Here's one where I had a tricky decision, and steered my way out of it with 0% of the Matchpoints.
I have the massive North hand, 21 points. I'm ready to open 2♣ when Anna opens the bidding with a weak NT. I have a few options but decided to delicately start with Stayman. When Anna denied a Major I showed my Clubs. I thought this was probably forcing, but wasn't sure, so decided to find out, by bidding it. Anna passed. 3♣+4 was not a good score. I thought I kept a poker face as I thanked Anna for the dummy and claimed at trick one, but she informed me afterwards that I looked a bit upset.
1. So is 3♣ forcing?
Our opponents at the table thought not. They would transfer to Clubs (via 2♠) then bid Spades. But for the record Anna and I have now decided that Bidding Stayman then bidding at the three level is forcing. Also for the record, we decided two other points of system:
- Bidding Stayman and getting a positive response you bid the other Major to set trumps (e.g. 1NT-2♣; 2♥-2♠), so a direct 4NT (e.g. 1NT-2♣; 2♥-4NT) is quantitative not Blackwood..
- After 1NT-3♣ which is strong opener bids: 3NT - weak doubleton in Clubs, 3♥/3♠ - natural with 5 card major, anything else - cuebid agreeing Clubs (e.g. 1NT-3♣; 3♦)
2. What would you open these hands?
♠8 ♥AQJ3 ♦AQ98 ♣AK52
♠AJ8532 ♥AK ♦AQ3 ♣Q5
On the first I opened 1♣ (and ended in a doomed 3NT), on the second I opened 1♠ (and ended in 2♠=).
Apart from this excitement we mostly had very poor hands. Anna only got to play two all night. Here's one where we defended against Norman and John. I did two foolish things and one clever thing (not a bad ratio).
East opened a weak NT and West transferred. I decided to get active and doubled, for the lead. This was a bit risky, and I got worried when East passed really quickly. He would have bid 2♠ with three card support, but also could have redoubled to play. That could have been embarrassing, but hopefully Anna could have saved me by bidding Diamonds. As it was we defended 3NT, and following my double, Anna lead a Heart. Then I did my second foolish thing, and covered the ♥J with my ♥K, giving declarer an extra Heart trick. But now for my one clever thing - when declarer lead the ♠J I ducked with my doubleton King. Declarer finessed again and now I was able to win my ♠K, and now declarer can't get to dummy. As it is, he made 9 tricks anyway (three Spades, four Hearts, one Club and one Diamond) and so we only got 36%.
At the end of the night me and Anna crept to 50.9%. Standout winners were Trish & John Matheson (North-South) and Kerry McGee & John Gorton (East-West).