Sunday, June 2, 2013

Bridge Blog 678-A: Steep challenge

It’s always pot luck in the Swiss team games at the Airport Bridge Club if, like me, you don’t succeed in rounding up three other people to play with you. I had just one – June Feuerstein, who was eager to have any sort of game with me (it’s been a while) and with whom I’ve had middling success.
Our teammates turned out to be Len and Nancy Knabelkamp, relative newcomers who sometimes do well. In fact, they were winners in the Friday evening game at the club, the first of club manager Bill Finkelstein’s three “Party for the Players” birthday games.
June was doubtful, but I saw it from the bright side. Since the Knabelkamps have about 60 master points apiece and June has about 300, we had the lowest point total of any of the six teams and thereby were assured of competing in the C stratification. There, perhaps, we stood a chance.
I still was optimistic after our first round against Liz Clark and Chuck Schorr, whose super-expert teammates were Judi Marshall (just back from hip replacement) and Jim Mathis. Sure, they trounced us, but take away those two awful hands – the one where I should have left June at 2 Spades, but bid 3 No Trump and went down 5 vulnerable, and the one where the Knabelkamps should have bid game in No Trump like our opponents did – and they would’ve beaten us 5-0 instead of 27-0.
We also got trounced 27-0 by the other expert team – Jerry Geiger, John Ziemer, Michael Ryan and Allen Beroza, the ultimate winners – at the end of the day, Ryan and Beroza nailing the Knabelkamps on two hands.
In between, however, we had more success than I anticipated, winning two rounds and tying a third. At least we’ll go home with some master points, I assured June after our first victory. In the end, we were fourth overall and first in the C strat, winning 1.92 master points.

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