A couple of weeks ago we had our first Pairs Tournament to determine the top pair in the school (of those that were present). Because we only meet during lunchtime I stretched it over two days and was flexible with who played which boards. I used deals which had already been played at the Buchanan Club and compared each result with the average for pairs sitting in that direction, which meant it didn't matter if only one pair in my tournament played a board.
Of course it was better when several pairs played the same board, and I was pleased to see the kids informally comparing outcomes on the same board. For example:
On both tables North-South went overboard. First Amelie played 2NT-3, then Jack played 3NT-3. Jack felt he had done better than the other declarer, by making more tricks, but I had to explain that he got the same score. When Anna and I played this hand at the Buchanan we sat East-West and got a good score for defeating 3♦x by two tricks.
On the first table Sophia sitting East bid and made an excellent 4♠. When Anna and I played it we sat East-West and also made 4♠. It's actually unbeatable as long as the defence don't find an unlikely Club ruff. How Sophia and Amelie got to 4♠ I don't know, but I imagine there was some competitive bidding. It was certainly competitive at the other table, as South got to 5♥, doubled and redoubled. This went four off, for a massive score of 2200 to Amy and Ewan in defence.
However, I'm pleased to say that enough hands were played that this giant penalty didn't determine the overall score, and it was the pair that made four game contracts (two of them doubled) that came out on top:
After half-term I'll have another go at organising a more formal pairs tournament when everyone is able to play. I think the pupils enjoy the extra pressure, and it forces them to speed up too.