Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bridge Blog 375: Mustard round

          That’s what Bill Rieker called it when he wanted a slow game to catch up – i.e., ketchup – to the place in time where it should be. I’ve been so busy that the blog has fallen behind, so here’s getting back on pace with highlights of the past week or so – masterpoints, the Airport Bridge Club eighth anniversary weekend, things like that.
          Let’s start with the anniversary weekend, which was last Saturday and Sunday, the 22nd and 23rd. For Saturday, director Bill Finkelstein decided to do a morning pairs game and, for the afternoon, revive his old individual game with cash prizes. The afternoon game went past 5 p.m., which made it a long day, but everyone stuck around to see if they beat Bill in head-to-head play, thereby winning a buck for each time they did it. It took what seemed like forever to tabulate and he wound up overpaying a few people by a dollar, myself among them. No, he said, he won’t take the dollar back. I love the individual game, but didn’t do very well – 12th out of 17 players with a 44.45%.
          Sunday featured a pot luck luncheon and rather than be my usual freeloading self, I thought I’d bring something. But what? They’d have too many desserts. They’d have too much in the way of nibbles and appetizers. I needed an inspiration and I got one as I woke up to Weekend Edition on NPR that morning. It was National Pie Day. And what would be a main dish that was like a pie? A quiche. I found a lovely one at the Lexington Co-op, cheddar and broccoli. Looking for a meaty one to go with it, I wound up in Wegmans, picking up a smaller and somewhat less wonderful quiche lorraine. Popped them into the microwave at the club and voila! They turned out to be a big hit. Nothing left over. Indeed, it was fine pot luck. Kudos to partner Judy Kaprove’s spicy Thai noodle salad and Barbara Sadkin’s sinful chocolate cake. To top it off, Judy and I managed to squeak into the points with a 50.93% game.
          OK, points. Not a happy subject. I’ve been picking up fractions here and there all week. With Marilyn Sultz last Saturday morning, it was 52.98% and .76 point. Judy and I got .25. And all week long I’ve been bumping along a few percentage points on either side of 50%. Point total for the month at the club is a little over 7. I’ll need a good showing in the last two games of January just to get into double digits.
          Paired up today, Saturday the 29th, with Dottie May, we coulda been contenders and, indeed, if we hadn’t been so boneheaded, we probably would have come in third. Here’s a partial litany of our sins. I doubled Carlton Stone in a competitive 4 Heart contract, then saw him drop a King as Dottie’s second Spade winner cleared out my doubleton. She led a third Spade and, figuring Carlton to be out of Spades, too, I pitched a Diamond. Carlton, however, was not out of Spades. So instead of winning that trick and setting him, he went on to draw trump and make the contract.
In other places, there were sins of omission. Once I set up an entry to the dummy with the Queen of Diamonds so that I could cash a couple high Spades and get rid of losing Hearts, but then didn’t call from the Queen when I played toward it. Argh-h-h! Down three instead of down one. And then Dottie, as she was running a long Spade suit against a No Trump contract, pulled out a Club instead and set the opponents by only one trick instead of two. Despite half a dozen of these, we wound up with 48.52%, but we should have been well over 50%.

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