoints, and with my flat hand I couldn't see any ruffing potential, so why have I just bid Stayman? What would 4NT now be? Me and Anna have previously agreed Invitational, but Norman's notes say Blackwood. I've got four keycards myself anyway, so have a punt at 6♠. If we make it's less points than 6NT, but has more chance of an overtrick (or fewer undertricks).
Anna gets the ♥Q lead, which she runs round to her ♥K, leaving a finesse position against West. She then cashes the two top Spades, and when the queen doesn't fall is faced with a trump loser, so has to avoid a Diamond loser. She takes advantage of the Heart lead and finesses the ♥J to discard a Diamond. 6♠ making, for 10/12 matchpoints.
The full deal:
The Heart lead from West was unfortunate, and gave declarer a trick. In fact you can make all thirteen tricks on any lead, if you get trumps right (no reason you would though), then steal another trick with a squeeze. After you win all your Spades and Clubs West will have to unguard either Hearts or Diamonds - he can't keep QJx in both suits, and will have to come down to just QJ in one of the suits. You'll then be able to win three tricks in that suit with the Ace, King and Ten.
Since playing this hand we've had a class on Slam Bidding with Norman. I told him about this hand and he wasn't impressed with my bidding.
See the hand on St. Andrews Bridge Club here, Hand 21 (rotated).