Well, some sort of word must have gone out. Three of our regulars are in Phoenix. Another bowed out at the last minute. A quartet we can normally count on didn't show up. Long story short, only 8 players showed up. Well, we can't do a 2-table game (the minimum movement is a 3-table Howell), so I gave them the option of playing an imps cross-teams. One of the eight said he was not interested and went home, so I played with his partner.
We played 12 boards with the teams (initials only):
(A) Lak + P, J+C vs. (B) A+L, M+B
Then, we switched and played 12 boards with the teams configured as:
(C) Lak+P, A+L vs. (D) J+C, M+B
My team won the first match, and tied the second. Overall, it turned out to be quite a fun evening.
P. normally plays Precision, so that was what we decided we would play. We had no time to fill out a convention card and so we decided to "just play bridge". It was going fine, until we ran into a pickle on this hand.
I was South and opened a precision 1H (11-15, 5+ hearts). West preempted, North doubled. I assumed that was takeout and showed cards.
I was 6-5 in hearts and spades, so I bid 3S and partner raised me to 4. My hand was too good to pass 4S, so I bid 4NT (5D should probably be exclusion, but we had not discussed this). Partner responded 5D (1 keycard). Assuming that the keycard was not the Ace of diamonds, I asked about the queen of trumps. If he had responded King of Clubs, I'd have bid the grand but as it was, I contented myself with bidding 6S.
West led the Ace of diamonds (Ace from AK) and this was the hand that partner had:
Partner thought we were playing 1430. His 5D was zero keycards, not one.
Anyway, assume that you are in 6S. Can you make it?
Yes, if West has a singleton spade honor. If she has the singleton Ace, then I can pick it up by playing low from both hands and finessing the queen on the second round. If she has the singleton Queen, I need to plop down the king and then give up a spade trick. What's more likely?
I decided that with a singleton Ace, West would have had 11 points and was more likely to bid 2D than to preempt 3D. So, I played her for the singleton Queen.
Success! Plus 1430.
Our opponents got fixed, but they were quite gracious about it.