Playing E/W with Gerry came 5th with 56%. There were certainly a number of interesting hands.
Now a spade lead or diamond lead and spade switch would leave declarer with only 2 club ruffs. However, as usual, I find an alternative lead to let the contract make. I led KH, AH and a cross ruff in hearts and clubs gave Ian 11 tricks.
Still, we weren't doubled in 5D, if they get all their ruffs that will cost 800.
1C - 1D - 2D - 3NT - 4D - 5D
Now as we can see there is a spade and unlucky for declarer, 2 diamonds to lose. 3NT will probably make, heart lead, set up a spade trick and you have 9 tricks. A spade lead would defeat 3NT whether declarer puts in the 9 or the Queen.
So what's the story? Well Gerry made the natural lead of a heart of course. Two spade discards and 11 tricks made.
Half the field made 3N or 5D, half went off.
Geraldine plays AK of clubs and I have 9 tricks. Just luck again, South will never find the defence, but for those who play 3S by me asking for a stop, Gerry would then play it. A club lead and spade return would put paid to that contract.
Only 4 pairs made 3NT, lots of diamond and heart part scores.
KS led and taken by me and I played QD. Charles wins this and plays QS and another. Obviously he will be playing a spade again when he gets in, discarding hearts is possible but I think I can get them to open the suit, so I ruff with the 9 and exit with a small diamond to Charles who leads another spade, I ruff again leaving 1 diamond in each of 3 hands. If the heart honours are split, Vi will have to have QC for her double do I finesse the club and cash KC and Charles ruffs the third but must now open up hearts or give a ruff and discard so I made 8.
I doubled this for the diamond lead and Vi converted to 4C.
Gerry led a diamond to my Ace, I returned QS taken by Ace and Vi played KH to Gerry's Ace. He cashed a spade and exited with a diamond. Vi runs her clubs and on the last comes down to Jx and a diamond in dummy with Qxx hearts in hand. I have to discard from 9xx heart and QD, either being fatal, so 10 tricks made.
OK it was 2D. Now who played it?
South of course.
As East I opened 1D, Bobby bid 2D and Gerry thought about this and passsed. Stewart took a view and passed. I automatically picked up a pass and then realised maybe I should have thought about this, despite the hesitation I can deduce that North has a lot of diamonds and few cards in the majors. I don't need a hesitation to tell me partner has holdings in hearts and spades, so maybe I could have doubled, but difficult after a hesitation.
Anyway Gerry found the best lead of KD and after three rounds of diamonds Bobby played AK and another heart, ruffed and over-ruffed. I pulled the last trump and led a small club. Gerry cashed his heart and returned a club to my Queen. AC and KS and Bobby gets last two tricks for 3 off. Could have gone 4 off if I had played KS instead of a club or if Gerry hadn't cashed QH. Anyway it wasn't doubled. Even if they change to 2 of a major that will surely be 800 as well.
On the next board Bobby opens 1NT and Gerry doubles. 2S by Stewart and I bid 3S, so Gerry takes 3NT.
A spade lead to the Ace and AD catches the Queen and on the lie of the hearts there are 4 tricks there giving 11. Only two of us were in 3NT, everone else in diamond partials.
Against Eileen & Alistair Gerry opens 1D, Eileen bids 2H passed round to Gerry who bids 2S (I was passing a double). Eileen now bids 3H, I double and there we play.
As you can see we have no tricks outside of trumps. I led a diamond ruffed, Eileen crosses to AC, finesses QS, cashes AS and leads a third. I decided to ruff with 10 and exit with a trump. Eileen plays KC and a third which I ruff and exit with a diamond in the end I get my KH and another heart but at the expense of ruffing my partner's spade winner. 9 tricks made.
Issy forewent the JC that would have made it really easy for me and led KD. I pondered what to do about the spades and decided to go up with Ace, no matter the King appeared, so just clubs to negotiate. I led a club to the King and Issy's Jack appears. They say with a choice defender could play either Q or J so you should play other defender for Q. Also Issy might be dutifully showing count with Jx. Anyway I finessed on way back and had 13 tricks. Like I said, I had no idea how many tricks this would make!
Gerry opened 1S and our bidding went:
1S - 2H - 2NT - 3D - 3H - 4D - 4NT - 5H - 6H
Renee led a small club but it doesn't matter where the King is, this is about avoiding two red suit losers. I took the Ace and led QH. Maggie covered (which costs a heart trick) and Renee show out. I crossed to AS and ran 7H and finessed another heart and cashed a fourth. Renee discarded a diamond. Over to KS (forgot to cash a diamond first - very poor) and finessed a diamond, cashed last trump and my diamonds are good for 13 tricks.
1D - 1S - 1NT - 2C - 2H - 4H
Renee found the lead of Ace and JS which I ruffed. I have to do something with the diamonds so led to the King and Maggie's Ace. Maggie plays a third spade. If I ruff with the Ace, finesse 10H, finesse 10D, I will have 10 tricks via a club ruff (6 hearts, 2 diamonds, 2 clubs). However I didn't see it that way and ruffed with the 8, over-ruffed with the 9. Renee exits with a club and I played 2 clubs discarding a diamond and ruffing a club, but I have had it now losing two hearts a diamond and a spade. I don't think I had a coherent plan, but Renee's lead really scuppered me. The two who made 4H from my side both got a diamond lead. I think even I would have made it then.