Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bridge Blog 590: Not-so-great expectations

My delight at playing opposite Selina Volpatti for the first time in many, many months in the Swiss teams game on Sunday at the Airport Bridge Club quickly diminished. Our mutual exuberance expressed itself in a burst of overbidding, for which we were promptly slapped down.
Laid equally low were our teammates, Rob Hessel from East Aurora, who teaches bridge in adult education classes there, and Nancy Warren, a law firm librarian who said she only plays three or four times a year. After we were shut out in each of the first two rounds, she was taking headache pills. We have more chances, I said, hoping to reassure her. Even if we win only one round, we’ll get points. We’ll even get a fraction of a gold point.
Our fortunes did, indeed, begin to change. We won three of the remaining four rounds and emerged with just enough victory points to come in first in the C strat, which turned out to be highly rewarding – 2.61 master points, with 0.16 gold.
That put my total for the month at a healthy 16.87 and, best of all, inched me into second place in the club’s overall master point race for the year with 149.23 points, fractionally ahead of Mike Silverman at 149.10. First-place Jerry Geiger is way out front with 181.02.
Mike regained second place on Monday, winning more than a point as he played with Art Matthies. They got a top board from me and Judy Zeckhauser, thanks to a 5 Diamond sacrifice bid that went down four instead of down three. Judy and I feared that we had a 30% game going and were amazed to find ourselves at 47.89%, not winners, but we felt better anyway.
Beverly Dale and I had the same sinking feeling on Tuesday. Everything seemed to go wrong. I indulged in another sacrifice flame-out for minus 800. And Beverly, who’s normally sharp, was losing tricks she didn’t have to lose. On one 5 Diamond contract, where everybody else made an overtrick, she forgot a trump was out and went down one. Imagine our surprise to find ourselves at the top of the North-Souths on the preliminary score sheet. We slipped a little when the final tallies were posted, but still finished with 55.18%, second in our direction, for 1.43 points. Total for month now – 18.30.

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