What a mob scene the Swiss team grand finale of the Buffalo Spooktacular Regional Tournament is! I can’t catch the full number of teams, but it seems like more than 70 (we’re No. 47).
The competition, meanwhile, seems positively incestuous. Our first opponents are the team headed by Dave and Jane Larcom, which includes another East Aurora denizen, Rob Hessel, and our friend from the Niagara Peninsula, Andy Fairweather. How did my flogging go? he wonders (see Blog 596). Blogging, I tell him. Blogging. They’re another C strat team and we don’t want to beat them badly, but we do, 33-7 IMPs, which gives us a high victory point total right off the bat. This is not good, I tell teammates Pawan Matta, Florence Boyd and Usha Khurana. We’re going to get tougher opponents.
Our second round foes, Guelph guys, are rated as C players, but we’re told later that the Chinese guy, Gary, has only joined the ACBL lately and is much better than his master point total indicates. No kidding. They vanquish us, 24-9, our weaknesses showing up in two games that we should have bid. Take those away and we lose only by a couple IMPs.
Third round pits us against a guy from Mentor, Ohio, and a guy from Astoria, Queens. Agreeable enough folks, but they’re an A team and they squash us, 20-2, thanks partially to me not taking Usha out of a 3 Heart bid when I’m void in the suit.
Fourth round opponents also are A team, the Evans team, grandma and grandson playing Pawan and Flo, dad Chris and mom Debbie playing me and Usha. This time we prevail, 27-22, and I’ll take credit for 22 of our points on offense, engineering a successful 5 Diamonds doubled sacrifice (down two, not vulnerable) and a vulnerable 3 No Trump with an overtrick.
After we beat a Toronto couple, Doug and Ann, in the fifth round, I reckon that we’re on top of the C strat with 83 victory points so far. We might just collect some extra red master points, maybe even gold. But that would require winning one of our last two rounds. We don’t.
Up against Buffalonians John Kirsits and Paula Kotowski, part of the Carlton Stone team, a B team, we succumb, 17-10, thanks to an overbid by Usha and an underbid by our teammates at the other table. Then we face my Wednesday-Thursday knockout teammates. Al is at our table with Bill, the guy who played with him Saturday, and although five of the seven scores are on our side of the line, at the other table, all seven are on the opposing side. They whip us big, 24-1.
We finish with 92 IMPs and three wins in individual matches. The match wins are worth 0.36 red point apiece, giving us all 1.08. To get more, we needed one more win. With 96 IMPs, we would be sixth in the C strat, netting more than 2 red points. With 108 IMPs, we’d match the Carlton Stone team, which is 12th in B and gets gold. Add 20-odd points to our total, which one more victory would give us, and we match Al and Alison’s team, which is ninth in B and second in C, with 2.83 gold points.
Summary for the week. Tuesday: 0. Wednesday and Thursday: 9.37 gold for second place in the knock-outs. Friday: 0.91 red for winning our first knock-out match. Saturday: 0.46 red for winning our first match in the compact knock-outs and another 0.30 red for winning 1.5 rounds in the single session evening Swiss team game. Sunday: 1.08. Looks like my tournament total is a grand 12.12.