Source:  DurhamBy James Carlisle;  06/11/2007

Here’s a hand from last night that I found quite amusing. Sitting down as South for the first hand of the night I’m presented with a pretty standard 1NT opening.

 J x   A Q x x   A x x x   K x x

West North East South
Pass 21 Pass 2
Pass 32 Pass ???
  1. Puppet to 2.
  2. Game force with 5+ s and 4s. Possible slam interest.

It was this point that I made a closer assessment of my hand. Bugger. Here’s what I actually had for my 1NT opening:

   A Q x x   A x x x   K J x x x

Yep, those pesky s had been masquerading as spades again. Looking at my hand I could now see that slam was a good possibility. The bidding continued:

West North East South
Pass 2 Pass 2
Pass 3 Pass 41
Pass 52 Pass 63
  1. Agreeing s, giving partner the opportunity to start cue-bidding with slam interest.
  2. Sign-off with no slam interest.
  3. What the hell, it must be worth a punt with my undisclosed void (albeit in partner’s suit) and two tenace holdings for the opening lead to come in to.

After my 6 comes out of the box partner regards me with a look of mild-disdain, the sort of look one might reserve for a naughty child who’s just been caught scrumping apples for the fourth time. RHO asks me to explain partner’s 3 bid and then LHO proceeds to lead the A. Dummy comes down thusly:

K Q J x   K x x   K Q J x x   x

RHO follows suit and, to the suprise and amazement of all, I ruff in hand and can see at least 12 of the 13 tricks to bring the contract home. At this point all hell breaks loose and LHO gets in a right strop, accusing me of a deliberate psyche, saying she wouldn’t have led a spade if I hadn’t opened 1NT originally (she had the A in hand also). I apologise and explain that it was just an honest mistake. My partner, an experienced TD, points out that, psyche or no-psyche, the result would still stand in tournament play. However, being the first hand of the night we decide to be magnanimous and redeal. After-all, it’s only a game.