Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bridge Blog 658: Selfish

Part of me really wanted to play the ACBL-Wide Charity Game. That would be the point-hungry part of me. But the game was Tuesday night and my nights are spoken for. I work nights. Even though I was clear of outstanding assignments, it didn’t seem right to bail out on a night in the office at short notice, especially on pure speculation.
But then in the middle of Tuesday afternoon’s game at the Airport Bridge Club, club manager Bill Finkelstein suggested that assistant director Paula Kotowski could be my partner if her husband gave the OK. Suddenly, the game didn’t seem so speculative. Paula’s a good player and we’ve had success on other occasions. So I called my city editor straightaway and told him something had come up. I needed the night off, a/k/a a personal leave day. If obituaries were waiting for me, they’d have to wait a little longer.
I got to the game half an hour early and Paula was not far behind. Thorough person that she is, she went through the entire convention card. New minor forcing? Yes. Cappelletti? Yes. Roman key card? Yes.
The Airport Club had seven full tables for the game with a fair number of expert players in the field. The pre-arranged hands seemed particularly devilish. There were seven- and eight-card suits that didn’t play. There were seemingly flat hands that yielded 11 tricks out of seven-card trump suits. On offense, Paula and I didn’t seem to be particularly brilliant, but defense was another matter entirely. We were killers on defense. In the nine hands where we set our opponents, we had an 80% game.
Overall, it felt like a good session. It felt even better after we scored three top boards out of four in the final round against Bill Boardman and Joe Rooney, who left us grateful for gifts such as the slam that they failed to bid. Our final score – 64.11%. Runaway overall winners, we collected 2.83 points (which doubles my point count for the month), plus whatever bonuses we might qualify for on the district level.
It turned out that two pairs ranked better at the Bridge Center of Buffalo – John Toy and Chris Urbanek, who like us were playing North-South and got 68.03%, and Kathy Pollock and Chongmin Zhang, who were tops East-West over there with 64.94%. Since these are the only two clubs in District 5 that took part in the game, it looks like Paula and I were third overall, which means an extra 5 master point bonus, doubling my point count again. Am I sorry I indulged my bridge addiction by taking the night off? Not at all.

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