Sunday, June 2, 2013

Bridge Blog 678-C: Honesty is such a lonely word

Third round of the day on Friday, May 31, and partner Paula Salamone and I are playing venerable Platinum Life Master Jim Mathis when the topic of honesty comes up. Mathis had a story.
There were some players in a 28-board team game who would leave their scorecards in the washroom for their teammates to find, so they would know the results of the hands they hadn’t played. Their comeuppance? Mathis (or was it one of his friends?) swapped in a different scorecard, sending the cheaters down to defeat via their own evil device.
We’d rather lose honestly than win a game unfairly, Paula and I attested, little realizing how soon our high principles would be invoked. We finished with a 53.69% game, second in the A strat, first in B in our direction, earning 0.49 of a point.
But then we checked our scoring summaries. Uh-oh.  Error. We were credited with 100 match points on a hand where we foiled a 6 Heart slam, but it wasn’t vulnerable. We only should have gotten 50.
After we called this to director Bill Finkelstein’s attention, he corrected things. The result? We slipped behind the second-place pair, who were hot on our heels. With 53.39%, we were third in A, second in B, earning 0.35 of a point.
It didn’t end there. On Saturday, June 1, with Dotty May, we finished with 51.65%, good for third in A, first in B among East-Wests, second in B overall. This being the first of the North American Pairs qualifiers, it awarded extra points, half of them red. Our haul? 0.79 red, 0.79 black. We’re qualified.
    But wait! On Board 16, where Dotty made an overtrick on a 1 No Trump contract, our summary showed a score of 1210 match points. It should have been 120. Correction made and we no longer had a top board on that hand. Our score sank to 50.17%, making us second in B in our direction and third overall in B. The master points shrank accordingly – 0.60 red, 0.59 black.

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