LotG and I had the biggest score in our direction but we were slightly down when compared with Brian and George at table one. The same was true with tables 3 and 4 and we lost by 990. Unfortunately for our captain he suffered a brief moment of euphoria when his first count had us winning by 10 points, but a quick check showed that he failed to 'carry one' into their thousands column.
What with knitting, gardening and preparation for the World Scrabble Championships LotG has not been playing much. Our first half was pretty solid, just missing a non-vulnerable game (effectively losing 250 points) whilst encouraging the opponents to go overboard regularly.
In the second half we bid two slams, which was one too many. The failing one was instructive as we had the opportunity for a good auction:
Making a jump shift with a relatively weak suit is not always right, but here it did put focus on the critical suit. Our style is to cue bid first round controls before second round, but the critical inference that LotG missed was that I would always cue the king of spades as if it were a first round control; this is safe because she would never jump shift in a suit lacking the top two honours, at least not when she has primary heart support.
So it is almost certain that we are missing the king of spades and an ace, so better to avoid the slam as it cannot be better than a finesse if I happen to hold the queen and jack of spades, and a lot worse when I don't.
At table one their auction was even worse albeit successful, since East just used Blackwood after the opening bid and then randomly passed the five hearts response.
At the end of the match there was an incident that really annoyed me. We came to play our final board but it was nowhere to be found. Two players, who had already finished play, had taken the board off the chair where our "to play" boards were put, taken two hands out of the board and were discussing it at the adjacent table.
Unsurprisingly it was a slam hand that made missing the king of trumps and an ace. Of course, missing two key cards, our opponents did not bid slam so no damage was done. But I was furious: taking our board and discussing it when it was live was clearly not going to be a partial contract.
They did apologise afterwards, saying they thought the board was dead, but it was really disappointing and thoughtless behaviour that could have affected a close match. At least they will be more careful in the future.