After John opens a strong NT I know that we're probably heading for 6♥. With my void it's going to be hard to investigate a grand slam, but I have a try by transferring then splintering. After John signs off I jump to 6♥.
South makes a sneaky Diamond lead and that holds John to 12 tricks. Later I remember his fondness for underleading and use this to eke out an overtrick in an excruciating 3♠+1. At the end of the 12 boards I apologise to the opponent's for my slow play, but as I said, I was really concentrating hard.
The board above was 6♥+1 on the other table, for a 1 IMP loss. After that we lost a couple of game swings from Alex and Derek making games, a bit more when I pushed to 2NT-1, then got a game swing back when I made 3NT. I'd like to say it was my careful play, but actually I think it was mostly our team-mate Paul's good lead on the other table:
In my 3NT I got a friendly Diamond lead and am up to seven tricks. I decided it was safe to try Spades first, then fell back on the Club suit to make 3NT=. The other declarer got a tricky ♣7 lead from North, which convinced him to get that suit wrong.
Despite that gain at the break we were 19 IMPs down.
In the second half we were against familiar opponents John Di Mambro and Gints, from Team Wanderers. There was a flurry of accidents and misjudgments from me, culminating in a 66 IMP loss. I expect that's 0 VPs overall.
These were two more boards where I jumped to slam, with considerably less success than Board 1 above:
John's 1♦ opening is almost always 5+, which is a great surprise looking at my hand. When the opponent's got to 5♠ I decided that since they are bothquite sound bidders they must have 11 trumps between them. Hence John has a void. I didn't want to miss out on the grand slam, so popped down 7♦.
The bad news was that we both have a losing Spade. The good news was, East led a Club. He respected our bidding enough to think I must have a Spade void (but not respected it enough to sacrifice in 7♠). The contract was alive, and just needed the Heart finesse to make it.
The Heart finesse failed, and it was two off. If it was going to be our day, that would have made.
I'm expecting a 10 IMP loss aginst 6♠ doubled but it's even worse, as the other table conceded 6♦= for a 17 IMP loss on the board.
Luckily, I soon get dealt a great hand to generate a swing back for Team Faben!
I opened 1♣, and it felt a bit funny to be alerting it as 2+. When John bid 2♣ I figured he must have some support, as I've only shown a few Clubs myself (afterwards we thought he could have bid 1NT on the second turn). I didn't consider that he's just given false preference, and was now pushing for slam. I messed around with a splinter then bid the 6♣ I'd been itching to since I got dealt the hand.
The trumps in dummy were something of a disappointment. Gints led the ♣A and any hope of making it disappeared. With Spades 3-3 it was only one off, and with any other lead apart from trumps I could have made it.
To add to the disappointment the other table played in 2♠+3, so just bidding 5♣ would have won the board.
Not our night.