campaign in the Spring Nationals Qualifying got off to a flying
thud. Day 1 was full of slams, or potential slams ... we didn't reach
too many and I thoroughly misplayed one in the first round (board 13, N
dealer, both vulnerable).
As declarer in 6H by North, on a diamond lead, I had far too many options, so of course I took the wrong ones. What would you do?
Playing 2 top diamonds, pitching a spade, then ♠A and a ruff, followed by ♥K, ♥A and another spade ruff wins all the marbles, because East has a doubleton ♥Q ... only 7 pairs out of
48 bid and made the slam. One of those pairs was our NS opponents, who played 6H
by South and received a trump lead. That was a lot of IMPs.
There were other oh-so-close slams that didn't get bid, at least in our matches. One was this hand (board 18, E dealer, NS vulnerable):
Again, only 7 pairs reached slam, which makes, of course.
this hand from round 2 (board 20):
This time only 6 pairs reached slam. We got close, but no cigar. Would you have bid either of these?
Most of the planet reached the cold grand slam on board 8 in the same round. Then came this hand in round 3 (board 7):
Although we do have the mechanisms to transfer and play 6D by South, we successfully avoided using them, so the contract was played with North as declarer. Mercifully, there was no spade lead. Remarkably, exactly the same thing happened at the other table -- so it was just another flat board! A small slam was played at 15 tables but South was declarer only 5 times.
Oh well, it was an exciting day of bridge, even if our results were lousy. I'll happily settle for boring hands and better results on day 2 ...