Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bridge Blog 556: The Dale Effect

Sitting South for the first of the new Tuesday double sessions at the Airport Bridge Club is Beverly Dale. Beverly’s been cleaning up at the tables lately. She won last week at Delaware Wednesday. On Monday at the Airport Club, she brought 95-year-old Doug Dean in on top with a 60%-plus game.
Sitting North was this Dale, your humble blogger, who was in a funk. He registered a 42.5% game with Alicia Kolipinski last Thursday, took the weekend off to go see the Bisons play in Fenway Park in Boston, then came back to a 45.99% game with Judy Zeckhauser on Monday, a game which both of us thought was going to be much worse. Now, on Tuesday, I arrive at the last minute for the 9:30 a.m. start of the first game after working until 3 a.m. at The News. Not only am I more or less a zombie, but in the five days I’ve been sitting steady at 9.22 points for the month, my place in the monthly master point race at the club has dropped from fourth to 11th. I’m ready for some Dale magic. Beverly Dale, that is.
Unfortunately, the two of us aren’t quite in synch in the first session. I start out by pushing my big Diamond hand to slam, one trick better than it could make, then do a 5 Spade sacrifice on a hand where Harry Cheung and Liz Clark would have failed at 5 Hearts. Worst of all is my run to 6 Spades several rounds later to thwart what looks like a slam by Adrian Figliotti and Mike Silverman. Down three doubled. A bottom board. That, at least, came right after we took them down four doubled vulnerable, which was a top. We have a lot of tops and bottoms, but not enough middle. 44.54%. No points.
The afternoon is better, perhaps because my cards aren’t as good. Not as many wild bids on long suits. More defense. After a three or four rounds, we have that warm feeling that things are going well and the final tally proves it. Fewer tops, fewer bottoms, a lot fatter middle scores. We’re second overall, first North-South, with 60.06%, winning a total of 1.49 points. Monthly total – 10.71. And best of all, back into the club’s Top 10.

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