But on the following hand, I judged that there'd be very little field support for going down so I persevered to the very end.
2D p p Dble p 2S p 2N p 3N p p p
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Ever have that feeling when dummy goes down that you haven't got a hope of making the contract? I certainly had it. The ♦J was led and when East played the Q I had to make up my mind whether to take it or not. It seemed almost certain that it was singleton but there was little point in end-playing him at trick 1 so I won with the king. I would certainly look a bit silly if the diamonds were divided 5-2 and hadn't taken the first trick. At that point, if I'd known that clubs were 4-3, I'd have played off three clubs and endplayed East for 10 tricks. But I hoped that the spades might just be 3-3 so I played ace and low to the nine, thus ducking a spade to East. East had an easy out with the club so now my best possible result was making (though I didn't really expect to). I played off three rounds of clubs finishing in dummy and tried the ten. No good, West showing out. Hoping for an endplay, I played the fourth spade. East was down to five hearts at this point and got out with the knave. My first thought was that obviously he didn't have the king because he'd lead low. But no, he wouldn't as that would put me in dummy (to enjoy the last spade) if I guess right. Plus, he (the robot) knew at that point that his partner wouldn't be able to return a heart after cashing out the diamonds. I therefore won with the queen and then played low to the ten, end-playing East again for the contract.
Nine other humans were in 3NT, four were in spade games/slam (all down) and one was in 4NT. Only four players made nine tricks, despite the fact that really the only skill required was to take to heart the old adage: Never give up.