Thirty years ago simultaneous pairs were not a lot of fun to play. Every hand tended to have some random point to it that often featured playing for a 5-0 break in trumps. Wild distributions abound and all you thought about was murdering the setter. A lot of people remember these days and avoid these events, but nowadays deals are either just random computer dealt hands or a series of hands from a championship.
However people might have been doubting this, and starting to curse Iain Sime (this year's setter), when the first hand delivered this bidding challenge:
We were arrow-switched out of this monstrosity so we watched our opponents bid to four spades, making the normal eight tricks. At least they didn't bid slam like one pair of unfortunates.
We scored well throughout the evening but, as in all matchpoints competitions, every trick counts and I thought we did well on a very simple hand:
LotG led the three of diamonds and this ran to declarer's eight. Slightly surprisingly she decided to attack spades first rather than continue diamonds. LotG won the third round and switched to a small heart, allowing me to lead clubs through declarer. This allowed us to make three clubs, two hearts, a spade and a diamond to beat the contract.
In the commentary on this hand Iain says, "Those .. that pull out fourth best of their longest and strongest will be disappointed with the outcome ... but 1NT can still be beaten". Whilst this is true, it is not going to be particularly obvious to South on how to do this. In fact, if declarer continues diamonds and South wins the ace at some point, there is only one card guaranteed to beat the contract. Bonus points if you can work out which card is needed.
We scored 65% at the club but I expect this will go down a little when scored across the country.