Harry, Adrian, Jim and I would not be near the top of many people's list for solid and reliable performances, so the hands must have been very boring for us to have ten flat boards. On the remaining six, which remained unexciting, we lost 16-17 imps for a 15-15 VP draw.
As you might expect, this has left me very little to talk about but we did get one double imps swing when Jim took advantage of a defensive error.
Our auction was typical 2/1. I had a difficult initial choice but a couple of factors pushed me to upgrade my hand and bid two diamonds: a one notrump response would not make things any easier if Jim rebid two hearts and it would wrong-side a three notrump contract if Jim had spades; secondly, my three diamonds bid in this auction might be non-forcing. Of course the latter thought was optimistic - we had not agreed it even though it is a common treatment and Jim would not risk it, even if he thought it could be non-forcing. Even so, I was happy enough with the two diamonds response.
West led the Beer Card (always a defensive error) and when a low diamond was returned Jim pitched a club as West ruffed. Despite the apparent signal a spade was led to East's ace and he continued with a diamond.
Jim now made the excellent play of ruffing with the ace of hearts. He can only make the contract if he can discard a club on the queen of diamonds. For this to happen he needs West to only hold two hearts as he has a single (trump) entry to dummy. If West holds two trumps, then East will have three and he will be unable to avoid a loser when East holds the queen. So the only position where you can make the contract is when West holds the doubleton queen of hearts and he must ruff with the ace of hearts. Excellent play.
Of course it was to no avail here. Or it should not have been until West underruffed. A careless error perhaps exacerbated by the fact that all the cards were red. This let Jim make the contract and hand us ten imps.
More ICL action next week.