On day 1
I had more than enough excitement with all those slam and near-slam hands. On day 2, my prayer for boring hands was duly answered, because most of the day revolved around what it usually takes to do well at Teams viz. a modicum of courage in the bidding, plus careful play and defence. However, there were a couple of quite interesting hands in round 4, where the match results were likely to be influenced by partnership style.
The outcome on this hand surprised me (board 14):
because I would have thought it wasn't that difficult (or unlikely) to get to a slam. East is the dealer and after 1D-1H-2C, a fourth-suit-forcing bid of 2S by West seems perfectly logical and straightforward. When East then bids 3H, a 1-3-5-4 shape seems very probable (of course 0-3-5-5 is also possible) which should mean that 3NT becomes a less appealing contract.
West is looking at a very useful hand for a game or slam in diamonds. If you play 4-minor as RKCB, a bid of 4D should now yield 5C (2 keycards and the queen of trumps) or 5D if you play the next step to show 2+Q and an outside king. Alternatively, cue-bidding might work well. Yes, one needs something to go right in hearts for 6D to make, but I think I would want to display a bit of courage and bid it. To my surprise, only
3 pairs actually reached this slam (and one reached 6H, which is also cold). Yes, it was flat in in our match, with 3NT played at both tables.
Another hand that was fascinating was
this one (board 16):
If you play the modern mini-multi, as dealer you might open the West hand with 2H, promising 8-11 hcp and a 6-card suit. That happened at our table, so I couldn't bid 2NT for the minors as North (would have shown a balanced 15-18 hcp) and had to overcall a less-than-ideal 3D. East of course bid 4H and partner then showed even more courage than I had done -- we ended in 5D, doubled, having missed the club fit altogether.
Fortunately, this made.
Demonstrating the effects of differing approaches to hand valuation and differing competitive methods, the final contract might be something else altogether if West opens 1H, which seems perfectly reasonable given that the hand satisfies any reasonable requirement for a 1-bid (2.5 old-fashioned quick tricks, or 7 losers, with an easy rebid, points in the long suit etc). Then North can bid
2NT (unless you play weak or strong but not intermediate, as we do) and NS will bid on in clubs to whatever level is necessary -- 22 pairs did so, most playing in 6C doubled. Lots of IMPs can swing in situations like this ...