Last week I described experiencing the defender's dream of holding six cards in the opponent's trump suit and having my partner double for takeout so that I was able to convert the double to penalty. This hand came up in the same session, and I watched the auction proceed as shown below. I cannot quite explain why my north-south friends ended up in a 3 heart contract except that south's double over my partner's overcall of diamonds was meant to show the heart suit and a hand that could not bid freely. North felt he had no obvious action except to bid his 3 card suit because he did not want to leave the double in. Good choice! East can make 10 tricks playing in diamonds.
I was tempted to double the contract when it was my turn, but I thought we were in an excellent position defending this contract, and I did not want them to find a better place. I also did not want my partner to make another bid. We set the contract three tricks and got a very good score for that result. After two hands like this in one session, I may have to wait a long time for another such deal.
We are in the middle of the Great Potato Regional at the DoubleTree Riverside convention center, and if you are interested in seeing a major bridge tournament in play you should come for a look. Play starts daily at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. and lasts about three hours each session until Sunday, when play will be over at about 6 p.m.
We had another new players' section in the recent unit game, and congratulate JoAn and John Zanot for their first place finish. Nadine and John Miller won the overall award that day with a 63 percent game. Congratulations to them and to the other winners.
Last weekend we were in Helena for the Grand National Teams final for this area, and competed with a number of other teams for the right to play in the national finals in Chicago. I will describe our experiences next week.