There’s one in every session, a hand that when the traveler is opened the collective question is “How in the h_ll did that happen?” Rarely is any explanation forthcoming, but here’s the answer for one such hand. Tonight my partner and I landed in a bad 3NT contract (okay, I probably shouldn’t drag her into this, really I landed in a bad 3NT contract) but I was lucky enough to get a lead that gave me nine, but only nine, tricks off the top (by “off the top”, I mean if I guess the diamond suit right and by “nine” I mean ten, but only because the club suit behaves for me). Still, with a little help from my opponents, I made six. (The whole hand can be found here.) In their defense, they put backs on the cards for a reason. Still I think a number of people would have opened West’s hand leading to a completely different auction.
On an unrelated note, one tries not to eavesdrop on other tables during lags in the action, but sometimes it can’t be helped. And sometimes the things one overhears are totally bizarre. Tonight I overheard another player demanding to know, “Did she just call me an ‘albatross’?!” She insisted that she had not.