There's a pair joined our club recently. They're not world-beaters, but one of them has been around for a while and is no push-over. His partner is — shall we say — not quite as strong a player, but tries to make up for it — figuratively speaking — by bringing a loaded blunderbuss with a dodgy trigger to the table and absent-mindedly pointing it in random directions.
On the first hand the blunderbuss was firmly pointed at the feet of the partnership concerned.
The one with the blunderbuss is on your right in a teams match and opens 1 in third seat at game all. You are looking at K J 10 9 2 2 Q J 10 6 4 K 3. You don't really fancy a vulnerable Michaels opposite a passed hand so you bid a quiet 1. This goes back to RHO who bids 2. This runs to partner who bids 2. RHO ponders a while and tries again with 3, and you elect to try 3. LHO now wakes from his slumbers with 4, which partner doubles without a care in the world (although it has to be said that such doubles from partner have been known to require accurate defence to save the overtrick, but not this time). Nobody can think of anything else to say.
You lead the J and this is what you see:
Partner wins the Ace, plays his other spade back, and you beat declarer's Queen. For want of anything better to do you decide to play a third round, which declarer ruffs, partner shedding a club. Declarer cashes a couple of top trumps, gazes vaguely at the ceiling (as you take a surreptitious look to see which way the blunderbuss is pointing), and plays a third top trump, partner following all the way. Declarer then crosses to the A and runs the J to your King. You now fall from grace by failing to protect partner from an idiocy. You play the Q which holds. Declarer ruffs the next diamond and cashes a club, but that's it as partner has the J(!!). Of course he should have overtaken the Q, drawn declarer's last trump, allowing you to shed your club loser and leaving your hand high for +1400. Never mind, the actual score produced admiring comments from team-mates along the lines of "how on earth did you contrive to get 800 on a partscore board?".
On the very next board the oppo perpetrate the uncontested auction 1 — 1 — 2 — end, which rolls one off when 1 several off is the normal result. A few IMPs change hands in some direction or other.
A few weeks later our hero picks up Q 4 3 A K 10 7 J 8 7 K 4 2 against the club's star pair at pairs and opens a weak NT. Partner essays Stayman so 2 it is. Partner tries the other convention in their armoury, viz good old-fashioned four-Ace Blackwood. One Ace is admitted to. Partner bids 6. Now seems to be the time for thought. Unfortunately the 5 response means that if 6 is the wrong spot (though why it should be is beyond me) partner's declarer play is not going to be to blame. A Master Bid is therefore called for, and 6 emerges to end the auction.
A club is led and dummy hits with A 10 8 2 (phew, sort of). This is what we see:
So 6 was a good enough spot, assuming you don't have two spade losers, in which event being in 6 is hardly likely to improve matters. Blunderbuss now produces the following obvious line. Win in hand, trump to Ace, trump to Queen (definitely phew now, as the Queen holds and both opponents follow). Now the master stroke: A, K, heart ruff. Whoops, the oppo still have two trumps out, both bosses, so better try to crash them. When that passes off peacefully, the defender with the K doesn't have the J, and the diamonds aren't 5-0, 6 is a claim.