Playing aggregate with Adrianne, this was mostly a tale of slams. Our first bad one isn’t quite a slam, but we weren’t even in game:
West opens and the bidding proceeds: 1S – P – 1NT – x – 2D – 3C – 3D – 3H – P – 4C and this was passed out.
East inevitably leads her partner’s first suit and after J – Q – K – A spades, I have 13 tricks. The winners our way managed to bid 6C, why did we not even find game? Adrianne’s double followed by 3H would show 16+ points and a good heart suit (normally 6). I don't think that let's me find 5C, I think partner has to see that she hasn't shown this trump holding, but still, with everyone bidding, it is not that easy. However, why don't I just overcall the 1S opening with 3C? Adrianne will have no problem bidding on.
On board 16 Adrianne found a good slam which most people weren’t in.
The bidding went: P – 1D – 1S – x – 4S – 5C – P – 6D. Adrianne knows there must be 12 tricks, but has no idea if I have 2 small spades or not. I suppose the bidding suggests not.
On board 19 slam wasn’t too difficult to bid (actually there is a grand, but nobody finds that).
Our bidding went (with opponents silent): 1D – 1S – 4C – 6D
Perhaps at aggregate I should have bid 3H over the 1D opener, but no matter, even if my club suit isn’t so useful after partner’s splinter, there must be excellent prospects here. Adrianne left the diamonds in rather than go back to spades (obviously I have longer diamonds), there is always a worry of a diamond ruff, or with a bad spade break there might be a discard on hearts or a club finesse for a spade discard if we play in diamonds.
On board 21, 3 pairs find slam, but 2 go down. We are just in 4S:
We had no interference (though West surely has a take out double and East can jump to 4H). Anyway it went 1D – 1S – 2S – 4S. Now Adrianne has a 5 loser hand and knows we have a double fit. A jump to 4C would have been better. Anyway after QH lead, Adrianne wins the Ace, ruffs a heart and leads the JS from dummy, no matter what West does she can only lose 1 spade.
Finally on board 25 came our Nemesis. A 1640 point swing on a lead.
Our bidding went:
2H – P – P – x – P – 4D – 4H – 5D – 5H – 6D – x
Now things could have gone differently, perhaps Adrianne should bid 4H immediately? Should a pre-empter like me bid 5H because I have a diamond void? Anyway, Adrianne on lead fancies I will be short in spades and lay down AS. Slam made.
It just seemed luck that the wrong Ace was led, but as usual with a little afterthought, we reckoned why is partner bidding 5H – has he 3 small diamonds, even 2, definitely not, therefore he surely has a few spades. With West using a take out double over 2H, it is unlikely that East has any spades. Or is that just knowledge after the fact? Probably.