There are two teams from the Buchanan Club who both play in the Glasgow League Division One, and last week we met in a grudge match. Hopes were high for our first match of 2015, but hopes were dashed and we lost 11-5.
Me and Anna played against Fergus and Lina Kerr, who have been doing well in the Buchanan Competitions this year. It was a very enjoyable table and they were charming throughout, even maintaining good grace as me and Anna bumbled into a very poor 6♠:
I had the 22 point South hand, and decided to upgrade to open 2♣. I did this because I thought with my good clubs I could have eight tricks in my hand, so it doesn't need much from Anna to let me make 3NT. Plus this was aggregate scoring which is an excuse for overbidding. Anna replied 2♦ and now I had to lie a bit with 2NT showing 23-24 balanced. Anna transferred into Spades and then things went a bit haywire. She bid 4♦ as a cuebid thinking Spades were agreed. I didn't know this and stalled for time with a general 4♥ cuebid, then when she bid Blackwood I guessed that she intended Spades as trumps and showed four keycards.
Since we had never agreed Spades but Anna bid 6♠ anyway I was expecting a long Spade suit, and was a bit disappointed with the dummy! Luckily trumps split 3-2 so it was OK and we were the only pair to make a slam.
We've since agreed that in this sort of situation over 2NT if the strong hand completes the transfer (i.e. here bids the normal 3♠) it shows three card support, else they'd just bid 3NT.
We needed that good slam score to compensate for the disaster below:
All vulnerable, still aggregate scoring. East dealt and opened 1♦ ahead of me.
1. What would you bid with the South hand?
I went for a simple 1NT. I did wonder about the Club shortage, but thought they'd probably lead Diamonds. Looking at the hand now since I've got 4-4 in majors I could have made and off-shape double and saved myself the following embarrassment.
After my 1NT West doubled, which was passed out. Anna and I play a Helvic escape to 1NTx, but neither of us was sure if it applied here. I did think about redoubling with the South hand, but was scared of playing 1NTxx. Our best suit is actually Diamonds, which we're never going to get to, but actually any suit contract will stop the run of the Clubs.
West was doubling on the strength of her Club suit, and lead a low one. She hit the jackpot as East was able to win the &clubs:K and continue Clubs. After the first six tricks I was in a spot of bother with discards from my hand. I've already lost six tricks and was certain to still lose the ♥A and the ♠K. In fact to get out for only two down I think I need to dramatically throw away my ♠A, so I can then get to dummy to take the Diamond finesse for my fifth trick. I obviously didn't do this though so never got to dummy and only got four tricks - one Spade, two Hearts and one Diamond. A crushing -800 for 1NTx-3.
As for the other tables I know that on one of them East-West played 1NT+2.
At the half way point we were miraculously only ten points behind. However, things fell away in the second half and the original Buchanan team scored a deserved win.