When east-west played this hand without interference, they arrived at the heart game by bidding Stayman, a bidding device that locates 8-card major suit fits. One north player was moved to double the contract, thinking that her heart holding would be good for more tricks than turned out to be true. Those capricious chances of random deals located the heart ace in the east hand rather than with the notrump bidder and 4 hearts doubled was made. I was either brave or foolish enough to try to interfere in the auction by showing a hand that had hearts and some other suit, so east bid quickly to 3 notrump and her partner made that contract quite easily. When my partner played the heart 9 to the first trick I knew there was no future in that suit, so I cleverly switched to spades and set up tricks for declarer in that suit. I was just kidding about the clever!
Declarer can make nine tricks in any event just by leading out the top 2 spades in her hand and finessing for my 10 on the third round, but making nine tricks was not as good as the 10 tricks most other people made in hearts, so we came out with a good matchpoint score.
The unit final for the Grand National Teams competition was held at the club and the team of Kendra and Geoff Bridges with Charlotte Miller and Doug Bullock came first by winning five of their six matches. Lynda Hempel, Judy Isley, Karin Thompson and Craig Jones were second.
The next stage of this event will be contested in Helena, Montana, next month. Teams will play for the honor of representing this district at the summer nationals in Chicago in July. There are four flights of contestants of various skill levels and four teams will win a subsidized trip to the national finals.