We earned a good score with accurate defence on this board against a couple of trialists.
There are a few interesting aspects to the auction. Does my double of two spades create a force or can we let them play in a three-level contract undoubled? Is Sam's double penalty or take-out? I was fairly confident that Sam played penalty doubles in this auction but some do play take-out. Dummy was not reassuring on this point when it went down!
My club switch at trick two was obvious but required to ensure that the contract went down. Double-dummy declarer can make eight tricks with the non-intuitive spade continuation after winning the ace of diamonds, although this would only save a couple of matchpoints. However playing the natural-looking heart allowed careful defence to force dummy and create a second undertrick.
In the final round we played Brian and Alan, practising for this weekend's Seniors Camrose where they will be trying, with Roy, David, Mike and Liz to regain the trophy. I held a very distributional hand on the penultimate hand:
The instinctive reaction is two diamonds. But you are allowed to think, so where are the spades? How many does Sam hold? What is Sam's point count and distribution? We were playing four-card suits and a weak one notrump, and would open a four-card minor before a four-card major. Double of two clubs by Sam would be take-out.
Reconstruct the hand and let me know what you'd call now!
Overall we did little that was spectacular and followed our usual policy of Sam's aggression in the auction and me trying to catch. I let some points slip away by reverting to imps rather than matchpoints, but the result shows we were largely successful.
I'll be playing the Russell a few times over the summer. Wonder if I'll have enough counters to make an impression!