Judy Kaprove asks if I’ve seen the headline in the Tuesday issue of the Bert Garrell Syracuse Regional Tournament’s daily bulletin: “Only Buffalo team wipes out in first round of knock-outs.” Really? Not really, she says with grin. Nevertheless, we seem to do better seeking our fortunes separately.
Judy and Ruthie Kozower try their luck in the Gold Rush Pairs, restricted to players with fewer than 750 master points. Me and my partner, Judie Bailey, have more than 750, so we go into the open pairs, which are divided into two stratifications – A and X, for those with fewer than 2,000 points. Judie and I are in X. There are 16 tables in our A/X game and another 31 ½ tables in two sections in the Gold Rush Pairs. The four of us are the only Buffalo players in the room. Judie, having lived in Syracuse for 20 years, knows many of the East-Wests who come to our table.
Aside from a couple awkward bidding situations, we do well in the 24-board morning session, in which we play 12 of the 16 other pairs – 53.22%, tied for sixth in A, third in X, .84 of a red point. Judy and Ruthie do a bit better in the Gold Rush Pairs – slightly over 54%, third in A, slightly more than a whole red point. If we could score well in the afternoon session, we might actually pick up gold points.
Alas, we do not. In 24 hands, Judie and I take 15 of the bids and go down one on nine of them. Is down one good bridge? Not for us. Out of a possible 99 game points, we earn just 31. There’s a lesson here – let the other guys take the bids. In the end, it’s a 44.7% game. In the composite score for the morning and afternoon sessions, we are 10 points short the 11 leaders in A and the five leaders in X. Judy and Ruthie do even worse – below 40%. We soothe our battered sensibilities with some excellent pierogis and golumkis at an outstanding Polish restaurant called Eva’s on Milton Avenue over by the state fairgrounds. Judy and Ruthie then point their Camry toward Buffalo and ride off into the drizzling rain. Judie and I are sticking around. We’ll give the pairs one more try on Wednesday.