We had such a good start in the afternoon session of the Swiss teams game Friday. Even our loss in the first round wasn’t a bad one. Minus the one bad board, we would have won it. My fault. After two passes, I bid a 3 Heart preempt in the third seat, thinking to shut out the East guy, whose name was Lou. Trouble was, my hand was too strong for the preempt. Seven Hearts headed by the Ace-Queen, Ace-Queen-x of Clubs. No Spades at all. Lou steps up with a 3 Spade bid. Partner John Kirsits, who has a weak hand with three Hearts in it, passes. We set Lou by one trick. At the other table, Lou’s teammates bid 4 Hearts vulnerable and made an overtrick. Without that, we would have beaten them 11-9 IMPs, which would have given us 19 victory points, instead of six.
We excelled in the next three rounds, though, winning them 14-11, 16-8 and 15-8. By the time we broke for dinner, we had 72 VPs and were tied for fourth in B, which would get us 2 or 3 gold points if we kept up the good work.
Our good work put us up against good opponents in round five – Buffalo people, Mike Ryan and Bert Feasley. Yet we played well against them. After five boards, we made a 5 Diamond game that the other side didn’t and avoided serious damage when they went to 6 Hearts doubled, not vulnerable, to keep us from making a 4 Spades vulnerable game. We were up 9-3 IMPs when we played the final board. Mike Ryan went to 4 Spades and John, holding five good Spades, made a perfectly reasonable double. (The dummy and I had one Spade each.) At any rate, Ryan drew one round of trump, ran out four good Heart tricks, got a couple Diamonds and finally end-played John on the 11th card, obliging him to lead from a Q-8 of Spades into a K-10. Plus 790. I didn’t think it would be so bad, assuming that our teammates also bid 4 Spades and made it undoubled. But theydidn’t. They bid 4 Spades, all right, but Helen Panza went down two. That gave them 14 IMPs, beating us 17-9. Had John set Mike Ryan or if our teammates had figured out how to make 4 Spades, we would have beaten those folks.
John was spooked and we never recovered. The next team shut us out, followed by Sally and Gary from Wheeling, W. Va., who fought us to a draw on four hands, then made game where our partners didn’t and beat us 9-1. Our bid for gold was over. In the final round, because one team walked out (was it those people who erupted in the corner during round five and were threatened with being thrown out?), we were pressed into a three-team round robin. We beat one of the teams and lost to the other. We got credit for half a win. Each round you won was worth .31 of a master point, so for the day we won either 1.08 or 1.09. Add that to our 1.79 from Thursday and we can’t be too unhappy, even though we didn’t get any gold.