Patrick was particularly exhausted after the game. His regular partner, Iain, does not allow him to be declarer so when he noticed that I was more tolerant he took advantage and played 12 hands to my seven.
Travelling home with Reg and Diana the first hand we discussed was board 8. We all failed to find the answer in the auction:
At our table North's bid of three spades is a bit lame: the four spades bid at Diana's table makes it far more difficult. Even so, it is not easy for the West hand to be progressive with poor clubs and a lack of controls and I expect that those who bid the grand slams were pleased to find that it was such a good contract.
In our auction, I hoped my redouble would show first round spade control and a non-minimum. I could have held a balanced 12-14 hand with only three clubs, so I wanted to say that I was better than this. Patrick wanted to leap to the grand, but was concerned that I may have wasted spade values. We scored 11/24 as some pairs found the spade sacrifice, which played very well when the defence failed to lead trumps. Archie was bemoaning his luck when he and Iain saved in seven spades, only to find that Tim (or Les) went on to 7NT for an outright top.
The other wild hand was board 18.
Eight of the twelve tables played in five hearts doubled making eleven tricks. The N/S pairs who pushed on to five spades were deservedly rewarded with a good score when their opponents continued to six hearts doubled (three tables), although one pair was allowed to play five spades undoubled.
The auctions were definitely varied and I heard that some opened the East hand with a weak two-suited two hearts opener. I guess some may have opened one heart and I would have considered four hearts. But it seems that almost all routes led to the same spot.