To be a big winner at the Buffalo sectional tournaments, you’ve got to win the Sunday Swiss team game. The foremost foursome was rewarded with 7.50 silver points and the tournament’s three top point-getters were members of that team – Jay Levy (17.93), Bud Seidenberg (15.92) and Saleh Fetouh (14.99).
Our team – Faith Perry and Pawan Matta, Florence Boyd and me – didn’t play those guys, but we played the third-place winners – Brian Meyer, Susan Cooper, Dan Gerstman and his Toronto buddy – in the second round and lost by 15 International Match Points. We were surprised to playing them at all in the second round, since they were clearly one of the best teams, but perhaps they started out against the Levy team. It could have been closer – we should have set Meyer in a 3 NT contract, but discarded carelessly on his long suit, and Flo should have picked up an extra trick in one of her contracts. That would have made us nearly even.
We didn’t expect to beat Brian Meyer & Co., but we clearly thought we’d nail the Southern Tier ladies we faced in the next round. However, I failed to unblock a winning Diamond in the dummy, going down two doubled instead of one, and commotion near Faith and Pawan’s table broke their concentration and their makeable North-South slam failed, while at our table our opponents made it. We lost by only two IMPs.
We had similar hopes for the next round, but I blew a chance to set 3 Hearts doubled vulnerable and it made all the difference. It cost us 14 IMPs and we lost by 15. After lunch, we took on the only other winless team and it was our worst defeat yet, 22 IMPs. Our only success came in the sixth round, against Barbara Sadkin and Sandy Scheff. If we didn’t come in last, it was only because they slipped in behind us. Final result – just 0.26 of a silver point. And although I was determined to be nonchalant about our fate today, it was still distressing to let those two middle rounds slip away. At any rate, my goal of 3 points for the tournament was exceeded. The final tally – 3.78 points, 43rd overall, one notch behind Meg Klamp (3.83), one ahead of Arthur “Chip” Kean (3.73).
P.S.: Morning hospitality was bagels from Panera’s, the bakery café chain, accompanied by only three containers of cream cheese, which ran out quickly, plus one of butter and one of fake butter. Bagels and butter? Not a popular choice. Between round two and round three, I took it upon myself to run next door to the deli attached to Dick’s Christmas store and bring back a couple more packages of cream cheese. Dian Petrov suggested that the supply of bagels was too much for the cream cheese. Au contraire. The new cream cheese disappeared quickly, just like the first batch, leaving the butter behind.