Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bridge Blog 680: Short STaCs

I’m in full tournament mode for the Sectional Tournament at the Clubs. Two sessions a day for six days straight. It’s wake up, feed the cats, rush through a shower, zip out to the Airport Bridge Club, spend all day in competition,  zip back into the city, feed the cats some more, go to work, try to get home at a reasonable hour to go back to sleep again. About the only thing that’s been undisciplined so far is the time at the tables.
First day of the STaCs, my partner is Barbara Sadkin, who’s almost as irrepressible a bidder as I am. We were so aggressive in an early round that we provoked Mike Silverman to double Barbara in a 4 Spade contract, on which she made an overtrick. It was our top board of the session, offset by a couple minus 200 bottom boards due to bad bidding on my part.
Our 48.42% didn’t seem so great – you usually need at least 60% to get bonus points in the STaC – but we were second in the B strat in our direction and earned 0.74 of a silver point. We racked up a better percentage in the afternoon game – 51.88% – but went unrewarded. No points for our efforts.
With the lovely Pawan Matta on Tuesday, we were just as aggressive, but I was reminded that she’s not as strong a player as Barbara when we fell a trick short on a couple contracts in the morning session and sailed into the danger zone on a few competitive bids. We knew it wouldn’t end well, but we still were dismayed at our final percentage – 37.36%. Our consolation was that we weren’t dead last.
In the afternoon, we seemed to find our groove, scoring three top boards and three more near-tops, suffering only a couple defeats on doubled contracts (including the last hand of the day, in a show of non-vulnerable bravado by Pawan). We were surprised again when it was over, pleasantly this time. Final score was 57.55%, second North-South and first in the B strat, earning 1.12 silver points. Might this be good enough to get us district-wide bonus points? Unlikely. In Monday’s games, to place in the B strat on the district level, you needed 60% or better.

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