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A Joy Forever

This deal makes for a story of great beauty.

Board 19 from Thursday 25/05/2018
Dealer S EW Vul

We played a Howell movement which I, personally, dislike intensely. But here we were, like it or not. When we came to my wife’s table and sat down as East West, my partner (West) opened 1S, North overcalled 2D and I bid 4D, looking for a slam. West bid 4S (nothing else to show) but I was still interested and bid 4NT (RKC), partner 5D (1 or 4 key cards) so I gave up and bid 5S. North doubled this, with four potential tricks, and I redoubled. Everyone passed. Then, upon entering the redoubled contract in the Bridgemate, South realised it was the wrong board!

According to the Director, that board had been played by everybody already. Nobody remembered having played it so we figured that both pairs had played it in the opposite direction, and so it turned out to be. So much for 5S redoubled stone cold. At the end of the session when we compared notes we found that we had played the board earlier as NS and been allowed to play in 5D, my partner making six. My wife and her partner had been allowed to play in 4S when they were EW. Against us, as NS, their bidding had not been great. If I was South and partner overcalled 2D, nothing would stop me bidding 5D when opponents bid 4S.

When my wife and her partner played that same board earlier, their opponents’ bidding was .. how shall I put this .. also quite inept in allowing West to play in 4S. As for the 5S redoubled that never was, some lessons there: do not double when opponents confidently look for a slam and sign off at the five level. But then again, when opponents redouble and you have a hand like South, run to 6D. Then let partner take the kudos for making the doubled slam!