Playing N/S with Gerry in the Club Pairs Championship came just above the middle with 53%. We went off in a number of games, some a little pushy but on another night they all make.
Gerry opened 1H and we play Bergen raises with 4 card support and 3C shows 7-9, however I pondered over that. I hate this hand, 4333, 10 losers, Jacks are really worthless, no intermediates, I really thought about just bidding a minimum 2H but, 9 points I really couldn't, so put down 3C. Now Gerry thought, 16 points, should go for game but flattish, doubleton Q, could settle for 3H at Pairs, but finally decided on 4H.
So despite 25 points we both reluctantly bid to game and how right we were to be hesitant. Hopeless contract, Ian led 9C so that suit shows up for just 1 loser and Gerry lost 2 trumps and a spade for -1.
Nothing to the play, Cathy and Joan quickly cashed 3 major suit winners and played a third spade. I gave up AC, ruffed the fourth spade high, drew last club and finessed QD for 2 down -300 against the vulnerable game.
There is an outside chance of defeating 4H, diamond lead, AQ cashed, club exit. Now if declarer plays hearts any other way than Ace and another, South gets in to give North a ruff.
A diamond was led, won in hand. I played a club to the 9 and finessed JH. Now JC to QC and a second finesse. I had 10 tricks now by exiting with a diamond, but if I can lose a second trick I can put pressure on and maybe squeeze an 11th, so I tried a small spade, confident that a diamond would come back. Sure enough Liz won the 5S and returned a diamond to Ace and Bill cleared the diamonds ( I discarded a spade). I now cash my clubs and a complete count of the hand shows up with Liz only 2-2 in the minors. So on the 4th club Liz has to decide to keep K10 of 1 major and singleton K of the other. Whichever she chooses I will come down to the opposite AJ of spades AH or AS, A4H and I make the last three tricks.
The bidding came to me in 3rd seat, I though about opening 1S but decided, despite that pathetic diamond holding to up the ante and open a Lucas 2S. Issy doubles, Gerry raises to 3S and Willie tries 3NT. I led a small spade to Queen and King, Willie cashes 4 diamonds, reverse finesses the heart once for 3 heart tricks and with AC has 9 tricks for a second top (one pair made 10).
Phyllis led a heart to the Ace and it looked like 8 tricks, but run the clubs and see what happens. So Gerry played KC and there went that idea. Gerry now gave Phyllis her club trick and she exited with a spade, ducked, another spade taken by Ace. Gerry runs his clubs and Irene tenaciously holds on KQ10 diamonds and lets her hearts go. Gerry exits with a spade, Phyllis can cash KQ and has to lead diamonds, Gerry ducks KD but then makes last two tricks for a well played 1 down.