On Board 5 the opponents opened a weak NT and it was passed round to me. I bid a textbook Crowhurst 2♣, showing at least 5-4 in the Majors. Anna had the hand below:
♠ T3 ♥ KQ9 ♦ Q853 ♣ A953
The normal thing to do is just show your better Major, with 2♥. But Anna had drunk a gin by this point, and was feeling a little creative. She came up with the ingenious bid of 2♦, which asks me to bid my better Major. She knows that with equal length I'll bid Hearts, so in that case we'll play in our best fit. If I have longer Spades then we'll play in our 5-2 fit rather than our 4-3 fit. As it happened I had 5-4-1-3 fit so bid and played in 2♠ anyway. This made exactly for a good score when they had 1NT their way.
Normally, at the end of each night, me and Anna go over the hands quickly, looking through the hand records. Anna only likes to look at the ones where she did something clever, or I did something stupid. I therefore suggested we look at Board 11, where she made an excellent 4♥, but actually, looking at it now, the auction was rather ridiculous. Here's the hand in full.
Anna had the South cards. Playing weak NT this is a tricky hand, as after you open 1♥ you don't really have any rebid (it would have to be 2♥). That's why when Bob Hamman and Zia Mahmood play together they play a Flannery 2♦, where a 2♦ opener shows a 12-15 point hand with 5 Hearts and 4 Spades.
After Anna opened 1♥, I replied 2♦ and East weighed in with 2♠. This solved Anna's rebid problem, and she passed. I was pretty sure by know that Anna had a weak hand with 5 Hearts, as she didn't open 1NT, and she didn't double 2♠. I could have bid 4♥ now, but I bid 3♣ anyway, which I think is game forcing. Anna has a clear 3NT bid with her chunky Spade stop, but bid a mad 3♦. I was confused at this point, didn't know what was forcing, so just bid 4♥.
There's two Club losers so to make it you need to play Hearts for no losers. Can you spot the winning play?
|Q 9 2
||J 8||K T 6
||A 7 5 4 3
The winning option here is low to the ♥9,then lead the ♥Q to smother the ♥J. Anna got a Spade lead and immediately attacked trumps, playing for the King being onside, by leading up to the ♥Q, losing to East's King (according to Suitplay, this line is equally good). The defence have another trump trick to come, so if they cash their two Clubs it's one off. But East lead a cheeky low Club away from his Ace. North won the ♣K but had no way of reading the position and she quite reasonably switched to a Diamond. Anna now played a blinder. She cashed the ♥A, leaving East with the ♥T master trump. She then ran Diamonds, throwing a Club when East ruffed, then returned to dummy by ruffing a Spade to win the remaining Diamonds.
I played 3♣ on Board 16. The contract was in the bag, but could I find a (vital, or actually irrelevant) overtrick out of this Heart suit?
|Q 9 3
||T 7 6
I played low to the Queen, hoping that the AK were onside. This obviously lost and I got no overtricks. According to Suitplay, the best thing to do is low to the Nine, then play to the Queen. This wins every time the AJ or KJ are before the Queen. It would have worked here too.
Next, what do you make of this auction?
The 1NT overcall means that Anna has 15-17 balanced, with a Club stop. My 2♥ is a transfer to Spades, but Anna's forgotten and raised me to 3♥. We've had this exact auction before, with the same mix up. Last time I tried to correct to Spades with 3♠, and Anna mercifully remembered what was going on at this point and passed. This time I had three card Heart support so passed 3♥. Before the opening lead I informed the defence of the mix up - there's no risk of me giving unauthorised information as I'm declarer. 3♥ scraped home.
Although it was Matchpoints me and Anna kept on bidding 5♣, and not making it. I also doubled 4♠, after the opponents were happy to pass out 2♠. I didn't trust their auction, so I doubled, and they made an overtrick.
Then me and Anna had the following ridiculous auction:
Amazingly I could have made 5♣, and thought I was going to when I got trumps right. I lost a Diamond and a Spade, but when I tried to discard a Heart on my now high ♠T West surprised me by ruffing (he had raised to 2♠ with only two of them).
Overall we finished on 47%, and did actually come fourth. Full results here.