Partner Barbara Sadkin is an experienced border-crosser. She’s got her passport. She’s got the bridge crossing information numbers programmed into her cell phone. No delay entering Canada via the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, she determines, so we take it and, indeed, no waiting. From there, we’re in St. Catharines in a flash, although I have a moment of doubt as we approach the Quality Hotel/Parkway Convention Center. It’s no longer a low-slung Quality Hotel, but rather a Holiday Inn with a tower. I swing into the driveway and follow the “Psychic Fair” signs. Behind the tower, all is familiar. We’re in the right place. There’s one of the Buffalo players, John Toy, out copping a last-minute smoke.
The St. Catharines Sectional is quite a bit bigger than the Buffalo Sectional. The open pairs game, where we’re playing, is almost as big as the entire Buffalo tournament – two sections of 12 tables each. And then there’s a 299er game in the other half of the big ballroom and still another game, a women’s game, in the basement.
Barbara fears she signed us up as A stratification players, but they sort that all out in the scoring. As for scoring, they have the little electronic gizmos, which take some getting used to. Barbara sits North and pretty much masters ours by the third round. Barbara pretty much masters everything that comes her way. She plays most of the hands. Me, the big bidder, I mostly pass the auction over to her. She’s declarer on five of the first six boards and 12 out of 27 overall. I play just three. Our best boards, however, turn out to be on defense, including a 17-game-point top on the last one, where we send our opponents down four.
We finish fifth in B in our section with 53.49%, earning 0.36 of a silver point (the streak continues). Big winner was the man who racked up the most points last weekend at the Buffalo tournament, Saleh Fetouh. He had a 63% game and won 10 silver points.