Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bridge Blog 524: Buffalo Spring Sectional Day 3

          “You should stay home,” my better half tells me as I shuffle to the shower Sunday morning. Well, I should, I say, but I left my little tote bag at the fire hall Saturday. It’s got my date book and phone numbers in it. I’d have to go out there to pick it up. Besides, after 12 hours rest, I felt better, although my voice sounded like the late Levon Helm after he got throat cancer.
          My Swiss team – Faith Perry, Jane Larcom (replaced at halftime by her husband Dave) and Flo Boyd – were happy to see me. I was happy to see that my tote bag was right where I left it. And I was definitely happy to see that Sunday morning hospitality involved plenty of bagels and cream cheese, from Panera’s, someone said. The lunch, although I didn’t buy one, also looked good – paninis, also perhaps from Panera’s.
          There were 21 teams in the game and, as always, our aim was to lose early so we wouldn’t be pitted against the strongest players, then make a comeback against the weaker teams. We succeeded in the first round, in a moderate way, losing by just three International Match Points, 19-16, to Bob Padgug and Tova Reinhorn. We followed that up by blitzing new Life Master Barb Landree (she got her final qualifying points Saturday morning) and Carol Bedell. 43-6, and squeaking past Gaurang Sheth and Sushil Amlami, 24-21.
          That made us sitting duck for the Feldman team, a quartet of Canadians down from Oakville, Ont. We fell to them, 10-0, right before the lunch break. Dave Larcom checked the scoreboard and informed us that we were in eighth place overall.
          After lunch, we lost a 19-18 squeaker to Beena and Madhav Deshmukh (their teammates were the Ahmads, who are always tough), then ran into the rebounding John Ziemer and Jerry Geiger, who had started out poorly but now were back to normal. They gave us our worst defeat, 19-4.
          Going into the final round against the Montgomery team, from Rochester (the New Zealand woman, Jenn, who did well Friday and Saturday, was on their team), I didn’t expect us to recover much.  What’s more, I kept picking up biddable hands that I couldn’t overbid with. So in our first hand, when Mary Ann Montgomery bid 2 Hearts over my opening Spade, I looked at my four-Heart holding and passed. She’d taken my bid. At the other table, West had doubled. Same result. South was down three, but that was 8 IMPs for them because of the double. Restraint paid off the rest of the way, though. We set them four more times and wound up with another blitz, 36-8. That translated into 30 Victory Points, lifting us to a total of 112 for the day, just enough to land us in the fifth and final bonus point slot in the B stratification. The bonus – 1.9 points. Total for the tournament: 7.52. Am I grateful? You bet. That’s as many points as I’ve earned in club play so far all month.

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