Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bridge Blog 606: Out of clock

Looks like the calendar has run out on my 20-point ambitions for November. One day left. Still 3.5 points short, since Florence Boyd and I were unsuccessful Thursday in the triple-point game at the Amherst Bridge Club. We seemed to play well, though we spent two-thirds of the session on defense, but I think we missed reaching the lower ranks of the winners because of a certain mindless error on my part.
We’re North-South at Table 1 in a 9 ½ table game. Three hands per round. Top score on a board is 8.
Pair 1 (Marilyn Sultz – my Friday partner -- & Ruth Wurster): 8, or 33.33%. We probably get 50% if I make an early Club lead in the first hand and hold them to just 2 Spades. My 1 Spade contract, bid and made, is a high middle board, but we should have let them play for a part score instead of bidding 4 Hearts, doubled, down two.
Pair 9 (Art Schumaker & Barb Multerer): 14, or 58.33%. I make a tough 3 NT bid, tie for a top board.
Pair 8 (Judi Marshall & Ed Drozen): 8, or 33.33% again. Good: Keeping Judi from making an overtrick on a 3 NT contract. Bad: Letting her play a makeable 3 Spades on a hand where we can make 4 Clubs. At the one-third mark, we’re an anemic 41.67%.
Pair 7 (Florence Notto & Janet Frisch): 7, or 29.17%. They just plain nail us. Florence leads a Spade against my initial 3 NT contract, taking out our only stopper and I have to rake in my winners immediately. A different lead and we make three overtricks. Janet finds a fruitful 2 Heart contract where every other East-West bids NT and hands us a bottom board. And then she cruises to a middle board with an overtrick at 2 Spades.
Pair 6 (Bruce Burr & Ross Markello): 7.5, or 31.25%. We register the first of the day’s two pass-outs when Florence passes on a hand where she could have opened 1 Club. It doesn’t make Clubs, but it’s good for 2 NT. Then Bruce and Ross proceed to make three overtricks on a 3 NT contract and send me down two on a 3 NT hand where Ross, on my right, opens a weak 2 Diamonds that’s not so weak and I overcall 2 NT with a 1 NT opener. Ross gets in when I eventually go to knock out the Ace of Clubs and runs five carefully-preserved Diamonds.
Pair 5 (Paul & Barbara Libby): 4, or 16.67%. Here’s that big mistake – reaching for an Ace of Hearts that would have defeated Barb’s 2 Spade contract and putting down a Jack of Hearts instead, which allowed her to make it. But we miss our chances on the other two hands, as well. Paul goes 2 Spades and comes two tricks short, but we can make 2 NT. And then a well-considered hold-up play by Barb keeps me from making 4 Spades. At the two-thirds mark, we’re truly pathetic – 33.68%.
Pair 4 (Nancy Kessler & Carlton Stone): 17, or 70.83%. We start getting cards. Flo plays her first contract, 3 NT making five. I make an overtrick at 4 Spades. Nancy and Carlton make 3 NT, but only bid 2.
Pair 3 (Jan Hasselback & Linda Wynes): 14.82, or 61.75%. That’s despite my daily minus 800, down four doubled on a 6 Club sacrifice bid. I make an improbable 4 Spade contract with a 7-point hand for out topmost board of the day and Flo caps it with a bold 5 Clubs, bid and made.
Pair 2 (Helen Panza & Mike Silverman): 15.5, or 64.58%. Flo makes an overtrick at 1 NT for a tie for top and we finish the day with another pass-out, this time for a near top. We’re 65.72% on those last three rounds. Overall, we bounce back to 44.36%. Too bad our good play didn’t kick in sooner.

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