Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Bridge Blog 637: Escaping the clutches

            Sometimes it’s just too depressing to blog about things like last week at the bridge tables. I began the week with the Mark of the Beast upon me – a total of 6.66 master points for 2013 – and I was stuck there. I couldn’t get out.
          The week's results may have been mediocre, but for the most part they weren’t beyond the reach of a miracle of stratification. There was a 47.63% with Usha Khurana on Monday, a 48.67% with Marietta Kalman on Tuesday, a 51.56% with Wednesday partner Celine Murray, which should have produced at least a fraction of a point. Even the 43.48% I had on my first partnership with the lovely Diane Bloom on Thursday wasn’t overly dismal – seventh out of 10 pairs.
          It took until Friday, however, when I came to the Airport Bridge Club without a partner and hooked up with Ruth Wurster, for one of those mediocre games to pay off. We had 47.50%, my second-lowest score of the week, but it was  fourth in the B strat and good for 0.63 of a point.
          Freed from the grip of the Beast, I spent the weekend away from the tables – waiting for a television satellite dish installer on Saturday (he couldn’t put one up, our North-facing house is blocked from the Southern sky by neighbors and our giant oak tree), going to hear octogenarian jazz pianist Boyd Lee Dunlop on Sunday.
          Monday, while President Obama was being re-inaugurated, I played a Martin Luther King Day double session chicken barbecue game at the Airport Bridge Club and found success in both sessions. In the morning, partner Marilyn Sultz and I came in at 49.07%, tops in the C strat in our direction and good for 0.86 point. After chicken, we came back and tied for first in B overall with a much improved 53.57%, winning 1.14 point. Total for the month and year now is 9.29.
          A 42.59% game with Florence Boyd on Tuesday did nothing to improve it. Florence confessed to not having a very good day, and I didn't have one either, which was reflected in the summary sheet – five top boards or tied for top, five bottoms or tied for bottom, and not enough above-average boards in the middle. Now that the bad bridge is out of our systems, we’ll do better when we partner for Swiss teams on Sunday at the Buffalo Winter Sectional, won't we?
          I felt a whole lot better about the sectional after Wednesday’s game with Celine Murray. Celine also is my partner for both sessions Friday at the tournament and, with any luck, she’ll be like she was Wednesday – on fire. Actually, both of us were hot, winning the extra trick on defense, bidding and making game where others settled for part-scores, keeping our mistakes to a minimum. Final tally was 62.85%, second overall and first East-West. This being a double-point week, the 1.63 points we won put me into double digits for the month -- 10.92. Hallelujah!

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