Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bridge Blog 515: The long March

You’d think I would be snapping up master points now that the Airport Bridge Club has gone into offering double points almost every day, but not so. With a handful of days to go, I’m sitting at a little under 6 points for the month.
Not that I’ve been striking out completely. My first partnership with Art Schumacher (whose normal partner Barbara Multerer is in Florida) was productive on Friday – a shade over 50% (50.01%, to be exact), for .34 points at second in the C strat. My pairing with a really good player on Saturday – Mike Kisiel – could have been at least as rewarding, but our 52.74% was just short of what we needed to score in the A strat (my scorecard is full of remonstrations to myself – these cards could use more space for that kind of thing, maybe I should follow Don Grant’s example and make up some of my own).
I got lucky on Monday in that my scheduled partner, Marie Suprinick, called to say she got a last-minute doctor appointment. Teamed with sub Ruth Hnath (the first person I played duplicate with back in 2005), we had a stellar session – 56.25%, fourth overall, second in B, .98 of a point. Tuesday wasn’t as lucky. Ruth Wurster and I stumbled in at 44.30%, sixth out of eight East-Wests, thanks in part to hands like this one, Board 21, the very first board of the day. If I’m not mistaken, I believe I shuffled the cards:
Spades: None; Hearts: K-J-9-7-6-5-4-3-2; Diamonds: 10-9-6; Clubs: 7.
North-South is vulnerable. North is dealer – John Kirsits. He passes. Ruth opens 1 Spade. South – Paula Kotowski – goes 2 Clubs. Me, I don’t think I’ve ever had a nine-card suit before, but I think it’s worth going straight to game – 4 Hearts. Ruth bids 4 No Trump, asking for Aces. Having none, I bid 5 Clubs. She goes to a shut-out bid of 5 Hearts, clearly figuring that’s all it’s worth.
John leads his partner’s suit, a Club, and when I see Ruth’s hand, I’m certain that we’re making 5 Hearts, plus an overtrick:
Spades: A-Q-J-9-8-5-3-2; Hearts: A-Q; Diamonds: A; Clubs: 5-2.
I play Ruth’s low Club, Paula comes up with the Ace and I trump it. Bad move. I must have been thinking Spades. She leads something else that I take and then run out the rest of the tricks, losing only a final …Club. Naturally, there’s a director call. Two-trick penalty. Down one. Not a good omen for the rest of the session. Here are the other hands:
Spades: K-10-7-4; Hearts: 10; Diamonds: K-Q-8-5-2; Clubs: J-10-3.
Spades: 6; Hearts: 8; Diamonds: J-7-4-3; Clubs: A-K-Q-9-8-6-4.
But it wasn’t a bottom board. Judi Marshall remarked later that she played it at 5 Spades doubled and went down two. She was the bottom, but she did well otherwise in spite of it. Top was Mike Kisiel, who bid 6 Hearts and make an overtrick. Only one other West bid the slam. Two of them stopped at 5 Hearts, making an overtrick, like I should have. That would have given me 4 game points, instead of 2.5. The people who boosted me up were the ones who played it in Spades. Aside from Judi, one bid 4 Spades, down one, and the other played 4 Spades, down two.

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