The annual Santa Claus Pairs is held at Manchester Bridge Club on a Sunday in December. There is an excellent buffet at half time and plenty of Christmas cheer.
This deal features two of the pairs who finished high up in the field.
Neil Thomas bid a weak jump overcall of three clubs over Gillian MacMullan's one diamond opening. Roger Hopton in the South seat wanted to bid four hearts, but was worried that this might be interpreted as a splinter in support of diamonds, so settled for three hearts forcing. In competitive situations any jump to game in a new suit should be treated as a natural bid, so four hearts was the correct bid. It didn't really matter on this deal, West was bidding six clubs anyway and when that came back to Roger he had a clear sacrifice in six hearts which went two down for -500 and a goodish score for East-West.