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East deals  S x x x 
 H x x x 
 D A x x x 
 C T 9 x 
 S T 8 x x x     
 H 2 
 D J T 8 x x 
 C J x 
both vul  S A K J x 
 H A K J T 
 D Q 
 C K Q 8 x 
 S Q 
 H Q x x x x 
 D K x x 
 C A x x x 

West
B Youngs


2D
North
D Elstein


pass
East
D Pinto

2C
2NT
South
J Matthews

pass
all pass

West
T Tahseen


North
S Cope


East
T Kenney

1C

South
A Morris

all pass


Another Push Board

This is a hand from the Portland Bowl 3rd/4th place match, Cambridge B vs Leeds. First in hand East has a tough decision—a 1-level opener might get passed while 2NT shouldn't really have a non-ace singleton. I think Dom's choice of 2C then 2NT is an overbid, as the queen of diamonds is not full value. If you want to show the hand as balanced I prefer opening 2NT. Worried about the lack of a diamond guard I might be tempted to reply 3H to 5-card Stayman. Anyway, Bryony forgot that they were playing transfers over the 2NT rebid, and so passed it. It made ten tricks, 180 to Leeds.

At the other table, I disliked describing my hand as balanced, so decided to risk a 1C opening. Teymur now has a difficult decision—I think that on balance the benefits of a 1S response outweigh the risk, as either side might have a major-suit game. Teymur decided to pass and I was left in 1C. I got a small heart lead, so I won the ten and ruffed the jack, then played the jack of trumps, which was allowed to hold. I crossed to the ace of spades (the queen dropping) and continued with the king of clubs. South took the ace and continued hearts. I then cashed the queen of clubs, and when the ten fell I could cash the rest of the tricks. 170 to Cambridge, and a push board.