Still trying to find my way around the Seattle bridge scene, I find myself partnered in an intermediate-level club game with a good player. We're having a good game, sprinkled with the odd misunderstanding when this hand comes up.
Partner opened 1S and I decided that at matchpoints, 3NT was where I wanted to be. A little Hideous Hog of me, I know, but with a 4333 hand with overwhelming strength begs to be played in 3NT and my diamond holding is better if it gets the opening lead ...
I couldn't bid 3NT immediately over 1S because that shows 13-15 points typically and partner with a better hand can't move forward. So, I temporized with a 2C bid. Partner bid 2H and now I was really in a pickle. Do I raise his 2H to 3H, or continue with my original plan of playing in 3NT? It is probably better to now bid 3H, but at the table, I bid 3NT.
Partner now bid 4NT, quantitative. I misunderstood and showed 2 aces. Partner thought this was slam confirmation and 3 hearts, so he bid 6NT.
The opponents inquired closely about our bidding and I had to own up to my 5H as showing 2 aces, not 3 hearts and confirming slam. So, dummy came down and everyone at the table knew that I was in a poor contract.
RHO took his Ace of diamonds and returned a passive diamond. What's your line?
When you are in a poor contract, you visualize a layout that will let you make. I have 12 tricks only if both the spade king and the club queen are onside. What about the ten of spades, though? It has to be doubleton or West has to have it. When LHO turned out to have QTxx of spades and the club finesse through RHO also worked, I apologized to the opponents (click 'next' above to see my line of play).
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