Saturday, January 12, 2013

Bridge Blog 634: Emergency room

Phone rings a couple minutes after 11 a.m., just as I’m about to step into the shower. It’s Bill Finkelstein, director of the Airport Bridge Club. He’s got 3 ¾ tables. Can I come out and make it four? I explain my situation. Call me when you’re done with your shower, he says. Which I do some 15, 20 minutes later, when I’m shaved and dressed and ready to roll. Get here as soon as you can, he says.
            I arrive just as the first four-card round is ending and my partner is, yes, the director. Never one to shy away from calling me out on bad bids and dumb plays, he has plenty of opportunities. Despite his critiques, our first round together is wildly successful. The 3 No Trump contract he says should have been 4 Hearts? It makes an overtrick and it’s a top board. We win 11 out of 12 possible game points against Chuck Heimerl and his partner.
            Bill’s equally critical of the slam hand, where we wind up at 6 Clubs instead of 6 or 7 No Trump (a hand that makes only 12 tricks if the opponents get to lead their Ace of Hearts). It’s still good for 2 out of 3 game points. And then there’s the one which Judy Kaprove remarks on when we finally play her and her husband at the end of the session, the hand where I make an overtrick on 5 Diamonds doubled. If opponents Shakeel Ahmad and Manju Ceylony had found a shift to Spades, they could have beaten me, but they didn’t. And I was simply in it for a sacrifice. Yes, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.
            But we were good too. Good enough to finish with a 68.74% game, best so far in this young year. It yielded 0.80 of a point, which was enough to vault me past John Ziemer into top place in the club’s master point race for the month. I now have 6.20, while he has 5.54. Of course, that may change Sunday in the Swiss teams competition. Others close to the top include Dorothy May with 5.23, Liz Clark with 4.68 and Jerry Geiger with 4.59.

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