The roller coaster effect that Judie Bailey and I saw on our final day at the
Regional Tournament on Wednesday didn’t end for me right away. Playing with Alicia Kolipinski at the Syracuse Club on Thursday, I continued to scale to stellar heights and plunge to abysmal depths, a ride which had Alicia hanging on for dear life. “I’m not used to this,” she exclaimed after I put her into a 6 Spade contract. She rose to the occasion, though, and made it for a top board. Most other pairs didn’t bid the slam, let alone make 12 tricks on the hand. We finished with a 48.15% game, earning .84 of a master point. Airport Bridge
With Usha Khurana on Friday, it was low upon low. In 24 hands, we had six bottom boards (two minus 800s from overbid hands that were doubled), two ties for bottom and just one top, thanks to an offensive lapse by our opponents. (For another bottom that antagonized Usha, see Blog 550). Amazingly, our 37.5% wasn’t dead last. Another pair had 35%.
Called in on Sunday to help fill what turned out to be a three-table Howell game, I was paired with Nancy Wolstoncroft, who said she wanted to play a game with very few conventions. I began to wonder how few in a hand where I opened 2 No Trump, she answered 4 Hearts, I transferred to 4 Spades and she bid 5 Hearts. She didn’t intend a transfer. No harm done, however. She had the Hearts. I had the high cards. She made the contract.
Aside from the torrential thunderstorm that hit in the middle of the game, blacking out the lights for about 30 seconds, the rest of the session was flat, mostly because Nancy and I weren’t getting good hands and partly because of the flubbed defensive tricks that Nancy pointed out to me on several occasions. These three-table Howell games have a way of flattening things out anyway, just because there’s not that much reward for winning a hand when top score is 2 game points. We wound up tied for second place with an even 50%. This being another North American Pairs qualifying game, it was good for 1.43 master points, half red, half black.