These days, most tournaments take place either on Bridge Base Online or Realbridge. I far prefer BBO for one reason: privacy. By contrast, Realbridge uses cameras and microphones — meaning you can’t play in your pyjamas, let anyone wander into the room, or shout at the screen when annoyed. Just as bad, you see far more of your opponents than you might want. Recently, I played against a man who was busy chomping on a hamburger, giving us a gory close-up of the inside of his mouth; then there was the woman who must have forgotten her camera was still on between rounds, and gave her a nose a thorough picking.
Anyway, I was relieved to be playing on BBO last week in the international Monthly Mixed Teams. I was on Jonathan Harris’s team, which is always fun: Jonathan is a wonderfully supportive captain, and Steve Root, my partner, makes everyone laugh with his witticisms. We got knocked out during the quarter-finals, but scored well on this board, with the help of a convention we both like: ‘inverted minors’.
My raise of Steve’s 1♣ (showing 2+ clubs) to 2♣ was game-forcing and denied a major. Steve’s 2NT showed a balanced hand; I could now bid 3♣ to set trumps without fear of being passed. Steve’s 3♥ showed heart values, and when I cue bid 4◆ he cued 4♠. His response to Keycard Blackwood showed two keycards without the trump queen — and I bid slam. East led the ♠J, and Steve drew trumps and knocked out the ♥A for 12 tricks.