Friday, March 9, 2012

Bridge Blog 510: Trail of tears

          Talk about a slump … I came into Friday’s game at the Airport Bridge Club with two straight dead-last finishes – a 38.78% with Celine Murray on Wednesday and a 33.98% with Marie Suprinick on Thursday (Celine got another 38.49% playing with Marilyn Sultz). Come to think of it, the earlier part of the week wasn’t so hot either, what with 44.74% with Isabelle Banas on Sunday (which nevertheless earned us a fraction of a point in the C strat) and a 40.83% with Sharon Chang on Monday. The exception was Tuesday’s game with the lovely Pawan Matta, who was bidding adventurously. We were good with a 55.56%, first in B in our direction, harvesting 1.38 points, this being one of the club’s double-point games.
          I originally was playing with Mike Silverman on Friday, but I wound up having to schedule a hard-to-get medical appointment for 12:30 p.m., so I let Mike off the hook and he lined up Mike Kisiel. Then, when my appointment got moved to a more bridge-friendly time on Thursday, I e-mailed Selina Volpatti to see if we might renew our usually profitable partnership. She, however, is too busy with taxes and her duties as a regional counselor over in Canada, so she bowed out.
          So who do I get paired with when I arrive without a partner? One of Mike Kisiel’s favorite partners, Alex(andra) Miller. Alex says she plays a very basic game, so basic that when we were presented with one of club director Bill Finkelstein’s pre-prepared hands that demanded a Michaels cue bid, I bid my five-card suit instead. The bidding went differently, but the outcome was the same – the opponents (Kisiel and Silverman) still bid and made their slam.
          Alex was sure that we were doing poorly, and I couldn’t contradict her, but I was pleasantly surprised when the partial final tally was posted and we were at 50%. Unfortunately, our bottom boards hadn’t been included yet. We finished at 44.94%, a fraction of a percentage point ahead of the last-place North-Souths and, amazingly, a percentage point ahead of the two Mikes.

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